Guly Motameni and Nooria Hanifi

Recorded March 9, 2020 Archived March 9, 2020 30:13 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019735


Friends Guly Motameni (58) and Nooria Hanifi (58) talk about how they left Afghanistan in their young adulthood, what Afghanistan was and is like, and why they're thankful for their friendship and lives in the US.

Subject Log / Time Code

NH recalls fleeing Afghanistan in 1981, when it was invaded by the USSR. She recalls the journey out of Afghanistan to Germany to the US.
GM recalls how she came to the US from Afghanistan when she had just graduated from high school. She recalls staying in the US because she was ill, and eventually meeting her husband in the US.
NH talks about going back to Afghanistan and what Kabul is like now. GM reflects on what it was like when she lived there and the change in leadership in the country.
GM remembers the good childhood times in Afghanistan. GM and NH recall how they met through the Afghan community in Fresno, CA.
GM says she's thankful for her husband and NH shares her hopes for Afghanistan.


  • Guly Motameni
  • Nooria Hanifi

Recording Location


Partnership Type



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00:08 Okay, my name is girly and my age is 58 today is Monday March night. I'm living in, California.

00:21 And now I remember I have a friendship with my new dear. He's a little my country very good friends with each other.

00:36 Hello, my name is Nuria my age is 58 today's date is Monday, March 9th and Perrin, Fresno, California.

00:47 I have interview with English is my friend for almost 14 years.

00:56 My last name is hanifi.

01:06 I am today I'm talking about my

01:11 How do I migrate from Afghanistan?

01:16 I was born and raised in Kabul Afghanistan and by the age of I finished high school and then

01:28 When I was 22 I get married.

01:33 And by the time that we were married the ussr's they came to Afghanistan and they

01:44 And they invaded Afghanistan. So we decide to flee Afghanistan.

01:54 Living with the

01:58 Lots of problems and too many things. We left Afghanistan Thunder 1981

02:07 And we drove from Kabul to Kandahar on that time. There was mud riding on one side and the

02:18 Peds was the other side and the Communist troops was on the other side of the road. So

02:27 We were

02:29 On that time. We had a bad very bad time during that traveling. So they will they make us to wear burqa.

02:40 And that was the first time that I was wearing burqa and the worst time of my life.

02:48 So when one party thieves come out from the mountains and they told us to go to the river. We walked to tour To The River and the river was so deep and was I had a very old shows wearing and that time under my burkha was get part ripped off and I didn't have no choice to take it off. So I have it with me and then we find out very bad Place Hotel on that night and spend the night over there.

03:24 That was the the bombing was a start every 5 minutes and 6 minutes all day coming. This party's was there then

03:34 So by the morning the smell of the one the guy who tried to take us to the to Pakistan. He was he came to

03:49 That's hotel. And he took us to the another hotel like 5 minutes away from this hotel to that, but Atticus like 20 minutes or 30 minutes was all over the area was full of the bombs and everything was explosion and those things so we staying under her for seven days in the hotel and then they took us to try to take us to Pakistan. And so

04:22 And then time to eat as we arrive to the visitor stand you travel by the tractor the tractor that they use it for their Farming Farming and there was a big holes through the mountains were so deep. And so we we were kind of important that fortunate that we were alive. Because of that bad area under there was a loss of traction.

04:54 Explosion in Africa, so we derive to Chairman was around we start traveling from 5 until

05:06 Evening and then

05:10 And at the time we arrived at somebody's house was there was a villager house and was so nasty and didn't have a bathroom. We ask for the bathroom. This It Go used to whatever you want to do something and anywhere you want to

05:29 They give us a little bit of water and dry bread and that's it. So the next day we went to court and I call you and over there. We find a little bit food and those things and then we went to Karachi Pakistan and then over there. We got a nice hotel and take a shower and then after one month we find the one week we find somebody that he was our friend my husband friend. So he said you want to stay here or you want to go to Germany. We want to go down and one week we went over there and we were so happy there for a while and then

06:15 Tortillas we live over there after 2 years United States and then they accept applications and everything until we move from Jeremiah to

06:33 United to Stayton

06:36 I don't know.

06:38 We are I'm a fortune that I have a good life years I ever for kids has been there all educated and all happy and we are so happy to love you.

06:57 My study completely different from you.

07:02 My name is girly.

07:06 Yeah, my name is gleib with my story completely different the day. I left Afghanistan my girl just to 3 before I graduated from high school and it was summertime and my brother was Ambassador in Russia. They called me to come over for a couple weeks to have a good time because he finished high school. I went over there for one week or two weeks in another brother Living in America and that time he is like he called me congratulation me because of the school and he say that I'm going to come visit you he came to Russia for 10 days to spend the time with each other and didn't you say that to all your mother going to go with me to America. You can since you're here is easy because you can get a Visa with me and we're going to go to America.

08:06 I came to America after a few days. I became very very sick, but it's taken for three almost three months and then my brother called my family and my mother is too late. Now if she can stay with me, she can start the college in America and that time I was very sick and my brother has a very good job in the Los Angeles and I went to the doctor and he said you have to move to Arizona because Los Angeles the weather is not good for you two or three nights later than Friday night. One of our friend's son is was Ambassador in America. They invited us for dinner. We went over there a lot of people around and my brother told him I'm going to leave for California because my sister is sick. I kind of stay here. We're going to have we have to go to Arizona and that time there was a doctor over that Eva.

09:06 From here on you say that what's wrong? I said my brother said I don't know. He said bring her tomorrow to my office. I went to the office over there. She said this is not she's not sick just and body swallow because of all of the water. I got to give him one pill she's going to be okay. He shouldn't leave California and you should listen to leave your job. We have a very good job. I said, okay and after 3 weeks, I became good in everything and they sign up my name to English as a second language and City College. I went over there for almost 2 3 or 4 months over there.

09:53 Good night. You met my husband over there. He came from Iran he wishes. He doesn't want to go to Texas. He wants to stay and California to finish the speech D. And that time the college gave everybody a Visa just pay $10 and they're going to give a Visa for one. That's why he came over there to get the for the $30 for 3 months ago the Visa and that time we have the same class. He teach me English every day and that time he became friends with my brother's come and visit us all the time. Finally. He asking that my brother if she's going to get married with me and my brother call my auntie.

10:53 Daughter is what has been the shelves and they called him and asked him to find out about results family. What kind of family has anyone after the week? She called me if I had a dollar I can give it to him you can get married easily because they have a very good family big family very nice family and I got engaged my mother got very upset and after 3 months.

11:34 Engaged engaged in the desert we have to go to Iran because my family is over there. I don't have anybody here. We can get married over there of the 6 months. We went to Tehran we have a big wedding over there.

11:51 And we had a very good time we came back because it is always finished the speech t

11:59 And also

12:02 There's always has his eyes almost three years. He's a professor at Fresno State and recency 6 months ago and got the retired. He's home with us. We have a good time. We have a good life. We have a Tucson.

12:21 Farhat and I meet both of them graduated from Fresno State. They were very good. I'm a housewife. I'll never work in my life, and I'm happy.

12:41 Yes.

12:44 Either if you ever go back to that fun stuff.

12:47 Yes recently. I'm going almost every year last April. I was there. I believe they left over there. I'm going to visit them.

13:04 How how do you see how that changed?

13:09 Actually, list looks good. They build a new buildings.

13:15 Beautiful parks and everything, but the

13:22 North of Afghanistan everywhere is so crowded you can see anything as because of the smokes and too many cars on the street and too many people if you walk on the street, you can walk it's hard to walk even because it's too many people over there.

13:43 But the common highlight, because that's as my hometown.

13:55 No, I didn't because all my family.

14:00 Adele in Los Angeles America, Los Angeles New York living with that's why

14:12 This

14:13 Do either of you miss its or wonder what your life would have been like?

14:19 If things hadn't been this way was like before we still live we had a very good life of Fidel was like you have fun in Kabul was like Europe on that time like 60 70 years ago my dad. He had a phone at home. We had a beautiful bathrooms and those things

14:51 When I was born and raised with those things and the life was so good on that time.

15:00 Now is so different. So everybody go over there. They have to wear something like a job or something because it can go outside those Taliban is all around and

15:15 The situation with the life life was so bad.

15:20 But on that timer so good. We wish that those things always come back and

15:29 What was it like for you to live in the u.s. The first few years that you were here? It must have been very different.

15:39 Was it yeah, it's a little different when I move from Afghanistan migrated from Afghanistan. We went to Germany first two years the life over there was kind of different because we used to live in hotel for three years was not interesting because the Afghanistan we had the house we have everything over there, but when we came to United States depend a lot and everything is perfect and we have a good time good life here. I'm so happy.

16:23 Same thing when I left my father was a old-ass wall and one of the biggest city in Afghanistan mazar-e-sharif. He was working there. We had a lot of small and there's a small town is a couple hours for from Capital Kabul has a logo as they call him little girl. Over there a lot of Acres lungs and everything over there the other very good life already. Nice life 1% was working support nine people in the house and never understand what everybody was living very peaceful and quiet and they're the good life. No fight. No nothing before Revolution As I Shall time people are the good time very good and after divorce.

17:23 Revolution the Russia invade Afghanistan

17:29 And there's a lot of killing a lot of young people killed and everything and when they came back from my family all my family came back to America after that's always we just heard on the radio or television just killing a lot of my family lost so many friends so many families, especially young man's

18:02 We were sorry for the people who lost all the family and everybody but we can do anything after of Russia is the lift and the president became what was the name of the president?

18:25 Confirm, after Carmel took over Sunday was such a nice guy and that time everybody very happy and that's all went to Italy just because the other eye problem they went over there and then his cousin that was hung coup d'etat. He became the car he will you please was pro-communist. He was a couple years or more than 340 years. He was a present over there before we can we call him but after that this but the other than those home, I don't know. What did he do? It was something wrong and he killed.

19:25 Boyzone family 95 family they killed in one day. But he's one of the good best family that was gone. After that 3/4 Kings president came. None of them was successful in Afghanistan still Taliban came telephone at the store said a lot of people killed a lot of young people in this still. Continue. We are very sorry president.

19:59 Trump now he sign up with telephone again.

20:04 I know. I'm sure my people from Afghanistan. They're not very happy because they lost already so many people. I hope everything is going to be good for the new generation or generation lost. So many people.

20:23 I hope God blesses honest and we must have honest and we had a good time over there. I don't know but it will take

20:33 What do you remember especially school and a lot of good friends a lot of good friends and a lot of good time between us family and my family a lot of them as a good cook we can visit Ivana. Ivana. Stan has a lot of good food is the best food everywhere.

20:59 And especially a new year is a good cooking here. We are going to go to the house all the time. She's going to cook very good food. I am not that I like her. She's doing the only between Avenida time. She's the only one everything is perfect. Every time we went over there. She's going to cook the fish. I love it the color of Ali. Hello.

21:47 Resin on Top chicken for chicken or lamb or something. Yeah.

21:59 Actually

22:01 I like to cook the have funny dishes.

22:06 And then my favorites one is I think probably

22:14 With eggplant recorded ball in Jonesboro

22:24 How did how did you two meet each other?

22:30 She was she used to live here, but we moved from 1997 to Fresno.

22:40 One-time 1050 different. She she's a doctor she find out about us and she invite us to her house.

22:51 And then she'd Wild goalie. Also. She said she's a nice lady and she have a nice out. We have a good friendship. And yes, yes.

23:08 Our kids was so young.

23:12 They were now everybody's grown up and we have a grandkids.

23:18 So we are friends still be afraid to other people before and only a new did John and doctors and Roxana zaheen algebra algebra. Also, there are a very good friend of us every week every Saturday. We're going to visit each other a long time, but they don't know the good cook.

23:59 She's the good cook. She always order food from Iranian restaurant.

24:09 Yeah, I'm done cooking and she's going to cook button John with the yogurt is the best. Yeah and also specialty her for us note for her for us as potato.

24:33 Cordova potato corner. Oh my God.

24:44 Inshallah. If one day we are going to ask you to come over you have a hour food tasted. Yeah, but usually I'm going to cook you don't have this photos of anuta Jonas foods, not me say this is not the same likes to three things and by the end of the party everything is finished if I'm going to somebody else's house. All the food is left over. Also, we're going to take the leftover to for the next day. That's why this is much better than the nighttime the best. Yeah.

25:34 Is there anything else?

25:38 Share about your friendship or leaving a funny stoned or your life here.

25:44 I have a good life here with my husband. He's a such a nice guy.

25:50 She knows he's very good guy. He came from educated family. All his family is the doctor even his nephews nieces W, like a dentist heart doctor surgeon doctor so many and also his brothers tour business one, but do you say that the one I was a young guy always said, I'm going to be a professor at the Fresno Fresno State. I said it when I go to grow up. I'm going to be a

26:30 Teacher and always since he finished University High School University and everything and now he's Professor for a long time.

26:46 6 months ago you said enough is enough. I'm tired than the retired. He's working around the house and always gardening in everything. Well tanks good the we are happy with the two kids that I have a two grandchildren $1 who is 9 years old and other one 12 years old picking just a month ago.

27:15 I'm very happy vs. God bless all of us.

27:26 The way we wish I want to stand for Afghanistan Freedom so we can go over there without a job on those things and Philly meet the families. And actually I don't have anybody over there but my husband family all is living there and they all the Young Generation is under so much stress and they killing them and so we want to have fun. It's time to be a peaceful Afghanistan and I hope so too. Everybody have a good life and enjoy their life because over there the younger generation is very smart.

28:10 They doing too many things and the poor people didn't have any opportunity to do anything. So I heard the other day that somebody make airplane. Nobody's there to encourage him another guy image electric cars.

28:28 Even to the Congress and he asked for a loan if they gave her a gave him a $1,000 loan somebody and didn't give it to him. And so he had a Toyota Corolla you sold it for $5,000 and he made a beautiful solar cash. They are very smart and there's no

28:53 Way to give him money.

28:59 Thanks to a new my name nothing to do anything.

29:04 Nobody's there to encourage them. Everybody's thinking about their own pockets and they want the riches getting rich and the poor is getting real soap for the middle class is born with 10 and then by that you could see a small house with made with dirt a very poor family living there. I feel bad for those people life. Hopefully someday these things going to be solvent Russia very good life.

29:47 I think you know who are waiting for that day. So when is going to come and Charla?

29:55 Thank you very much.