This exhibit was created by a USU student. (learn more...)
Ka Mar and wife Sa Da De and daughter Ma Se Ma, Logan, Utah, May 15, 2015 (1 of 2)

Ka Mar with wife Sa Da De and daughter Ma Se Ma.

Ka Mar did not believe his parents when they told him they were immigrating to America. [1] This sentiment was not uncommon in the interviews conducted for this project. Classes such as, "what to expect when you fly on an airplane" were offered to refugees in an attempt to prepare them for their travel to the United States. Ya He Ma said, "Yeah, basically the training is for the plane. Like, inside of the plane you have to wear a seatbelt, and then you cannot just walk around." [2]

Communicating in English can be a barrier for many refugees. For example, when Ka Mar’s family arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, his little brother So Sa A broke his leg. Because of this language barrier, it was difficult accessing medical care and by the time a doctor saw So Sa A, he was 30 minutes from death. [3]

In their interviews, the Burmese Muslims communicated excitement, relief, culture shock, and apprehension regarding coming to the United States. Most of the adults over 40 years old noted they wanted to return to Burma someday to live or visit family. They did not, however, want their children to return to Burma because of the unstable political situation there; they dream for their children to have a better life in the U.S.


[1] Ka Mar. Personal interview. 15 May 2015.

[2] Ya He Ma. Personal interview. 18 May 2015.

[3] Ka Mar. Personal interview. 15 May 2015.