Over the years I have been fortunate to receive a number of awards and recognitions. Of course none of them would have been possible without the support of my family and friends as well as the valuable contributions of my many, many business associates.
Each honor has its own special meaning and brings back special memories, and that was certainly the case over this past weekend when I was honored to be inducted into the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame.
The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame was created a few years ago to celebrate the diverse ethnic heritage of the state of Connecticut by recognizing individuals and institutions they believe best exemplify the best of their immigrant heritage and have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic, and civic development of the state
Organizers also want to preserve these heritages by documenting them in order to educate the public about the importance of immigrant heritage to the identity of the American nation, and the contributions of immigrants and immigrant communities to our country and state.
Ultimately they hope to establish an institution that will promote and publish research, lectures, and conferences on the immigrant heritage of our state, and the role of immigration in the American economy and culture.
It is a wonderful and worthwhile mission.
As I think back to my youth and the move to America with my family, I remember that it was a time of excitement but also a time when a young Tariq Farid found himself struggling to learn a new language and new cultures. Fortunately, I had the support of a loving family and the help of many people who took me under their wings.
We knew we were here because America was the land of opportunity and we had been inspired by stories from friends and families of others who had come to this country to enjoy a freedom unlike any other place on earth and, through hard work and determination, had achieved the American Dream.
Now, thanks to organizations such as the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame, those arriving in this country will have access to examples of others who have come before them to serve as an inspiration and perhaps even a role model.
Being recognized by this great organization was very humbling and I am very appreciative that they selected me for this honor. But the even greater honor will be if through this recognition, one day my story strikes a cord with another young boy or girl and inspires them to realize that regardless of their background or their current circumstances, in this country it is possible for them to realize their dream.