Humans of BV: Tamar Reem


Isabella Vaz, Staff Writer

Freshman Tamar Reem is originally from Israel but she moved to Overland Park with her family when she was nine. 

“I lived in Hod Hasharon which is a city near Tel Aviv,” Reem said. “I’ve gone back to visit Israel, maybe three times since we’ve moved here.”

Reem first entered the district with a warm welcome as a fourth grader at Sunrise Point Elementary.

“When we first moved here, I liked how welcoming and supportive Blue Valley is and the people in our community,” Reem said. “I felt very welcomed. During recess everyone wanted to help me and play with me and during class everyone was always wanting to help me out and just make me feel supported and welcomed.”

When Reem arrived in the U.S. she did not know how to speak English which made language the biggest barrier she had to overcome. 

“I was at home for a couple months before I went to school but going to school was tough,” Reem said. “I had a headache every day when I came back from school because I was trying to understand everything, and I didn’t because I didn’t know English. It took me about halfway through the year for me to understand English but I was not confident and I was shy so I didn’t speak until about a year passed because I didn’t want to mess up.”

Not knowing English also made it hard for Reem to create friendships.

“It was difficult to make friends because I wasn’t very good at speaking to strangers,” Reem said. “It was difficult to talk to new people, especially when I wasn’t fluent at the language.”

Although it took her time to learn English, American culture was one thing Reem was able to quickly adjust to.

“I guess it was easier for me to fit into the culture because I was a kid and not older like my parents,” Reem said. “The culture here is a little different than it is in Israel but I’d say it was harder to learn to talk than fit in the culture.”

Despite all the challenges Tamar Reem overcame, overall, she is happy she moved to the U.S.

“I am glad I moved here because I got to experience new things that I wouldn’t have been able to in Israel,” Reem said. “I learned a new language and I think it’s really important to know English because that’s the language that everyone speaks at work.”

Reem also acknowledges the new opportunities given to her by her move to the U.S.

“One of the reasons why we moved here was because my parents thought we would have more of a future here than we do in Israel,” Reem said. “As sad as it is, I don’t think Israel has much of a future if it keeps going like it is now. I do miss my family sometimes but I like it here.”