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Khalid Sguiri

Khalid Sguiri

Grew up in Rabat, Morocco. Citizen of the United States. Works as a custodian at Eagle Heights Elementary School.

Born: Rabat, Morocco
Heritage: Moroccan

Khalid Sguiri

Grew up in Rabat, Morocco. Citizen of the United States. Works as a custodian at Eagle Heights Elementary School.

We are here today honor Mr. Khalid Sguiri. We are grateful that Mr. Sguiri visited our class and shared his inspiring life story. We learned so much about the importance of family and supporting each other. We learned that families can be separated by an ocean, and brothers and sisters can live in different countries, but still feel very close and depend on each other.

The Eagle Heights Community has a very special connection to Mr. Sguiri. Mr. Sguiri is one of the custodians who does an amazing job of keeping the building clean, safe and ready for us to learn. We appreciate how hard he works and how awesome it is here at the Upper Campus.

Mr. Sguiri was born in Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. The old city of Rabat is a beautiful city surrounded by a wall. The old city reminds people of the long history of Morocco. Today there is a new modern city and many towns growing up around it. Morocco has always been an important area in Africa because of its location. It has always been a center of business. Most people in Morocco are Muslim and speak Arabic and French. Many people can speak Spanish as well.

Mr. Sguiri was just three when his Mom died of cancer. His dad married a new wife and things in his house changed quite a bit. He was mainly raised by his older brother and sister in a separate part of the house. He didn’t leave home when he started working. Mr. Sguiri explained that children usually stay at home and live with their parents until they get married. When he graduated from high school he went to welding school and he worked as a welder in Morocco.

In 1995 Mr. Sguiri won the lottery in Morocco. Not a lottery for money, but the lottery to get a visa and green card for the United States. Many people in Morocco are very well educated but there are not enough jobs for everyone. People don’t always want to leave their home but they have to find a job. His brother won the lottery the same year and together they came to live in the United States. They arrived in New York City on the eve of the Fourth of July. They felt like the whole city was celebrating their arrival the next day. It was a great feeling. The fourth of July is a very special day for Mr. Sguiri and his brother.

Mr. Sguiri came to Minnesota after he heard how beautiful it was here. When he came to visit a friend he decided to stay because he loved it so much. He loves the lakes, he loves that every thing is so green in the summer and he even loves the snow. He said he had to get used to the cold but he appreciates how the seasons change.

Mr. Sguiri began working for Eden Prairie Schools in 2000 as a bus driver. And in 2003 he joined the team at Oak Point. Mr. Sguiri works at the gas station across the street before coming to work at the Upper Campus and Oak Point every day. Mr. Sguiri said he loves his job because everyone is so nice here. He feels at home.

Mr. Sguiri tries to visit his family every year in Morocco. He and his brother send money to their sister to help take care of her. He dreams that when he retires he’ll have a home in Morocco and here and he’ll be able to spend time in both countries.

Thank you Mr. Sguiri for sharing your story with us. We learned so much from you. We learned that it is important to work hard for your family. We learned that it is important to be loyal and care for your family – to help them in whatever way you can. We learned that you can be at home in a new place in the world if you are willing to work hard and treat people with respect.

We are here today to honor Mr. Khalid Sguiri. Here is a special song we wrote with Mr. Larry Long to honor his story. We hope you like your song!


Morocco! Morocco!

Honoring Khalid Sguiri

Morocco! Morocco!
(Honoring Khalid Sguiri)

Morocco! Morocco!

I was born in Morocco
In the Capitol of Rabat
With a big wall the door closes
So nobody will get shot
Built back in the 1500's
Such a beautiful city
In the corner of north - Africa
Along the Mediterranean Sea
Morocco! Morocco!

I don’t remember my mom too much
Because I was little, you know
She was sick – had cancer
Lost her at three years old
So my father he remarried
We didn’t get along with her
So I lived in the upper part of the house
With my brother and my sister
Morocco! Morocco!

We prayed five times daily
After dusk, before dawn
I was raised Islam
We studied the Qur’an
Khalid means forever
Yes, I’ve memorized
The Qur’an is my favorite book
I could read it a million times
Morocco! Morocco!

Tradition, economics
The children live at home
Until they get married
Nobody lives alone
Go to the mosque with father
Go fishing to relax
From the ocean to the mountains
Time sure goes by fast

Morocco! Morocco!

Then I heard about a program
In America – the lottery
So both me and my brother
Went down to the embassy
Oh I feel so happy
Like my dream came true
Sure enough we both did win
To America we flew
Morocco! Morocco!

I came here with hardly nothing
The next day the 4th of July
Everybody celebrating
Happy to see my brother and I
To be under nobody
Independence means to be free
To make your own decisions
To be all that you can be
Morocco! Morocco!

Now I work in Eden Prairie
At Oak Point Eagle Heights
Caring for the building
Working hard every night
I sure love the children
I love the teachers, too
Always wear a smile
It will guide you through
Morocco! Morocco!

Morocco! Morocco!

Music by LARRY LONG. Words by LARRY LONG with Señorita Christine Asuquo’s 4th Grade Class of Eagle Heights Spanish Immersion School. (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)

© Larry Long Publishing 2012 / BMI