Immigrant Life

Armand Ruci
4 min readFeb 23, 2021


This book is dedicated to my parents who made the utmost sacrifice and supported me in my journey to the United States at the age of 15. Without my two loving parents, I would not be where I am today, and I owe my life to them. A special thanks goes to my brother who has shown me the true spirit of American exceptionalism, by setting up his own social network and then moving cross-country to California and then back to New York. He has strived to become a successful person and, in my eyes, has accomplished more than any average person would as an immigrant with no help or push by anyone but himself.

Lastly, I want to thank my new wife, whom I love very much, and I thank her for being there for me in the past 16 months of our new journey as a married couple.


This journey begins with me in the small and impoverished 3rd country known as Albania in its capital Tirana as a skinny 7th grader known for keeping to himself and being socially awkward at times.

My middle school was built in the 1960s. Its Dictator at the time, Enver Hoxha, wanted his fellow countrymen to be as literate as possible and he instituted strict laws against illiteracy. As a result of his policies, most Albanians, 97% of them to be exact became literate through mandatory schooling up until the 12th grade. This is by far is the greatest achievement of a man that brings hatred and vile comments by most Albanians. People used to say that he did one thing right and that was the fact that he adhered to Marxist ideals of communism and treated everyone the same. We were all poor, used to say my grandmother, God rest her soul, and none of us had enough food to eat.

People that lived in the countryside were luckier in the sense that they would grow their own crops and had livestock however our “dear” dictator fixed that problem by creating municipal cooperatives that would allot each family a portion of their livestock and fruits and vegetables. Grandma used to say that people were so hungry that they looked like shades of their former selves.

My dad tells me to this day that it was really challenging for him and my mother to raise me and my brother. Everything was rationed and families could only get a ration of cheese and butter, eggs and bread. Milk was hard to get, and people were forced to ger up at 4am and stay in line for milk. Meat was rationed and families were given just enough to get through the week. The system believed that…

Armand Ruci

Armand Ruci was born in 1982 in Tirana, Albania and immigrated to the United States at the age of 15 after the Civil War that engulfed his home country in 1997.