Bosnian Muslim student promotes tolerance

Source: Daily Press

APPLE VALLEY • He was born into the middle of a war, with his mother hoping he’d stay in her womb as long as possible so things on the outside would be better by the time he arrived.

When food assistance came, the American care package falling from the sky crashed through the new roof his father and grandpa had just finished installing. They were certainly grateful for the aid, they’d later tell him with a chuckle, just a bit disappointed in the way it got there.

Despite growing up in war-torn Bosnia in the second half of the ’90s, Abedine “Abe” Kustura recalls a happy, wellrounded childhood — he was a stellar athlete, hard-working student and always interested in learning about the rest of the world.

He especially dreamed of making it to the United States, and when he got his chance as an exchange student at Granite Hills High School, he literally jumped for joy, especially when he heard he had been assigned to California — land of the Pacific Ocean, beautiful people and Los Angeles Lakers. Since the start of the school year, the 17-year-old has been sharing information about his home country and culture while experiencing life as an American teenager in Apple Valley.

“There’s so much misunderstanding. We need to learn more about each other,” he said. “The best way is when you talk with people.”

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