"I can feel the beauty:" Young Afghan refugee uses new talent to prove there's beauty in the struggle
SACRAMENTO — A young Afghan refugee who now lives in the Sacramento area is proving there's beauty in the struggle. After fleeing the Taliban and immigrating here, he discovered a talent he never knew he had.
Who could forget the haunting images of Afghans frantically trying to escape as the Taliban took power following the United States' chaotic withdrawal back in 2021?
Among the thousands who fled were 16-year-old Bahram Babak and his family who were forced to leave their home in northern Afghanistan.
The family would make the difficult journey to Mexico City, in a country known for its long tradition of welcoming refugees. There, Bahram and his family would stay for eight months.
Unable to attend school, he stayed busy practicing calligraphy—a hobby he picked up as a young boy.
Their final destination would bring them to the Sacramento region where he's now attending high school and perfecting his craft. So much so, he has his own art display at Sacramento City College.
"This is incredible. I can feel the beauty. It's easy for me," Bahram said while showing some of his work on display. "This is the most beautiful work I did. I was trying to do it with my passion."
With no official training, the 16-year-old has embodied a centuries-old art form. He's developed a unique style of synthesizing Arabic, English, and Latin scripts—each with personal meaning.
At a lecture at Sacramento City College—using a pointer stick—he describes every stroke, curve, shape, and color, and how music moves him.
But not just any music.
"Rap, but rap that makes you feel sad and happy, make you motivated," he said.
The accomplished artist said his family is his true inspiration, and calligraphy is his outlet.
We wondered: what does the future hold for this young talent?
"Some people want to be artists, some people want to be singers, some people want to be journalism (sic), some people want to be teachers, but I choose to be soccer player," Bahram said.
Bahram is serious about soccer. He dreams of one day playing professionally.
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