The Dinar Family

Alhadi Dinar, his wife Niemat Ahmed, and their daughter Sahar immigrated to Philadelphia in 1999 after winning the Diversity Lottery. This program was established as part of the 1990 Immigration Act to increase admission of immigrants from countries whose populations are underrepresented in the United States, which includes African countries. The Dinar family chose Philadelphia as their destination because Alhadi’s brother, Ali, has lived here since 1987. Though both Alhadi and Niemat were schoolteachers in Sudan, their qualifications were not of great value on the American job market and they needed to improve their English skills. Alhadi works in a supermarket, and both Niemat and Alhadi work weekends in residential care for the disabled. Their daughter Sahar has adapted quickly to American life and is a strong primary school student. They live in North Philadelphia with their brother and uncle, Ali Dinar, who is president of the Sudanese Society of Philadelphia. The whole family frequently socializes with other members of the Sudanese community, many of whom live in the same part of Philadelphia.