Courage and Determination

Photo courtesy, Walling, Unsplash!


We’re thrilled to share the following story. It’s by a new writer for InterestEng. — as well as a very accomplished writer.  Ali’s story is one of quiet courage and determination.  It’s also a testament to the role that tutors play in the lives of our writers. They lie quietly behind every story written for InterestEng. —  
Welcome, Ali!

SEVERAL years ago, I was offered a chance to be tutored
with The School Inside to help me learn English — as my native languages are Dari and Farsi. As I became better in English, I was thinking that I needed to get a college degree to have the recognition needed to be qualified to support my family. But my American tutor suggested that, with my multi-language abilities and Internet access, perhaps I could learn how to program websites. If I could demonstrate success, formal academic degrees would not be essential. So, I’ve spent the past three years learning (and even teaching locally) a wide variety of programming languages.

     When I became comfortable with my computer programming abilities, my tutor emailed some of his friends to see if they knew anyone who might be willing to give me an opportunity to prove myself. A few weeks later, a woman, Mary, a US university professor of botany, responded, expressing a willingness to give me a chance.

     The website that I have been working on for Mary is It is a site for building understanding of how to share biodiversity knowledge. The site uses advanced programming tools to allow non-technical users to create different layouts for pages, posts, and grids.

     At the beginning, Mary did not expect me to know more than how to put content into a website or how to change images. Relatively quickly, I was able to point out a lot of things about her website that could be improved and suggested that I could do them for her. 

     Mary asked me to proceed with the improvements.  With that, I made many changes that made the site easier to use: removing things that weren't necessary and adding things that made it more interesting to use.  All these changes are currently functional on the site.  Even more, she asked me to create a new design for the site and to include additional functions.  Since then, I have come up with a simpler design for a new site that has a better user experience.

     I love what I am doing and am happy that I have been able to progress and to demonstrate capabilities that give me an opportunity to support my family while we are refugees in a foreign land. —Ali

Editor’s note: If you, or someone you know, is in need of web design, please contact the Editor ( who can put you in direct touch with Ali.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013 - July 2021 §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff photos or used with permission.  §  To contact us: