Pray have prayed
Lord, thank you for freedom! We are so grateful for this country, and we pray and give you honor that you will continue to be the center of this country.

Amjad Masad came to America in January 2012. He was from Amman, Jordan, and 24. He came because his father, a Palestinian immigrant to Jordan and a government worker, bought him a computer when he was 6. Amjad fell in love and discovered his true language. He studied the history of the computer and became enamored of the U.S. and Silicon Valley. He imagined the latter as a futuristic place with flying cars and floating buildings. He saw the 1999 movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, and decided America was the place he must be.

His memory of arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport is a jumble, but what he saw from the bridge going into Manhattan was unforgettable—the New York skyline gleaming in the distance. It was like a spiritual experience. He was here.

He settled in New York, worked at a startup, then moved west—he needed to be in Silicon Valley. Five years ago he became co-founder and CEO of Replit, a company that offers tools to learn programming. It employs 40 people full-time and 10 contractors.

On Tuesday afternoon Mr. Masad, who became a citizen in 2019, thought about the 10th anniversary of his arrival. He was so grateful for three things: a company, a family, a house. He and his wife and business partner, Haya Odeh, also from Jordan, started talking about America. At 3:56 p.m. ET, he posted a Twitter thread.

“I landed in the United States 10 years ago with nothing but credit card debt. After one startup exit, one big tech job, and one unicorn, I genuinely believe that it wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else in the world. Here are 10 things that I love about this country:

“1. Work Ethic. First thing I noticed was that everyone regardless of occupation took pride in doing a bang-up job, even when no one looked. I asked people: ‘why do you pour everything into a job even when it is seemingly thankless?’ And it was like asking fish ‘what is water?’

“2. Lack of corruption. In the 10 years in the US, I’ve never been asked for a bribe, and that’s surprising. When you know that you predictably get to keep a sizeable portion of the value you create and that no one will arbitrarily stop you, it makes it easier to be ambitious.

“3. Win-win mindset. People don’t try to screw you on deals, they play the long game, and align incentives in such a way that everyone wins. This is especially apparent in Silicon Valley where you can’t underestimate anyone because one day you might be working for them.

“4. Rewarding talent. From sports to engineering, America is obsessed with properly rewarding talent. If you’re good, you’ll get recognized. The market for talent is dynamic—if you don’t feel valued today, you can find a better place tomorrow.

“5. Open to weirdos. Because you never know where the next tech, sports, or arts innovation will come from, America had to be open to weirdness. Weirdos thrive without being crushed. We employ people with the most interesting backgrounds—dropouts to artists—they’re awesome!

“6. Forgiveness. Weird and innovative people have to put themselves out there, and as part of that, they’re going to make mistakes in public. The culture here values authenticity, and if you’re authentic and open about your failures, you’ll get a second and a third chance.

“7. Basic infrastructure. Americans take care of their public spaces. Parks are clean, subways and busses run on time, and utilities & services just work. Because life can be livable for a time without income, it was possible for us to quit our jobs and bootstrap our business.

“8. Optimism. When you step foot in the US there is a palpable sense of optimism. People believe that tomorrow will be better than today. They don’t know where progress will come from, but that’s why they’re open to differences. When we started up even unbelievers encouraged us.

“9. Freedom. Clearly a cliche, but it’s totally true. None of the above works if you’re not free to explore & tinker, to build companies, and to move freely. I still find it amazing that if I respect the law and others, I can do whatever I want without being compelled/restricted.

“10. Access to capital. It’s a lot harder to innovate & try to change the world without capital. If you have a good idea & track record, then someone will be willing to bet on you. The respect for entrepreneurship in this country is inspiring. And it makes the whole thing tick.”

I was sent the thread by email and thought: Beautiful. So much on the list is what I see. Hardworking: In my town everyone from bicycle deliverymen to masters and mistresses of the universe work themselves like rented mules. And, somehow most moving, that we’re open to weirdos: We always have been; it’s in our DNA; it explains a lot of our politics and culture; it’s good that it continues. “This Is Us.”

At the end Mr. Masad said he was speaking generally, that character limits don’t invite nuance, that there’s no call to sit back self-satisfied, that everything can be made better. But he added a warning: “Many of the things that I talked about are under threat, largely from people who don’t know how special they have it. America is worth protecting, and realizing that progress can be made without destroying the things that made it special.”

The thread went viral and he was engulfed in feedback. The reaction, he said Wednesday by phone from his Palo Alto, Calif., home, “was overwhelmingly positive.” Tellingly, “the majority of the real positive, heartwarming, excited feedback has been from other immigrants. They add to the list what they appreciate.” He noted the number of native-born Americans telling him, “Wow, this is an outside perspective that I don’t have.”

Mr. Masad got the most pushback on infrastructure. He stood his ground. When he got to New York, Central Park was a beautifully maintained gem, and on the streets he appreciated “the music, the arts, free concerts, random popups—all for free and open to all.” By infrastructure, he also meant our system of laws and arrangements. “When we started the company, we got our health insurance through ObamaCare,” to keep costs down. It worked. . . .

Maybe those who are new here and observe us with fresh eyes see more clearly than we do. As long as our immigrants are talking like this, maybe we’ve still got it goin’ on. What a welcome thought. Thank you, Amjad Masad.

God bless all Americans, old and new, here by birth, belief or both, as we arrive together in an unknown place called 2022. Let’s keep our eyes fresh, shall we?

What is one thing that you love about America? Please let us know in the comments below!

(Excerpt from Wall Street Journal. Article written by Peggy Noonan. Photo Credit : IStock)

Comments (25)

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kathy black
January 16, 2022

Religious freedom. I pray this remains but I feel it is under attack.

1
Ralphiegirl
January 16, 2022

Volunteerism. Especially for non-profits. What would they do without volunteers?

1
Tikvah Kolbo
January 16, 2022

I love that it is a nation founded, governed and stands on its Judeo/Christian heritage! The Bible! Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Yahweh). Psalms 33:12

1
Linda Simpson
January 16, 2022

The love we have for God.Freedom to praise and worship Him

2
Norbert Wake
January 15, 2022

The people will always fight to keep America free. The constitution will always keep us grounded when the government starts to gain too much power. To have religious freedom is a blessing.

6
Shpend Shyti
January 15, 2022

God has blessed America.
I pray that Americans will never forget that, but will be united as One Nation Under God, with the eyes, hearts, minds at the Cross where we have abundant life.
In precious Jesus Name, Amen

10
Darlene Estlow
January 15, 2022

I love our freedoms and our God-given Constitution.

6
Margery
January 15, 2022

I love our Constitution, the history from whence it came (from God’s Word) and for all those who have lived and died to keep it sacred in our nation.

5
Rene B
January 15, 2022

I love everything about this article except the very last part about Obama healthcare. It has destroyed good health care. Before we could get an appointment in a week or two, now it’s more like 6 to 8 weeks. By then we are either dead or suffer through the sickness. God forbid that you would need surgery… 3 to 4 months. This country is all about capitalism, not Socialism. The set back about capitalism, greed.

5
Christine Routh
January 15, 2022

our Freedoms!

4
Toni Kushner
January 15, 2022

That I can worship the Living God and not fear persecution. I have only lived in this country, but I love America and the people who when need calls are always ready to come together and help restore areas destroyed by natural events . We live in a great country and I pray that God will renew love of God and love of country.

12
Kelly
January 15, 2022

I love “law and order” because if gives one freedom to be creative!!

7
Rick Clarke
January 15, 2022

Thank you!
May the Peace of Yeshua — Yehovah’s Love be with you and in you this day and may you be in Joy with the awareness of the Presence of His Holy Spirit.

10
Glory Swiniarski
January 15, 2022

We are free to worship the Lord Jesus Christ in the USA & this connects us supernaturally, so we may have the glory of the Lord fill the whole earth & that’s our answer to all the problems in our world!

8
Barbara Janicki
January 15, 2022

So encouraging to read, seeing our beloved country through another’s eyes. My experience of late is that those who come here at great cost seem to love this country more than those of us born here, who have “inherited” this country, this constitution and all the freedoms they provide us, which we then take for granted. Freedom comes at great cost – with the last of the World War II generation leaving this earth, will we completely forget this? Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” I love Masad’s #4 – “Rewarding talent”, (the opposite of equity) and his #6 – “Forgiveness”, (the opposite of our current cancel culture) – both integral to the American ideal along with his #9 – “Freedom”, which makes everything possible. Our freedoms come from God, not government. God blessed this nation in the past, I pray as we return to Him, He will bless and protect us yet again. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” thank you for these hopefilled words! see post “C.C. the citizen #121” at http://www.mtothe5th.wordpress.com

11
Wendy Kremer
January 15, 2022

I love America’s freedom to worship, freedom of free enterprise, freedom to travel, freedom to sing, freedom to be who God created me to be! America is the only nation founded specifically for the freedom to worship God. She is the nation where everyone came from somewhere else, we are the farthest thing from racist, every person is unique and was at one time a foreignerm, but we normally live together in harmony! I love our Constitution and our Bill of Rights!

12
Rebecca S. Polis
January 15, 2022

It was so wonderful to read this story and to see that someone. From another country sees this country as I still do at 72 years of age – I am grateful to be an American citizen and I thank God for all those who she had blood in their lives to keep us this way God bless this man and many others to come whose hearts are right to appreciate America

14
Denise Singer
January 15, 2022

It has been designed and blessed by God, the Father of Jesus, our Savior, like no other country ever before. We are born free! Our Constitution is the second most important document ever written, after the Bible. Please Father save America! May you be Glorified forevermore, May you protect our freedoms and protections and May we remain a refuge for those who need it and a rescuer of the victims!!! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

21
Bobbie Edwards
January 15, 2022

When I graduated high school in Atlanta in 1953, at the end of the program we sang, ‘This is my Country’ . And it still is 70 years later. It’s all I know and it’s enough! I visited Africa on a missions trip a few years back. That so reinforced my love for America! Coming home was never so sweet. This is my home, no matter what. There used to be a popular slogan …”Love it or leave it!” My sentiments exactly. So thankful to call America HOME.

21
Nancy Rife
January 15, 2022

I love the freedom we have to worship in the church of our choice.
This is a wonderful article. His perspective is refreshing!

16
Jerry Sauls
January 15, 2022

Thank you for a publishing these comments by Mr. Masad. I personally pray for America on a daily basis and these kinds of reports makes one feel the changes are happening and we have hope of making America again what it used to be.

15
John Sundararajan Jayaraj
January 15, 2022

On what visa these people are coming to US?

1
Bill Bennett
January 15, 2022

Kindness and thoughtfulness
Encouragement
Not better than you
Patriotism
Family oriented
Sense of conscience
Unique DNA
Religious freedom

17
Marie
January 15, 2022

I love the fact that I can worship God freely, and without persecution. While many would like that to change, I pray that Christians in America will all be willing to fight to maintain this freedom.

25

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