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The suite life, the hotel suite life

Akbari family has been living in hotel since mid-August

By Jordan Klein, Liberty High School

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Homeless. It’s a word the Akbari family never thought could be used to describe their living situation, but since August, they’ve been out of their home. While in Cancun on summer vacation, the water heater in their house broke, flooding every room and every floor, forcing the family to say hello to the suite life.

Jordan Klein
With the water heater in the family attic, the flooding that resulted after the water heater broke cascaded down throughout the house and damaged all areas including the kitchen which sits in a state of repair. The family has been unable to live in their home since August.

“I was sitting there and my mom came up to me and she said ‘Hey’ and she gave me a little bag and said ‘Grab a couple clothes, grab a couple things that you need. We’re going to a hotel’,” senior Melody Akbari said. “And I was like ‘oh okay’ I mean I knew the house wasn’t liveable but I didn’t think that we needed to go to a hotel but we did and so I went to my room and grabbed a couple pieces of clothes that I thought I needed, I grabbed like a toothbrush, maybe like a charger and I left and went to the hotel. And I had no idea, none of us knew that we would be staying as long as we have been staying.”

Three months later, they are still waiting for their house to be finished. Having to make do living in a hotel, the Akbari family has had to let go of once desired items, but has found that the safety and presence of their family is far more valuable.

“At the end of the day you’re just thankful that your family is fine and that’s all that matters. Everything else is just material stuff,” father Fariborz Akbari said. “We can always rebuild and replace but uh..so as far as I’m concerned I’m just happy that my family is okay.”

Despite the family’s choice to look at the bright side of things, there have been challenges. From longing for the privacy living in one’s own home brings, learning to adapt and synch up to each other’s routines and schedules, and to going the extra mile to get to school, the Akbari’s have had to conquer it all.

However, in the eyes of Melody it’s only brought them closer and allowed for a new perspective on life.

“It’s bonded us in a way like I feel like it really has and you know we’ve gotten a lot closer whether you know they probably realize it or not,” Melody said. “I know everybody like all of them probably think it’s a really bad situation and they’re really stressed all the time but you know in the end it’s just brought us closer.”

The journey has been long, but the family is hopeful that soon they will have the opportunity to go back to life as normal.

Jordan Klein
The water damage from the flooding required many of the floors in the home to replaced. Currently the family is living in a hotel until all repairs can be completed.

This year’s Thanksgiving will be unlike any other in the family’s past. Unable to spend the day at home, the family is still trying to figure out where it will be, but wherever they spend the day, Melody has come to realize, home is more than a house.

“My definition of what a home is now has completely changed from what it was before because before you know when you think of a home you think of the location, you think of the house and that’s really all that you think about but now my definition of a home is just where your family is,” Melody said. “Like I walk through the front desk, and you know I see like Manny at the front desk and I see all the housekeeping and I immediately just associate that with home because I’m comfortable here now. And it’s where my family is, and it’s where we all live together and we’re happy and we’re okay and we’re healthy and to me where you can live with your family and where you feel that you are most comfortable that’s now your home.”

This story was originally published on Wingspan on November 16, 2018.

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