Naturalization ceremony bring citizenship to 600

Published: Aug. 31, 2007 at 9:37 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2007 at 4:01 AM EDT
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By Maira Ansari

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) -- The largest naturalization ceremony in Kentucky was held in Louisville Friday at the Kentucky Center. WAVE 3's Maira Ansari was there as 600 people from 75 countries took the oath and will now be calling America their new home.

"I'm very happy today -- best days for me" says Soman Khaliqi, who immigrated from Afghanistan.

The new citizens took an oath of allegiance to the United States and received copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

To be considered for citizenship, they were required to demonstrate basic english skills and show a knowledge of U.S. Government and history. For many their journey to America came because of struggles in their home country.

"Here is peace and quiet. Over there it's fighting to much society attack. All the time you feel nervous" says Khaliqi.

Countless others people share the same stories.

"In Sudan, there are a lot of problems -- war, fighting, death, hunger. No way to compare to this wonderful country" says Solomon John.

Friday's naturalization ceremony is the kickoff for "WorldFest", a two-day celebration of food, music, and culture at the Belvedere.

Online Reporter: Maira Ansari

Online Producer: Charles Gazaway