Two brothers from Bangladesh say they decided to pursue their doctorates in agriculture at North Dakota State University partly because they love snow.
Abdullah Al Bari and his brother, Hisam Al Rabbi, had never seen snow before they moved to North Dakota. Bari moved to the state with his wife in 2009 and Rabbi joined his brother in 2012.
"When we first experienced snowfall in Fargo, it was like a real dream," Bari told The Forum newspaper.
The brothers said were introduced to North Dakota through the book "Hotel Graver Inn," by Ahmed Humayun, a celebrated author and director in Bangladesh who earned a doctorate at NDSU.
"When we were in eighth or ninth grade, we read those books. There were so many thrilling stories about the cold and snow," Bari said. "So, we thought if we get the opportunity, we should go there for our studies."
Bari witnessed his first flakes of snow while he and his wife were out for a walk. They first assumed the snowflakes were tiny tufts of cotton, like those that fall from cotton trees in Bangladesh.
"The heavy snow was a white color that was so sacred," Bari said of the freshly fallen snow. "It was an amazing feeling."
Rabbi said he's been caught in blizzards more than once while walking home from NDSU, braving tumultuous winds and knee-deep snowdrifts during the half-hour treks.
"The snow was pushing into my eyes; it was like I was blind," Rabbi said. "But it was still a good experience, I can say. I can share this experience with my buddies in my country, so I like it."