One family we will visit is a family of eight from Burma. The husband is thirty five years old and the wife is twenty nine years old. They have four daughters (ages 15, 10, 9 and 5). They also have two sons (ages 6 and 3). The wife is expecting another child in June. Thousands of refugees from Burma have lived in refugee camps in Thailand for thirty years. This family arrived in Phoenix on December 12, 2014. The husband and wife have lived in a refugee camp since each was about two years old. They have been married for fifteen years. While they lived in the refugee camp the father supported his family by selling bread and other food which he prepared. Since their arrival in Phoenix the older children have begun to attend school. The teenagers attend a local high school. The six year old is having a difficult time adjusting to school. The children are learning to speak English in school. The husband and wife want to learn to speak English. The family has one cousin in the area, who lives in Glendale. The husband wants to work and is willing to accept work in any capacity.
Another family we will visit consists of two cousins from Ethiopia. One of the young men is twenty eight years old and the other is thirty years old. These two young men fled Ethiopia in 2005 and moved to Kenya. The twenty-eight year old cousin arrived in Phoenix November 13, 2014 and the thirty year old cousin arrived in Phoenix on November 25, 2014. When they lived in Ethiopia the two young men worked in their community assisting children who were affected by the Civil War in Ethiopia. They assisted children by hiding them and later helping them to transition to life in Kenya. The twenty-eight year old man would like to continue with his education. He would like to learn to speak better English and is willing to work in any capacity. The thirty year old man is currently working at the Airport. He has a twin and an older brother. When there are twins in their culture the all first born men are given the same unique name in their full name. He has a life goal to find his older brother. They have no family in the U.S. but they do have family who still live in Ethiopia.
Another family we will visit consists of a young couple from Iraq. The husband is twenty-seven years old and the wife is seventeen years old. The battle between ISIS and the government of Iraq has caused many people in their country to flee for their safety. Many people in Iraq are forced to live under bridges, in unfinished buildings and in displacement camps because of the chaos in their country. With winter approaching displaced Iraqis face real danger with sub-zero temperatures. The United Nations assisted this family’s departure from Iraq after the husband’s life was threatened. The husband worked as a driver for the government. The family arrived in Phoenix on December 9, 2014. They have been married for a year and a half. The couple is expecting their first child in a month. They have relatives who live in Boston. They couple want to learn English and to follow their educational goals. The husband is willing to work in any job he can get after the baby is born.
Our first family consists of a family of three from Burma. The husband is 24 years old and the wife is 21 years old. They have a 3 year old son. Burma has been plagued by Civil War for the past 60 years and the recent collapse of a 17 year cease fire has caused many to flee. The family fled Burma to a refugee camp in Thailand where they have lived for the past 4 years. The family arrived in Phoenix December 3, 2014. They have been married for 4 years. The husband has done many types of work to provide for his family. They still have family in Burma but have no plans to ever return to a life of attacks, torture, rape and summary executions. The husband has a sister who lives in Phoenix. He enjoys computer games and the wife enjoys cooking. They want to learn to speak English. The husband is willing to work and will accept any type of job.
Another family we will visit is a family of four from Somalia which consists of a mother and her three children. The mother is 35 years old with daughter 11 years old, a daughter 10 years old and a son 6 years old. Somalia is a country which has been engulfed in Civil War for over 20 years. The current government is unstable due to the many different groups, politicians, clan leaders and intellectuals. Killing each other has become a way of life in Somalia. The children’s father died as a result of civil war violence. The mother and her brother were separated due to war. The brother went South Africa and she went to Ethiopia in 2010. The mother would like to focus her energy and attention on helping the children adjust to their new life in the United States. The kids have already started school in Phoenix. They are able to walk to school which is near their apartment complex. The family is learning to speak English. The mother has a sister in Ethiopia and some family still who still live in Somalia. The whole family is very glad to be in America.
The third family we will visit this week consists of a family of six from Afghanistan. The husband is 43 years old and the wife is 33 years old. They have two daughters (ages 12 and 11), and two sons (ages 5 and 2). Years of wars and violent conflicts at the hands of the Taliban has left Afghanistan with massive loss of life, displacement and environmental destruction. The United Nations brought this family from Afghanistan to Turkey and then to the United States through one of their many humanitarian programs. The Family arrived in Phoenix on September 3, 2014. The father has worked in shops repairing shoes and furniture. The three eldest children are attending public school and are learning to speak English. The husband and wife want to learn to speak English. The husband is looking for work and is willing to accept a job in any capacity. They have no family here in the United States.
Today, WTAP will visit a family from Iran. The husband is 37 years old and the wife is 37 years old. The unstable religious climate in Iran caused this family to flee for their lives. Corruption, denial of education and poverty was the way of life. The United Nations brought this family to Turkey and then to the U.S. The family arrived in phoenix October 29, 2014. The wife’s sister-in-law who lives in Phoenix assisted with their transition. The husband has a cousin who also lives in Phoenix. They both worked in sales in India where they lived for a short time. They both are educated and are learning to speak better English. The wife wants to work and is preparing to get her Insurance License. The husband is currently working as a sales assistant. They are interested in pursuing their educational goals.
WTAP will also visit a father and son from Cuba. They arrived in Phoenix on January 2, 2015 and are eager to start their lives here. The father is 73 and the son is 38 years old. They speak primarily Spanish.
WTAP will visit four(4) young men from Burma two(2) are 19 years old, one is 22 years old and the other is 30 years old. Burma’s military regime has been in power for almost 50 years. It is a rule of harsh physical and psychological repression. The government is very restrictive of every aspect of life and has a lot of corruption. They all faced incarceration in Burma due to all the restrictions on life. These four young men fled Burma to Thailand and then to Malaysia. They arrived in Phoenix Arizona on October 7, 2014. They have family still in Burma, but only one person can come at a time. They all would like to continue with their education here in America. They would all like to work, but speak very little English. One has a friend coming to the U.S. soon and another one has a brother coming. All four are extremely happy to be here in America.
This is a family of four (4) from Somalia. The father is 35 years old and the wife is 30 years old. They have two (2) sons one is 4 years old and the other is 2 years old. Somalia has been plagued by civil war for the past 25 years and life is very difficult. The family arrived in Phoenix November 25, 2014. The father had his own business a small shop in Somalia. He is well educated and speaks very good English. The older son will be starting kindergarten and is very excited to be starting school next year. The husband is looking to work and would like something in the security field. He is willing to accept any type of employment. He wants to thank America for being out of the civil war and having the opportunity to provide a better life for his family.
This is a family from Afghanistan. The husband is 32 and the wife is 24. When the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan and the Taliban resurged his life was threatened. He served as an interpreter for the U.S. military and was advised not to return to his home. The family arrived in Phoenix November 18, 2014. The wife is pregnant with their first child due in about 3 months. The husband would like to go to school and is willing to work in any capacity. They have no family in the United States, but there is another family in the complex from Afghanistan. The two (2) families are support systems for each other. The wife wants to learn to speak English, go to school, and eventually find work.