The first family we will visit is from Iraq. The father (42) and mother (35) have three children: an eighteen-year old son, a thirteen-year old daughter, and a three-year old son. The father speaks English well and the older son speaks a little English too. In Iraq, the father had been a graphic designer. He graduated from university with a fine arts degree. After being threatened and fearing for their safety, the family left Iraq in 2010 and fled to Lebanon. In Lebanon, the father and son were able to work odd jobs, while the mother stayed home with the younger children. Because schools in Lebanon are taught largely in French, the children were not able to understand enough to continue their schooling. The family arrived in the USA toward the end of November. They were sponsored by a family here, and spent their first week in the United States living with their sponsor family. They have only lived in their own apartment for a couple of weeks. The father is happy to be in Arizona and that his family is safe here. He will begin looking for a job soon. The older son will try to look for a job and enroll in school. The daughter will also soon be enrolled in school. The younger son and the mother will be at home for now.
The second family we will visit is a young newly married couple from Iraq. They arrived in Phoenix in the middle of November. In Iraq, the husband (25) did general labor, and the wife (23) stayed at home. This couple fled to Turkey in 2010 due to the political turmoil and lack of safety in their home country. This young couple already has a lot of family in the USA: the husband’s sister lives in Phoenix with her family; the wife’s family lives in California, and soon will be coming for a visit. Both the husband and the wife would like to go to university soon. While they wait, the husband hopes to get a job and they both want to learn English.
The third family we will visit is from Burma. The mother (34) has two daughters: the elder is thirteen and the younger is one year old. They arrived in the USA in the middle of November. The mother left Burma fourteen years ago. Both children were born in a refugee camp in Thailand. The older daughter was able to attend some school in Thailand. She is shy about speaking, but can read English very well. She will start school soon in Arizona. The mother has three sisters, all of whom live in Phoenix, so the family will enjoy the comfort of having family members close. Only their mother is still living in Thailand.