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Family Bios: August 26, 2017

We’ll visit a husband, age 20, a wife, age 18, and their 10 month old son who are of Rohinga origin.  The husband’s parents fled Myanmar in 1992 because they were being persecuted by the Buddhist majority in the country.  They settled in a refugee camp in Bangladesh, and this is where the husband was born and lived until he was 15.  His father worked in the camp for the government, and his son was able to attend school and learn English.  At age 15, his parents urged him to go to Indonesia as they saw no future for him in the camp.  He met and married his wife in this refugee center but was not allowed to work there and survived on government assistance.  His wife,  whose parents also fled from Myanmar, has family members now living in India.  They both have dreams for their future and want to be involved in professions in which they will help others.  The husband wants to become a doctor although presently his focus is find employment so he can support his family. His wife’s dream is to become a teacher.  The couple have no family members in this country but the husband has two friends in their apartment complex from their country who have been supportive of them since they arrived in Phoenix in early June.

We’ll visit a family from from Iraq that includes of a husband, age 49, his wife, age 37, two daughters, ages 15 and 2, and a son, age 17.  They have a daughter, age 20, who is married and has two daughters who is still living in Iraq.  They are very concerned about her welfare.  The wife’s brother lived with them and worked for for a U.S. entity at the airport.  Because of his association, the family received threats on their lives.  The brother quit his job because of the threats, and he is now in the process of immigrating to America.  The husband was a professional soldier who was injured during the Iraq/Iran war.  He has been retired since 1987 because of his injuries, and his wife has not worked outside of the home.  The family came here to find a new life in which they could be free from danger and threats to their lives.  The parents said they are so thankful that they are now living with their children in a country where they are safe and live in peace.  The two older children are now in school and learning English, and their parents are learning English at the IRC and from their adolescent children.  The father is involved in looking for work with the help of IRC, and he is hopeful that he will find employment soon.  The wife has a sister living in Phoenix, and she has been very supportive of the family since they arrived in mid June.  The parents hope that they can bring their daughter and her family to the States so that their family can be united.

And we’ll visit a family from Somalia, who became refugees when the war broke out in the early 1990’s and they escaped to a refugee came in Kenya. The couple has seven children and two grandchildren, nearly all of whom were born in refugee camp.  The couple and their family lived in the refugee camp for 20 years, until they were resettled in Arizona.  The family’s hope for the future is that they will integrate and adjust to life in the United States.  They plan to work hard and see a bright future for their children through education.