We will visit a family from Iraq. This family consists of the father (47), mother (36) and two sons (8 and 5). The father is an electrician. He worked in substations in several places during his career. He worked for both the French government and the U.S. Army. The family faced threats before the U.S. Army left Iraq. They applied to leave Iraq and it took two years for their application to be approved. Although they still have family in Iraq, the father’s brother is also living in Phoenix. He arrived here around the same time as the family. The family arrived in Phoenix at the end of august. The father is has already found employment at a local casino. The older son is attending school, which he loves. The younger son is bright boy who loves to draw pictures. The mother hopes for a prosperous future for her family and a good education for her sons. “We aspire to a bright future,” she says.
Another family we will visit is from Burma. The family includes the father (42), mother (30), one son (4) and three daughters (8, 6 and 11). The father and mother’s families were farmers in Burma. The couple met in a refugee camp in Thailand where they married and had their children. The father spent twenty years in the refugee camp while the mother was there for seventeen years. They have no family left in Burma. The three older children love attending school. Their parents also like Phoenix very much. They hope to study English to ensure a better future for themselves and their children.
We will visit a second family from Iraq. This family consists of the father (39), mother (40), three sons (14, 13, and 10) and one daughter (2). The family left Iraq in 2006 to seek refuge in Syria. The father is a blacksmith, so he was able to find some work in Syria. The family applied for refugee status in 2009, while they were still living in Syria. However, they moved back to Iraq in 2012 due to the conflict in Syria. The family has endured several tragedies during their life in Iraq. As a result of those tragedies this transition has been somewhat difficult for them. However they are very grateful to be in a safe place. The children are bright and playful. The boys are very proud of their education and aspire to go to college.