Our first family is from Iraq and consists of a mother, father, and three very cute children: ages 8, 5, and 2. The family arrived on January 19th and so far they are enjoying America and the safety here. They told us of the dangers they faced in Iraq due to the amount of arbitrary killings. Without experiencing the violence, it is impossible to imagine the constant violence, which has led to the loss of my of the family’s friends. In Iraq, the father worked as a translator for the US Armed Forces. His job made him a target, which led to him applying for a visa to come to the United States. He understands that his family is very lucky to have left Iraq and to be starting a new life in America. Both he and his wife left family behind in Iraq. The family is enjoying their new life and this week their 8-year-old son is beginning school.
The second family is also from Iraq and consists of the mother, father, and three boys ages 21, 19, and 17. The family was forced out of Iraq because of the violence in the country. As they no longer felt safe staying in Iraq they fled to Syria, where they lived for five years before coming to America. In Syria, their sons were able to attend University, however, they were not able to obtain their degrees before they moved here. So far, they are enjoying life in America and the safety it brings, but there are also difficulties for them as well. It is difficult to adapt to a new country and they do not know the area they live in yet and are not close to public transportation. However, the father’s cousin lives in Arizona and is now an American citizen and his family has been very helpful with the transition. The family is learning English and is hoping to get more practice soon. The parents hope that their children will eventually be able to obtain their degrees and their sons are hoping to find jobs and study in the evenings.
The third family story was omitted for security reasons.