Our dedicated volunteers are taking the day off to celebrate Independence Day, so our next deliveries will take place on July 11.
One family we will visit is from Iraq. The family consists of a husband (age 37) and wife (age 30). They have two sons who are eight and ten years old. The family is Catholic. The husband worked in a hotel, which others viewed as a club. He and his family received death threats because of his work, and because of the family’s religion. The family has relatives in Jordan and Iraq. When they first fled Iraq they stayed in Jordan for a while before they were able to immigrate to the States. The family fled Iraq because of the threats against them and arrived in Arizona on 31 March. The husband is currently working in a warehouse, and he is learning English. His wife was a beautician and cosmetologist in Iraq. She would like to continue in this field but she is also interested in continuing her education. She would like to get a degree in Business Administration. She is currently attending ESL classes to learn English. The boys feel that attending school is the best part of living in the United States. The youngest boy loves computers and hopes to work in that field someday. The older boy would like to become a lawyer.
Our next visit will be to two male Burmese refugees (ages 32 and 55) who share a studio apartment. Both men are married and left their families behind when they came to the United States in April of 2015. The older man is Rohingen. He fled Burma in 2002 because of the persecution he experienced. He had worked as a boat repairman but found it increasingly difficult to work because of government restrictions on his ethnic group. He left his wife (age 50), his daughter (age 29), and two sons (ages 15 and 28) in Malaysia. His daughter is now married, and he has a grandchild. He is in contact with his family and they are very troubled because of the situation in the country. He is working with his case manager to bring his family to the States. The gentleman had an illegal immigration status in Malaysia and was arrested twice by the police. He spent one month in jail. The Malaysian government sent him to Thailand but he found it to be even more difficult to survive there, so he returned to Malaysia. He was granted a visa to the United States because he has medical problems. He is currently undergoing treatment and will be having surgery shortly. He feels America is better place for him to live: he is safe and there are no police waiting to arrest him.
The younger of the roommates (age 32) has a very similar story. He also suffered persecution in Burma because of his Muslim faith. He had little opportunity to work. He fled to Malaysia where he married a Malaysian woman. They have a young child. The young man was able to immigrate to the United States because of his refugee status. Unfortunately his wife and young child were not able to accompany him because they are Malaysian citizens. He is desperate to have his family join him in the United States. He keeps their photograph over his bed. It will be difficult for his case manager to arrange for his family to come to the United States because they are not considered to be refugees. The young man is currently employed in a factory.