The first family we will visit is from Iraq. There is a father who is 56, a mother who is 45 and four daughters who are 15, 17, 20, and 21. The husband worked in reception and operations at a hotel in Iraq, and he speaks English quite well. He also worked with the American military. He feared for his family’s safety because there were bombings near his home and work. The family is Christian and they were afraid to attend church or go out in public freely. They fled to Jordan and lived there for two years with help from UNHCR. The wife’s mother, brother and two sisters live in Arizona They own several shops. The family is relieved to be in the United States where they enjoy having the freedom to attend church regularly without fear. Two of the daughters have medical issues that need to be addressed now that they are here. The daughters have many questions about American customs, especially after they saw couples holding hands in public and young women walking outside without chaperones. The father hopes his daughters will receive a good education here. He is optimistic about their future.
The second family we will visit is from Southern Iraq. There is a father who is 49, a mother who is 40, and 4 daughters who are 5 months, 2, 5, and 8. The husband assisted the US Army in southern Iraq for about 14 months. This family fled Iraq and arrived in Phoenix by way of Jordan, New York and Chicago. They spent three days traveling. The father’s mother and siblings are still in Iraq. The father has a degree from the University of Basra in science and mathematics. He would like to continue his education here. In Iraq the father taught for 25 years. The daughters have adjusted very well to their new life in Phoenix and have developed friendships with other children in their apartment complex. The two oldest children will start school in August.
The third family is also from Iraq. There is a father who is 44, a mother who is 40, and three sons who are 5, 6, and 7. The husband was working with foreign television networks in Iraq (CNN, FOX, CBS) which put his life in danger. In Iraq the husband loaned a car to his brother’s family. Terrorists placed explosives in the car and the explosion killed his brother. Because of the explosion the brother’s son lost an eye and another son was maimed. After that incident the family went into hiding until they were allowed to go to the U.S. When the family left Iraq they came to Phoenix, with only a brief, one night stay in Jordan The father is pleased to find that people in the United States seem to be nice. He is looking forward to becoming a US Citizen. These parents would love to have a camera.to take pictures of their delightful sons and their new life in Arizona.