One family we will visit fled Somalia in 2010 due to the civil war. Their journey took them across many border. They ultimately landed in Turkey. They spent five years in Turkey before they gained refugee status and were able to immigrate to the United States.
The second family we will visit is from Iraq. The father and mother live with their adult daughter (age 25) and her daughter (age 4). The family fled Iraq after their son-in-law was assassinated, and they feared for their lives. They lived in Turkey for three years before they were resettled in Phoenix. The father was a mechanical engineer in Iraq. He speaks English, but is eager to improve his skills. The mother and daughter will enroll in English classes soon. The young granddaughter is already picking up some English words. This family has endured much hardship and heartbreak. They are all happy to be safe here in Phoenix, and to be reunited with the mother’s brother and his family, whom they see every couple weeks. When refugees relocate to another country their transition is often much easier when they have the support of family members who have immigrated before them. This family will have an easier adjustment to their new life and community because of the guidance and knowledge of the mother’s brother and his family.
The third family we will see is from Somalia. The father and mother have a one year old daughter. The father is from Mogadishu and the mother is from a small village in northern Somalia. They both left Somalia in 2008. They met at Sheder Refugee Camp in Ethiopia, where they were married. Their daughter was born in the refugee camp. The father was a graphic artist in Somalia. He still likes to do that work, but in the refugee camp in Ethiopia he took on the responsibilities of a community worker for the International Refugee Committee. His job was to help his fellow refugees get ready for the transition to their new homes. The mother is a seamstress who completed her training for her trade in Ethiopia. She is hoping to receive a sewing machine so she can continue her craft. The mother has a sister who lives in Phoenix who arrived shortly before she did. The family is happy to be together and safe here in their new home.