In the first apartment we visited, lived a 25-year-old Iraqi man and a roommate. This 25-year-old had recently arrived from Seattle, where he was originally placed. He has a brother who worked for the police force in Iraq. The terrorists threatened the family and told them they had to leave because of the brother’s job. They chose not to leave and the terrorists killed the father. The next threat was that if the rest of the family did not leave, they would end up dead also. They all left for another city and then this man left for Turkey by himself. He has no family in the U.S., but some friends have encouraged and helped him. He wants to attend college and is in the process of applying to the local community college. He is also a very good soccer player and wants to play for the school team. Originally, he believed he could apply to have his family join him after he settled here, but unfortunately, the only family member he could have brought would have been a wife if he had one. The apartment is very bare and needs a lot of furniture.
The next family we visited are a husband and wife (both age 29) who are from Iran. The couple met and married while attending school (university) where the husband studied Metallurgy and his wife studied computers. They are Christian and were persecuted because of their religion. For this reason they moved to Turkey and lived there for 2 1/2 years there. In Turkey, they found discrimination. Because they were refugees, they were given harder jobs, lower wages, and longer hours. They hope to find professions in road work and the wife in some type of cooking career/profession.
Our last visit consisted of a family of three (husband 42, wife 27, and child 6). This upbeat family have a son whom is severely disabled mentally (cannot see as well) and represents much of their energy. They are waiting on support services for their son. The husband was a translator for the US military for several years working in different parts of Iraq. He explained how dangerous it was to be an interpreter and that many of his friends were killed either by IED or by insurgents. His English is very good. In Iraq the father was an electrical engineer and currently is looking for related work. The wife is currently excited about trying to learn English and would like simple books/DVDs. originally; this family was placed in Seattle. They didn’t like living there and know some people in Phoenix who said they would help them if they moved. This family is so friendly they invited us for lunch.