December 1, 2012

Iraqi FlagThe first family we will visit is from Iraq. The father (46) and mother (39) have four boys (ages 20, 18, 15 and 10). The family is Kurdish and left Iraq in part due to the discrimination they faced as a minority group in their country. The violence in Iraq was another reason they sought to flee. The family was also targeted because of their involvement with US troops stationed in Iraq. The mother, father and two older boys speak some English. In Iraq, where the family lived, the father worked as a nurse. The mother was a stay-at-home mom. The children all went to school. Here in the USA, the two younger boys are already enrolled in school. The two older boys hope to find work and hope to go to university one day. They say that the weather here is Phoenix is very similar to Iraq, and they are very happy to be in Phoenix with some other members of their family.

Iraqi FlagThe second family we will visit is also originally from Iraq. There is a father (40), a mother (29), a three-year old daughter, and a baby due in March. The father escaped Iraq after his family was targeted with violence and their home was destroyed. He was forced to leave without any documentation, and so he fled to Beirut, Lebanon as an illegal immigrant. As such, he could not work in his trade as a tailor. The mother left Iraq with her family after suffering great violence. Her family also fled to Beirut. While in Beirut, she met her husband; they were married, and had their daughter. They discovered shortly after their arrival in the USA that they are expecting another baby. The three-year old daughter will begin school when she turns five. In the meantime, she is playful and joyful, and enjoys crayons and paint. This family has had great hardship in their life. They hope that their life in the USA will be better.

Eritrean FlagEthiopian FlagThe last family we will visit is from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The father (31) is from Eritrea; the mother (23) is from Ethiopia, and the daughter (4) was born in Ethiopia. The father fled Eritrea with his family when he was sixteen. His family is from a minority group that was persecuted for political reasons. They are farmers by trade. His whole family has been granted refugee status; but while he and his wife and child have come to the USA, the rest of his family has been relocated to Australia. The father speaks both Kunama and some English. The mother was born in Ethiopia. She met her husband when his family fled to Ethiopia. Her family remains in Ethiopia. The four-year old daughter will attend school next year. Until then, she is eager to learn and is already repeating some English words. She likes books and painting.


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