This weekend we will welcome a Syrian family who arrived in Arizona in September 2016 after fleeing Damascus when the war started several years ago. They moved from the capital and stayed in various Syrian towns for 8 months before fleeing to Lebanon where they lived four years in a camp before coming to the United States. The wife says that it was “very hard” living in the camp, and the family “suffered” under these circumstances. The husband is 40 years old and is currently working at the car rental facilities at the airport. His wife, who is 37 years old, had just given birth to a son 10 days prior to the home visit. The family has seven girls, ages 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15 and 16 years old. All are in school except the youngest, and they are doing well. The family is “very happy” to be here, and the children are excited to have the opportunity to attend school. One wants to be a doctor while another hopes to become a teacher. Both parents are trying to improve their English skills, and their children are helping them learn the language.
We will also welcome a family from Iraq who arrived in Arizona in November 2017, fleeing the persecution that they experienced because husband had worked for three years as a translator for the American military. During that time period, his father had borrowed his car and was killed by a car bomb which was intended for him. After he left the US military employment, he joined the Iraqi army. He has a degree in English from an Iraqi university and is currently working in the security field at the airport. The wife, age 32, is a housewife and is working on improving her English which is very limited. The parents have three sons, ages 12, 10, and 9 and a daughter, age 1. The family is doing very well and the children are enjoying their school experience here. The father would like to pursue a degree in Homeland Security but he also discusses the opportunity to work as a translator in the government. The parents’ goals for their children are to be educated and to provide them with good opportunities for their future so they will have a “good life.”