Family Bios: May 12, 2018

What an arduous journey one of this week’s families had to make to arrive safely in the USA! The mother, is a native of Kuwait who married a man from Iraq.  She and her husband lived in Iraq and had 2 children, a son and a daughter. When her husband was killed, she fled the country with her children and moved back to Kuwait.  After a time, she married a man from Egypt. Together they raised her first 2 children and had 2 more. But her first children could not become Kuwaiti citizens or attend school or work, and they could not return to Iraq. She sought and obtained asylum for her 2 older children who then came to the USA and lived with an aunt and uncle.  For 3 years, this family remained separated. Just last month, she arrived here with her 2 younger children; she was 8 months pregnant.  Unfortunately, her husband was not allowed to come and remains in Egypt.  She shared this story with tears in her eyes. She is so grateful to be back with all her children, and happily welcomed the newest American member of their family 2 weeks ago.  It has been a hard journey to get here, but the family is glad to be safe and together now. Welcome to America!

We will also visit a single man from Senegal. He was persecuted in Senegal for his identity and fled to Morocco. He was in Morocco for 9 years awaiting asylum.  In Morocco, he learned to cook.  In fact, he is a chef specializing in Moroccan and European cuisine. He arrived in Phoenix just a month ago and was delighted to find a friend he had met back in Morocco living just a few miles away. When our volunteers visited, he was very excited about an upcoming interview for a job in a restaurant.    He said he was really grateful to have people (the WTAP home visitors) with whom to converse.  As our volunteers were leaving, he offered his heartfelt thanks. He said he never expected anything like this to happen, and that he was really left without adequate words. Welcome to America, neighbor!

Another family we will visit is from Democratic Republic of Congo. Dad fled after his parents were both killed in the war. He lived in camp for 12 years. Mom fled with her family when she was just a little girl. She lived in a refugee camp for 18 years.  Mom and dad met in camp, fell in love and got married. They had 4 children before being granted asylum. Since arriving in the USA 18 months ago, there has been a new a new addition to their family, a baby boy.  The family is so thankful to be here all together. The children are doing very well in school and speaking English. Dad is working a job he enjoys. Mom was so excited to get a picture of all of their children, which we will bring back for her to hang on the wall. Welcome neighbors!