This Iraqi Christian family of mom, her adult son and his adult male cousin share the small Mesa apartment with the wife of a brother the family lost track of in Iraq. The missing brother has two sons, 5 and 12, who also live in the home. The family left Iraq to escape the war, seeking refuge in Turkey for where they lived for 2.5 years. More recently, the family emigrated to the US to begin their new lives. The two adult sons with quick smiles proudly spoke of their work as car mechanics in Iraq and are pleased to have begun employment with the housekeeping staff at Casino Arizona. While they miss the family scattered from the war, they are embracing their new lives in the US and raising the two young boys in peace.
This Iraqi couple is blessed with four beautiful young daughters, ranging from 2-8. The father who worked as a contractor with the US military in Iraq is currently seeking employment here in Arizona. His wife looks forward to the opportunity to apply her skills and education in the field of medical science and raising their daughters in peace. A small backyard of children laughing, running and playing showed the resiliency of the family and the certainty of a happy new life for them all here in the US.
This Burmese family initially settled in San Diego, but recently relocated to Phoenix, seeking a more affordable place to build a life in the US. Two small boys, 2 and 4, play and laugh non-stop in the small apartment, requiring their mom’s nonstop attention while their father is at work using his skills as a welder. The family looks forward to a life of new opportunity for their two young boys.
The fourth family we will visit is from Burma. The dad (37) and mom (45) have 3 children: 2 sons (22 and 12) and a daughter (17). The family practices Islam and was persecuted in Burma for their faith. The father had owned a small grocery story; in 2000, the government passed a law forbidding Muslims to own businesses. In 2004, the father fled to Thailand as he was under threat. The rest of the family stayed behind until 2011 when they joined him there. They have been in Phoenix for 2 months. The children all speak some English. They were not able to attend school in Thailand, but they learned from people in the UNHRC camp. The 2 younger children are in school and the older is working on his English so he can get a job. The family is very happy to be together here in Phoenix. They were so grateful for the visit from WTAP that they had tea and biscuits ready for the home visitors as a way of showing their appreciation.
The fifth family we will visit also fled from Burma. Our client is a young man (23) who is joining his brother’s family. The family left Burma in 2009 for Thailand. Shortly after, the brother gained asylum in the USA. He wound up meeting again a young woman he met in the UNHRC camp and they were married. They now have a 4-year-old son and an 8-month-old baby, and have just bought their first house! Our client has been here since the end of March. He is happy to be in Phoenix with his brother, his mom and his sister. The day we visited he had just finished an interview for a job at the Marriott. Fingers crossed!
The sixth family we will visit is from Iraq. The father (31) and mother (30) have a 4-year-old son. In Iraq, the father worked for the US Armed Forces so the family came to Phoenix directly from Iraq. They have been here 2 months. In Iraq, the mother was a Chemistry professor at the university. She understands English very well, but is still shy about speaking. She hopes to work on her English and go back into teaching. Right now, she stays at home with the son. The father has secured a job. The family is very happy to be safe here. The mother wanted us to know that she thinks Phoenix is very beautiful. She said she likes America because “people respect all people, “ and “America helps people.” Welcome to America!