One family we will visit is from Iraq. The family consists of the father (48), mother (53), daughter (18) and son (15). The lively and spirited teenaged daughter has excellent English skills. The father faced threats due to his work with the United States military. The family fled to safety in Turkey, where they remained for over two years. Both parents have family who are still living in Iraq. The mother’s sister lives in Phoenix, so they will have some support as they grow accustomed to their new environment. Two of the mother’s four brothers were killed in Iraq. The father feels safe in Phoenix. He looks forward to finding work and to taking English classes. The daughter plans to attend college followed by medical school. The family is looking forward to a bright and successful future in their new community.
The second family we will visit is also from Iraq. This family consists of the father (27), mother (26) and two daughters (7 and 5). One of the father’s brothers (26) also lives with the family. Another brother believes that he is the reason his brothers and their families had to leave Iraq. He worked for the United States military and the National Guard in Iraq. He and his extended family were targeted because of his work. The family left Iraq in 2007 and moved to Turkey for safety. The father was able to find work in a convenience store and a printing company in turkey. They arrived in Arizona in October. The older daughter loves school in Arizona. The family feels safe here and they find their life to be good in Phoenix.
The third family we will visit is also from Iraq. This family includes the father (33), mother (22) and daughter (age 1 1/2). The mother is pregnant with a baby girl who is due to arrive in May. The father speaks English very well. He also has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. The father worked for the United States military from 2009-2011 as an interpreter. He learned English in college and through American movies. He also worked for Coca Cola. “After the Americans left,” he said. “There was chaos.” It took three years to obtain a visa to leave Iraq. The wife’s brother will be joining them in Arizona. When asked how he feels about living in the United States, the father says: “It’s all wonderful for our family!”