In 1992, at the ages of 11 and 4, the parents of this family left thier homeland of Somalia and traveled to Kenya. They would spend the next 18 years of their lives in a refugee camp in Kenya. They did not know each other beforehand, but would meet, get married and have two beautiful children in that camp. They have a 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son. When they got the news that they would be leaving the camp to head for the United States, they were thrilled. From Kenya they traveled to Paris, then NYC and finally Phoenix. The long trip was exhausting. They have been in Phoenix for 3 months. They wondered if we had been to Kenya to see the refugee camps.
Our second family is a mother who is 50 and her developmentally delayed daughter who is 31. The father has been missing since 1983 when he fought in the Iran/Iraq war. This mother also has a son, who was an interpreter for the US Army. When extrremists found out he was an interpreter, they threatened the family. Leaving Iraq in August 2008, they traveled to Turkey and stayed there until recently when they arrived in Phoenix. They miss their homeland terribly, but glad they are safe. The mother was very upbeat, organized and tidy. She is looking forward to getting her daughter into appropriate programs for help. The son also lives in Phoenix with his wife and 2 children, but at a different apartment complex. On the day of delivery, the mother will be out of town, but the son will be there.
Living in Mosel, Iraq in 2000, the father of the next family was a high ranking officer in the Iraqi army. After a conflict he had with some others in the military, he fled to Lebanon, leaving his family in Iraq. His wife was killed and his 3 children would live with his brother. In November of 2007 he married his second wife, who is Palastinian. She is expecting their first child in mid February. They know that it is a son.