Our first family is a family of four from Iraq: a father, mother, and two sons, ages three and two. The father worked as a surgical nurse at a Baghdad hospital and the mother worked as an anesthesiologist assistant. But when the father’s life was threatened after one of his superiors was murdered, the father fled Iraq and took his family to Jordan. The family lived in Jordan for four years. While there, the father earned a Master’s Degree in public health from the University of Jordan and the couple had their two children. Life was also challenging in Jordan because the couple is Shiite while most Jordanians are Sunni Muslims. They have been in the United States for almost two months and are excited by the opportunities that lay ahead.
Our second family is a family of five from Bhutan: a father, mother, two daughters, ages 17 and 15, and an 11 year-old son. The father and mother met and married in Bhutan, but had to flee to Nepal shortly thereafter. They lived in the Nepalese refugee camp for 18 years and had all three of their children there. The father was very active in the refugee camp, volunteering with several groups like Caritas and the Red Cross. The family is happy to be here in the United States, but has found the language barrier more challenging than originally expected. However, the family is optimistic and working hard. The father has a job at the airport and the children are enrolled in school. The father also has two brothers who have been resettled in the area as well.
Our third family is a 19 year-old young man from Afghanistan. Almost five years ago, the Taliban killed the his father. Fearing for her son’s safety, his mother sold the family home, gave him some money, and pleaded with him to flee the country. He fled to Iran and Turkey for a few years where he worked as a tailor and a barber. He is not optimistic about the future of Afghanistan but is hopeful about his own future here in the United States.