Our first family left Iraq for Jordan in 1999. The father had been a wealthy businessman and factory owner. He was robbed by his neighbor, and then the neighbor called the government and accused him of being against Iraq. He was accused of blowing up a building and sent to jail, where he spent three months and was severely tortured. He was found innocent of the crime, but was not allowed to leave jail unless he agreed to give all of his possessions to the Iraqi government or he would be executed. While in prison his arm was broken and he was down to 100 pounds.
They lived in Jordan for almost 11 years, but their children were not happy. Their children are very bright and made very good grades. The Jordanian children teased them and gave them a hard time because they were different. Their oldest son was to be given an award from the school for his outstanding academic achievement. When the other children found out they beat him up and cut his face badly. They knew they must leave Jordan.
We have designated this family a “Hope Family” because they are not in need of help from us. An independent benefactor has furnished their apartment. We will visit them and give them a gift basket as a “welcome to America” gift.
Our second family is a woman whose husband was with the Iraqi police and who went missing. She and her children (who are now 7, 5, and 18 months) moved to Syria for one year and lived with her parents. She has still had no word about her husband. She decided to come to the US for her children’s sake. In college she worked in the micro biology lab.
Our third family is from Bhutan, but we were not able to converse since they speak very little English and we had no translator. They are a couple with an 18 yr old son and two daughters, 16 and 9.