Our first delivery this weekend will be to an Iraqi man who has been living in Arizona since February of this year. In Iraq he had to work to help his family from the time he was a very young boy. He left Iraq when he was twenty-four years old and went to Kuwait to look for work. He worked for American companies in Kuwait since the 1960’s. One of the companies he worked for produced desks and other furniture for schools. This gentleman stayed in Kuwait through the Iraqi attacks and invasion, and he was there when the American army arrived. He needs shoes and clothing, in addition to the household items which WTAP will provide.
The next delivery will be to a young man from Syria who was recently granted asylum in the United States. There are many hardships for Syrians, who live with daily with explosions, kidnappings and other threats to family safety. Members this gentleman’s own family were kidnapped. Although they were released by their kidnappers, they continue to be harassed. This gentleman has filed for asylum for his wife. He hopes she can join him in Arizona soon. He likes the climate in Phoenix which he finds to be similar to that of Syria. He is optimistic about his new life in the United States.
The last family we will visit is a family of seven that came to Arizona from Iraq in March of this year. They moved to a new apartment complex in Phoenix recently. The family was affected by the civil war in Iraq between the Shia and Sunni. They were also affected by the fighting between the government and the opposition groups. There are many ways in which families in Iraq get caught between the rival forces competing in Iraq. For example, they are often labeled “the enemy” by both sides. In the father’s own family, one brother was killed and two other brothers were kidnapped and tortured. One of his brother’s was permanently crippled due to the torture he suffered. The family fled to Syria for three years, but their lives were endangered by the civil strife there as well. The family is happy to be settling into their new apartment in Arizona. The father is unable to work for medical reasons, but but the mother does have a job. The 15, 13, 9 and 6 year old children are glad to be attending school. The 4 year old is very sad that he has to wait another year!