The first family we will visit is from Iraq. The family consists of a father (29), a mother (29), a 4-year old son, and a newborn daughter. The family fled Iraq due to political persecution. Both the mother and father still have family in Iraq. They spent twenty months in Jordan before coming to the USA. The father and the mother are both medical school graduates and they both already speak English. The father is currently employed as a technician in a hospital here in Phoenix. He is working toward completing testing that will allow him to apply for medical training here in the States. He hopes to practice medicine in the United States. The mother plans to stay at home with their young children for now. She also hopes to become a practicing physician. The young son is enrolled in a Head Start program and is enjoying school. He already knows some English words. His infant sister was born one month ago, and so is the first American citizen in their family!
The second family we will visit is also from Iraq. The family consists of a father (38), a mother (35), a son, (15) and two daughters (ages 10 and 2). The family left Iraq after the father, then a security guard at a church, was repeatedly threatened. The family did not feel safe. They spent a year in Turkey before coming to the USA. The mother and father are taking English classes and hope to seek employment soon. The two older children are in school. The fifteen year old son had to work to help support the family back in Iraq, but in Arizona he is able to attend school. The children are happily focusing on their schoolwork and learning English in their new home.
The last family we will visit is also from Iraq. The family consists of a father (49), a mother (41), a grandfather (the mother’s father – 79), and two boys (ages 10 and 9). In Iraq the family was persecuted for religious reasons. They fled their country after their house was bombed. They spent two years in Turkey before coming to the USA two months ago. The father is currently looking for work, while the mother plans to stay at home with her father and the children. The children are both in school. The older son had started studying English in school before he left Iraq, so he is adjusting well. The younger son is having his first school experience and he does not know the language. His adjustment to school has been a little more challenging. The family is very happy to be here where they are safe.