September 24, 2011

Somali FlagFirst we visited a family of six from Somalia. This second floor apartment was fairly worn down and small in nature. The middle-aged single mom supports all her children who range in age from early teen to kindergartner. Here just over a month, Mom and her children are adjusting slowly to Phoenix. All children are enrolled in school which mom explains is both exciting and overwhelming. School is local and within walking distance. Mother picks up her young children daily. Her husband passed away during the civil war in Somalia. Mother and children traveled to Kenya where the refugee camp did not allow her to work or her children to attend school. The airplane trip was exciting as it was their first time on a plane. They all like Phoenix very much. The mother does not have a long work history or educational history in Somalia and primarily raised her children. The mother changed into beautiful traditional African outfit for a photo.

Iraqi FlagThe second family we visited was from Iraq, but had fled to Egypt. They live in a slightly larger, more modern, second floor apartment. The family consists of an elder mother, her grown son and his wife. The couple is newlyweds, who have been married about a year. This couple met and married in Egypt. They shared their wedding photos with us. The mother is a vibrant woman who despite being in her seventies immediately enrolled in English classes here in Phoenix. The family has been in the United States less than a month. The husband and wife immediately decided they would like to pursue pharmacology and are in the process of starting their education. The mother was a psychologist in Iraq. Despite a very limited amount of English, she worked hard to interpret for us and communicate with us. The entire family has spent between two and seven years in Egypt as refugees from Iraq. In Iraq they were threaten with death and this forced their moved to Egypt. There was no translator but eventually we found someone to communicate through speaker-phone. Mother and daughter-in-law enjoy cooking and made a request for cooking supplies. The mother is an extremely outgoing and pleasant woman who was very appreciative our services.

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