“We came here for a better life for our kids. The situation in Iraq was very bad. It took 2-3 years for us to get here. We moved to Jordan and applied to the U.N. and the U.S. accepted our case. We are now citizens and we love Alabama. We lived in Basra, in southern Iraq. We like living in the south of both countries because we don’t like the cold or the ice.
The first year was difficult and our English was not good. I am going to school to be a teacher. I graduate in 2016 in early childhood studies. I hope to get a job and hope they don’t care if I wear the hijab, because I am good on the inside. I am good at my job and I love the kids.”
“It is also different here because there are more bills and it is expensive to live here. In Iraq it was a simple life, but it was not safe. I thank god I have my job, my wife has her studies, and we have our citizenship and our rights. We didn’t have that in Iraq. We can practice any religion here. I was just praying here on the beach.
The best part of being in Alabama is that people here are friendly. You have to meet one stranger each day? Now we aren’t strangers.”