Resilient is probably the perfect word to describe most of the refugees we work with at World Relief Spokane, and few exemplify what that means better than our friend Hassan.
With a war raging in Sudan, Hassan and his family fled the country. The family traveled across Africa, moving from one country to another. They struggled through refugee camps and countries in turmoil before receiving a piece of happy news: Hassan had been approved to come to America.
So Hassan came to America in 2012 and got right to work. He knew if he worked hard then he would be able to bring his family to the United States, and all he wanted was to see them again.
“I worked so hard to be able to see my kids again,” Hassan said.
The transition wasn’t easy. In addition to learning the skills his new jobs would require, Hassan also had to learn English and complete the necessary paperwork to be approved to work. He would also have to learn American culture, a sometimes overlooked difficulty for almost all refugees. For his kids though, Hassan overcame the challenges.
After four years of working two jobs, Hassan’s hard work paid off. In October, his children and wife joined him in Spokane. He was overjoyed.
Now, the kids have just finished their first year in Spokane schools, one in high school and three in grade school. They saw their first snow here, and the family went sledding and engaged in some friendly snowball fights to celebrate. The education his children get here what Hassan says he appreciates the most about America.
“Schools in Spokane do a very good job,” Hassan said. “I want my kids to do well in school so they can help other people like other people helped me.”
His attitude of gratefulness for Spokane moves past the schools too. Hassan said he loves his job at URM and seemingly couldn’t stop praising the people of Spokane. Coming here, he said, has given him hope for his future and his kids’ futures as well.
“I want to say thank you to the people of Spokane,” Hassan said. “I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”
Hassan and his wife are expecting a baby, their first American child, in the upcoming months. Being born in America, the child will be an American citizen. He or she will grow up without the language barriers of his or her parents nor their shared experience of coming here.
The child will, however, grow up around a family who exudes gratefulness and resiliency; two character traits which are in short supply in the world today. And that’s why we have no doubt that their future child will be a blessing to everyone they are around, just like their father.