Jinan's Story

Before coming to Spokane, Washington, Jinan worked as a hair dresser in Iraq.  When the U.S. Army came to to Iraq, this 49-year-old single mom began cutting the soldiers' hair. She was happy for the work and enjoyed learning English from the soldiers. Jinan was grateful for the help the American government was giving Iraq, however, many other Iraqis hated the US troops and believed that they were there to harm Iraqi citizens rather than help them.

Zaid's Story

In 1979, a violent conflict between Iraq and Iran erupted followed by clashes with Kuwait. The Iraqi government sent the militia, the local police force, to carry out its agenda. This led to massive killing and targeting of individual civilians and their families. Many were killed or displaced as a result. Zaid is one who found himself caught in the chaos.

Zaid completed high school and began college; he worked as a truck driver until it became too dangerous. There was no security in Iraq, Zaid says, "all the police are militia carrying out their special agenda- they don’t care for the individual people as they are supposed to." Because of the religious tensions, the militia seems to target Sunni, Shiite and Christian groups  to break down any concentration.

Tedros' Story

Three months after coming to the US, 38 year old Tedros remembers life before his long journey. Born in Adisba, Ethiopia, Tedros attended school until he finished his High School education. Around the time of his graduation, the Eritrea’s forces beat Ethiopia’s army. During this short period of peace, Tedros began nursing school in Eritrea. Politically, the region was unsettled and he only was able to complete one year of schooling before Eritrea declared independence leading to more disputes with Ethiopia. These two countries would battle for 13 years.