Sahar (names have been changed) is a 35-year-old refugee mother of four. Originally from Qaraqosh (in Northern Iraq) Sahar and her family left Qaraqosh in the middle of the night on August 8th, 2014 when ISIS arrived.
Fortunately, they safely made it to the “Ayshtaytoo” refugee camp in Erbil, the capital city of Iraq. Two days after arriving, Sahar gave birth to her youngest son. In Ayshtaytoo the family of 6 shared a tiny living space with another family, and there were 8 other families within their unit space. The refugee camp offered Tae Kwon Do classes for children and Sahar’s 9-year-old son loved attending the classes. Sahar noticed that the class instructor frequently complimented her children. One day, when her son refused to attend the class, Sahar found out the instructor had molested him. Sahar’s son suffered severe trauma from this, including pain and nightmares. Sahar’s family no longer felt safe in the refugee camp. They borrowed money to move to Jordan where they could live safely. In Madaba, Jordan, where they live now, Sahar’s family is able to live without fear, yet they still face daily struggles. While they have support from American FRRME and their local church, they still struggle to pay rent and their children’s school tuition. Despite the many hardships, they are extremely grateful that they are safely together. And without the support of American FRRME Sahar’s family and families like them would have no means of support.
American FRRME is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation, provides relief efforts, advances human rights, and seeks an end to sectarian violence in the Middle East.