A lot can happen in five years. That’s enough time to graduate college or have a child start kindergarten. For Sameer, Hanan and their four children, five years means they are now about to become U.S. citizens. Five years ago, they arrived to Washington after fleeing persecution and violence in Iraq then surviving in a refugee camp on the border of Syria. They landed at SeaTac Airport with a few bags and knowing no one in Washington State.
Five years later, so much has happened. The children have grown from little kids who spoke only Arabic, to young people who have mastered English and are constantly tackling school and life with excitement and energy. After months of practice and lessons, Hanan got her driver’s license this year and is confidently driving her kids to activities around town.
Sameer, who quickly found work upon arriving to America, is now working on mastering U.S. history so he can pass his upcoming citizenship test. We are proud to be able to help hundreds of families each year move closer to citizenship through our Immigration and Legal Services program. For Sameer, Hanan, Saleh, Hazim and Seedra, this is the culmination of a journey that took their family half way around the world to find a safe and hopeful future here in Western Washington.