Separated: A Client Story
My brother is suffering in Qatar and I am also suffering here too because he is not here with me.
At the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011, due to the bombing and heavy shelling, I was forced to leave and flee to Lebanon. Then when we got to Lebanon, we registered with the UNHCR. Our situation was so bad there. There was no healthcare, no education for the children. After registering with the UNHCR we were recognized a refugees. We were then called and informed that we were eligible for resettlement and they asked us if we wanted to be resettled. This was our chance to get out of that hell; to get into a better life, and take care of the future of the children. In 2016, we carried out all of the interviews, and then our case was endorsed to be resettled in the U.S. In 2017, we received a note saying that we should prepare for traveling which would include the security clearances and medical exams. Once those were complete, we were ready to travel. We arrived in Philadelphia on May 23rd, 2017. That was one of the best days in our lives. NSC welcomed us warmly. That day I got to know the staff at NSC including my case manager who spoke Arabic at the Philadelphia airport. They were waiting for us at the exit point. NSC has become like our own family, and anything we need NSC helps us with. NSC supplied us with everything we needed. Still up to now, NSC is still helping us. As soon as we arrived, NSC helped us with how to get around the city, registered our children in schools, helped us get health insurance, ID cards and social security cards. We also recieved assitance with our green cards through NSC. That is why I thank the Lord for NSC. It is really a humanitarian organization. I give many thanks to the American people because we were able to be able to be integrated warmly. My son entered university in that first year we arrived. My second son entered university in the second year. We feel that we are now safe, and we are ensured that we have a brilliant future here.
My brother also fled Syria, but he is now stuck in Qatar. I have an issue with my brother though being stuck there. In 2010, my brother was in Qatar by himself because he had contracted employment there. When the war broke out in Syria, he took his wife and young children to Qatar with him for safety. When the family arrived in Qatar, it was a lot. His work permit was terminated shortly thereafter and he got sick. There, the treatment is very expensive and without a job he cannot care for his family. As the children grew up, the burden was overwhelming because the children need education, shelter, food and healthcare. And he is not working anymore due to his status, so things became really challenging. He reached out to the International Office of Migration through the United Nations to ask for assistance. He and his whole family then received refugee status because he wasn’t able to go back to Syria because of the ongoing war and he could not support himself Qatar because his work permit expired. His residency permit also expired, leaving. His employer told him that he must pay a certain amount of money for the permit or he will be sent back to Syria. My brother is very ill with a number of health issues including diabetes and hypertension, so he had a hard time finding work. As such, his wife started working. His children are also sick as well and need healthcare. Since then, I came to NSC to talk to them about his case. I wanted to support my brother’s case to come to America so we got his case assured to NSC through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program but there is still no word on his arrival. I beg the authorities to grant him access to America, because this is a humanitarian case. I am worried about his children. As the resettlement process is delayed, his health conditions are getting worse. His wife also has to have a surgery but cannot because she must use the money from the job to pay for the needs of the family and she can’t pay for both. I hope that the authorities look warmly upon his case. I am not against the laws, I respect them, but there are some situations which need special considerations like his case. I have friends here; there is a community, but I wish I could have my brother near me. My brother is suffering in Qatar and I am also suffering here too because he is not here with me. I hope I will meet him here in the U.S. soon.