Until 2010, Zina still hoped for a peaceful life in Baghdad. But when a car bomb targeted a television station next to her house, she knew it was time to leave Iraq.
“I had just left my house to go to work when I heard a huge explosion. All I could think about was my son, still asleep in the house. He was only thirteen years old at the time. He got injured and was unable to move for weeks. I decided I had to take my children out of the country.
“Jordan seemed like the closest and easiest option. So we moved to Amman. Life was difficult at first. I was the only one who could find a job and it was poorly paid. Everything was much more expensive there. While education was free in Iraq, we had to pay to send our children to good schools here. Eventually, my husband had to go back to Baghdad. He wanted us to stay here because he knew our children were safer.
“And it’s true! Their future is brighter here. They have friends and are able to lead a normal life; go to the movies and the mall. Back in Baghdad, if I called my children on the phone and didn’t receive an immediate answer, I thought they had been killed or kidnapped.
“Our neighbors understood our situation and were very welcoming. The Jordanian and Iraqi cultures are not so different, so I’d say we have settled in well. I am now 48 years old and my children are in university!
“I work as a translator for an organization that helps Iraqis. My job is a blessing. In my spare time, my friends and I help the Iraqi migrants who are less established here. I will never forget how hard it was to be new in the country and I want to do everything in my power to help others in this situation.”