"I left Iraq with my parents and younger brother in November 2006 because we feared for our lives. The security situation had deteriorated horribly in Iraq, and the sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites was worsening. We were among the last to leave our neighbourhood, but we were compelled to flee after Al Qaeda took control of the area. They sent us death threats when I refused to join them. We left for Egypt and only six months after arriving, my father passed away. He needed an urgent heart operation and because it took time before we were able to collect the necessary funds, he did not make it. Facing many challenges in finding a proper job and sustaining a decent living standard, we decided to apply for resettlement.
It took us roughly eight years to finally be resettled to the USA. Although we appreciate the support and love we received from Egyptians during our stay in Egypt, it was quite hard to establish a career and lead a normal life there. The job market was very competitive, and being a foreigner made it even more difficult. Resettlement to the USA was the hope that we clung to throughout the years.
After settling in, I plan to enrol in an English language class and will look for an opportunity to further build on my engineering background. I am optimistic. I have family members in a couple of US states, so I will reach out to them. Perhaps we can eventually establish a new home here. In the past 9 years, I learned one has to be optimistic and persevere. Change is the law of life. One should be patient and I was patient for nine years. I believe that if one is pure and patient, he will find his way."