Sunday, November 12
Mom - Hannah
Daughter - Jocelyn
Son - Yousef
Grandparents lived with them as well.
This family lived about 3 hours away from Baghdad. A car bomb went off by a church at night which was close to their house. The explosion completely shattered the windows in their house as well as ruined the doors. Their car was wrecked from things that fell on it. The kids were home during this. Hannah said her son Yousef is still unable to sleep by himself from this traumatic memory.
After this, the father got a new job that provided a company car (since his car was destroyed in the bombing). While on the job, a militant group came and stopped his car. They beat the father because he was a Christian. Then they stole the car. The company made this father pay for the car even though it wasn’t his fault.
The grandfather had was also threatened. He had someone put a gun to his head. His daughter, Hannah (the mom of this family), screamed. The malitient people said that if Hannah didn’t stop screaming, they would kill her dad. They took one of their crosses and said if they were still there by a certain time, they would be killed. (the young children were upstairs for all this). So the family fled to a relative's house and used their savings to buy visas and plane tickets to Jordan.
They’ve been here since August 2017.
The husband of Hannah is still in Iraq to help take care of his parents.
Sunday, November 12
Dad - Nabid
In 2006 Nabid was kidnapped when he went to give blood for his muslim neighbor. He was taken for 3 days. Nabid had friends that were Shiites and paid $12,000 for his redemption.
His friend knows Nabid will never be able to pay that money back.
Another time Nabid’s mother-in-law came to visit with another relative. Some malitient people thought hey were journalists and shot at the car and killed them.
In 2013 A friend of Nabid’s sister told them they needed to leave. She had heard that malitient groups had been following Nabid and were going to kill him.
So they moved. However the children started getting pressured at school. They were being taught Islam and were pressured to do Islamic things and to NOT do Christian things.
So the family moved to Jordan on April 20, 2017. They have 2 family members in America that help pay the rent, which is around $360usd.
Sunday, November 12
Dad - Nizzar
Mom - Diana
Son - Karum
In 2007, Nizzar was engaged. He was going from Bagdad to Mosul and came across a checkpoint. Nizzar was asked to show his ID. He had Christian on his ID. Nizzar was questioned as to why he was going to Mosul and he started to realize something wasn’t right. When he left the checkpoint, a car with 4 masked people wanted him to pull over. They kidnapped Nizzar and put him in the trunk. He was able to lookout the keyhole to see where he was. He also had his cell phone and was able to call his family while he was in the car. Once the car stopped but Nizzar was left in the trunk. He looked out the keyhole again and realized he was about to be imprisoned. It was a mudroom for animals. The malitients blindfolded his eyes, tied his hands, and took all his belongings for ‘the security to keep safe’. They told Nizzar that his name pulled up as someone who was working for the Americans… but Nizzar wasn’t. These people told Nizzar they had to leave but would be back and he could get his stuff.
While in prison, the malitient people called Nizzar’s family asking for $200,000 ransom or they would kill him. The family said they didn’t have the money, so I guess he would have to die. They kept going down and down on the ransom price until it was $10,000. The community of Bartilla came together to raise the money. (This town was 70-75% Chistian.)
Nizzar was held as prisoner here for 6 days and 6 nights. He was beaten, but in the midst of it all, he slept well. Nizzar can only attribute that peace to God. On the 7th day he was let go.
The conditions to being let go were
The random money
Had to be delivered by an old person in an old car
The kidnappers didn’t want Nizzar to ever see their faces.
August 6, 2014 There were some bombings in their area as ISIS moved in. This family fled to a church and stayed there for safety. It was very crowded. They stayed in a hall with a capacity of 100 people, however it was packed with 500! It was very unhealthy with so many people in a tight space. They were able to move to another space for 6 months. It was a smaller room with less people, only about 20-25 people. At this time, Diana was a teacher but only got paid one out of every 4 months, even though she worked the whole time.
This family moved to Jordan in February of 2016.
They were trying to go to Australia, where Diana’s mom and sister are. However, they were rejected.
They also had a meeting with the AMerican embassy 2 years ago but never heard back. They did heard back in March that immigration to the US has either slowed WAY down or has stopped all together.
Sunday, November 12
There were 6 people in a 2 bedroom house
This family was harder to understand, but here’s what we learned of their story.
On August 6, 2014, this family fled Kirkuk like most of the city. They lived in churches and tents after ISIS invaded.
Their son went to Bagdad for police officer training. He found messages from ISIS or other malitient groups telling him to leave.
This family came to Jordan in May of 2017.
Monday, November 13
Father, Mother, Uncle, Daughter, and 2 Sons
The Father and uncle were kidnapped. It was a warning for them to leave, however they did not listen and stayed.
One month later the kidnappers came back at 2:00am. They were masked and had guns. They took everything included their money and told them to leave again.
The family moved but of these malitent people showed up to their house again. They came at 11:00pm. They stole all their stuff again as well as warning them to leave agian. All they had left was some furniture. The family sold that and used the money to buy visas and plane tickets to come to Jordan.
The daughter was going to college to become a doctor. However, she has put all that on hold since they came to Jordan. She is hoping to continue her dreams of going to medical school some day when they get their immigration visas.
Monday, November 13
This father was working in an aluminum factory in Kirkuk. Had to pay bribe money to stay safe from the malicia. He was worried about his children since his son was in high school and his daughter was in college. So they fled to Jordan. They’ve been in Jordan for 1 year and 3 months now.
Monday, November 13
This family lived in Mosul’s center. They escaped in 2014 and came to Jordan in 2015.
Monday, November 13
Tuesday Nov. 14th
I didn’t get the names of the people in this household.
In June 2014, the now father of this household was not yet married. He was engaged.
ISIS bombed Kirkuk next to his house and 3 people were killed. This man left Kirkuk and then after Aug. 6th, he wasn’t able to return. Since he left Kirkuk, he couldn’t get married there like they had planned. It wasn’t until October that they got married and it had to be in a different city. This guy had a nice house ready to him and his wife to live in after married. He showed us pictures before and after. The whole thing was destroyed from the bombs and fires.
In July 2014, there was an explosion and his brother-in-law was injured. In this explosion there were over 400 people either injured or died.
After this man evacuated Kirkuk, he got a job in another city doing heavy lifting. He injured disks 4 and 5 in his back. He showed us his medical documentation from the Iraqi doctors. Since he is now a refugee in Jordan and is unable to work, he doesn’t have the money to take care of his back.
He has been in Jordan since May of 2017. He lives in an apartment with his family (himself, his wife, and his daughter). He also lives with his sister and her infant. The brother-in-law was actually in Iraq when we were there because the infant had to have an Iraqi birth certificate. So he was taking care of all that.
They have other family still in Iraq helping them pay rent each month. They have applied to go to Australia, but are waiting to hear back if they have been accepted.
This family was SO hospitable. They gave us water, tea, the most delicious dessert that was homemade by the man, and coke!
Tuesday November 14th
Mom, Dad (Nabid),
2 sons: Danny (14yr old), and another son named I didn’t get, but he is deaf and mute. He can only hear 15-20% of what he should be able to hear. The parents said he could hear big things like explosions, but wouldn’t be able to hear talking. He didn’t want to come out.
2 Daughters: one was there and the other one is married and living with her husbands family in Lebanon.
Nabid used to have a booth in Bagdad selling perfume and other things.
August 5th, 2016 some maliciant people came to his booth and pushed it, hit it, and broke things. These maliciat people called him an ‘infidel’ and threatened him with weapons saying “We know where you live and what you do. You need to leave the country or you and your family will die.’
After this threat, they went to their sister-in-laws house which was 30-45 minutes away. They stayed there until they could get visas to come to Jordan.
They’ve been in Jordan since August 28, 2017
They mentioned when families move to the west or to a new culture, it’s hard because they miss community. They don’t have many people that share their language or culture. But they feel God has given them patience in their trials and sustains them in all things.
Tuesday November 14th
Mom (Avon) and Dad (Mayid)
Aunt - Simera
Andy - 18 yr old son wtih Cerebral Palsy
Milad - 14 yr old son
Mirdna - 13 yr old daughter
Yousef - 12 yr old son
This family left Kirkuk Aug 6, 2014 when ISIS and the malicient groups threatened the christians to leave.
They stayed in tents that belonged to a church for awhile. Then the church gave them a really small room to stay in. The church was filled WAY beyond capacity and the mom said it was getting extremely unhealthy.
Then they stayed in a caravan for 2 years before coming to Jordan on September 13, 2017.
This family saw ISIS take a young girl from a family in front of them at a check point. The girl’s name was Christina and was the daughter of Mayid’s friend. Christina was 3 when she was taken. She was sold but the person that bought her her was called a peacekeeper because he didnt’ want any harm to come of this little girl. This person helped Christina get back to her family 3 years lager. We were able to see the video when they were reunited.
The aunt was in Mosul in 2009 when there was a bombing. She lost her leg in this bombing. She also lost her son-in-law in the explosion. She is thankful her daughter was only injured and the grandbaby was safe.
***at least ⅔ people (if not more) that used to live in kirkuk are refusing to go back because infrastructure is no longer there.
Tuesday November 14th
Mom (Rita) and Dad (Wasfi)
They have 6 children ages ranging from 2-12.
(2 of their daughters were sitting in with us. Lara - 10, and Maral who was 2)
Wasfi was a car mechanic. They lived in Mosul. In 2004, Wasfi’s brother and sister were shot at because they worked as translators. This was so hard on Wasfi’s dad that he had a heart attack. Seven days after his father dying, Wasfi was kidnapped by Al Qaeda. He was engaged at this time. Two vehicles trapped him and pointed guns at him. The men said to get in their car or get killed. Wasfi’s brother saw this whoel thing happen because he was on the roof. By the time he got down from the roof, the cars were gone and he was shot at and injured.
Wasfi was taken to a school about 30 minutes away. Wasfi said the men that kidnapped him looked like they were from Afghanistan. They quickly moved location again. This time it was an animal stable for 3 days and 3 nights. There were also 3 guards.
Three vehicles arrived with 4 people; a doctor, an investigator, the Prince, and a slaughterer.
Wasfi was ‘investigated’ which meant questioned, beaten and tortured. They tried to bite off one of his fingers. (He showed us the permanent scar from this.) They accused Wasfi of being a spy for the Americans. This lasted 2 hours. Wasfi was told that if the slaughterer came back the next day, that meant he would be killed. If the prince came by himself, then that meant Wasfi would not die.
The next morning, the prince came by himself… so Wasfi wasn’t going to be killed. The prince brought food because Wasfi hadn’t eaten in 4 days, but Wasfi said he wasn’t even hungry.
They made Wasfi read a document in front of a video before he left saying the malicia let him go because they found nothing wrong.
They brought in another person while he was there. He was put in the room next door. They ended up killing him. Wasfi said they brought lots of people to this place to be ‘investigated’ and only two ever left: himself and one other Syrian person.
When Wasfi was being released, he was put in a trunk with his hands tied and eyes covered. They traveled for about 10 minutes before letting him go. Wasfi’s hands were still tied but was able to undo them. He had another 45 minutes to get home and somehow made it back. Then the four left in the family (Wasfi, his brother, his sister, and his mother) fled to Syria the next morning.
Wasfi and Rita were married in Syria. They’ve been in Jordan 1.5 years and are hoping to go to the United States. He has a sister and Uncle in Michigan.
Rita is Armenian which has allowed them to get special monetary help for their children to go to school.
They are also worried because Lara, their 10 year old daughter has a growth hormonal problem of some kind. She is REALLY tiny for her age. They just can’t afford medical treatment.
Wasfi said it has been a painful journey but now has a beautiful family.
Wednesday Nov. 15th
Carlo and Eva - they are engaged.
Carlo is from Iraq. He was captured by ISIS for 45 days and hung by 1 leg from the ceiling. He was only let down to eat.
August 6, 2014
Carlo was unable to evacuate because his parents were elderly. ISIS came to their house. They said he could paid the Islamic tax of $300jd per person (Christians could opt to pay this each month and live) or gave them the option of converting to Islam. Carlo refused all the options. ISIS took the cross and other christian symbols off the walls in their home and called him an infidel. Carlo was hit in the back of his neck with a gun and knocked out. When he woke up he was hanging from the ceiling by his left leg.
He was beaten by ISIS. They also used electric shock, and sank him under dirty water. Carlo was only let down to eat for 45 days.
Carlo was then taken to the Prince to announce his judgement. The Prince said he could go if he would pay the tax or convert. Carlo responded “I’m going to die anyway so just execute me. I’m not going to change.” Carlo was then taken to a place in Iraq called ‘the valley of death’ where he was to be executed. Right before he was to be shot, the phone rang. Carlo doesn’t know who the phone call was from or what they said, but after the call, Carlo was let go. He says the call was God’s provision. (At one point during the 45 days, Carlo prayed to the Lord that he would just die… but God saved him.)
On September 26, Carlo was let go.
Carlo was left on the side of the road, beaten, bleeding, and passed out. When he woke up, Carlo saw white walls and thought he was in Heaven. Then a nun came in and explained that a family had brought him in.
Carlo stayed in the hospital in Iraq for 3 months. His leg almost had to be amputated from all the hanging. He tried to go back to work in Iraq but couldn’t.
He somehow was able to get some charity money and went to Spain a year later for a proper leg surgery. Carlo stayed in Spain for 2 months recovering. While in Spain he saw a psychologist to help with his nightmares. (Now the nightmares are gone!) He was told after treatment in Spain to stay in Jordan and not return to Iraq.
Carlo’s father died before he went to Spain. His father was also kidnapped and tourtured by a malicient group in 2007.
Carlo’s mother lives in a caravan in Bagdad, Iraq.
Carlo and Eva are waiting to set a wedding date for when his mom can get a visa to come to Jordan.
Eva came to Jordan with her family 10 months ago. It was her mom, dad, herself, and 2 siblings.
Wednesday Nov. 15th
Samuel - dad
Rita - mom
Samuel - 9 yr old son
Frank - 7yr old son
This family is from Bagdad.
The first bad event happened in 2010. There was a suicide bomber that came in to a syrian catholic church where they were attending. They saw 7 malitient people with weapons come into the church. One of malitent people murdered the 2 priests.
Samuel, Rita, and their first born son Samuel, were taken to a room inside the church to hide. (Rita was 7 months pregnant with her second son.) They hid there 5 hours from 5-10pm.
During those 5 hours one of the malitient people threw bombs in the room. One person died in the room and another person lost both arms from the boms. After 5 hours they left and saw 43 people had died. When leaving, the malitient people thought Rita had a suicide bomb belt on because she was pregnant. She convinced them it was a pregnancy and then Rita went to the hospital to check on her baby. Baby Frank was healthy. Because of this event, Rita still can't’ watch anything on TV or movies with shootings.
In 2014 Rita’s father was targeted by a malitient group because he had a wine and liquor store. Her father, brother and uncle were all in a car together. The malitient people opened fire on the car. They killed her father and injured her brother and uncle. Samuel, Rita’s husband was supposed to be in the car, but for some reason, he wasn’t. And it was a God thing.
Another malitent group threatened and beat this family along with turning their names in. The local police captured the people threatening them. However, the malicia group thought it was the family that turned them into the police. So the family was threatened further. They had a message written in blood on their wall “If you don’t withdraw the case, we will kill you.”
Thank goodness the oldest son was with the aunt so he wasn't around.
This family has been in Jordan 8 months.
The oldest son hasn’t been in school in 2 years and the youngest son has never been in school.
The dad needs back surgery and is in a lot of pain but can’t afford it.
They tried applying to go to Australia but were denied.
Wednesday Nov. 15th
Dad - Aden
2 girls: Eara (14) and Mariana (9)
1 boy: Yousef (13)
Aden was a goldsmith and was married in Oct. 2003. After the war in 2003 with sadam, people would come shoot at his shop. The area was Christian but then the Shiites gained control.
They lived in Kirkuk. There was an explosion close to the house.
After aden’s wife delivered Mariana, she was diagnosed with colon cancer… possibly from the explosion.
She stayed in Iraq for 3 years for treatments. She died on November 25, 2011.
They left Kirkuk August 6, 2014. Their house has been burned down. They had to wait until they could afford to buy tickets before coming to Jordan.
They came to Jordan November 2016.
Aden’s mother came with them to Jordan. She is 77yrs old and had a stroke back in Iraq. So Aden needs to help with her.
Eara, aden’s oldest daughter has a bad heart valve and possibly scoliosis. While we were talking with them, Dr. Kichens and his wife took a stethoscope and listened to her heart. They confirmed the valve needs to be replaced. It could be fixed by surgery, but it’s an expensive surgery. But without it, a bad heart valve could cause sudden death. However, as in the other cases, without jobs, medical procedures are pushed aside because there’s no money to pay for them.
They had a friend help them find an apartment. For the first 6 months they had $100jd help with rent, but that has run out now. The people in the apartment before them left the furniture.