The Obaid Family

Coming to a new country is hard enough, but add in the trauma of war and lost children and you have some real challenges.

Omar Obaid and family came to the United States in from Iraq in 2009, but not before enduring the loss of two daughters in the Iraq War and three years in a refugee camp in Syria. As a result, Omar, his wife Bushra and daughter Lamyaa Sulaiman battle disabilities as they work to transition to their new home. The couple have two other children, Abdullah Sulaiman and Basma Sulaiman.

Speaking of home, Omar and family were thrilled to learn that they had been chosen for  Habitat home ownership this year, with a projected move-in date of March 2013. Since coming to Beaverton, Ore, the family has had to move three times, each time introducing the children to new schools.

“My new house will bring hope, safety and happiness,” says Omar. It will also “give my family the chance to feel like we belong to the community.”

The family is doing its best to adapt to American culture with Lamyaa in pre-med studies at Mt. Hood Community College and the other two children also attending school. The youngest, nine-year-old Basma, has a fondness for computer games and science. Eighteen-year-old Abdullah loves soccer and studying math and history.

Omar is impressed that the Habitat program helps people help themselves. In fact, he will be working in the Habitat office as part of his family contribution — as soon as he recovers from foot surgery. In the meantime, the family is looking forward to having their own home next year.

“We will be so happy,” say Omar, “I want to see my family happy and safe.”