Now that I am moved back from Europe I feel compelled to engage in something that fills my desire to help people and continue to grow my intercultural awareness through my education. I also need something else inspiring to write about and this is the perfect way to do it.
About two months ago I started volunteering for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as a family mentor where I work side by side with the Mshemsh family – a Syrian refugee family of 6. My mission is to help them happily integrate into the United States and help teach best practices for sustainability.
This can be anything from teaching them English, to helping them learn how to drive and/or use public transportation. I also help them make doctor appointments and show them how to find things in a local grocery store.
My goal by writing this is to raise awareness of the challenges that Syrian refugee families face in their day to day life in the United States. Through my written illustrations, I am hoping that many of you will find hope, compassion, and inspiration through my journal while I work side by side with a Syrian refugee family in Denver, CO. Please follow me for this next year on their journey with the Mshemsh family from Homs, Syria.
How you can help – Click HERE!
Stay tuned for monthly updates on my progress with the Mshemsh family. Next week read about my first time doing iftar (breaking of the fast) for Ramadan !!!! <3 🙂
Who are the Mshemsh’s?
The Mshemsh’s are a family of 6 who arrived in Colorado 3 months ago and were previously in a refugee camp in Jordan. Nooraldeen (37) also known as Noor, is the father and is married to Rabaa (32). Noor and Rabba have four beautiful young children Reem (12), Shames (9), Amna (10), and the eldest Mohamad (13).
The family left Syria in 2013 amid the war to seek asylum in Jordan where they had to live and work illegally with no rights. They had to hide and were treated with very little respect as Noor had explained it. They had no identification and finding work to care for the family was difficult.
During this process they were separated with their family and loved ones. Rabaa has 12 brothers and sisters and a mother whom she left behind and never saw again. He mother tried to escape Syria but was forbidden to enter at the border of Jordan and Syria. Her mother lived on the border for three years where she begged for medical care and later died.
Noor, also a part of a large family, is a hard working father who does whatever he can to support his family. He has a great sense of humor and is very happy to be in Colorado. Noor had a brother that was thrown into prison randomly and the start of the war in 2011. He was served with papers and a box of clothes in 2014 stating that his brother with whom he had a complete loss of contact with, had also died.
Rabba is a sweet and caring mother who is excited to learn English and loves cats. Rabaa goes to English school on the weekends and is also proud owner of a driver’s permit – which I will soon use to teach her how to drive. She spends most of her time inside the house because she does not know anyone nor does she speak the language or know how to get around.