Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"I am lucky! I am lucky!"

As reported in a recent Christian Science Monitor, Nadia Hanan Madalo lived with her husband and four children in a Christian village in Iraq. The family fled their village in 2014 before it was invaded by Islamic State fighters who destroyed the town and burned her home to the ground. She and her family relocated "temporarily" to Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region, where her children struggled in an overcrowded school for the displaced. Nadia understands the pain of waiting. Her parents spent three years going through the vetting process before they were approved for immigration to the USA. Finally, as they flew to America, her father died. He's buried in San Diego.

                                                                                                                            Gregory Bull/AP
For 48 months. Ms. Madalo waited to reunite with her mother, her siblings, and her 21-year-old son in the United States. Finally her family received refugee flight credentials!! When they boarded a plane in northern Iraq, they assumed they'd be among the last refugees allowed into the USA before the newest Trump administration travel ban went into effect. By the time they landed, a judge had put a hold on the ban. For the Madalo family, it was a miracle. "I am lucky. I am lucky" she said at a late-night reunion feast at her brother's apartment in El Cajon, California. Madalo is happy she and her family can stop fleeing. "The first thing is being safe," she said.

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