“I know it’s a hard life here, but we have to bear it because we cannot go back,” Hazem explains. Hazem responds to all of my questions in a polite, but angry, tone. When asked what he does in Amman, he is short — “I do nothing.” He goes on to describe “the life living inside four walls,” and the depression that results from being forbidden to work. For the most part, Hazem stays at home, sometimes going for walks with his neighbor.
For Hazem, this isolation and inactivity is compounded by security risks. He and his wife fled Iraq when he received death threats. Though he keeps in touch with his nuclear family in Iraq, he cannot even tell his friends where he is for fear that the person who threatened to kill him will find him.
Hazem is thankful for the food vouchers and the stove that CRP secured for him. He has managed to find a community at CRP and helps out around the center. He also has plans to teach English classes. His excellent English makes him a great candidate to help others learn the language. Getting friendly with the people at CRP and doing chores has made him “a little bit less sad,” he says, momentarily dropping his frustrated tone. His wife has also volunteered at the center through teaching English to children.
Hazem is waiting to be resettled in the United States. Though he expects his degree in electrical engineering to not be recognized US, he is excited to begin working again, regardless of the kind of work he finds.
To help CRP help Hazem and other people like him, please consider giving a small monthly donation.