Naseer Shamasha, his wife Hiam Dosha and their family are Iraqi Christians from the village of Teleskof near Mosul. In Iraq, Mr. Shamasha was a farmer and his sons were in high school and college. They began receiving threatening letters from the "Islamic Republic of Iraq" saying that the Christians did not believe in Mohammed, were from the devil and were no good for the country. They were told that they must leave or they would be killed. After fleeing to Erbil in the Kurdish north of the country and then to Lebanon where they stayed for over 2 years, they arrived in the US in March 2013. One of the sons worked in a bank before and would like to study finance. Another wants to study accounting, Mr. Shamasha would like to farm once again, but first they must find jobs. When they first arrived, they were surprised by the rules, regulations, the security, the quiet, the freedom, public utilities, the friendliness of the people and the respect they encountered, but also that there were no jobs. They expected to find work right away. The government assistance they receive will last only eight months and it is not even enough to pay the rent on their house. "We don't have enough to stand on our own feet while we look for a job. In Iraq, we had money, but no life. Here there is a good life, but we don't have enough money."
El Cajon, CA, USA.