Hussein found himself on an overcrowded boat from Turkey to Greece for three days. He remembers well the fear he felt in that moment: "You choose between two points. There is death here and death there. I just preferred the sea more than to return to Iraq and the horror". Tens of thousands of refugees, like Hussein and his family, come to the United States each year from many countries. Threatened by persecution and war, these brave people leave behind everything familiar to seek safety, a life free from fear, and the chance for a new start. They come with few belongings and many questions; will they be welcomed? Will they be able to find a job? Will they make friends?
We are fundraising to furnish homes for refugees like this family; read their harrowing story of escape below:
Hussein & Sabeeha's Story
When Hussein, Sabeeha, and their six children arrived to SeaTac Airport in August, it was the culmination of a years-long journey that spanned from Syria to Norway and many places in-between. The journey began in their home in Baghdad, Iraq. Hussein and his seven brothers ran their own construction factories.
When the US began its offensive in Iraq in 2003, the brothers were contracted to do construction projects for the American military, putting them in danger of retaliation from groups in opposition to the US. Two of Hussein's brothers were killed by militants.
Fleeing the dangers that had claimed his brothers' lives, Hussein brought his family from Baghdad to Syria, where they stayed for three years. Seeking greater opportunity for his family, Hussein made the heart-wrenching decision to leave his wife and young children behind. He hoped to reach Europe and, upon establishing a safe life, to eventually bring them to join him.
Hussein found himself on an overcrowded boat from Turkey to Greece for three days. He remembers well the fear he felt in that moment: "You choose between two points. There is death here and death there. I just preferred the sea more than to return to Iraq and the horror".
Surviving the harrowing boat ride, Hussein made it to Norway where he spent more than three years trying to gain legal residency. His efforts came to naught.
Hussein reunited with his family in Baghdad, but his presence made it unsafe for them to stay. Again they fled, this time north to Turkey.
After several days waiting and a night spent on the streets at the border, the family was granted entry to Turkey. Here they stayed for four more years, waiting on the extensive security screening process required for resettlement into the US. They gave birth to their sixth child–a spunky little girl. The older children learned Turkish and studied in school.
Finally, they received their visas to come to America. "I've spent a big period of my life looking for shelter," says Hussein. "This is the end of my mission. I started my life from the beginning again."
Today, Hussein and his family are beginning to gain their footing in their new homeland. The teenagers are attending school and learning English. The oldest son, Omar, has a job doing auto detailing at the airport. The entire family is enjoying the security and warmth of a new apartment. - Story courtesy of World Relief
Our Wildland Family has been welcomed into homes all over the world with incredible hospitality and we want to show the same hospitality to refugees this holiday season. Giving Tuesday, a national movement to give back after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, celebrates the giving spirit of the holidays. In the past, our Wildland staff furnished a home through World Relief and we had so much fun we are going to do it again!
This year though, we want to include our WHOLE Wildland family. Wildland Adventures has committed to donate $1,250 to prepare a house for a family like the Hussein and Sabeeha's. With the help of all of our Wildland family, we can welcome even more refugees. Will you join us to raise an additional $1,250 so we can furnish 2 homes to help twice as many refugees?
We will be collecting donations online through Nov 28th, (Giving Tuesday). Watch the video below to learn more about Seattle World Relief and see how your donation will be used.
For more information contact us at 800-345-4453. Thanks for being part of our wild travel family and for caring about refugees!
Keeping it wild,
Your family at Wildland Adventures