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Suffering the violent impact of sectarian conflict, a family endures

Mixed Sunni Shi’a families became targets of sectarian violence in Iraq. Many of them fled Iraq after enduring staggering danger and loss. This family managed to find temporary shelter in a Damascus slum. The father could not rise to greet us when we entered his home, due to torture wounds inflicted by a sectarian militia.

The militia also knocked out all of his top teeth. He and his wife continue to grieve for their oldest son, killed by an armed gang when he attempted to defend his family. One of their daughters was badly burned in a militia attack on their home, while another had her throat slit by religious radicals who attacked all of the girls in her school. Left for dead, she managed to hang on until American soldiers found her and treated her wounds. Unable to return to Iraq and with no future for their children in Syria, the family is determined to work toward a better life in the US.

Having endured the unimaginable, this family looks to the future with remarkable courage and hope. Despite all they have been through, they continue to look to the United States as a land where all things are possible, and remain grateful to the American soldiers who saved their lives. IRAP is proud to be working with them toward resettlement.