Member Agency Story

A Guide for American Lives

A story about Immigration and Refugee Services featuring Catholic Charities Community Services

“If you like your life, if you want to live, you have to escape. You cannot fight, you have to escape. You have two options. No more.”  

Edrees worked as an interpreter for the United States Army and other American organizations when he was in Iraq. Every day he lived in constant fear for his life because, as he says, “when you are working with the United States Army, you automatically are going to be listed to be killed”. Even after he applied for refugee status to get him and his new wife, Avesta, out of danger, they had to wait six years to be cleared for entry to the States.  

Now that they have arrived in the United States, Avesta and Edrees finally have the sense of security that they had dreamed of. Although they have only been in the States for a couple of months, they already had multiple interviews for jobs and will begin working within the next couple of weeks. Both are hoping to return to University in the future to finish up their degrees in Genetics and Mechanics. Avesta is especially excited to begin working and to continue her education because, as a woman, she did not have many opportunities in Iraq to achieve her educational and professional goals.  

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