New Pets & PAIR Friends Make Houston Feel Like Home!
"Adam" and his mother have generously agreed to share their story so you can learn more about PAIR's participants and programs. PAIR obtains informed adult consent before sharing stories, and always uses pseudonyms for minor students to protect their privacy and safety. In this case, we have also omitted his picture out of safety concerns.
Every PAIR student has a different experience that has led to a new beginning here in the United States. Meet one of our middle school students, "Adam." This is his story.
Adam was born in Baghdad and raised to the South near the ancient city of Babylon, where his family fled to escape the violence of the ISIS terrorist group. Adam moved to the United States with his mother last year after the loss of his father in the devastating chaos.
Adam and his mother arrived in Miami in November of 2014. They moved to Houston this summer to join Adam's uncle, who was resettled here as a refugee. Adam likes being an only child, but admits to wishing he had siblings to help him with his homework. We are so pleased to support him through one of our after-school programs here in Houston, and Adam is enjoying his time with PAIR. In his words,
"PAIR is giving us a chance to learn about other people in our school and make new friends."
Adam is pleased with his new home here in Houston. He likes the variety of cultural food in the city, and he has welcomed two pet fish, two birds, and one crab into his home. He is eager to build his English skills, as he is very fond of his English teacher and enjoys the opportunity to practice English with new PAIR friends.
Adam and other students like him work hard every day to build a better life for themselves and their families by going to school, making new friends, and gaining the academic and social skills they need to become engaged, positively contributing members of our society. As "refugees," they and their families have been vetted to ensure that they are fleeing targeted violence directed at them because of their race, religion, nationality, or political opinion and that they themselves have not participated in any violence. They deserve our compassion, respect, and support. Please reflect on Adam's story and so many other students just like him from this generation and the generations that preceded, from countries as diverse as Bhutan, Burma, Congo, Iraq, Syria, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, and many more.