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"My husband and I lived in Iraq until 2005. We had a wonderful and peaceful life. We had our own jobs and cars, and many friends and relatives. I was a civil engineer in Iraq, an honorable job. I couldn't have dreamt of a better life.

We were forced to flee Iraq due to the death threat message received by one of the sectarian militias. It read 'either you all leave Iraq, or you all will face your fate.' What could be more serious than that? We arrived to Jordan in 2005. We left everything behind: our friends, relatives, jobs, cars, memories, and most of all, our beloved home.

We lived in Jordan for 10 years. All three of my children were born in Jordan. We suffered and endured many challenges as refugees. I was unable to practice my career due to the fact that refugees are not allowed to work according to Jordanian law, so I wasn't able to provide for the children that I had waited so long to have.

After arriving in Jordan, we applied for resettlement. We knew that Jordan would not be our new home. It took 10 years to process our application for resettlement. Can you believe that? But the United States of America opened its doors to welcome me and my family. America welcomed us to live in peace and safety among other Americans, to raise our children and build their future.

When we came to the US, my family and I were warmly welcomed and I felt as though hope had been restored. We live in peace and safety, and are surrounded by loving people.

Dallas has become home for us. My children enjoy school, and they picked up the language very fast. I volunteered at an elementary school to run ESL classes to help the newcomer refugees. My husband works as a case worker at Mosaic Family Services to help newcomer refugees to become sufficient in order to positively contribute to the community.

My family and I are so thankful and grateful to all the American people for welcoming us in your country. I am so thankful and grateful to all of you for standing one hand, one heart to welcome new refugees and immigrants to your great country. I believe that all those refugees an immigrants will work hard to build a brighter America." 



- Huda #standforlife

Chandler Cooksey