UCC congregations offer hope and home to Iraqi refugees
Growing up in Iraq for Noura was great. After school, she would come home and eat lunch with her family. “I never put my hand in the food unless the whole family was there to eat together.” She graduated university with a bachelor’s degree and began working as a teacher. All that changed when she had to flee her native Iraq to start over in Jordan. She was 24.
Patty Buchan, co-chair of the refugee resettlement committee Congregational UCC in Brookfield, Conn., tells the story of meeting Noura for the first time. “Chris George of Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services was going to meet us by the side of a road to drop off Noura and her brother,” he says. “We saw the IRIS van, but no Iraqis. There was a woman, but she wasn’t wearing a veil. So we were wondering, ‘Where are the Iraqis?’ We thought maybe they missed the plane.”
“I remember their faces, just shocked, like ‘Who are you?,’ ” says Noura.
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