Afrin is Paris to Us

The next round of home visits were with refugee families from surrounding Middle Eastern countries. One young family came from a Syrian village called Afrin.


When asked about his home, the father replied,

We are very happy here, but Afrin is home. It is like Paris to me. We left with nothing but our clothes. We love the Kurdish people and thank them for all they’ve done for us. We want to go home, but still it is not safe.

He continued sharing that he immediately evacuated his family to safety due to the threat of ISIS, leaving their once thriving lives, jobs, and extended family. Their elementary-aged son was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, and he shyly responded, “famous musician.” His sister shared hopes of studying to become a doctor or an engineer. And their little brother, Peshmerga (named after the Kurdish Freedom Fighters), is really only interested in playing in the street with the other kids while he rides his toy three wheeler.

Unfortunately, education in Kurdistan is lacking due to extreme budget cuts issued by Iraq’s government. This creates further unrest as any region that lacks education becomes attractive breeding ground for ISIS insurgents. Through the Freedom Center, Hope 4 Iraq is offering supplemental education for these children, funded by partners who share the same vision of transforming a city through education.