Organization Helps Refugee Family Find New Life in Charlottesville
A family that fled the war in Syria is finding a new life in Charlottesville thanks to the help of some friendly neighbors.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A family that fled the war in Syria is finding a new life in Charlottesville thanks to the help of some friendly neighbors.
International Neighbors is an organization in Charlottesville that helps resettle refugee families. Families fleeing violence not only get a new home, but the organization helps them become a part of the community, as well.
“We do what friends do. We have dinner together, they've cooked meals for us, we've cooked meals for them,” said Susan Parmar.
The Parmar family added Yayha Karaz, his wife Siba Alabed and two children to their family in January after matching through the International Neighbors' Family Friendship program.
“I just remember when we arrived to the Charlottesville I was very confused and frustrated,” said Alabed through a translator.
“The children play together we've taken the kids on some outings around town and we've just sort of tried to help them integrate into the community,” Parmar said.
Karaz and his family settled in Charlottesville last August, five months before meeting the Parmar family.
“We went through something like Hell before we knew that there is an organization that is dedicated to help refugees,” said Karaz through a translator.
“As the time went by we started to get adjusted to the environment here,” Alabed said. “The only barrier is language, we cannot express ourselves.”
“We don't speak any Arabic and they don't speak any English. There is a lot of pointing and gesturing, smiling, which is the universal language,” said Bobby Parmar.
Karaz lost an arm in an accident as a child, but was able to find work with the help of the organization.
“Before that we run out of even money to pay the rent, even to provide our daily diet because we are family and I did not have a job,” he said.
The family’s 4-year-old daughter Hend has received a full scholarship to attend the Montessori School of Charlottesville.
“I don't know if it was a miracle or coincidence that we and Bobby [Parmar] family met with each other and they started to help us they are truly unrepeated people for me,” Karaz said.