Basam and Hanan have been married for 19 years, and have been in the United States since 2010. Persecuted in their home country of Iraq, they fled and lived in Syria for four years before they were able to legally immigrate to America. Basam considers this to be his biggest accomplishment – moving his family to a place where they will be safe and where his children – Masarah (18), Yara (13), and Anwar (8) – will have opportunities for education and to one day provide for themselves.

The family stays busy. Basam says his job as a valet driver feels more like a hobby because of his love for driving, and Hanan puts her Associate’s Degree in Child Development to work as a call-in substitute. Hanan has also been the primary caregiver for her mother for the past 8 years. They appreciate each other so much and see the other as wonderful, caring parents to the children.

Masarah, a freshman at Cuyamaca College, is good at math, but her passion is theater and choir. Yara has a love for books, writing, and drawing, and takes after her sister with plans to join the high school choir  this year. Anwar’s favorite subject is science, and he loves running and playing sports.

The family is looking forward to purchasing their Habitat home. This is their American Dream, and they are excited to see where it takes them. They have always dreamed about starting a family business, planting a garden, and having space to thrive, together.