Mahommad is five-years-old and just moved here.
Story & Photography by Heather Esposito
This is Mahommad. He is five-years-old and just moved here — in September (2017). I want you to meet him first because he was the one I met first. His smiling face greeted me as I walked up to their door and I instantly fell in love with him. He came from Turkey but his first home was Baghdad, Iraq.
Mahommad is here with his mom, dad, and two older sisters. When he was two-years-old, his family left Iraq with what they could carry. They boarded a bus for Turkey as though they were going on a day trip but in reality they were fleeing their country. It was so dangerous there, he could not go outside most days. His mom and dad were afraid for their lives. They lived in Turkey for three years until they were granted refugee status and came here to America.
Mahommad loves playing on the computer, climbing on his dad, going to preschool, bouncing around, and being with his family. His eyes sparkle with curiosity and his smile is infectious.
Two of Mohammad’s favorite things about America so far are that it’s safe here and he gets to go to school. He loves his school teacher. He doesn’t have a lot of toys but that’s okay with his mom and dad. They want him to spend his time learning English and studying. He’e also excited because he will soon be a big brother, too!
Our team members obtain informed consent from each individual before an interview takes place. Individuals dictate where their stories may be shared and what personal information they wish to keep private. In situations where the individual is at risk and/or wishes to remain anonymous, alias names are used and other identifying information is removed from interviews immediately after they are received by TSOS. We have also committed not to use refugee images or stories for fundraising purposes without explicit permission. Our top priority is to protect and honor the wishes of our interview subjects.