This is Tiba – she exudes joy.

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Tiba is the oldest – she’s 10.  When her family left Iraq she was 6.  She remembers living there very well.

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In Iraq, she could hear explosions outside.  She could not go to school because it was too dangerous to go out.  She remembers feeling scared almost all the time.  When she got to Turkey, she could go to school there, but it was still not safe.  She had to walk over 2 miles to get there and then walk 2 miles back.  I have a 6 year old – a 2 mile walk is not easy. Sometimes she had to walk by herself.   Sometimes it would be pouring rain.  Her parents would walk with her whenever they could.   The road there was not always safe and there was no transportation.  But she went, because it means that much to her and her parents.  This is what courage looks like.  She is inspiring.

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Tiba speaks the best english out of all her family.  Kids learn so fast!  When I asked her what it was like to live in America – she said it’s beautiful and she feels very safe here.  Her favorite things so far are getting to go to school and her teacher.  She said that the kids in her class are all so nice to her – they are all her friends.

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Her favorite things to do – besides go to school (which is #1 on the list), is to help her mom and to cook.  She loves helping take care of her brother and sister and is excited to have a new baby coming soon.HEP_1833 HEP_1838

From talking to the kids – one of the things that impressed me the most was how utterly grateful they are to go to school and how much they adore their teachers.  So teachers – whoever you are – thank you.  You are profoundly affecting these children’s lives and they are sure never to forget you.  If you haven’t had the chance to meet Tiba’s sister and brother – please take a minute to see their stories.

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