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Mentor Journal November 7, 2017

I see the biggest challenge facing this family right now as learning English. Both Rokan and Abdulrahman are working hard in class and with tutors to master our challenging language. The ability to speak, read and write is going to be key in obtaining jobs and becoming independent. This is not an easy task but the entire family is now moving forward and getting better each day. Maryam has picked up the language fairly quickly and even Hussein speaks English words randomly like “I did it” when he completes a puzzle, one of his favorite activities.

For me the most amazing part of being on this team is the generosity of spirit I feel from the Abdulqaders. I went into this process thinking I had something to offer the family and could help them. However, every single time I have been with the Abdulqaders I get so much more than I give. I have seen Hussein go from not speaking much or interacting with outsiders to smiling, laughing and talking in English. Words cannot express the joy I feel as he smiles when I walk in the door. The hospitality of the Abdulqaders' culture is amazing. I have never been to their apartment without receiving some sort of sustenance. Rokan is insistent on giving of herself which means enjoying the fruits of her labor in the kitchen. You can feel the love and appreciation inside every bite.

-Submitted by Margie Pines

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