Between 2003 and 2013, 559 Iraqi civilians were resettled in Nevada.
Haji Samoqi is a member of the Yazidi minority. He came to the US nine months ago, without his wife, who remained in Iraq. He is a housekeeper at a hotel-casino and was granted a rare two days off to welcome his wife at the airport. Some friends have driven him there.
Saifi Samoqi arrived in Las Vegas only yesterday. She is meeting with Daniela Hristic, a government-appointed social worker who assists new immigrants.. Daniela first advises Saifi of her rights and obligations. Then using her personal experience as a guide, she offers tips on adapting to the American way of life, as she herself learned to do when she came to the US from Serbia.
A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY
Whitney Eich is a specialist working with traumatized populations and supervises the newcomers on behalf of Catholic Charities, an organization partially funded by the US government. In Nevada, Cubans make up the largest refugee group receiving assistance. Job opportunities in the state are more plentiful than elsewhere in the country.
Raad Kosa was a soldier during the Iran-Iraq war. He came to Las Vegas 17 years ago. As successive crises gripped their homeland in successive years, several of his family members decided to join him in the US. Nowadays he works with two of his brothers.
The small Chaldean community of Las Vegas is meeting in a park on the edge of the desert to celebrate the feast day of Saint Rabban Hormizd. Mariam Mansur, 22 years old and newly married, left California for Nevada, where her husband runs a mobile phone shop. She’s expecting their first baby.
David Hana came to the US in 1979 without money or a diploma. He lived in Michigan and Arizona before moving to Vegas. Today he owns several businesses and is about to host relatives from Syria.