How has the current situation with COVID-19 affected you and your refugee community?
Mrs. J: “For us as Iraqis, this is so normal. I told my friend, ‘I’ve been in this situation four times in my life…’ I feel like I’m—I’m lucky. I still have my kids here. We have Internet, we have a TV, we have light, power. In 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, I—of course you were not there, you all were not born, but we—we lived 40 days, 42 days without the power where we were locked down… Completely shut down for 42 days without no power, without no water, running water, without no Internet or TV or anything. Like, now we just sitting at home watching TV all the time…
I feel like I’m—I’m lucky. I still have my kids here. We have Internet, we have a TV, we have light, power.
“I feel I’m blessed. Because we always work, work, work. Now we have this time with my—with my children, talk with my family, we have Internet, we have—we can watch YouTube, and 1990 there was no Internet. We don’t have power for 42 days. So COVID-19 for us as Iraqis—we are like, ‘Okay, we had that before. It’s okay.’
“…If you close your door now and you sit in your home, you will not get the virus. Hopefully. But in Iraq, we were sitting in our home and there [were] bombs on us. We don’t know if we gonna like get killed or not; [if] we can be safe after—after the war or not. So it’s [a] much more intense case that time.
“Yesterday, I was talking with one of my friends. She said, ‘Oh my gosh, you are so positive.” I was like, ‘Yeah, I have Internet. I’m watching—who can sit in these days, and watch TV all day long?’ That’s—that’s a blessing.
“I mean, you—everybody has to be thankful that you are living in the United States, in the best country in the world. You have your Internet, you have your water, you—you can go and buy whatever you want, Walmart is open… everything, like, the hospitals are open—not taking a lot of patients, still open. So… you are blessed in this country. We are really, really blessed in this country. I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful I—I—my children were away. Luna was away and Anmar was away. And now both of them are here.”Final Thoughts→