It was a long journey that took Aldabban’s family from a refugee camp in Jordan to Connecticut, thus grabbing attention and becoming a subject of an American graphic novel telling their story of success in the US.
Moving from Syria to a Jordanian refugee camp in 2011, the family arrived in the US in November 2016.
The American dream of Adeebah and Ibrahim and their five school-aged children has begun with mortgage on a house in suburban Connecticut, NCPR reported.
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“I have my children, I have my family. I am like any American. Yes, I’m lucky,” Ibrahim says.
A powerful graphic novel Welcome to the New World tells the challenges the family faced along the way.
The novel, written by Jake Halpern and drawn by Michael Sloan, documents the newcomer’s transition.
“They are so good at adapting, this is such a different world here,” Halpern said.
“They just bought this house — it’s like the American dream realized,” he added. “They are thrilled. The mom and the dad, Adeebah and Ibrahim, and also Naji, the oldest son, have all been working full time to get a mortgage for this.”
It recounts their experience in intimate detail, such as meeting bears and fearing basements, a source of fear in American culture which does not exist in Syria.
The book also tell real life threats. It included finding themselves forced to move again after a frightening death threat on Ibrahim’s cell phone.
Halpern has observed that Ibrahim makes his own luck. “I’ve just seen this man worry and push for his family for four years. And yeah, I admire him for that.”
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There are several other success stories of Syrian refugees and immigrants, with a lot of different dimensions pertaining to their struggles and challenges facing them.
Razan Alsous, one of the UK’s Syrian refugees, won bronze at the 2014 World Cheese Awards. Moreover, she won gold at the World Cheese Awards in 2016.
Dr. Amani Ballour was awarded the Council of Europe’s Raoul Wallenberg Prize in 2020 for her personal courage, bravery, and commitment to save hundreds of lives during the Syrian war.
In Nova Scotia, Canada, a Syrian family also celebrated success after opening their own successful chocolate factory.