Young man has arm around woman, both smiling and standing by suburban looking house and yard.

From Iraq to Jordan to the U.S., Without Family

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By Elaina Joncic

Ghaith Al-Musaied is a 22-year-old immigrant from Iraq. Ghaith and his family fled from Iraq to Jordan in 2005 because of the American VS. Iraq War. His family still lives in Jordan.

Although his family has lived in Jordan for the past 10 years, they’re only considered residents of that country. If they leave Jordan for more than six months, their residency card will be taken away. The residency card cost a couple of thousand dollars per person and gets renewed every year.

Ghaith didn’t care about his residency in Jordan and decided to pursue his goal which was to further his education in America and be independent. “Most people immigrate because they’re looking for a new home due to their circumstances: War, revolution, corrupt regimes, and dictatorship,” he said.

The challenges that Ghaith went through when he first moved to America was finding a home, transportation, and friends. His is biggest challenge has been living apart from his family for the past three years.

Close-up of young man smiling, wears blue hoodie and backwards baseball cap.
Ghaith smiles after his interview on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at Oakland University. He was accompanied by his girlfriend for moral support. Photo credit: Elaina Joncic

His brother and father have both been denied U.S. Visas. Ghaith’s brother visited him one time when he first moved to America. On his way back home, he was stopped by three officers whom asked for his phone and passport. After going through his phone, they told his brother he no longer has a valid visa anymore and can not apply for another one. When he arrived back home to Jordan, he received a phone call from the U.S. Embassy whom reiterated that his visa has been rejected. He hasn’t seen him since. As for his father, he was never approved for a U.S. visa. On the other hand, his mother was approved for a 45-day Visa, that she has to renew every year.

Ghaith hopes to continue his education and graduate Oakland University with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition. His long term goal is to marry his girlfriend, become a U.S. citizen, and be successful. His biggest wish is to be able to leave America and come back, as well as reunite with his entire family back home in Jordan. Ghaith feels that immigration, in the recent years, has been going though an injustice. He hopes that in the upcoming years, people will take a better look at immigration and how crucial it is to all that are suffering.

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