GRAND Magazine - February 2009 - (Page 38)

Left By SuzAnne FInley behind F or FAIz*, an Iraqi grandfather who lives in Michigan, every day is an emotional roller coaster. His son, Joseph, Joseph’s wife and their three children—Joe, 8; Sara, 4; and David, 9 months—stayed in Iraq in early 2003 when Faiz and his wife, Alma, left 10 days before the U.S.-led invasion. Faiz and Alma had earlier applied for (and were granted) a visa to the U.S., but it wasn’t until early 2003, when listening to the news reports of escalating chances of war, that they decided to sell their house and flee while they had the chance. Faiz sold the house he had built 30 years earlier, and where he had raised his family, to an engineer who, as Faiz was later to learn, was a crony of Saddam Hussein; the house was one of the dictator’s first hiding places after the invasion and was destroyed later by Iraqi soldiers to obliterate all traces of Hussein. Despite Faiz’s pleas, Joseph refused to leave with his family, deciding instead to remain in Baghdad, where he owned, and continues to own, a business. Faiz and his family are Chaldeans (Iraqis of the Christian faith who make up the majority of the approximately A Detroit family fears for their grandchildren in Iraq 155,000 Iraqis who currently live in the United States, 130,000 of whom live in the MetroDetroit area. Prior to the 2003 invasion and Saddam Hussein’s arrest, Chaldeans were able to move freely throughout Iraq with little persecution; although Hussein was Muslim, he surrounded himself with Chaldeans because, interestingly, he felt that he could trust them). After his parents left, Joseph and his family left Baghdad and relocated to a village where, for now, they live peacefully with Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds. Within the confines of the village, Joseph’s family feels fairly safe, although recently there has been news that militant extremists are moving towards their village. From the village, Joseph returns to Baghdad every two weeks to help manage his business; he travels in the dark, leaving for Baghdad around 3 a.m., when there is very little traffic and even terrorists are still in bed. Faiz’s daughter, Rua, has been in the U.S. for 15 years. Prior to that, she was a special education teacher in Baghdad and also worked part-time as a tour guide (which is how she met her husband, They talk every other day via a webcam. 38 GRAND FEBRUARY 2009 AP PhoTo/BullIT MArquez

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - February 2009

GRAND Magazine - February 2009
GRAND Central
On the Cover: Susan L. Taylor, One in a Million
Get a Job!
The Healthy Crib
Movin’ to the G’Kids
Closing In
10 Disney Secrets
Just the Family We Are
Grand Prix: 0-3
Left Behind
Cycle Safe
GRAND Finale

GRAND Magazine - February 2009