IraqPortlandRefugeeWhat We Carried

Member of Our Family, Iraq

Jim Lommasson
Jim Lommasson / What We Carried

Zainab Al Qasiri:

Tito is a member of our family, I could not leave her behind. I think this story is full of humanity. The hardest time of my lifewas saying good-bye to my parents, sister’s family, brothers and lovely aunt.

I left my memories behind looking for peace and a better life for my husband and son, but I could not leave my pet that I was strongly attached to behind. I had to travel without her because the IOM (International Organization for Migration) lost her documents, but my parents and sister, Fatima, promised to send her to me despite the difficult circumstances.

Ten days after I arrived in Georgia, Fatima called me and said Tito will arrive in two days. There were no direct flights to Georgia, so I had to travel to New York to get her.

New language, new system, but I had no choice.

I arrived in New York on December 24, 2012 and with the help of a very kind man, I got Tito at 1:00 am on Christmas Day.

I spent three nights and four days in the airport looking for a flight to Georgia; because of the holiday there were no tickets. After three difficult days, I arrived in Georgia and I am so happy to have Tito here with me.

She reminds me of my beautiful memories in beautiful Baghdad.

Thank you Mom, Dad, and Fatima’s family.