(Baby Ranyia Al-Rubaye, 11 months old. Parents Ahmed and Alla not pictured for privacy reasons.)
As you may know already, I have been working with the Al-Rubaye family since they entered the US as refugees in November 2016. Ahmed fled from Iraq after his father was killed while working with the US military in Bagdad during the early days of the war. Ahmed spent over ten years working towards getting refugee status for himself and his family and finally came to the US on the I-94 refugee visa with his wife and young daughter this fall. Their daughter, Ranyia (pictured above) was born during their waiting period in Turkey and has never known a day of stability in her young life. Her parents are loving and attentive and are hoping to find a permanent home with their friends here in the US.
In pursuit of that stability, they want to travel to Dallas to live with childhood friends of Ahmed's. About a month ago they pooled their resources and bought plane tickets for the whole family to travel to Dallas on February 11th, however with the Muslim ban in place, and no documents other than their I-94 refugee visa, they fear air travel.
They have been traumatized by the whole process of resettlement and find that they cannot move forward until they are close to people they know and trust from home, wouldn't we all feel the same?
In this chaotic and uncertain time, my husband Dave and I agreed that it would be best to drive them from Salem, Oregon to be with their friends in Dallas, Texas. This will keep them from trouble at the airport, and ensure they make it to Dallas with no more surprises.
We are hoping to collect a little bit of money for gas and food along the way, and if possible, a little something for them to start their life in Dallas with. 100% of these funds will go towards gas and food for the drive, and the rest will go directly to them to start their life!
Please help if you can, and feel free to ask me any questions. I will keep this page updated with our plans so that you can follow along with our trip!
Plans to stop along the way in Salt Lake City and Albequerqi are already in place and we have family and friends welcoming us at each stop!
Thank you for your help during this hard time!