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Thursday October 23, 2014
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From Palestine to Ann Arbor

 

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"My father was police chief there, so we had to leave," says Anwar, the oldest son, a tough-looking man with a happy smile.

In the village of Rammun, "we had an average life," says Mohamad, the middle brother, born in 1958, a soft-spoken man with impeccable manners. "We had a house with three bedrooms, very average for a blue-collar family. But because of my dad's position, we had to move to Jordan."

Life in a refugee camp wasn't like life in the West Bank. All eleven family members lived "in two twenty-five by twenty-five rooms with no electricity or running water," says Said, the youngest brother, who was born in 1966.

Marwan Issa (ISS-a) saw a way out. In 1972, "my dad had the option to retire after twenty-five years," explains Mohamad. And he was prepared to start over in a country where there were more and better opportunities for himself and his family: the United States of America.

"We were blessed," says Said, a well-dressed man with lively eyes. "My mother's brother, my uncle Yunis, was already living in Detroit. He was the main conduit for the family."

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