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Tuesday September 30, 2014
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Salaam, Shalom

 

continued

Their adult daughter and son are with them and are working to get the credentials required to pursue their careers here-he is a physician, she a pharmacist. Al-Salman's husband does maintenance jobs, and the couple live more modestly than they did in Iraq, where they traveled frequently to Europe for vacation. It doesn't matter, she says: "When you compare everything with your life, you choose life. "

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JFS has occasional dealings with Central Academy principal Luay Shalabi, who notes that about 10 percent of the students there are recent Iraqi arrivals. The agency also occasionally works with the small Muslim Social Services center. But though JFS is desperate for Arabic-speaking volunteers, it has no connection with the large Islamic Center on Plymouth Road.

It's a sensitive subject. "We've tried to make contact," Sussman says, and leaves it at that. (The Observer's efforts to reach the center also went unanswered.)

Sussman believes that most refugees eventually find employment. The less educated may work in construction or cleaning offices, while others, if they master English sufficiently, return to their professions.

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