Zaid is an Iraqi man in his 30s.

Where are you from? (City, country)

Baghdad, Iraq

Where are you being resettled to?

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

How long ago did you apply for resettlement?

I first applied for resettlement in Syria through UNHCR, in 2006. But circumstances forced me to leave just before my departure date in 2009; my brother-in-law was kidnapped so I had to come to Amman and look after my sister. I had to re-start the process from Amman in 2011.

How did you hear about IOM?

I heard about resettlement with UNHCR and IOM through friends who have already been resettled. I have a lot of friends who have been in the States a long time now, some have already become naturalized, and have come back here on holiday.

Are you traveling with any members of your family/being resettled near any family or friends?

Yes I’m traveling with my family.

How has the Cultural Orientation course influenced your expectations about life in your country of destination?

I already had a lot of information about life in the USA from my friends, but the course helped with additional detail. I learned that if you work hard you can succeed in the USA, and that in America people have equal rights and there is no such thing as a second-class citizen. Our teacher is excellent, and so knowledgeable about the States.

What is your biggest fear or worry about the new life that awaits you?

I’m worried I won’t find work, or that I’ll be forced to do a job I hate. I love sports, so ideally I’d like to find something related to that.

What are you most excited about?

Starting a new life, living in safety and stability, having a fixed home with my own keys and furniture, a safe place where no one can tell me to leave or what to do.