Husam and Noor Yaqoob understand what it feels like to live in a community without security, peace and stability. They came to the United States as refugees from Iraq 3 ½ years ago to escape constant chaos, strife and danger. They were not free to practice their Christian faith and it was a period in their lives they will never forget. They are so grateful to be residing in the United States now. “Smelling the fragrance of peace is such a blessing. Unless you lose it, you will not feel how significant it is. We cherish this blessing of being in a safe country.” The Yaqoobs are excited to learn about American culture and see how their family values as well as dedication to strengthening their lives and the neighboring community very much align.
Without Habitat for Humanity, the Yaqoobs know that owning a home would have been unattainable. For the past 3 years, they have been living in a small 2- bedroom apartment in El Cajon, encountering many difficulties with reoccurring pest control problems, noise disturbances, excessive maintenance issues, and an unsafe environment.
Husam has worked in networking and computers for 3 ½ years, already receiving two promotions. Noor received her Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Benghazi in Libya, and is now in the process of passing the four required exams here in the U.S. to pursue her pharmacy dream. “Indeed, with faith, perseverance and passion, no desire will fade away,” she says.
Husam and Noor are childhood sweethearts that grew up together playing in Noor’s grandmother’s garden. They now look forward to planting a permanent garden in their new home. As a family, the Yaqoobs like to make big breakfasts together and then go hiking to discover San Diego.
Natalee, age five, is in first grade and has so much enthusiasm for life. She loves to learn and spend time with her new friends. Noor says she never stops talking and teaches them correct pronunciations of words. Natalee enjoys afterschool programs, participating in Spanish, soccer and dance. She was a part of the Heartlight dance group of San Diego performing at the Del Mar Fair, and took piano and violin lessons, a very rare privilege in Iraq. Noor says that like “throwing a coin in a fountain or making a wish upon a star, this is what we hope for with our daughter growing up in America in our family home.”
In Husam’s words, “Becoming a homeowner will offer me serenity and peace of mind. I strive to provide my family with whatever they need emotionally, physically and financially. Most of my everyday hopes, wishes and prayers are addressed to their safety, well-being, contentment, settlement and everlasting continuous love.” And Noor added, “I want to chronicle our story correctly with all the emotion and gratitude that we have for San Diego Habitat for Humanity, all of its volunteers and those who blessed us with a stable and safe life after such turmoil. They have made my daughter and us very happy, and this is erasing all of the bad memories that we have and healing our wounds. We have many family blessings.”
Welcome, Yaqoob Family!