My name is Louai Al Zouabi. I came from Syria in April 2015. Life in Syria became difficult and I felt unsafe for myself and my family. My family and I went to Jordan and lived in a camp for four years. The health conditions and the living arrangements were not good in the camp.
We applied for refugee status and were accepted to move to the United States. We knew we will be safe there and were happy to move.
Once we arrived in the United States, we realized that there will be a lot of work we need to do. New language, new culture and learn new systems. We received help from the resettlement agency to which we were assigned, USCRI in Dearborn. The staff there was very supportive and provided us with the guidance necessary to be able to do the things we needed to do, such as learn English, enroll our children in school and find employment. I knew from the beginning that I did not want to stay home and live on public assistance, I wanted to work and provide for my family, but also to help others just like others helped me when I needed it.
My case manager informed me of a great program, Individual Development Account (IDA), that helps working refugees save money to purchase a car. I enrolled in this program and I attended financial literacy classes and saved money from my paycheck every month until I was able to buy a car. Now, I have my own business as an Uber driver. Having this job gives me the flexibility to also help others in my community, as this was my goal from the beginning. I can provide transportation for those who cannot afford it, especially refugees in their first few weeks of arrival in the United States.
My family and I are grateful to live in a peaceful country and to be able to rebuild our lives in a welcoming community.