Meet Yasir and Rena
Since relocating to Iowa in 2012, Yasir and Rena have moved their family home on average every three years. With four children and an elderly mother to care for, this has been no small undertaking. It’s safe to say the whole family is excited about the comfort, safety, and stability they will get in their new Habitat home.
Yasir’s mother Afaf lives with her son and his family, and it has been a struggle to find a rental house that meets her mobility needs. Afaf cannot safely walk down stairs, and even with assistance she has suffered several falls while attempting to do so. In their current home, Afaf’s bedroom is on the upper level, and so she comes downstairs very rarely—only when it is absolutely necessary, and those times are very scary and distressing for her. Her grandchildren are saddened that, most days, she is effectively trapped in her bedroom, and they worry that she feels like she is in a jail. In their new home, Afaf will have a bedroom and accessible bathroom on the ground floor of the home. She will be able to safely join the rest of the family at the dinner table every night, no longer feeling fear at the thought of moving about her home.
The children—Rawan, Ibrahim, Mohammed, and Reel—are excited for their new home as well. Right now, Ibrahim, usually opts to sleep on the couch rather than in the siblings’ shared bedroom. He is looking forward to having his own space where he can sleep comfortably, have some privacy, and store his things out of the grasp of his siblings. Rawan and Reel are looking forward to the opportunity to add a pet to their family, as their current rental does not allow them. Reel is hoping for a blue cat. Rawan describes her family as “playful” and is happy that their new home will have space for them to spend time together outdoors. The children are sad about moving away from their current schools and friends, but are excited that this will be the last time they have to do so. Everyone is looking forward to settling into this new home and making it their very own.
Yasir and Rena are so grateful for IVHFH supporters who have made this project possible, and for the volunteers who are committed to helping even during Iowa summers. On the benefit of permanent housing and settling into their new neighborhood, Yasir says “We are very peaceful people; that’s very important to us. We can go with [our neighbors] and engage in the community, and we will be better for that. We believe in treating people well so they will be kind to you in return.” We wish Yasir, Rena, and their entire family well as they approach this exciting change.
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