Maha al-Obaidi studies for her citizenship exam in Astoria Park near her home in Queens, NY. A mother of five boys, Maha had to flee her home in Iraq after two of her sons and her husband were kidnapped and the family was forced to pay a ransom to secure their release. She lived in Jordan before she was resettled in the U.S. by the International Rescue Committee in 2014.
Maha says that when she becomes a citizen, “I will put on my wings and I will fly. “Her family remains divided, with two of her sons, her husband, and a grandson still living in Jordan. She looks forward to travelling to visit them without worries after she gets her citizenship. Her dream is for her sons to join her in the United States and for her family to be together. Maha says, “I am an American woman, and I have my roots here. I put my roots in this ground, and I built my family, a new family, with my sons.”