Freedom from Religious Persecution

Solomon had not seen his wife Sarah and their three children in two years, but the children had far from forgotten him. Five-year-old Mariam called to tell him that she was learning to write her name, and she sent him drawings by mail. Twelve-year-old Meena reminded his father of the promise to buy him a bike one day. Solomon’s oldest son, Mark, reassured his father that he was taking care of the family. They all understood that their father had to leave them temporarily, hoping to create a better future for the family.

Solomon is a successful author of political and religious poetry. He left Egypt because of religious persecution against him: a backlash against his books. Although Solomon received asylum in the United States, he was unable to find gainful employment, and he struggled to live day by day. When Just Neighbors met Solomon, he was on the verge of homelessness. Just Neighbors assisted Solomon in filing for a Green Card and obtaining a waiver for the immigration fees that were beyond Solomon’s means.

Just Neighbors also helped Solomon file relative petitions to bring his wife and three children to the U.S., as well as navigate the complex process of obtaining interviews for his family at the United States Embassy in Cairo. In light of the danger that asylee family members often face, Just Neighbors works to expedite such case types.

Sarah wrote to her husband that “God is taking care of us . . . things are terrible in the country”; but she assured her husband that they would be reunited soon. She also reminded him of a few basic recipes, so he could cook for himself while they were apart. Solomon continues to strive to create a better future for his family.

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The mission of Just Neighbors is to provide immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees in Virginia, especially those who are most vulnerable. We also seek to foster enriching experiences that enhance awareness and mutual understanding among our clients, volunteers, staff and community.

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