Monday, January 14, 2013

Reunited with his family after 13 years


Reunited with his family after 13 years Tilahun held a bouquet of roses and stared at a monitor with anxious excitement. He was waiting to see his son, Metasebia, and wife, Yewbdar, come down the arrival stairs at the Tucson International Airport. He hugged
his wife with tears in his eyes and was astonished at how much his son had grown, now taller than him. Tilahun was forced to flee Ethiopia in 1999 after spending three months in prison for refusing to take part in his country's politics, he left his country to ensure his wife's and infant
son's safety.

After ten years of living in a refugee camp, he was resettled in the United States since March 2010. For years Tilahun felt pain and doubt for his family's well being, yet he would never lose hope of seeing them again. December 19 marked the date when Iskashitaa's client, volunteer, and friend, Tilahun Liben, was reunited with his family after 13 years of separation."This is my gift for me, a Christmas gift", Tilahun told KVOA reporter on December 19th, "I don't need any Christmas trees; they [my wife and son] are my Christmas gift." We welcome Metasebia and Yewbdar to our Iskashitaa family and Tucson community.

Tilahun has participated in harvests and cooking workshops, tutoring, and is a member of Iskashitaa's internal speakers bureau, sharing information about the refugee experience with community groups.  We look forward to welcoming his family into our diverse programs and connecting them to community resources as well.
To watch KVOA's coverage of the Liben's family arrival click here.
By: Lizbeth Gonzalez, Programs Manager

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