Kurds in Grand Rapids worry about fate of others in Iraq

(WZZM) -- Iraq's Prime Minister is stepping down, clearing the way for a new leader officials hope can hold the country together. This comes as Sunni fighters with a group called ISIS have forced hundreds of thousands from their homes.

America and France have sent weapons to Kurdish troops fighting the ISUS forces in Iraq and Canada has now committed two cargo planes full of military supplies. American Air Force members have conducted seven humanitarian missions to drop supplies to refugees forced into the mountains.

The crisis in Iraq is also worrying Kurdish families here in Grand Rapids. Mahabad Piromari says she is losing sleep over her family's safety in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her family is among thousands in danger as the ISIS terrorists attempt to carry out genocide.

"I couldn't believe what I am seeing. I couldn't believe all these families, all these kids—they are running for their lives," Piromari said. "I saw one of the moms, she was showing her baby the bottle, it was empty. She was showing her the can of the milk, it was empty. What they go through, nobody can imagine it.

Sulaiman Chalabi is a longtime family friend who owns a small business in Grand Rapids. Like Piromari, he is also concerned about his family's wellbeing in Iraqi Kurdistan.

"We cannot sleep, we thinking about them all the time," Chalabi said.

For more than a week, thousands of families have fled their homes with nothing but their clothes on their backs.

"We came here—I am so happy my kids are in the safe place, but what about my people?" wonders Piromari.

The United States is her home now but she makes sure she and her five kids remain connected to her home country. Piromari says she can't believe she is reliving her childhood horrors.

"All my childhood memories is that; it's what I remember, just wars, just running for your life."

"Everybody is scared for their life. Just people waiting and see what's going to happen," said Chalabi.

Piromari is also waiting, also uncertain. The one thing she wants is peace for her family and for her country.


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