Friday, July 8, 2011

Ali and Shurok, Our Fun Iraqi Family

Remember that song in the Disney movie, "Prince Ali, Fabulous He..." Well, we have our own Ali in Columbia! Ali is a fun, boisterous man with lots of funny things to say. He always makes me laugh. His wife Shurok has not been able to speak English very well but is starting to come out of her shell as she is able to communicate more and more.

We have now had 2 apartment complexes call and specifically request that Ali and Shurok clean for them. (Wow!) Ali, Shurok and their daughter often clean together as a family in the evenings or on their days off. Ali and Shurok both have full time jobs at the Hampton Inn and work for us when they aren't working there. I really like people who like to work hard, so I'm a big fan of Ali and Shurok.

We at City of Refuge met Ali and Shurok the first week they came to Columbia. They soon learned about our cleaning business Safi Sana, but Ali spoke English well enough we knew he would be able to find a different job and soon did.

Ali has a degree in physics and will hopefully finishing an additional degree at Columbia College. He was just telling us last night about how happy he was that Columbia College knows that the university he went to in Iraq was a good one at that time and that they know which classes he has taken and which ones he still needs. His real hope is to teach physics in Columbia some where and we have the same hope for him.

Last night Ali and Shurok brought over a plate of Iraqi "Cuba". It's a hamburger ball that is wrapped in rice, salted and fried. It was good. Ali told us that it takes 2 hours to make. Wow. I tried to think of a time that it took me 2 hours to make some type of food for someone else and I couldn't think of a time. My kids even liked it, which is amazing since they are picky eaters.

So, if you haven't met Ali and Shurok, wow, you must. They are fun.

Our Intern Violeta is Fabulous

I have to tell you all that I have fallen in love with our intern, Violeta Pojmaevich. She is dating a friend of mine, Jordan Douce, so that is how I first met her. And wow, I can completely see what he sees in Violeta! She is so wonderful.

Violeta is from Ecuador and is going to school in Chicago. This summer she will be helping us raise money through garage sales and other fundraisers. She will also be looking for grants we might be able to apply for. She will also be designing our web site.

She has been so much fun to have around and I can already tell you that I will dearly miss her. If you haven't met her yet, please do! She's great.