“Scattered, Makeshift Families”
Um Adnan and Abu Adnan with Selmed
In July 2005, their son Adnan was robbed, bound, and beaten while working in his store. He left Baghdad for Damascus with his two sisters. But Abu and Um Adnan remained in Iraq. Family friend Abu Selmed told them that he had received threats because of his work with an American defense contractor, and in December 2005 his wife was gunned down as she answered a knock at the door. The couple’s son Selmed was the only witness. The gunmen kidnapped the boy, releasing him after a ransom was paid. Abu Selmed and his son fled to Syria. Within two months Um and Abu Adnan followed and were reunited with their children. Though Abu Selmed worked with an American contractor, he is still waiting for resettlement to the United States. Um Adnan says she doesn’t know what she’ll do if she is resettled to a different country than little Selmed whom she has helped raise in the three years since his mother’s death. But their cases are separate and there is no consideration given to relationships outside of family.