Newsmakers Extra: Iraqi refugee speaks out

Four years ago, a knock on the door of the family home in Iraq meant trouble. The men at the door had an injured man with them and wanted the doctor who lived in the home to patch up his injuries.

After the docotr refused to treat the man, who was suspected of being associated with ISIS, and after the doctor and her family were threatened with death, the single mother and her four children left their home in Baghdad, headed for Turkey.

They spent two years going through the refugee application process until 2016, when they were granted asylum/refugee status in the United States.

Sara Alkhafaji talks about those harrowing times when her mother took her and three siblings to Turkey to escape what could have serious injury or worse.

YMCA International case workers were at the airport to meet Alkhafaji and her mother and three siblings and have worked with them the last few months to help them find employment. Alkhafaji, a pharmacist in Iraq, now works at Domino's, but said it’s just the first step toward getting on with her life.

Alkhafaji shares her story on this "Newsmakers Extra," and Jeff Watkins, vice president of global initiatives for YMCA International, talks about what’s involved in the refugee resettlement process.

"Houston Newsmakers" with Khambrel Marshall airs at 10 a.m. every Sunday right after "Meet the Press" on KPRC Channel 2.

More information:

• Jeff Watkins, VP global initiatives, YMCA International,  713-659-5566 , www.ymcahouston.org/ymca-international/staff/