Dad, the Protector


Raad Behnan, his wife, and their four children fled their village in Qaraqosh, northern Iraq.

On the road to safety, they had to give up their car at one of the checkpoints and continue on foot. Marlien, Raad’s eldest daughter, is disabled and could not walk the rest of the way. For this loving father, there was only one choice: Raad carried his 13-year-old daughter to safety to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The family now lives in an unfinished building, all six squeezed together in one small room, sharing two toilets with three other families. Raad, once a wheat farmer, is now a security guard. He built beds for all of the children but he and his wife must sleep on the floor. There's just no room for more beds. 

Marlien is clearly the apple of her father's eye. He pulls her close as the family sits on a bed that doubles as a couch. Marlien's little sister, Ramina, plans to become a doctor someday. "I want to treat my sister," she says.

Money is tight. The unfinished building is noisy. There is no money to take Marlien for therapy. Entisar has a heart condition and is not supposed to carry Marlien, but has to do so while Raad works 12 hour shifts as a security guard.

Ramina and Mirna go to school, but Behnan, the little boy, is having big trouble. He’s been very angry since the family got here. He acts out. The family misses their home, their church, and the wheat fields. But their faith is unshakable. 

Photo©2016 World Vision, Kari Costanza

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