Thursday, February 16, 2017

PHOTOS: 11 Iraqi refugees reuniting with family in Spokane after Trump's immigration order put on hold

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 4:26 PM

Three families. Eleven lives. Iraqi men, women and children — all of them refugees — came through the Spokane International Airport on Saturday.

Assad Al-Sawaedi, one of the refugees, notes that that same day back in Baghdad, cops clashed with demonstrators. At least seven died and hundreds were wounded. Coming to America may have saved his life.

This, ultimately, is what an executive order and a court case can mean to real people.


This week, we have the full story about the three families who arrived in Spokane after Attorney General Bob Ferguson's lawsuit caused President Donald Trump's executive order to be lifted. Read it now.

Then come back here and browse through our photos from families reuniting at the airport.

click to enlarge Hamid Nahi and his brother Assad Al-Sawaedi laugh about the ways they used to tease each other growing up in Iraq. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters Photo
Hamid Nahi and his brother Assad Al-Sawaedi laugh about the ways they used to tease each other growing up in Iraq.

click to enlarge Reunited after many years, Hamid Nahi and his brother Assad Al-Sawaedi take a selfie to celebrate. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Reunited after many years, Hamid Nahi and his brother Assad Al-Sawaedi take a selfie to celebrate.

click to enlarge Newly reunited brothers Hamid Nahi and Assad Al-Sawaedi hold hands — an Arab gesture of intense friendship or platonic love — as they walk to the baggage claim. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Newly reunited brothers Hamid Nahi and Assad Al-Sawaedi hold hands — an Arab gesture of intense friendship or platonic love — as they walk to the baggage claim.
click to enlarge Sabeeha Al-Sawaedi welcomes her granddaughter to Spokane. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Sabeeha Al-Sawaedi welcomes her granddaughter to Spokane.
click to enlarge Assad Al-Sawaedi smiles with his daughter Ruqaya. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
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Assad Al-Sawaedi smiles with his daughter Ruqaya.
click to enlarge Ruqaya, a 2-year-old Iraqi refugee, is plumb tuckered out from all that flying - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
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Ruqaya, a 2-year-old Iraqi refugee, is plumb tuckered out from all that flying
click to enlarge Hamid Nahi holds his 5-year-old neice Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, moments after she arrives in Spokane - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Hamid Nahi holds his 5-year-old neice Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, moments after she arrives in Spokane
click to enlarge Sabeeha Al-Sawaedi carries balloons as her son, Assad, carries his nephew, Cannon. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Sabeeha Al-Sawaedi carries balloons as her son, Assad, carries his nephew, Cannon.
click to enlarge DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
click to enlarge Assad Al-Sawaedi holds up his infant nephew Cannon. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Assad Al-Sawaedi holds up his infant nephew Cannon.
click to enlarge Christina Lamb, left, hugs her future sister-in-law Raghad Al-Sawaedi. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Christina Lamb, left, hugs her future sister-in-law Raghad Al-Sawaedi.
click to enlarge Assad Al-Sawaedi holds his 7-month-old nephew while looking at a sign, held by his future sister-in-law Christine Lamb, celebrating the delicious American food that awaits them. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Assad Al-Sawaedi holds his 7-month-old nephew while looking at a sign, held by his future sister-in-law Christine Lamb, celebrating the delicious American food that awaits them.
click to enlarge Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, holding two giant stuffed animals, meets her little cousin for the first time. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, holding two giant stuffed animals, meets her little cousin for the first time.
click to enlarge Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi scopes out the Spokane airport while holding a brightly colored stuffed bear. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi scopes out the Spokane airport while holding a brightly colored stuffed bear.
click to enlarge Sabeeha Al-Sawaedi with her son Assad. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Sabeeha Al-Sawaedi with her son Assad.
click to enlarge Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, holding two giant stuffed animals, meets her little cousin for the first time. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, holding two giant stuffed animals, meets her little cousin for the first time.
click to enlarge Hamid Nahi embraces his niece, Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, in the Spokane International Airport. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Hamid Nahi embraces his niece, Rahaf Al-Sawaedi, in the Spokane International Airport.
click to enlarge Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi hugs her uncle, Hamid Nahir. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Iraqi refugee Rahaf Al-Sawaedi hugs her uncle, Hamid Nahir.
click to enlarge Brothers Hamid Nahi and Assad Al-Sawaedi embrace with their children in their arms. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Brothers Hamid Nahi and Assad Al-Sawaedi embrace with their children in their arms.
click to enlarge Moments after arriving in Spokane, Raghad Al-Sawaedi holds her nephew, Cannon Nahi, for the first time. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Moments after arriving in Spokane, Raghad Al-Sawaedi holds her nephew, Cannon Nahi, for the first time.
click to enlarge Ryan Fisher, one of Hamid's best friends, recalls their shared history of working at Camp Victory in Iraq. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Ryan Fisher, one of Hamid's best friends, recalls their shared history of working at Camp Victory in Iraq.
click to enlarge Hamas Fahan, right, hugs her mother-in-law Montaha Jawad, a refugee from Iraq. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Hamas Fahan, right, hugs her mother-in-law Montaha Jawad, a refugee from Iraq.
click to enlarge Montaha Alsammarraie, right, a refugee from Iraq, hugs her 11-year-old grandson Ali Samir. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Montaha Alsammarraie, right, a refugee from Iraq, hugs her 11-year-old grandson Ali Samir.
click to enlarge Iraqi refugees Talib Baghdadi and Montaha Alsammarraie greet family members after arriving in America. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Iraqi refugees Talib Baghdadi and Montaha Alsammarraie greet family members after arriving in America.
click to enlarge Talib Baghdadi, right, a refugee from Iraq who arrived on a flight, hands 3-year-old Haya Baghdadi to his daughter-in-law Hamsa Fahan. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Talib Baghdadi, right, a refugee from Iraq who arrived on a flight, hands 3-year-old Haya Baghdadi to his daughter-in-law Hamsa Fahan.
click to enlarge Talib Baghdadi, a refugee from Iraq, greets his granddaughter Lina. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Talib Baghdadi, a refugee from Iraq, greets his granddaughter Lina.
click to enlarge Talib Baghdadi, left, a refugee from Iraq who arrived on a flight, kisses his 10-year-old grandson Ibrahim Samir on the cheek. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
Talib Baghdadi, left, a refugee from Iraq who arrived on a flight, kisses his 10-year-old grandson Ibrahim Samir on the cheek.
click to enlarge 12-year-old Omar Kahiri a refugee from Iraq who arrived on a flight Saturday hugs his cousin Asma Abdul Almhos. - YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo
12-year-old Omar Kahiri a refugee from Iraq who arrived on a flight Saturday hugs his cousin Asma Abdul Almhos.
click to enlarge World Relief's Nancy Goodwin readies a "Welcome to America" sign to greet two refugee families arriving at the Spokane International Airport. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
World Relief's Nancy Goodwin readies a "Welcome to America" sign to greet two refugee families arriving at the Spokane International Airport.
click to enlarge Asma Abdul Almhos hugs Omar Khairi, a 12-year-old refugee from Iraq. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Asma Abdul Almhos hugs Omar Khairi, a 12-year-old refugee from Iraq.
click to enlarge A refugee family, reunited, poses with World Relief's Nancy Goodwin and a "Welcome to America" sign. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
A refugee family, reunited, poses with World Relief's Nancy Goodwin and a "Welcome to America" sign.
click to enlarge Asma Abdul Almhos records the arrival of her family, flying in from Turkey. She got in before Trump's executive order, but her cousin — scheduled for a later flight — couldn't fly out until the order was temporarily lifted. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Asma Abdul Almhos records the arrival of her family, flying in from Turkey. She got in before Trump's executive order, but her cousin — scheduled for a later flight — couldn't fly out until the order was temporarily lifted.
click to enlarge Rahaf Al-Sawaedi wanted to play with her 2-year-old cousin Rya in the snow, but when Trump's order came down, she was worried that it would melt before she would arrive in America. On Sunday, they finally got a chance to play in the snow. - PHOTO COURTESY OF HAMID NAHI
Photo courtesy of Hamid Nahi
Rahaf Al-Sawaedi wanted to play with her 2-year-old cousin Rya in the snow, but when Trump's order came down, she was worried that it would melt before she would arrive in America. On Sunday, they finally got a chance to play in the snow.
click to enlarge Ayan Hayyoo, Iraqi refugee, age 2. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Ayan Hayyoo, Iraqi refugee, age 2.
click to enlarge Assad Al-Sawaedi, sitting in his brother's house on Monday, says he loved his Old Navy shirt with the big American flag on it. But, for obvious reasons, he didn't feel all that safe wearing it in public in Iraq. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Assad Al-Sawaedi, sitting in his brother's house on Monday, says he loved his Old Navy shirt with the big American flag on it. But, for obvious reasons, he didn't feel all that safe wearing it in public in Iraq.
click to enlarge Iraqi refugee Hamid Nahi and his 2-year-old daughter painted this American Flag on a distressed American flag for Veteran's Day. - DANIEL WALTERS PHOTO
Daniel Walters photo
Iraqi refugee Hamid Nahi and his 2-year-old daughter painted this American Flag on a distressed American flag for Veteran's Day.

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About The Author

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, staff writer Daniel Walters is the Inlander's City Hall reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...