By UNC Media Hub/ Story: Zoe Schaver

Chapel Hill, N.C. — A child’s red bike sits near the entryway of the clean, nondescript apartment. The TV silently plays an Arabic-language soap opera. More than a dozen pairs of shoes are left in a pile outside the sliding door that leads to the sprawling green lawns of the apartment complex.

A family of eight lives here, but Zeed Alzoubi, Zeed’s wife and his youngest son are the only ones home. The Alzoubis’ other five boys, ages ranging from 9 to 18, are at school for the day. Zeed’s wife is caring for their 4-year-old, who isn’t in school yet.

The Alzoubis immigrated to the United States as refugees from Syria in September after enduring years where Zeed struggled to put food on the table and keep his family safe.

“It was like being in boiling water for years and then being plucked right out,” Zeed said.

The Alzoubis’ apartment has been paid for since September by World Relief, an international nonprofit organization that works to resettle refugees.

Emily Montes, a UNC-Chapel Hill senior and case management and refugee health intern for World Relief, has been volunteering in the Alzoubis’ home since September.

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