Profile of Thaer

Thaer Shafiq Ali Abdallah Mansoor Ghanam
(U.S. fiance visa application number AMM2006771018)
(Canada application number # B049220706)

In October 2005 Thaer Shafiq Ali led a group of Palestinian refugee families who fled threats of torture and death in Iraq. At a time when most Palestinians in Iraq tried to keep a low profile in order to stay alive, Thaer took great risks to visit dozens of families and document the arbitrary detentions, torture, and death they suffered at the hands of Iraqi security forces and militias. He collected 200 signatures of refugees desperate to find a safer home. He met with a UN representative from UNAMI, in order to communicate what was happening to Palestinians. Despite specific threats against his life, he persisted in his efforts to organize and assist fleeing families.

Thaer, at 38, is a very talented fine artist, self-taught in the art of oil painting and sketching. He never went to college because he refused to join the Ba'ath Party, and therefore was ineligible for financial aid. He created an art gallery in the midst of the poverty of the refugee camp. (photo album available). In addition, he is always helping the refugee mothers to care for their many children (they all call him “Uncle.”)

In the year that he has lived in the refugee camps, Thaer began self-study in English, and his conversation skills are improving quickly. He used to gather the refugee children for impromptu English classes, so that three-year-old Houda can now proudly say his A,B,C’s.