On a snowy Wednesday afternoon, there was plenty of warmth inside the South Bend Regional Airport.
Two brothers rushed through the sliding doors to make their way to their parents. Amid hugs and kisses, they shared words they had been longing to say for the past two years.
The Al Arman family was split up due to the civil strife in Iraq. Red Cross efforts allowed part of the family to make their way to Michiana. But, the parents were the last to arrive.
"Right now, i cant explain this feeling," said Omar Al Arman. "It is a wonderful moment for me and brother and sister. Great day. I don't have enough words to say. Just want to thank the U.S. government because they help us more."
Al Arman's sister soon joining the group and sharing a hug with her mother. For them, it was a secure embrace after years of struggle.
"I work with the U.S. army in Iraq," Al Arman said. "The terrorists tried to kill me many times. Hard times in my country but now we live in peace."
The Al Arman family portrait complete as friends snapped photos of the group at the airport arrival area.
"I wish to see a good future for us, for my family," said Omar Alhusseini, a member of the family.
The journey from Iraq was long for Mohammed Al Arman and his wife Kameela Alwan. They left Iraq and traveled to Jordan, then New York City to Detroit and finally South Bend.
As their new reality sinks in, the family finds strength in one another.
"When I hug my dad and my mom, I felt that something gave me power," said Mustafa Al Arman. "It had been a long time."