The Alhamwi's are a family of seven. This includes mom and dad, Hiatham and Miasar, three adult children (Mohammed, Safa, and Marwa), a 10-year old daughter, Sara, and Hiatham's 92-year old mother, Zahrieh. The Alhamwi's fled Syria in 2012 and spent 3 and a half years as refugees in Jordan before being approved to go to America - specifically, Indianapolis, Indiana. They lost their home and their leather business.
They arrived in Indianapolis in March 2016. Despite tremendous adversity, they never stop smiling.
Their Transition to America
With help from Exodus Refugee Center and two sponsoring organizations, Irvington Presbyterian Church and 1st Presbyterian Church in Columbus, IN, the Alhamwi's have settled on the East side of Indy. The fighting in Syria, followed by their time as refugees in Jordan, meant that education was severely disrupted. The adult children are all at the Excel School, and doing very well in working toward GEDs. Ten-year old Sara is a third-grader at a Warren Township school. .
Sponsors helped Hiatham secure a sewing machine, which enabled him to partner with son, Mohammed and daughters, Safa and Marwa, to restart the family leather business.
Hiatham designs the purses; Mohammed sews them. Hiatham and Mohammed haver paid close attention to what Americans seem to like; their designs reflect what they see.
Hiatham has a keen eye and amazing design skills. If he sees it, he can create it. He also comes up with his own unique, one-of-a-kind designs. He uses high-quality leather, faux-leather, and cloth fabric to make purses for women and wallets for men.