Saeid and Albokhamisi Beriji could never truly express themselves and practice their religion, free from persecution, in Iran. This was not the life they wanted for their children so they sought out a better, more prosperous and accepting country to grow their family and create their future. They came to America in 2006 with their two children Waleed and Vida, now 16 and 13, and since have had two more children, Linda (5), and their new baby boy, Lian, born in March 2014. Saeid said he has five children when you include their beloved dog, Bailey. The children’s grandmother also moved to America from Iran and is living with the family.
Saeid has been working as a Floor Tech at a local children’s hospital for the past three years and Albokhamisi had to give up her housekeeping job to care for the children. The family is much happier now that they have religious freedom and a safer, kinder community; however, they have found it hard to find the stability and financial security in Austin that they had in Iran. The family of six currently lives in a three bedroom mobile home, not able to find affordable housing options. Their grandmother has her own room while the older brother and sister, Waleed and Vida, share a room. Saeid and Albokhamisi share a room with Linda and Lian. When Saeid heard about Austin Habitat, he thought this was his opportunity to provide a home for his family in America.
The Beriji children are very excited to have their own rooms and a backyard to play in. Vida is especially looking forward to being able to focus more on her schoolwork. Math and science are her favorite subjects, but most of all, she is thrilled to not have to share a room with her brother anymore. Linda just is so happy “to have my own house!” The kitchen will also be fully taken advantage of as the family usually makes all of their meals at home. They love to cook Persian and Iranian cuisine as reminder of their heritage. Saeid, his wife and his mother are looking forward to fulfilling their passion more frequently- gardening. They have big plans for a beautiful garden and landscaping for their new home. “While gardening is fun and all, I am most grateful to have a more comfortable, stable life for my family. I will finally be able to save money for college and our future,” Saeid continued with gratitude, “Thank you so much to Realty Austin and all of the donors, staff and volunteers. God bless you. I will help you in any way I can if ever needed!”