Abu Ayman at his coffee stand at Sindos camp.
Abu Ayman's life has undergone tremendous change. He carries pictures of certificates of completion from police trainings he completed in Germany and certificates of appreciation given to him by the US military. At Sindos, he is known simply as “The Coffee Man.” But he feels comfortable in his new role.
“It was my dream to be a policeman ever since I was a little boy,” Abu Ayman says. “But now I hate everything about governments and police work. So I decided to change everything.”
His six-year old son Mohammed was born prematurely and has always been a sickly child. “When he was a newborn I used to pinch his cheeks to make him cry, so I'd know he's still alive,” Abu Ayman remembers. Life as a refugee has been especially difficult for Mohammed. Living in a tent with very little protection from the the rain, wind and cold, dirty toilets and unsanitary conditions mean this frail little boy is ill frequently.
Abu Ayman and his family don't care where they go from here. “As long as it is a safe country and there is a future for my sons,” he says. “My life is all about their future now, not mine.”
Abu Ayman showing his Iraqi police ID.