How a refugee family from Iraq started over in Denver

A host welcomed a family she'd never met to help give them a fresh start.
By Airbnb on Jun 13, 2018
1 min read
Updated Aug 24, 2023


  • Through Airbnb’s Open Homes program, Susan was contacted about hosting Mousa, a refugee from Iraq

  • Susan and her husband welcomed Mousa, his wife, and two sons in their home in Denver

  • The experience turned strangers into family

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When the International Rescue Committee contacted Susan, an Open Homes host in Denver, about hosting Mousa, a refugee from Iraq, she instantly said yes. The experience was transformative for both of them.

Mousa had been working as an interpreter for the U.S. when he received death threats—so he and his family left their home in Iraq for the unknown. It took a while to adjust, but his fear faded as he formed a new family with Susan and her community in Denver.

“The minute you engage with the person that you once perceived as a stranger, you realize that people are just people,” says host Susan. “The commonality that we have is far greater than the differences.”

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Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

Jun 13, 2018
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