It’s been a busy week for the Altyara family as they settle in to their new home and community. They arrived the last week of Ramadan, the Muslim Holy Month. They were able to go to the Mosque for services last Friday. The family also attended their first English Language tutoring session (ESL) at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center on Saturday morning, tutored by a large group of People’s people. The Eid Celebration that marks the end of Ramadan was held on Wednesday morning and the Altyara family participated along with hundreds of other Muslims who live in our community.

This week we were able to set up the internet and Roku TV for them with Arabic language channels. All five boys were very excited about being able to use their ipods and cell phones. Afifa Tajh took Kahled and Fatema to get cell phones and  River Artz-Iffland took them grocery shopping at the International Market and Meijer! They will be going to the Social Security Office today to get their social security cards.

Kahled and Fatema have signed the lease for their house and Mary Tift is in the process of helping them sign up for their utilities. Budgeting assistance is scheduled to help Kaheld and Fatema understand the financial ins and outs.

All of this has been made possible with the help of many dedicated talented volunteers.


How you can help

Items still needed: Lawn mower, gardening tools, carpets/rugs for the basement rec room area, dehumidifier for the basement, Smart TV (they have a small one now) video game systems, out door furniture for the deck. Contact Marj Lightner,, 269-353-1311, if you are able to donate any of these items.

Make a donation: There are expenses that we hope we can help cover for the family as they are getting established. This is short term until Kahled finds employment.

English Language Tutors: we need more People’s people to volunteer to do individual – one to one English language tutoring at the Altyara family home. No experience is necessary – we will train you. Please contact Neena Marion, Neena is filling in for Vicki Konzen who is away for a few weeks.

Helping with Transportation:  transportation is needed to attend English Language tutoring session at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center, go to medical appointments, job interviews, etc. If you can help by providing transportation please contact River Artz-Iffland,

Join the Core Team as either Transportation Coordinator or Job Coordinator. River Artz-Iffland is currently serving as Transportation Coordinator, but will consider switching to Job Coordinator if we can recruit someone to serve as Transportation Coordinator. If you are interested in joining the Core Team in either coordinator position, please contact Ann Feldmeier 269-720-1649 or via email

Help plan social events for the Altyara family to meet our church members and other community members.  We need a committee to be formed to work on this. Please contact Ann Feldmeier, 269-720-1649, or Sally Padley,

Below is information about each member of the Altyara family:

Father’s info: Kahled Altyara, age 50.
Mother’s info: Fatema Al Najar, age 41.
No. 1 son: Adham Tayara, age 21.
No. 2 son: Molham Tayara, age 20.
No 3 son: Moayyad Tayara, age 17.
Twins No. 4 & 5 sons: Omar Tayara and Abdullah Tayara, age 11.

The Altyara family has been assigned a Bethany case worker; David Huisman. He will be working with the family for the first three months. Our job as a co-sponsor is to help in any and all ways possible.

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