Violence in Iraq Felt at Home

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They may be safe now, but Iraqi hearts in Lansing still hurt for the Yazidis they left behind.

"They're hopeless right now. All they want right now is a safe place to stay. The hope they have is for other countries like Europe, America, anywhere to bring them over, to have freedom - to live like other people live," said Sara Ido, of Lansing.

As another genocide targets their people, the refugees said they feel guilty living in freedom and so far away.

"We feel so helpless. It's just so frustrating that we are sitting and just watching them and that we can't do anything," Ido explained.

And, even though their individual families are safe, having escaped to Northern Iraq, there's still concern for their bigger family.

"There are thousands of families. My family is just one family. How about the other people? More than 300,000 people. What are they gonna do?" said Ali Yzdeen, also of Lansing.

They're staying in contact as best they can through social media and phone calls.

Ido explained, "We've been calling them almost every day. Night and days just trying to check on them. to see how their day is passing."

Family members and friends have also sent photos to show them what they're seeing on the other side of the world.

And, the Iraqi Americans said they've heard the air strikes are helping, but family members and friends are still asking for more help.

"We appreciate the air strikers, but we do need more. We need aid and we need shelter right now," Yzdeen said.

Any way to get the Yazidis out of Iraq and into a safer situation.

For now, the Iraqi Americans are trying to raise their voices in the United States. Yazidis have gone to Washington for a peace protest, reached out to local politicians and just a week ago - rallied at Lansing's Capitol Building.