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Module 1-Unit 2-Case Study 3

H, a 37-year-old man from Iraq came to visit the social worker of the reception facility with a request to be transferred to another room. He complained that, because of some noisy young people from Afghanistan living above his room, he could not sleep at night and had headaches in the mornings. After making enquiries, the social worker found that H had no reason to complain. However, because her client insisted that his insomnia and headaches were caused by noise, she continued to meet with him. H eventually talked about the circumstances that forced him to leave Iraq. He was working as an engineer for a big oil company when some people declaring themselves members of a radical Islamic group asked him to provide information about the oil company and its installations, threatening to harm his family if he didn’t. For almost five months he received threats and on one occasion his wife and 12-year son were attacked on the street. Fearing other attacks, he confined his son to a room for almost three months. When his son started to beat his head against the wall and constantly cry out, H decided to leave the country. After arriving in country X and claiming asylum, he and his family were taken to a reception centre for refugees. The family was allocated a very small room with only basic furniture. H told the social worker that his wife found it difficult to adapt to the new life – the basic living conditions, isolation, and the separation from her family all made her feel anxious. She blamed him for their situation and they argued a lot. His son also seemed withdrawn – he did not talk to his parents and had nightmares. Although his son attended language classes, the instructor told him that the child seemed very distant, had difficulties learning and sometimes behaved very aggressively towards the other children. H shared that he constantly thought about the future of his family and how they were going to live in this country. He felt trapped, could hardly concentrate on  anything and easily became irritated.