Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update on the Iraq family seen in Little People, Big World

This You Tube video features Russell Hayes and includes footage of the Salman family at their new home in Idaho. Matt Roloff is mentioned at 3:10 in the video.

There are a few more details about the Salman family, the people featured on last night's episode of Little People, Big World. After the show, some viewers were wondering whether the family would stay in the United States or returned to Iraq. Some viewers were also wondering how they were able to obtain a visa to come to the United States in the first place.

This article explains it all and has several interesting details that were not covered in the episodes. The article is primarily about Russell Hayes involvement, who is the American soldier who made it his mission to get the Salman family help. The article states that the producers of Little People, Big World have provided valuable assistance to the family.

As of September 2009, the Salman family were renting a home next to Russell Hayes and his family in Idaho.

Here is some of the article:

The American soldier's heart immediately went out to the family, but he realized there was not much he could do to help. The family had sought the help of local doctors, but little assistance could be found.

Then a series of frightening events changed the course for the Salman family. Mr. Salman had been working as a laborer with a few of his relatives inside the U.S. military "Green Zone" outside Baghdad.

One day he was approached by a group of Iraqi insurgents demanding that Mr. Salman and his relatives help them kill Americans. They refused and trouble began.

Two of Mr. Salman's relatives were abducted a short time later. One would later die from the beatings he endured at the hands of his captors. The Salmans found themselves in grave danger. Because Mr. Salman was being targeted for his association with the U.S. government, the family was eligible to apply for a special refugee visa that would allow them to move to the United States.

Brother Hayes took the lead role in working to secure the visa. He was granted permission to spend extra time working on the request by a high-ranking officer based in Baghdad. That man, a full colonel, was also the father of a child with dwarfism.

Last June, the Salman family left Iraq and moved to the United States

Abdul and Warda Salman and their children are practicing Muslims. Their beliefs are dramatically different from those of their new American friends. "But Mr. Salman himself sometimes says to me 'mua'geza, mua'geza,' — which is Arabic for 'a miracle.' 

The Salmans are now renting a home next to the Hayes home in Kuna, Idaho. Although the family members no longer fear for their lives, they still face many challenges. Leaving Iraq and settling in English-speaking western Idaho has been a huge culture shock. There are not many Iraqis or Muslims in Kuna. There have been a few misunderstandings along the way.

"But despite that, we all love each other," said Brother Hayes.

The local Church members have also done much to help, donating furniture and cooking and kitchen supplies to help the Salmans settle into their new home.

The producers of the popular television program "Little People, Big World" have also provided valuable assistance to the Salman family.

The children who have dwarfism are still in need of costly surgeries. Mr. Salman, meanwhile, is hoping to soon enroll in a barber college. "We're doing all that we can to help the family become self-sufficient," said Brother Hayes, who also directs the International Dwarf Advocacy Association.

You can read the entire article here:



Dana said...

The article didn't even mention Matt? Someone might want to inform the author that America would not even know who these Iraqis were if it wasn't for Matt's caring heart. I recall Matt saying he needed to convince TLC to get involved. He went as far as to say he was going whether they wanted to film him or not. To write an article about this family and not mention Matt is disrespectful and sloppy reporting.

Rap541 said...

Why? Do you have to be constantly praised in order to do something nice?

I thought Matt got some very good press with what? Essentialy three half hour commercials for CODA on a tv show and Russel Hayes, and the work *done by Russell* in order to help this family really wasn't focused on - fair enough considering the venue. But really, Russell and his family have clearly made a huge personal committment here... and its a bit disrespectful and uncharitable to begrudge Russell a nice article considering the sacrifices and hardship *he* went thru to make this happen. (FYI in Iraq, as an active duty soldier, he actually had more to do on a daily basis than run around saving dwarf children)Good for Russell, he deserves to have his efforts praised.

Anonymous said...

Dana - He wasn't mentioned because the family coming here had NOTHING to do with the 'great' Matt Roloff! The family was granted special refugee status by the U.S. Govt. that had NOTHING to do with Matt 'its all about me' Roloff. Did you even READ the article Dana?

Kit said...

This is an LDS church bulletin about the work of one of their own, Russell Hayes. Why would Matt be mentioned in any other than a peripheral sense? Matt was not the one who first met this family and began helping them. Without Russell's efforts, no one would have ever known about them, Matt included. Russell and his experiences and his efforts are the focus of the article.

Hats off to Russell, who spent YEARS in a dangerous, hostile environment, away from his family, working directly to get this family to a safe place and get the children the medical care they needed.

Whooo-hooo for Matt, but this is NOT ABOUT HIM. Hopefully, even Matt would say that.

Cindy said...

Russell Hayes went beyond what he needed to do and made it his personal mission to help this family.

I have to admit in reading this article, a thought came to my mind.

What does Ron Roloff think of this story?

This is specifically what Ron's rant was about on his Myspace Blog, "Necessary Requirements to be an American". He mentioned Muslims several times. If I recall correctly, Ron believes to be an American you must be a church going Christian and believe in "God of the Bible".

Dana said...

Rap, stop it. Don't put words in my mouth. I did not object to Russell Hayes being praised.

It's an article about this family. Matt was not even mentioned. That's not right. On Matt's show, they at least mentioned Mr. Hayes. Why? Because he is important to the story.

This article does not mention Matt. He brought this family the attention and medical help they needed. Matt put himself in danger for this family. This article doesn't even mention Matt's contributions. That's not right.

Tashapork said...

Thank you for putting this article up, I found it last night after reading some comments and wanted to share it with you guys, but my computer skills are not that good, so I am so glad you found it anyway because it really shows the gravity of their situation.
I too wished that the Roloff children were involved with the homecoming, but we really can't say that it was their choice to not be there. Amy, Matt, the producers, etc may have chosen for them to be away. American children and the Roloffs in particular are given free reign and are allowed to disrespect in ways that other cultures would find offensive. They may have felt it would be too awkward and that the easy solution would be to not have the children present. The conversation while the Iraqi mom was cooking left me a clear impression that Molly and Jacob were not around not that they had been sleeping.

Tashapork said...

Dana, I agree with you that Matt did play a part in this, although we really can't tell to what degree and in most contexts he should be given some recognition, however this article is really geared for a more narrow audience who may or may not even know who Matt Roloff is. It was written for a publication of mormon church news. Depending on how orthodox people who read it are, they may not even watch tv. This publication is also biased towards its religious principles.

Roloffsrule said...

What a heartwarming episode :)

Matt showed the world what a fine Christian soul he is by bringing those poor wretches to the Land of Opportunity. Russell Hayes is another fine Christian man who got the ball rolling. Lucky for him he had Matt there to take charge and make this whole thing a reality.

Three cheers for Matt and Russell!

I hate to end this post on a negative note but this needs to be said. You people who are slandering Ron Roloff should be ashamed of yourselves. I have had the pleasure of meeting Ron several times in the past, and he is one of the nicest and most upstanding people you could ever meet. Ron spoke his mind on a private web page about the nastiness and immorality of sharia law. Unfortunately, people like Rap twisted around Ron's words and started yelling "bigot!" from every virtual rooftop. They continue slandering this man's name to this very day. The same people continue proliferating more outlandish stories, such as the reason the twins weren't there to meet the Iraqi family was because they hate Muslims. Preposterous garbage!

Rap541 said...

Dana, there's a caption with a picture of Matt, with Matt's name, and the line "The producers of the popular television program "Little People, Big World" have also provided valuable assistance to the Salman family."

Matt is a producer, you know.

This article was clearly focusing on Russell Hayes and his contributions (which frankly appear to be huge and involving a massive personal committment). Matt got three episodes and numerous articles describing in detail what Matt did. Russell has gotten this.. and you're begrudging him this because there's no disclaimer "BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT MATT ROLOFF DID THE MOST".

Really, I always was taught that the best kind of charity was that given freely and without expectation of praise. If you honestly believe Matt is a charitable man, do you think he would be offended at the idea that Russell got some well deserved praise without getting a huge pat on the back himself?

Rap541 said...

Ron also said people who weren't Christian weren't American. I have Jewish, Pagan, and yes, Islamic buddies who took bullets in the Gulf War just so Ron Roloff can hate them and say they aren't citizens. And since you directly referenced my name and then state that "the same people" are saying the twins weren't there because they hate Muslims, as a proclaimed Christian, you need to apologize since I have said nothing of the sort.

Mind you - I know you won't. But it's your lie and your soul, I suppose. :)

Brokenwing said...

RR, Ron is entitled to his opinions, but to be honest I don't think people are twisting what Ron wrote.

The title speaks for itself. Ron wants Americans to be Christians and he doesn't like Muslims coming to America while following their beliefs from their "old" country. That was even one of his requirements.

"4. Appealling to the Supreme Judge of the world ( the GOD of the Bible) not the Koran!"

Kit said...

Ironically, the God of the Koran is the SAME as the God of the Bible. The God of Muslims, Jews and Christians is the same, which is why Muslims and Jews will refer to members of all three religions as "people of the book," meaning the Old Testament, which forms part of the holy texts of each religion.

Sigh...so much hatred. For what?

Carol said...

Does anyone have the full list of Ron Roloff's requirements to be an American? I've heard a lot about it, but I have never actually seen it myself.

Anne said...

There was nothing wrong with Ron Roloff's comments. He was essentially was saying he does not want immigrants coming to America if they're still going to be tied politically and relgiously to their former country. That's understandable for an ex-marine like Ron. He has pride in the USA.

Carol these are Ron's comments. Rap, he did not "cowardly" hide his comments. He turned his entire Myspace private for friends only. That is pretty standard. You're wrong to assume it is solely because of his one posting. If that were the case, he would have deleted this writing and kept his page open. Ron is proud of his views. I have good friends who met Ron and Peg at the farm in 08. They mentioned that they were Christian. Ron and Peg were very friendly and even chatted politics with them. Wonderful people.

Thursday, November 30, 2006
necessary requirements to be an American
Category: News and Politics

..Acording to our Declaration of Independence, what's necessary to be an American is

..1. To dissolve the political bands which have connected in their former country.
......ie. (.. Sharia LAW for a new LAW )

.... 2... To declare this cause

...... 3. To adhere ..to the laws of nature and nature's GOD ( meaning the GOD of the Bible.. (ie . Jesus..) and if any one doubts this read up on the "..Charter of Privileges "by William Penn or get the book by Catherine Millard " the Rewriting of America's History "

3. to absolved from all allegiance to past political connections.

..4. Appealling to the Supreme Judge of the world ( the GOD of the Bible) not the Koran!

.... 5... and with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence. again ( the GOD of the Bible)

.... 6. if.. any new person really wants be a true American..they will mutually pledge to uphold this Declaration.. with trie fortunes and their sacred Honor.

.... 7. If.. the above is not true, we have lost America!!! Ron

Rap541 said...

So Ron craps on veterans who are Jews, Muslis, Buddists and Pagans, and Anne applauds him for crapping on Americans who fought for him, and her, so that they have the right to crap on non Christian American veterans. If they don't believe in Jesus, they are not Americans.

Good thing Ron hid these remarks like a coward. I doubt he will thank you, Anne, for reminding people how if the veteran who fought for them isn't Christian, that that *veteran* of American war simply isn't an American citizen.

Anne, you're a Christian supporting Ron Roloff dissing veterans... Please cite some Biblical passages that support your view that Americans who are not Christians should not be considered citizens?

Rap541 said...

If Ron wasn't afraid of backlash, why would he remove his remarks on how anyone who isnt Christian isn't American?

Interesting all things considered since the Salman family is moslem. No wonder Ron wasn't there to hug and kiss and show the kiddies around Old West town

Anonymous said...

Anne, let's ask Native Americans how they feel about immigrants?

EVERYONE now residing in the USA is an immigrant. Unless you're a Native American, you, or your ancestors, are immigrants also.

What part of this equasion don't people get? History 101 folks.

RDoug said...

Let's all get away from labelling people 'muslim', 'christian', 'jewish', 'hindu', etc. How about 'good' people and 'bad' people.

I know people who happen to characterize themselves as 'Muslim' who would do anything for you that you needed, unconditionally. I also know people who happen to call themselves 'Christian' who go out of their way to hurt other people if it results in personal gain.

Ron Roloff was pretty short-sighted when he penned his manifesto. By all appearences, he seems to be a decent person. He just wrote a real dumb MySpace post, just like Jeremy. Publically popping off seems to run in the family.

Doesn't make them bad people necessarily...just people who have some bad ideas.

Anonymous said...

Dear Readers of this blog,

The article in the LDS news did not mention many of the angels that helped out the Salman family. It was not the intention of the author to hurt or disrespect anyone. Matt was a great angel sent to help the Salman family. I could list all the names of the angels that God sent to help them, but then I think the list would be too long.

Kit said...

Dear Anon,

Only a very, very few people would think the author had any intent to disrespect anyone in that article. Certainly not me...

Rap541 said...

Kit - nicely said. The article was not disrespectful.

Qurious said...

Did one of the Salman children die??