Meet the Fam:

(From left:)  Laith (LAY-th), Lubna (LOOB-na), Awat (ah-WATT),  Lilyan and Linda in 2012, two days after arriving in the United States.

Father Laith, mother Awat , and daughters Lubna (7), Lilyan (13) and Linda (18) are from Baghdad but were recently resettled as refugees in Silver Spring, Maryland. All their lives, outside forces have dictated the course of their future. From wars and dictatorship to cultural expectations to the U.S. invasion and sectarian violence, they have been a reader of their own story rather than the author.

Now the family has a chance to find real peace in the U.S., where the girls can grow up with relative safety and build a better life. But is this the opportunity they've been waiting for to finally be the master of their own fate, or are they just caught up in another fast current of larger forces?

Starting over in America, all the stresses of drastic life change for five different personalities bump and jostle inside one tiny apartment. How will Laith and Awat make enough money without the language or higher education? Linda is ready to take her independence as an adult in a new culture whether her parents like it or not. Lilyan must begin her formative years as an outsider and still learn to believe in herself. Lubna is the family comedian and doesn't have a care in the world, as long as she stays healthy. None of them thought becoming American was going to be this hard.