About Photographer:

Entry description: While Arizona is often known for its illegal immigrant population, there is another population of (legal) refugees in Phoenix from war-torn countries around the world. One such population is a community of around 200 Muslim refugees from Uzbekistan who fled their country on foot after being gunned down in the streets of their city in the Andijan Massacre of 2005. Most of them have seen family members and friends brutally murdered, and most were forced to leave their wives and children behind in Uzbekistan and have now been separated from them for almost six years. Yet despite all this, they have not given up their commitment to doing good. Scattered throughout 13 U.S. states after being relocated here, the refugees made the decision to come together in Phoenix to work together to do the same thing they were doing in Uzbekistan: business for the benefit of the city. As professional businessmen, they were running large, successful businesses in Uzbekistan in order to improve living conditions and provide reliable, well-paying jobs for the people of their city. Today, they are working to start businesses in Phoenix, create new jobs, and help the local economy. Having come to Phoenix only one year ago, they have now started nearly 10 local businesses (including a restaurant, produce farm, food store, taxi company, and mechanic shop) and plan to continue building these businesses, starting new ones, and working for the welfare of the city they now live in.