To watch Osama Abdulazez play soccer with his friends in El Cajon you wouldn’t guess what they’ve been through.
“Terrorists go after everybody and my dad was threatened,” the 14-year-old tells NBC 7.
He and his family fled their home in Baghdad because of those threats.
Abdulazez plays soccer every week with other refugee children, but his family in Iraq is never far from his mind.
Like the rest of these children of war, Abdulazez hopes to live a long and successful life in his new American home.
“Programs like Yalla help you not just in soccer, in school, in life basically,” Abdulazez says.
A world away from what they know, a familiar sport is helping these children make goals for the next chapter in their lives.

By Brie Stimson and Ramon Galindo