Saad Albidhawi – whom everyone calls Al – has been fixing cars in his shop in Erie, Pennsylvania, since 1998.
Back then, he was in his 30s, a new Iraqi refugee living with his two brothers. He said to open his garage, he needed three very basic things:
“The money and the language and the help from other people.”
Albidhawi said the money came from his previous job as a truck driver; the language came from his one-on-one classes; and the help took many forms, including recommendations from the electrician next door, who sent Albidhawi his first customers.