tv 2020 ABC December 18, 2015 10:01pm-11:00pm PST
against isis. for a cloak and dagger race against time, led by joseph and michelle assad. a couple with secrets of their own. >> i have worked for the cia for ten years. >> reporter: what were your posts in the middle east? >> i'm allowed to say that i served in baghdad. >> reporter: michelle's husband joe is allowed to say even less. >> i also joined the u.s. government, counterterrorism. airlift 149 people, families, to safety. faithful iraqi christians who ran for their lives. if they stayed behind, threats of death. terrible brutality. isis just 30 miles away. are they coming for them next? oh, i didn't mean to make you cry. "20/20" is there, on the ground with them, in the refugee camp. lillian, the kindergarten teacher. sisters rita and ranya. majada, the "camp den mother." and beautiful little myriam. you just want the chance to build a home and keep it.
a new home. >> this is incredible. this is incredible. >> reporter: all the fallbacks and false starts. we get word russian missiles are in the air. airports close down. nobody's going out. loved ones separated again. >> it's heart-wrenching watching them say good-bye. >> reporter: will they even make it to wheels up? >> now we're going to be delayed. >> reporter: how close was it to falling apart? escaping isis. >> i'm elizabeth vargas. david is on assignment. tonight, a rescue mission like you've never seen before. i'm just back from iraq. the threat of isis just miles away. 3.5 million people fleeing the conflict, most of them muslim.
christians, on a mission that was nearly impossible. >> this is where we need to go i think. >> reporter: as joseph and michele assad work their way across the globe, their minds are focused on their destination. >> all right, we got to catch our flight. >> reporter: the northern iraqi city of erbil, where the ancient citadel and bustling central market sit amid a forest of half-built high-rises. the streets, for the most part, are peaceful. but a savage war is just on the horizon. the city is unmistakably muslim. but drive into the district of ainkawa, and as you pass a statue of the virgin mary, you enter an area christians have been calling home for 1,000 years. we enter the grounds of a modest
father douglas bazi. hello, father douglas? >> hi. >> reporter: hi, i'm elizabeth. reading the gospel written in aramaic. the language of iraqi christians, and the original language of jesus. but mar elia is more than a house of worship. today it is a haven for 560 christian refugees who have fled the horrors of isis, living here in the courtyard for the past 15 months, less than an hour's drive from the fighting. how concerned are you about the security situation? how concerned are the people who live here? >> do you think we have choices? we don't have choices here. i'm surprised how my people still exist here. by the way, i never call it camp. >> reporter: you don't call it a camp? >> no, i call it center. >> reporter: under an asphalt sky, father douglas leads us
containers, called caravans. so obviously this is where they wash and this is where they cook. each one housing an entire family. how many people live here? >> live here? six. >> reporter: six people -- six people in this caravan. and as we spoke to the people surviving here, we pieced together the story of how this all came to be. >> actually it was terrible. i -- i don't want to remember that. >> reporter: the refugees come from a town called qaraqosh, once a town of 50,000, the largest christian-majority city in iraq. >> we had like qaraqosh, a peaceful place. >> reporter: on august 6, 2014, that all ended, when isis mortars began raining from the sky. lilian saqat is a 24-year-old kindergarten teacher. >> when they began bombing, two children and a woman died. >> reporter: just days before in
and young girls as sex slaves. so for rita khalil and her older sister ranya, the choice was simple. was that part of why you knew you had to run? >> of course. we are so scared -- to do the same thing with us. >> reporter: within hours, tens of thousands of people fled the town in chaos and headed for the safety of erbil. the roads were choked with people and dust. nissan butrus, a retired pharmacist, captured the terror of that night on videotape. his family of ten packed into the back of his truck. what was that like? it must have been chaos. >> that is difficult night. dust and childs cannot able to breathe oxygen. >> reporter: others fled with little more than their most precious possessions. a bible. a flute.
identification papers. that night, with traffic helplessly snarled, many of the refugees abandoned their vehicles and set off on foot and literally walked through the valley of the shadow of death. you began walking? >> yeah, they began walking. and there was a lot of dust and there were just shooting in the air. everyone was afraid. >> reporter: father douglas has firsthand experience of religious persecution. in 2006, he was kidnapped by islamic extremists and tortured for nine days. they broke his teeth, his nose and his back. >> i got shot in my leg. it still there. >> reporter: where? >> it's still here. >> reporter: the bullet is still in your leg? >> yeah. >> reporter: so as the qaraqosh refugees began streaming into his church, he was happy to
horror. >> when people arrive, they were completely lost and confused. they were refusing even to eat. cause they say, "i lost everything. why should i live?" >> reporter: isis soldiers soon invaded the town. their demands were simple and harsh. they were given an ultimatum, 24 hours. >> yeah. >> reporter: convert or leave. >> yes. or be killed or to convert. >> reporter: isis went about its usual business. terrorizing residents who stayed. seizing christian homes. marking each one with the arabic letter "nun" for "nazarene." just as they did in these nearby towns, desecrating churches. >> they pull down the cross on the church and put the flag of isis over all church in qaraqosh. >> reporter: so instead of the cross on top, there's the flag of isis. meanwhile, father douglas prepared to host his new guests
as the days became weeks and then months, the refugees went from sleeping on the ground, to sleeping in tents and finally to the caravans we saw today. it is not the world's grittiest refugee camp, but conditions here are bleak. children sleep like sardines. space heaters are the only way to keep warm, as long as the electricity is running. and hundreds of people share a handful of communal bathrooms. >> the same toilet, the same showers. so we have this -- this facility here is for men and for -- for women. >> reporter: still, everywhere, we are met with friendly smiles. and notice that nearly half the camp is under the age of 18. hello, hello. oh, is she blowing you kisses? that's so sweet. during the last year, eight babies were born. this little girl named "flower
aw, she's so beautiful. all of life happening in your courtyard. >> i cannot tell my people to -- to slow down. in our culture, at least to have occasion for happiness is better to not be sadness. >> reporter: there are even weddings like this one. the people preserving their endangered culture. and with this nativity scene, at the courtyard, preserving their religion. "home is where jesus is." >> they took our houses and we became one family, they took our churches, and now we became one church. look to our faces. actually we took from them everything. >> reporter: the refugees know they can't stay here forever, but where do they go? the answer when it comes is surprising. it comes from that unlikely
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once again, elizabeth vargas. >> reporter: the countdown has begun for a journey that will rescue 149 people from the cramped containers that have been their haven from the tyranny of isis. as they walk through the gates of the mar elia church, this is the future the assads are fighting to protect. >> every single person that we have interviewed, they've said, "this is not about us. we want to leave here for our children. so they can have a future." >> reporter: at first glance, this seems like any ordinary schoolyard. but look a little closer and you can see the cost of growing up in a war zone. >> i remember when the kids arrive, we ask them what you want to be in the future. half of them they were looking to be soldiers, and the other
officers. they were completely lost, confused, and selfish. >> reporter: but the shadow of isis still looms large in their lives. what are you afraid of about isis, asks father douglas. >> translator: everything, father douglas. i'm even afraid of their name. >> reporter: but help for these girls and their families is soon to come from an unexpected source. both their plight and their piety, have drawn the attention of christian advocates around the world, including radio personality and author glenn beck. how did you settle on this particular church, this particular group of refugees? >> it was a size that was manageable. martin luther king says you can't fight hate with hate. you have to fight it with love. >> reporter: beck told the story of these christian refugees on
nearly $12 million to find them a safe, permanent home. they are counting on two uniquely qualified people to get the job done. >> hi. >> reporter: contracted by the hudson institute's center for religious freedom, joseph and michele have spent the past four months forging a close partnership with father douglas. what made you decide to actually do something about this? >> i am an immigrant. i came to this country, fleeing religious persecution. as you know, christians speak the language of jesus, and have been there for 2,000 years. and they were at a real risk of being completely wiped out. >> reporter: but you're only rescuing christians. right now. >> we are rescuing people that are at their most vulnerable. >> reporter: more vulnerable than muslims? >> reporter: the vast majority of isis' victims have been muslims. but christians suffer as well. the challenges ahead will be daunting. getting visas. securing a charter plane.
country, slovakia. it will take the "a"-team to execute this true life mission impossible. the evacuation of 149 iraqi christians. i'm curious. how did you pick slovakia? >> we knocked on many doors. >> yes. >> we have tried with at least a dozen countries. >> reporter: a dozen countries -- >> yes. >> reporter: -- turned you down? >> they have. >> reporter: slovakia, a predominantly catholic country, is refusing to accept muslim refugees, but did agree to open its doors to 25 christian iraqi families. the plan -- a charter plane to fly the refugees from erbil to the slovakian city of kosice. house them in this reception center temporarily, and then settle them permanently here in the city of nitra. the mission to save these refugees had just gotten under way when terrorist attacks in paris set off anti-immigrant paranoia around the world.
it an act of war. >> reporter: in the end, slovakia agreed to provide safe harbor. but to prevent terrorists from slipping past their borders, the assads, experts in counterterrorism, begin an intensive security investigation of every member of every family. >> why do you want to leave iraq? we asked for everything about them and their families. their former jobs. whether they've ever worked for a military or intelligence before. >> i have your citizenship certificates. >> reporter: 149 cleared the security check for group one. so, you're 100% confident that you're not rescuing anybody who could be a terrorist. >> very confident of that. yes. >> reporter: once the refugees pass their background interviews, they get fingerprinted at the embassy for visas. >> more than half is finished. i think tomorrow will be all. >> i feel so much better. >> reporter: but the way out is
joseph's sources tell him that russian airstrikes on isis targets may be imminent. >> we're just hoping that the erbil airspace will remain open for our charter to be able to get these people out. >> reporter: despite the potential setback, joseph and his security consultant begin the crucial dry run of the ride to the airport. it's a mission fraught with danger. >> anytime you have a large group of people, that creates a bigger target. >> reporter: the perfect route, the one with the fewest turns. >> this is a choke point. we want to go straight from where the people are and make one right turn. so we're going to redo this route. hopefully we won't make any wrong turns again. there's another checkpoint. no cameras, please. >> these are the kind of kinks we're trying to work out so we can just sail through. >> reporter: why are you trying to keep it on the down-low still? >> there is an intent by isis to attack an undefined location in erbil. >> reporter: they're isis
>> they are. >> reporter: while the route is in the camp kitchen. she and her family were one of security check. >> magada is the most passionate person i have met in this camp. she is the life of this camp. and is always concerned about keeping the group together. >> reporter: magada has five daughters and one son. one daughter, valentina, once worked as a nurse. this family of eight has little but each other. and their hardship draws them even closer. so you're going to mix this all together with the onions, almonds and raisins? but when i visit magada in the kitchen the next day, her enthusiasm is shadowed by doubt about the great escape. >> translator: it's hard for me because i think of what's going to happen when i go. i think of what i'm going to do over there. i don't know.
get there? >> translator: this is what i love to do, so when i go there, if i could learn just a little bit of the language, i can open a restaurant. >> reporter: you clearly love your country very, very much. it must be hard to have to leave this behind and to go someplace else. oh. i didn't mean to make you cry. >> translator: it's very difficult. >> reporter: as tears fill her eyes, all of the women in magada's kitchen begin to weep. >> translator: they've become my family. they've become my sisters. it's very difficult for me to leave them. >> reporter: but she is determined to forge a better future for her family. later that day, we watch her stubborn tenacity as she struggles through a slovakian language class. at that moment, magada doesn't know that she's one step closer to her dream. joseph assad has just been given a suitcase full of hope. >> this is incredible. this is everybody's passports
i'll show you. this is the passport of one of the young girls. with the national visa to slovakia. it is becoming a reality. >> reporter: everything seems to be going according to plan. but joseph is about to get disturbing news about the airport. as russia prepares to fire missiles on isis targets. >> we assume that's the same thing -- excuse me. i have to get this phone call. >> we have been told that the airport has been shut down for about 48 hours. >> reporter: stay with us. this is iphone 6s. not much has changed. except now you can say... hey siri... hey siri... hey siri... which changes how you get in touch. call sophie. how you get answers... penelope cruz: who was the prime minister of britain in 1868? the answer is benjamin disraeli. of course. oh, you knew that. find me a very expensive... coffee shop with outdoor seating... and dancing. you can do almostanything, just with your voice.
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all over the camp, people are making their final preparations. nissan, packing with his grandchildren. how do you pack for a trip like this? >> it's a hard dec can we get the things we love in our new country? should i bring my cooking spices? you know, these little questions. >> maybe i finish with this. >> reporter: 19-year-old rita khalil struggles, just after the lights cut out, to close an overstuffed bag. >> you know there is so cold so i must have a lot of clothes. >> is there anything that you had to leave behind? >> yeah. my friends. >> reporter: they stand by, tearful, but supportive. >> it's painful. it's good. >> reporter: going to be a very exciting day tomorrow. >> excited to make a snowman. >> it is simple.
>> reporter: it is early evening when hundreds of people flood the tiny church for a final blessing. faith and hope will be their constant companions for the long journey into an unknown land. but the long day of preparation and farewells has brought these families to their breaking point. will they ever see each other again? will there be another airlift? no one knows for certain, and that uncertainty is explosive. >> maybe people need to let that emotion go, they need to say good-bye to each other. people dream that they are leaving and this will be the last night for them. >> are you ready to see them go? >> yeah. >> reporter: one more hug.
god protect you. amen. >> reporter: then joseph gets a bombshell. after days of worry and planning, the airport is about to shut down. >> it's going to be closed for the next 48 hours due to a security incident. we assume that's the same thing, excuse me. i have to get this phone call. >> we have been told that the airport has been shut down for about 48 hours, we haven't been given the reason why. >> reporter: the news leaves magida's face blank with shock. nissan seems resigned to wait a little longer. >> what do you think? >> no problems. >> reporter: for 48 hours, the airport in erbil closes down as russian missiles rain down on isis targets. the missiles are dangerously close to all flight paths in and out of iraq. suddenly, world events seem to scuttle their escape. >> inspired by isis. >> at least 14 dead, 17 injured. >> reporter: anti-refugee rhetoric intensifies around the
against muslims -- >> total and complete shutout of muslims entering the united states. >> reporter: against anyone. to make matters worse, the slovakian prime minister, pressured by public opinion, makes an announcement. the refugees of mar elia might never be allowed to integrate into local villages. >> one of the mayors, he called the prime minister, saying "oh, you're bringing terrorists." how could it be terrorists who speak the language of jesus? >> reporter: it's disturbing news for father douglas. >> my feelings are a bit confused between happiness and sadness. to take my people away, it's not easy. i am ask god to forgive me if this wrong project. i will not forgive myself if any one of my people is not happy or not comfortable. i will feel guilty with that.
airport opens. the families are told they will leave the next morning. >> let's take a picture. >> reporter: rita, a typical teenage selfie addict, immortalizes these last few moments on her iphone. with her hair flat-ironed straight and her vibrantly green nails, rita is ready is go. that night, the assads launch the next phase in their plan. the collection of hundreds of identical black bags. each person restricted to 80 pounds of belongings. with military precision, each bag is weighed, tagged, and color coded to its bus number. magida, part of the red group, rushes up with her family's precious cargo. amongst the bustling confusion, it's business as usual for nissan. >> all right, thank you very much. >> reporter: but what these families don't know is that
the two-day delay has come at a cost. >> hello? they cannot do it tomorrow. they're saying it'll take 24 hours to get landing permit in erbil. >> reporter: the plane joseph scheduled for the airlift is no longer available. >> people have visas. they're travelers. help me fill in the blanks. >> reporter: as the hours tick by, the window for finding an available charter is beginning to close. >> i feel very responsible for them. i can't sleep. i can't eat. i have to make sure they get out. >> reporter: he's scrambling several options for a new charter plane, but none seems reliable. >> i don't trust him. >> reporter: with his options narrowing, joseph begins to panic. >> the whole situation with aviation is really constantly changing and extremely frustrating.
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"20/20" continues, with escaping isis. once more, elizabeth vargas. >> reporter: after trials and tribulations, the plague of delays, setbacks, and snafus, a new day dawns over iraq, and the assads receive a message that seems heaven-sent. a fully authorized charter contract has arrived. >> that is really our ticket. >> reporter: the evacuation is finally a go. >> it was hard to get into iraq, and now it's been very difficult to get out of iraq. >> reporter: for joseph, an immigrant himself who came to the u.s. from egypt at the of age of 19, it feels like his whole life has been a rehearsal for this. >> this is about giving people hope, giving them the chance
>> reporter: father douglas leads them in a prayer. now, the countdown is on. the camp is told the flight is taking off that evening. the luggage truck arrives, and as their modest possessions are loaded up, nissan and magida gather their families. the reality of the departure starts setting in. >> it's heart-wrenching watching them say good-bye to each other. this is the hardest part, i think. >> reporter: rita is having a tough time as she and the other evacuees assemble on the playground. those staying behind press against the fence, the agonizing heartache of the impending separation rippling through the crowd. nissan stays positive. he knows there are those in
change their minds. >> few of peoples in slovakia said all people in iraq is isis. when our family here reach slovakia, at this times, they show the opposite. >> reporter: father douglas hands out the precious passports. and now, after months of preparation and days of delay, the exodus happens all at once. the refugees climb into buses -- first magida, then rita, then nissan -- and now joseph's attention shifts to his next concern, security threats on the drive to the airport. >> we have a lot of eyes and ears out just to make sure the movement goes smoothly. >> reporter: as the convoy departs, magida goes to pieces. the buses follow the prescribed
is wrong. the original plan was to leave in the early morning. instead, the evacuation is happening in the teeth of the erbil rush hour. >> i did not realize how bad ainkawa rush hour could be, as we get separated from other vehicles. >> reporter: halfway to the airport, at the point of maximum exposure, the convoy stops at the side of the road. it's enough of a danger that our security consultant springs into action. >> perhaps some overzealous driving. it's the biggest threat, moving these people. >> reporter: inside the buses people are oblivious to the threat outside. on magida's, a song breaks out. while on nissan's, the family patriarch is all smiles. the traffic may be bad, the risks real, but he has seen worse -- much worse -- on the
as the evacuees glimpse their last iraqi sunset, the buses arrive safely at the airport. >> it's very good! >> reporter: and already, it feels like they're in a foreign country. for most of them, this is their first time flying. the luggage carts, the check-in process -- everything is a new experience. >> i'm nervous a little bit. we want to be quiet and organized. >> the first family has just checked in. >> reporter: magida's daughter asks joseph to decode her seating assignment. >> she's asking if "b" is going to be a window or an aisle. >> reporter: but of all the novelties of modern air travel, nissan says the most noticeable is central heating. >> very hot, very warm. >> reporter: it's certainly much toastier here than back at the camp. >> first time in the airport, first time on a plane.
nerves. >> translator: i'm scared. >> reporter: the flight is called. and then, the first glimpse of their chartered ark -- an airbus a320 that will carry them away. >> it's a real plane. >> it's a real plane. we are leaving. we are finally leaving. >> reporter: the passengers settle in. they're actually paying attention to the safety instructions, and the plane pushes back with no delay. the lights dim, and on take-off, a cheer goes up. as, on a wing and a prayer -- the people of qaraqosh break free of the bonds of their bloodied country, and the atrocities of isis.
strain to get one last look at their lost ancestral home before it slips into the darkness forever. the rows resemble pews as father douglas walks the aisle, providing comfort and reassurance. for tonight at least, the skies above iraq and turkey are sufficiently friendly. no word of warplanes or missiles to disrupt safe passage. and two and a half hours later, another celebration erupts as the flight touches down in kosice. a team from the slovakian diocese is there to greet them. >> welcome to slovakia! welcome. >> thank you very much. >> we made it. >> we just landed in kosice. >> reporter: and as the iraqis take their first steps in their new homeland, they give thanks to their hosts -- and to their god. >> great thanks to god. great thanks to the government of slovakia. >> i'm so excited to see
happy. >> reporter: and an extra blessing -- it's not nearly as cold as they expected. >> i was scared from the weather. and now it's very beautiful. >> reporter: as the group works its way through immigration, father douglas and the assads address the local press. >> these christians, we are among the most needy refugees. slovakia accepts my people. they took this time. >> reporter: so far the arrival couldn't have gone much smoother, but the people of qaraqosh still have miles to go before they sleep. and when they arrive, what kind of welcome awaits them? >> they're afraid that this is a new place. they're afraid. how are people going to perceive them? >> reporter: stay with us. what if one piece of kale could protect you from diabetes? what if one sit-up could prevent heart disease? one. wishful thinking, right? but there is one step you can take to help prevent another serious disease. pneumococcal pneumonia. if you are 50 or older,
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here's elizabeth vargas. >> reporter: on their first full day in slovakia, the newly arrived qaraqosh refugees awake to the relief and the reality of life in the promised land. >> i get up early. it is the first sleep here. >> reporter: this reception center has a more institutional feel than the caravans in the courtyard of mar elia. this may be their land of milk and honey, but for now the meals are served cafeteria style, and the rooms are like barracks. worst of all, magida and the other families won't be allowed to leave this compound and move into their promised homes for at least six weeks. everything is monitored here so that nobody can enter or leave? >> yes. >> reporter: the locals have tried to make the center as welcoming as possible.
playroom and a language classroom with colorful learning aids on the walls. we see magida's name on a door to her family's room. she was the camp cook for a while. and down the hall, a small kitchenette for coffee and tea. no cooking allowed. are you concerned at all at the fact that they will be here in an european country, unable to cook food they're used to eating? >> we're committed to making the first few weeks, days, even months as easy as possible for them, so really they don't have to worry about what they're going to eat, and that's a good thing. >> reporter: but despite all those restrictions, for today at least, hope outweighs homesickness. >> we feel peace, we are happy. some people are worried. but this, with time, will be okay. >> reporter: the language barriers are daunting. there is a single translator,
anywhere. the children take to their new playground immediately, while for the adults there is much official processing still do to. the refugees have been forewarned about the tedium and the frustration they can expect. but compared to how other refugees are being received in other countries, they are the lucky ones. joseph and michele say the slovakians are to be praised for their hospitality and humanity. remember, 12 other countries said no before slovakia said yes. >> we are so proud of slovakia, they were very courageous to make this decision and it wasn't an easy one to make, yet they did. they opened their arms. >> and i tell people, don't be afraid of refugees. there is a way to show compassion and do it intelligently. do it in a smart way. >> reporter: in a simple ceremony, the slovakians pass
traditional gesture of welcome. then the iraqis perform a traditional dance. their culture may be flirting with extinction, but for today, at least it survives. and despite the myriad differences and unfamiliarities, the new arrivals and their hosts are at least united in their faith. joined by his slovakian colleagues, father douglas performs one final mass for his flock. >> he took great care about telling them, be good stewards of what was offered to you here. become good citizens and be peaceful. >> reporter: to everything, there is a season and now it is
and the time to weep. >> reporter: father douglas is saying good-bye. >> when i saw the tears of my people, they are glad because they are leaving the situation, a genocide, a persecution what's going on in my country. but in the same time they are saying good-bye to the community. >> here is a safer place but without father douglas it is nothing for us. >> reporter: for michele and joseph assad, it is mission accomplished. >> for us to come at the end of this, it is very emotional. >> it's hard to summarize but in a word, we would use miracle. >> reporter: they are heading home to florida for christmas, while back behind the gates of mar elia, the remaining refugees
faith to the future. >> right now, there's other people left behind that we have to help. i think we just go back and recharge for a little bit. and we'll be back at it again. >> so many others left behind. when we come back, one little girl, still there's no one i'd rather... share with. no one i'd rather have dinner and a movie with. no one i'd rather lean on. being in love is an amazing thing. being in love with your best friend... ...is everything. introducing the ever us two-stone ring. one diamond for your best friend... one for your true love.
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long-term relief of ra symptoms. it's helped new ra patients and those not helped enough by other treatments. do not take orencia with another biologic medicine for ra due to an increased risk of serious infection. serious side effects can occur including fatal infections. cases of lymphoma and lung cancer have been reported. tell your doctor if you're prone to or have any infection like an open sore, the flu, or a history of copd, a chronic lung disease. orencia may worsen your copd. if you're not getting the relief you need... ask your doctor about orencia. orencia. see your ra in a different way. >> reporter: in bitter cold, maryam baghdeda does her homework by the light of a tiny oil heater. she is one of the tens of thousands of refugees who have fled to erbil, living in camps like these, often without running water, heat and sporadic
do you think that you could ever forgive isis for what has happened to you and your family? >> reporter: maryam dreams of being an architect or maybe a doctor. but most of all she hopes to go home someday. what are your dreams now? what do you hope f life? >> reporter: it was very nice to meet you, maryam. is and have a merry christmas. >> merry christmas. >> if you would like to help the
refugees, go to abcnews.com and find out how. thank you for watching tonight. i'm elizabeth vargas. for david and all of us here at "20/20," have a great night and a great weekend.a target employee crashes his car into the store where he worked. what he told police why he did it. plus, rodants and coyotes has residents in one valley neighborhood living in fear. sot; "make sure my pistol is by my side" why they are blaming what's hanging outside a neighbors' house. and... right now a violent attack inside caesars palace leaves one man clinging to life. tonight... police are searching for this man. but we begin with breaking news. a pedestrian is in critical condition after being hit by a car near las vegas boulevard and blue diamond. this is a live look at the scene right now. metro says the man was jaywalking when he was hit. he was taken to the hospital in critical condition. now to an update on a story we first reported as breaking news: a motorcycle rider is dead tonight after police he was hit