CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Iraq

2009


Blog   |   Iraq, Security, USA

Meeting in the Roosevelt Room on Human Rights Day

AP

Did you miss it? Yesterday was the 61st anniversary of the United Nation General Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Barack Obama, as he was leaving for Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, declared December 10 Human Rights Day. To help mark it, his national security advisor, the retired Marine General James L. Jones, at left, invited representatives of a number of human rights and related groups including CPJ to meet with him and other senior national security advisors in the White House.

December 11, 2009 1:20 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi in America: In the middle of nowhere

We are all stuck in the middle of nowhere. Millions in Iraq and millions outside it face an ambiguous future. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis fled Iraq under Saddam's regime, which lasted for almost 40 years, but since the led-American invasion in 2003 that number has exceeded 4 million, according to United Nations estimates.

December 7, 2009 1:17 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi journalist in America: Gathering my family

Nearly six months after my arrival in the U.S., most of my family has finally joined me in Arizona. Making the trip from Baghdad was my father, who turned 63 in October; my mother, who is 50; and my 16-year-old brother, Anas, who is very eager to discover this big country.

October 23, 2009 10:51 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi journalist in America: Finally … Red Lobster

Most of the Iraqi refugees who recently arrived in America were shocked by the economic situation here. I was prepared. I knew about the difficulties of finding a job in America, and I knew I could count on assistance from the American government through my status as a journalist with The New York Times. Even so, it was surprising to find how hard life could be here.

September 14, 2009 3:09 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi journalist in America: The other side of the war

It's been more than three months since I realized one of my most important dreams by coming to the United States. Still, I never thought that I would come here as a refugee, maybe because my Iraqi dignity and pride simply wouldn't accept such an idea. 

August 12, 2009 12:00 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq

An Iraqi in America: How I became a refugee (Part II)

As a child, I never thought about becoming a journalist. I never really felt pulled toward any particular field. I just loved to feel free and try new things, especially when it came to hard work.

July 14, 2009 4:42 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi in America: How I became a refugee (Part I)

On a cold winter evening--Jan. 29, 2004--I was getting ready to start my first night shift as an interpreter for the U.S. Army in Baghdad. It wasn't really that cold, but my whole body was chilled. It was around 6 p.m. but already dark. I was an 18-year-old freshman in the College of Arts studying my favorite language through the English literature program at Baghdad University.

June 25, 2009 4:11 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

In a limbo between Baghdad and the U.S.

Ahmed FadaamBefore the war, I was an artist, a sculptor, and an art teacher in Baghdad. Life wasn't so easy back then and I had to find another job in order to make a better living for myself and my wife and two kids, but even so, life was sweeter than it is now--I didn't have any problems with anyone and the people themselves didn't have a problem with each other. They were trying to live in peace, taking care of their lives and hoping that tomorrow would bring them a better future. Getting rid of Saddam Hussein was their main concern; by having this, people thought that life was going to be better for them, and so did I. 
June 22, 2009 12:05 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi journalist in America: California pilgrimage

I couldn't say anything. I didn't want to blink and waste a single moment of looking at the beach and the Pacific. I had never seen an ocean. If I could set up a tent on the sand, I thought, I could stay there forever. I have loved the seas, rivers, and oceans since I studied them when I was a child. Now here I was standing on the beach at Santa Monica, watching the waves of the biggest ocean shattering on the California coast.    

June 5, 2009 11:06 AM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi journalist in America: Fastening my seatbelt

It's been almost a month since I arrived in the United States. Oddly, I haven't felt homesick or strange here even though this is my first time ever outside Iraq. I was born in Baghdad in 1986. I never lived anywhere else. Baghdad is where my father and mother were born, fell in love, and married. It's the city where I grew up and got my university degree. It's the city that holds all of the memories of my 23 years. I'm trying to understand why I don't miss it, and I keep coming back to this: Maybe it's because I never felt comfortable there, whether in my childhood under the dictatorship of Saddam or my adulthood under the American war against terrorism. 
May 19, 2009 3:52 PM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, Sudan, UAE

Free expression in the Middle East & North Africa

On Thursday, I participated in a panel discussion about media in the Middle East at the United Nations to commemorate World Press Freedom Day. Other panellists included Alya Al-Thani, counsellor, Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations; Abderrahim Foukara, chief of the Washington Bureau of Al-Jazeera; Ebtihal Mubarak, journalist for Saudi Arabia's English-language daily Arab News; and Ghassan Shabaneh, assistant professor of Middle East and International Studies at Marymount Manhattan College. I talked about the great obstacles to press freedom in the region...

May 8, 2009 5:43 PM ET

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Blog   |   Iraq, USA

An Iraqi journalist in America: Applications, airports, arrival

I'm finally in AmericaI lived all of my 23 years in Baghdad, never even traveling outside Iraq, but now I am in Tucson, Arizona, to begin a new life. I'm still trying to understand my feelings--missing the streets of Baghdad and the comfort of my family, but enjoying the sense that I can go about my day without being stopped and questioned for no particular reason.
May 7, 2009 12:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Iraq, USA

Iraqi refugees still face hurdles in coming to U.S.

On Tuesday, Human Rights First (HRF) released its assessment of the implementation of the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act of 2008. CPJ supported the legislation, which created a category known as P2 (priority 2) for direct resettlement of Iraqi refugees with U.S. affiliations, including employees of U.S.-based media. The act promised a lifeline to Iraqi journalists, among other eligible groups, who have been targeted and killed in record numbers. However, CPJ shares the concerns detailed in the HRF white paper about the lengthy delays applicants are facing throughout this process. 

April 29, 2009 12:13 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Iraq

An Iraqi cameraman's pursuit of surgery continues

Al-Iraqiya

When Iraqi cameraman Jehad Ali came to the United States last September to have corrective surgery for severe injuries he sustained in a December 2005 attack by gunmen in Baghdad, the plan was to spend two months in Valencia, California. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Donald Wiss had offered to waive his fee and the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital had greatly reduced its rate. Things didn't go exactly as planned, however. Since coming to the U.S., Jehad has stayed in five different cities and seen at least three different doctors.  

February 10, 2009 1:27 PM ET

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