CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Mudhafar al-Husseini

Mudhafar al-Husseini was a reporter, fixer, and translator for The New York Times in Baghdad for two years. He is author of the CPJ Blog series, “Finding Refuge.”
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An Iraqi in America: In the middle of nowhere

December 7, 2009 1:17 PM ET

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...

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An Iraqi journalist in America: Gathering my family

October 23, 2009 10:51 AM ET

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...

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An Iraqi journalist in America: Finally … Red Lobster

September 14, 2009 3:09 PM ET

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...

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

August 12, 2009 12:00 PM ET

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. ...

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

July 14, 2009 4:42 PM ET

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....

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

June 25, 2009 4:11 PM ET

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...

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An Iraqi journalist in America: California pilgrimage

June 5, 2009 11:06 AM ET

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,...

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An Iraqi journalist in America: Fastening my seatbelt

May 19, 2009 3:52 PM ET

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...

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An Iraqi journalist in America: Applications, airports, arrival

May 7, 2009 12:56 PM ET

I'm finally in America. I 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...

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