Iraq / 2009

CPJ Blog

Meeting in the Roosevelt Room on Human Rights Day

December 11, 2009 1:20 PM ET

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...

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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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In a limbo between Baghdad and the U.S.

June 22, 2009 12:05 PM ET

Before 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...

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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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Free expression in the Middle East & North Africa

May 8, 2009 5:43 PM ET

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...

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

April 29, 2009 12:13 PM ET

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...

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An Iraqi cameraman's pursuit of surgery continues

February 10, 2009 1:27 PM ET

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...

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