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What It's Like to Leave Iraq for a Life in America

Mar 08, 2016 | 831 videos
Video by Luisa Conlon, Hanna Miller, Lacy Jane Roberts

In 2007, Ahmed Al Kubaisi was walking past the American base in Fallujah, Iraq, when he was allegedly shot by an American sniper. Al Kubaisi, then 15 years old, was paralyzed from the waist down. This short film by Luisa Conlon, Hanna Miller, and Lacy Jane Roberts chronicles how Al Kubaisi left his family behind and was resettled in the Bay Area in 2013 by the UN Refugee Agency. Predictably, he has complicated feelings to navigate about America—having suffered greatly during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, but also finding treatment and making friends upon moving.

The filmmakers are working on a longer documentary about Al Kubaisi, as well as a short film about Syrian women responding to the refugee crisis in Jordan. This documentary was supported by UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The video features an original score by musician Nicholas Littlemore, of the band Empire of the Sun.

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Author: Nadine Ajaka

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.