Between 2003 and 2013, 3,005 Iraqi civilians were resettled in Massachusetts.
Former journalist Ahmad Al-Zubaydi is the owner of “Babylon”, an Iraqi restaurant in northern Boston. After 36 years of exile in Uzbekistan, he had a hard time starting a new life in Iraq and was recently granted refugee status in the US.
Tony Behnan entered the US illegally via Mexico. He was granted US citizenship in 1986, under the first blanket amnesty offered to illegal immigrants, by President Reagan.
Nineteen-year-old Omar Ahmed was born in Iraq and raised in Syria. He arrived in Massachusetts in November 2012 and holds down a job while attending high school. He hopes to graduate next year.
Iraqi familes in the city of Lowell have organised a retirement party for Mary Todd, a local volunteer with a background in career development. She was one of the first people to knock on their doors, offering her advice and help writing résumés.
Derek Mitchell is the site director of the International Institute of New England in Lowell and has developed close ties to the Iraqi community. Established in 1918, this non-profit organization’s mission is to help refugees and immigrants from all over the world “become active participants in the social, political, and economic richness of American life.”
Anaesthesiologist Ali Taha Ernad, born in Baghdad, arrived in the United States only ten days ago. He's on a waiting list to find an apartment. Sharon Sanders, from the International Institute of New England, is handling his case.