Between 2003 and 2013, 21,017 Iraqi civilians were resettled in California.
Trained as an architect, Walaa Marouki applied for asylum at the Mexican-US border. Fifteen years later, he has opened a pizzeria a few miles from Tijuana and his parents have joined him there. All the members of their immediate family have since left Iraq.
Enaam Husein, her husband and daughter left Baghdad a few weeks ago. Now getting settled in California, the couple wants to have more children. Social worker Kayla Roberts is here to help them with their approach.
Twenty-eight-year old Tommy Hanna was born in San Diego, where his parents settled in the 1970s. The rapper, also known as Timz, has drawn from his dual culture and the war as major themes of his songs, including “Iraq” and “Refugee”.
Alvin Shamoun, aka Entre-P, has known Timz since childhood and was his brother's best friend. He produced Timz’s first album and has become his manager. Entre-P has directed several rap videos that play around with clichés about rap and his community.
THE NATION’S ROOTS
Originally from an Oklahoma Indian tribe, Randy Edmonds moved to California as part of a government programme encouraging Indians to leave their reservations. Involved in SCAIR (Southern California American Indian Resource Center), a non-profit organisation that supports young American Indians, he is in daily contact with the members of the Iraqi community.
Founded by Mark Kabban, a Lebanese-American with Iraqi origins, the Youth Action Local Leadership Alliance (YALLA) allows the young refugees to join a soccer team in exchange for a strong school attendance record. In the small California town of El Cajon, half of the kids attending school have Iraqi origins.
Born to an Iraqi father and a Canadian mother, journalist Lorraine Ali reconnected with her roots when the war broke out in 2003. A music critic for major US media, she has since delivered a series of reports on her search for the Iraqi family she never knew.