An Iraqi refugee family visits AFSC's offices in Des Moines. From left: Aseel Saaeed, Jody Mashek of AFSC, Anas, Ales held by Ashraf Rashad, and Asal (in front).
An Iraqi Family Finds its Way to Des Moines
An estimated four million people have been displaced because of the U.S.-led war in Iraq. This is a short story about five of them now living in Des Moines.
Aseel Saaeed, Ashraf Rashad and their two children were Sunni Muslims living in a predominately Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad. The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent sectarian violence resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, and eventually Ashraf’s life was threatened.
One year after President Bush's announcement of "mission accomplished" in Iraq, we find ourselves in a deeper hole than ever. The much-promised transfer of power is less and less certain, security is nonexistent, basic services remain unmet, and the exercise of unilateral U.S. power threatens to foil much-needed international involvement.
Read and comment on Mary Zerkel’s op-ed in the Huffington Post on the $1 trillion that U.S. taxpayers have spent on the wars in Iraq and Afganistan by May 30 and also what we could have spent that money on instead.
Eyes Wide Open, the American Friends Service Committee's widely-accalimed exhibition on the human cost of the Iraq War, features a pair of boots honoring each U.S. military casualty and a field of shoes to memoralize the Iraqis killed in the conflict. Eyes Wide Open has toured to over 100 cities across the U.S. and has been visited by hundreds of thousands of people.
Published by AFSC 2009 PowerPoint, 5 MB & PDF, 270 KB, 8.5 X 11, Color
Topics: A powerpoint presentation and facilitator’s guide to use for classes and meetings to learn about the Iraqi refugee crisis.
Introduction: There are currently over 4 million displaced Iraqis: about half are refugees in Syria and Jordan, as well as other neighboring countries, while the other half are internally displaced. Before we explore the refugee crisis in further detail, let’s look at what caused it.
Wars, sanctions and occupation in Iraq have created a humanitarian catastrophe for Iraqis; the lives and livelihoods lost are priceless and irretrievable. And the crisis is spreading; the chaos from the invasion and occupation is no longer contained by Iraq’s borders.
Iraqi families identified as most vulnerable by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are now arriving in the United States. These families, traumatized by physical and psychological violence and the loss of support from their extended family members, will need the help of communities as they rebuild their lives
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.