Fouad and Ahmed are Iraqis. They’ve spent the last few years living as refugees in Syria after being forced to flee Baghdad by militia threats. Now they are coming to America as part of the Iraqi Student Project, an organization that helps promising young Iraqi refugees to get scholarships in American universities.
Before starting their studies, Fouad and Ahmed are setting out on a journey across the States visiting people whose lives have been touched in various ways by the war in Iraq. They will catch up with students from the same project who they saw leave Damascus a year ago, visit recession-stricken Detroit where Iraqi refugee families continue to be resettled in droves, and meet with army veterans who have seen Iraq through a very different lens.
The journey will take a look at America through Iraqi eyes, and explore the complications and contradictions of being Iraqi in America. As young Iraqis, Fouad and Ahmed have grown up knowing the US principally as the occupier of their homeland. However, their lives have also been shaped by American culture; like many young Iraqis they have keen appetite for American movies, music and TV series. But this will be the first time that they interact with US society in all its diversity and complexity.
Fouad and Ahmed will be traveling with Richard and Matthew, friends from Damascus, who will be helping to record the journey and produce an audio documentary about the trip. Follow updates of the road trip on this website or via twitter, and check out photos of the journey.
Check out the map of our journey and let us know if we are passing through your town!