‘My Beloved Enemy’: the stories of Iraqi refugees rebuilding their lives in the US

In the ten years that followed the American-led March 2003 invasion of Iraq, an official total of almost 85,000 Iraqi refugees had settled in the US, while another 34,000 were granted admission into the country. This exodus from war and chaos, organised under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has received little attention in the media outside the US and yet represents the largest resettlement of Iraqis in any country worldwide.  Here, Mediapart presents the English-language version of ‘My Beloved Enemy’, an interactive web documentary by Claire Jeantet and Fabrice Caterini, which tells their stories, and those of earlier Iraqi immigrants, through a series of more than 30 interviews recorded across the US. Tragic, inspirational, and always compelling, their personal accounts, and those of Americans concerned near or far in the rebuilding of their lives, offer a rare insight into this mass migration, a dramatic and paradoxical consequence of operation Iraqi Freedom.


Each sequence of the documentary, recorded in Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Detroit and San Diego, is introduced with the recollections and reflections of Alejandro, an American army veteran of the 2003 Iraq war, who was born in the US to immigrant parents. The stories of Iraqis settled in the US are found by scrolling down the screen in each sequence, which can be played by clicking on the named city tabs. The ‘Change the future’ tab presents the aspirations for the future decade expressed by numerous individuals directly concerned by the issue, both Iraqi and American.

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