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July 11th, 2011
Iraqi Exodus

“A first-rate look at one of the lesser-recognized problems associated with the war in Iraq….
The individual stories are heart-wrenching.”
–Los Angeles Daily News

“Beautifully filmed…. It’s so good to have Aaron Brown back again.”

Read the latest news and updates on Iraqi refugees.

WIDE ANGLE reports from the frontlines of the staggering refugee crisis that is unfolding in the Middle East as Iraqis flee their war-torn country at the rate of up to 50,000 people per month. Since the war began in 2003, more than four million Iraqi civilians have fled their homes -– half of them becoming exiles in neighboring countries and the rest dislocated within Iraq’s borders.

While headlines are dominated by the deadly sectarian violence engulfing Iraq, the refugee crisis — the biggest in the Middle East since the displacement of the Palestinians in 1948 — is all but ignored.

Our story takes us to the heart of the crisis -– to Syria and Jordan, which harbor the vast majority of uprooted Iraqis. WIDE ANGLE explores the displaced Iraqi community – from the middle class suburbs of Damascus where Iraqis have sent housing prices soaring more than 50 percent to the cafés, schools and food distribution sites of Amman.

We follow refugees as they cope with their new surroundings amid government pressure and rising resentment from the local population whose health, education, and housing resources are being stretched to the limit.

And, WIDE ANGLE’s anchor, Aaron Brown, speaks in Jordan with Queen Noor, the American-born widow of the late King Hussein, about the impact of the refugees’ influx on Jordan and her outlook on long-term solutions to the crisis.

  • Anne Sutherland Fraser

    What is the date of Aaron Brown’s program or programs?

  • Seth Schiller

    Thank you for your fine journalism. It is a breath of fresh air in a rather polluted convoluted world where truth is as hard to come by as an honest politician.

    As far as future episodes are concerned; is it possible to do a piece on Americans that are confused and repulsed by the mixed messages that the government is sending to its constituents. Such as the tax laws, is there really a tax law that states we must pay taxes out of our hard earned money, and was the demolition of the World Trade Center actually caused by the aircraft that crashes into them. Also why can’t we know what is in Fort Knox and why can’t we audit what’s there. Another issue is who are the people who are actually in charge of our money, What banks are actually in charge, who is the federal bank? Who are these people and why is it such a secret? There is so much talk about a Third World Order it would be great to have some answers to some of these questions once and for all. Thank you for your time.

  • Lisa

    In regards to Comment #1–In my area, Wide Angle comes on Tuesday nights at 9pm (CST). Check your PBS station listing if you are in a different zone. It’s certainly a program you don’t want to miss. The program is only going to be on for the summer.

  • Debi

    This is a great show, this episode was a eye opening experience. I think everyone should watch all these programs and know exactly what is going on in the world. The truth as it really is, and the suffering of people, the show on earlier tonight also Bill Moyers with Andrew Bacevich, author of The Limits of Power, the people need to see this and know and act.
    Very powerful shows!

  • ES NYC

    great program that shows the 2nd order impact and starts to predict the 3rd order impact. Unintended, but predictable, consequences of a three trillion dollar war being waged by a morally corrupt and dishonest administration led by a President who thinks he is a cowboy. He might as well start wearing an ivory handled revolver in the white house.

  • Therese Johnson

    Mr. Brown,
    I am so happy to listen to you again. Missed you. CNN has not been the same after you left. I am a French, young grand-ma of 76 years old who used to watch you every night. I hope there will be other reportages like the one I saw to-night. Sorry I missed the first ones. Hope you will be at PBS forever… Best regards and God bless you, your daughter and your wife.

  • Elizabeth Pickett

    This is the first “Wide Angle” I’ve managed to watch and I’m glad to say I found it well worth my while. A very sad statement on intervention in Iraq and its consequences, but it’s a view that we very rarely get to see from American media, especially in this detail.

    I’m SO happy to see Aaron Brown back on the tv tubes and I can only say I look forward to his long tenure there. This is where you belong Aaron!

  • Vincent

    Seeing this story really make me sad. To think of all the rich countrys in that region Saudee Arabia rich in oil cant help fellow arabs.This is a human tragedy.How and why this happenned is not the issue,it’s wanting to help a fellow human being. Im not the most educated person , but I know country’s in that region have the finacial means to help.

  • Shreda

    I am desparate to help the woman mentioned in the piece, the Rula, young Syrian woman who is teaching and providing social work on her own free time. I would like to have a way to contact her and to help her pay for the books and uniforms that the children need to be able to go to school. Please contact me with her info if at all possible. I am an American, it is the least that I can do to help the families that she is helping.

  • Helen

    Why oh why does the mainstream media ignore these important stories like all the people driven from Iraq. Welcome Mr. Brown, You have been missed. You have the class to be part of PBS. I’m sure your old friend Ken Minyard is glad to see you get this gig. Boy is HE missed in LA.

  • Jon S. Dinges

    The situation in Iraq is deplorable,but handing out cash,and or,all expense paid resettlement to my backyard will only have half the world claiming to be Iraqi refugee’s! Over 5,000 American young men and women have died fighting for them.If they want a home,law and order,a country. Then they have to work,sacrifice,and maybe fight and die,for what is theirs.The Americans and others,are fighting for them,While they turn their backs and run…. And you want to give them a hand out… That’s what’s WRONG with the US.
    Shame on you!

  • Caroline

    I enjoyed this episode. Kudos to “Wide Angle” and its fine journalism.

  • Julie Baxter

    Such heartbreaking stories, and it is no accident that we are not supposed to know about these tragedies. Americans aren’t supposed to know about the deadly consequences of their government’s idiot policies. Thanks to Wide Angle for the expose, but more of this, please!

  • Elena

    I have been regularly going to and have lived in Jordan for quite some time over the last 12 years. I was there for the entirety of the birth of the refugee crisis. Late 2006 was the first time I had ever heard someone officially refer to what was happening as a “refugee crisis.” Recently I took a group of students there and we were addressed by a U.S. official whose stance was that there are only 50,000-60,000 Iraqis who have come to Jordan since early 2003. When I challenged him with, “Yes, maybe 50-60,000 per neighborhood,” he was unflustered. One wonders if U.S. officials really believe this, or if they are indeed so comfortable distorting the facts. Thanks for last night’s episode about this gross level of human displacement and humanitarian crisis and neglect.

  • Ayo Ogungbuyi

    The program was heartbreaking – it touched the humanity in each of us. Kudos for a job well done.
    Please can I have the name and contact address of the Syrian journalist who was volunteering her time to teach the less fortunate ones?

  • Larry

    I too was disheartened and embarrassed by the chaos our american country leaders have caused in Iraq…(but not surprised)the Bush Admistration did not have a well founded plan of what they were going to accomplish other than over throwing Saddam. Now that so many Iraqis have lost everyting (including faimily)they turn to Al Quadi for “A JOB”. it’s called survival of the fittest. they’re recruted by terrorist just to have something to eat…or others they leave to neighboring countrys. What are these poor people to do. Please show something on Haliburton. The company owned by Dick Chaney & Company. They were supposed to go HELP rebuild…?yeah right!!! check they’re net worth going in this war and check it now…Read American Dynasty…it’ll blow your mind…enough said!!!

  • JeanT

    I am so glad to see Aaron Brown again! I was furious when CNN replaced him with the flashy Anderson Cooper and became basically a trivia show. Welcome back Aaron, your program on Iraqi refugees sent me to my checkbook and UNHCR. You look and sound great and this program fits you much better. I hope to see you often.
    Jean T

  • Corinne Sternlieb

    Very moved by Aaron Brown’s documentary about Iraqi refugees. Your website has no information I could find about organizations that are trying to help, and how to
    contact them to contribute. What’s the point of the program and information, if
    we don’t know how to help? These people need help now.

  • Anne

    What is your solution?

  • Rina Tina

    The Arab countries have more money that sand. If we invaded Iraq for oil why are we paying $4.00 a gallon for gas?

  • John M. Morgan

    Excellent job. Very important information for Americans in particular to learn about, since we bear ultimate responsibility for creating this tragedy.

  • Sophie

    I would like to get a copy of the program on Iraqi Exodus – aired on August 19th. Can someone give me a phone number, or person contact that I can call to get a copy of this program? Thanks

  • iraqi refugee

    i am a father of son 2.5 years old and a husband , i faced kidnapping and escape from my home Iraq. from 25th fib 2007 till now i am looking for new beginning and start a new life , From that day I never return to Iraq even i never planned to visit Iraq because i am still wanted there by name from terrorist. i am recorded in UNHCR under record no 890-07-12308. i wish to find any place can accept me and my family, and give me future, we still waiting because we don’t believe in illegal immigration because it is illegal and cost us a lot money which we don’t have , i am looking for help form any one, on other hand all I do my best to serve my people in working with UN WFP for 7 years and all recommendations I had and my 2 graduated degrees and experience my wife have BCS in English art are not help us until now ,from 2 years we are waiting this holding situation push us to suffer of trauma and pain of unknown future.

  • ENEN

    Why oh why does the mainstream media ignore these important stories like all the people driven from Iraq. Welcome Mr. Brown, You have been missed. You have the class to be part of PBS. I’m sure your old friend Ken Minyard is glad to see you get this gig. Boy is HE missed in LA.

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