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Iraqi-Americans witness violence in their homeland from afar

A U.S. visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi comes as the battle against the Islamic State appears to be making headway. But many Iraqi-Americans are still wary of the chaos that has unfolded. Three Iraqis living in the U.S. talk about their fears for their homeland and watching the fight from afar.

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  • JUDY WOODRUFF:

    Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's visit to the U.S. came as the battle against the Islamic State appears to be making some headway.

    But many Iraqi-Americans are still wary of the chaos that's unfolded in the last year at the hands of the extremists.

    We recently spoke with three Iraqis living in the Washington area about their fears for their homeland and their hopes for its future, as they watch the fight from afar.

  • ZEENA RAHMAN:

    When ISIS came along, I remember the morning. I was walking to work and I got a text on my phone from my friend. All it said was, "We lost Mosul to ISIS."

    It literally felt like the whole world stopped.

  • TAIF AMER:

    My country will never get back to the country that I used to know before.

  • AHMAD DOSKY:

    They are at war with my people, my country's Kurdish people.

  • TAIF AMER:

    I started thinking about my daughter. I said, I don't want my family or my daughter to see that.

  • ZEENA RAHMAN:

    No one is going home. I know I'm never going to move back home. And even saying it, it just — it kills me.

  • TAIF AMER:

    In March 2012, I got shot two times by really bad people in my neighborhood. Even the people in my family, they were shot, they say, why they did this? But this is — this is the situation of Baghdad.

    If somebody just dislikes you for a simple, silly thing, he can kill you for this with no problem.

  • ZEENA RAHMAN:

    When the ISIS thing happened and we lost Mosul, and I felt that falling sensation that the world is coming to an end, at least I know I still care.

  • AHMAD DOSKY:

    Since those criminal ISIS, the one now who is killing and torturing people by the name of Islamic religion, which I am Muslim, and I do practice, but I have not heard or seen any Islamic things like this.

  • ZEENA RAHMAN:

    I'm not the only person who cares about Iraq and who has the tools to make it better.

    One of the really amazing things is how quickly people adapt. Their resilience is really mind-boggling. And if you think about, if you could channel that into reconstruction, into rebuilding the country, I mean, you could have one of the greatest countries in the world.

  • AHMAD DOSKY:

    My sincere hope for Iraq as a country, to live at peace, to get rid of those criminals, ISIS, get them out of the country. For the central government to be truly a democratic country, let the people express whatever they feel. Let everybody feel deep down in their heart the sense that they do belong to Iraq.

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