The Power of Stories

Weaving Tales to Show the Truth

By Laura Bennett

In 2010 Basma and her family were forced to flee their home in Iraq as the American occupation wound down. Her husband Ali’s life had been threatened for providing assistance to the United States following the invasion of Iraq. The goal of his work: to limit the overwhelming collateral damage to innocent civilians as a result of our poor understanding of Iraqi culture and Iraqi families. When they learned of their associates being killed, Ali and Basma knew they had to leave. They needed to seek refuge for themselves and their infant daughter.

Without knowing where they would go or how things would look for them, they left everything they knew and were sent to Florida for safety and resettlement. I did not have to hear the rest of Basma’s account of her family’s heroic journey to know that their trauma story did not end when they arrived in the U.S. I know what regretfully happens.

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Author: Arbus

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