This past World Refugee Day, June 20th, First Lady Laura Bush spoke of America’s accomplishments in resettling world refugees. Of the three refugees she presented, one was an Iraqi. According to Ken Bacon, the President of Refugee International, Mrs. Bush had this to say:
Zeyad Abdel Okhowa fled Iraq with his family after his work with the U.S. Embassy in Al Hillah put him in danger. Today, he works with the State Department’s Digital Outreach Team to help improve understanding between Arab and Muslim communities and the United States.
Now, the question to present to Mrs. Bush and more relevantly, her husband, is why more Iraqis like Zeyad Abdel Okhowa are not resettled and for those who are, why are they not employed with the government to utilize their crucial knowledge of Iraq? Regardless, Ken Bacon rightly notes that the inclusion of Zeyad Abdel Okhowa is significant given the White House’s silence on the Iraqi refugee crisis.