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.


  1. Samia Qumri says:

    Thank you for an amazing work on this site..It has gioven so much the hope they need for brand new and safe threat-free life for themselves and their families.
    I have one concern please its the process of getting those Iraqis out of iraq and into the US since neighboring countries making it difficult to obtain visas in order to cross their borders and meet the US embassy staff for interviews. Hope this issue will take some attention and be resolved.

  2. Roosevelt Council Jr says:

    I have been tracking Zeyad’s progress via online articles and blogs since his arrival in the United States. I had the privilege of knowing him and many of his colleagues while he was employed at the U.S. Embassy Office in Hillah, Iraq. Humdulah he made it out!! Not only is Zeyad a smart and articulate individual, he was also passionately supportive of the United State’s mission in Iraq. He and is family are more than deserving of the opportunity to be resettled in the United States. I am completely confident that Zeyad will do all he can in his new capacity to strengthen cultural understanding and relations between the U.S. and Iraq. God willing, our other friends like Zeyad, who still remain in Iraq will have an opportunity to make it out with their lives. I keep you all in my prayers!!

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