The Freedom That Refugees Once Found Here

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We called it, half-jokingly, our Iran-Iraq friendship dinner. It was a party we threw in 2007 for friends my husband and I had made through our reporting—his in Iraq, mine in Iran. They were doctors, translators, journalists. We’d written letters on their behalf to American consulates, Fulbright committees, courts; we’d helped some of them find English lessons, housing, lawyers, friends. They came to this country fleeing war and repression. Some had suffered unimaginably. They believed—we believed—that they would find safety and freedom on these shores, and that the United States would be that much richer for extending them its welcome. We had no greater gift to give them, and no aspect of our country in which we believed more wholeheartedly.

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