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There was a sense of optimism and abundance that inspired me.

"There was a sense of optimism and abundance that inspired me."

In an article entitled, "Basma Alawee: Need greater than ever for U.S. to raise cap on refugee admissions,: Basma Alawee, an Iraqi-born advocate on refugee issues with the National Partnership for New Americans, wrote,  "As a child growing up in Baghdad, I loved to watch Hollywood movies. There was a sense of optimism and abundance that inspired me. It’s what made me want to learn English. I also loved Baghdad. I built a successful career there as a chemical engineer and I didn't want to leave. We had to be persuaded by my parents to get on the plane because the risk to our family was all too real. "

I asked Basma what makes her optimistic today.  Basma kindly told me, "I have survived dictatorship, multiple wars, death threats and a long refugee journey searching for a home. Imam Ali inspired my optimistic spirit as he said, “Work for a better life as if you live forever, and work for a better end as if you die tomorrow.”

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