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Photo of the Week - Recruiting Iraq Policemen

Iraqi-Americans Speak Out

    "The United States military not only liberated our country they are showing us that we can govern ourselves. You'll never know how much you've changed the Iraqi children lives." - Pakeza Alexander

Iraqi-Americans Describe Life in Iraq

By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brent A. Hunt / Fort Hood, Texas

FORT HOOD, Texas — In an initiative started by the Department of Defense, a group of Iraqi-Americans are touring military installations to provide military members and their families a first-hand account of how life in Iraq is changing.

During six one-hour sessions, Tamara Quinn and Pakeza Alexander provided a full house crowd at the Phantom Warrior Center with an uplifting account of how life has changed in Iraq since the removal of the Saddam Hussein regime.

“I never thought in my lifetime that Saddam's regime would be gone,” Alexander said. “Some things I have seen in Iraq you wouldn't believe even if you saw it in a movie.”

“During the old regime, we had no rights,” Alexander continued. “Someone could have lived in a house for 26 years and then someone from the Baath regime could come to your door and tell you to leave and there was nothing you could do about it. They could also tell you to leave your wife and children.”

Alexander was born in Irbil, Iraq, where she lived for 10 years until her family was forced into hiding under house arrest for nine months during Saddam Hussein's reign of terror against the Kurds in 1975. She and her family fled on foot for 21 days over the mountains in northern Iraq into Iran, where she lived as a refugee until coming to the United States in 1977.

A mother of five, Alexander became a citizen of the United States in June of 1985, and worked for the Nashville Metro Government for 18 years. She returned to Iraq in June 2003 to serve as the assistant director of the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council to strengthen the reconstruction and democratization of a post-Saddam Iraq....

Go here to read about more Iraqi-Americans returning to Iraq to help rebuild their former country.