SURF

Maia Wolins

Bringing the War Back Home: Narratives of Iraqi Refugees and US Veterans of the 2003 War

The 2003 war in Iraq displaced 4.2 million Iraqis, deployed over 170 thousand American troops, and changed the lives of many. Its repercussions are seen among the 40 thousand Iraqi refugees in the US, most of whom left behind successful lives as doctors, journalists, and artists. The wars aftermath is also evident among American veterans, who returned home to a community that had a shallow connection with the intense experience the troops had just lived in Iraq. For my senior honors thesis, I will examine the local effects of the 2003 Iraq war by documenting narratives of the professional class of Iraqi refugees that resettled in northern California, alongside those of recently returned US veterans who are now attending a competitive university, also in northern California.

Message to Sponsor

SURF has given me the tremendous opportunity to focus on my research with Iraqi refugees this summer. This fellowship is a strong base for my yearlong thesis, and has already afforded me invaluable tools with which to transform my academic skills into those of a growing researcher. I am conducting interviews, analyzing ethnographic data from my field work, and combining it with the work of previous researchers to form my own thesis. The support from SURF has been integral to my growth and development as a new member of the research community.
  • Major: Middle Eastern Studies
  • Mentor: Emily Gottreich, Middle Eastern Studies