ABOUT IRAQI REFUGEE STORIES Jennifer Utz (www.jennyjo.com) is a videojournalist who has been covering the Iraqi refugee crisis since the fall of 2006. She was one of the first US-based journalists to highlight the extent of the crisis. Her first report aired on Democracy Now in February 2007. Subsequent reports aired on ABC World News Tonight, France 24, and Current TV.
Layla’s story is one of religious persecution. In July 2005, Layla and her family, who were living in Baghdad as members of the Sabean Mandean religion, were targeted by militias who demanded they become Muslims. Refusing to abandon their religion, Layla and her family faced horrendous consequences.
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* NOTE:Because refugees may fear for their personal safety or the safety of their families still in Iraq, we have received permission from each individual featured on this site. For those who requested it, we have obscured their faces.