In February 2019, Zahra traveled back to her homeland, Iraq, to reunite with her father’s family after a 20-year separation. In Baghdad, Zahra rediscovered herself being immersed in an environment radiating in Middle Eastern culture. Walking Iraq’s streets humanized the people she’d grown up watching on TV and dismantled stereotypes reiterated throughout her upbringing. Zahra’s story of an Iraqi-Irani woman’s experience of immigration highlights the importance of cultural re-exposure. As an immigrant, Zahra aims to shed light on reestablishing a connection to one’s heritage and encourages overcoming fears of alienation. Our ancestral lineage, values and struggles shape us. We need to tell our stories.
In the last installment of the series, Zahra Ahmad reflects on her personal journey and what family history has taught her.
In the fourth part of the series, Zahra Ahmad pays her respects at her grandfather's grave and visits the tomb of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib.
In the third part of the series, Zahra Ahmad visits the ruins of ancient Babylon—and an abandoned castle that once belonged to Saddam Hussein.
In the second part of the series, Zahra Ahmad looks at what it means to be a woman in Iraq.
In Feb. 2019, journalist Zahra Ahmad returned to Iraq to reunite with her family for the first time since immigrating to the U.S in 1998. Here she explains what sparked her trip and what she learned.
The Pulitzer Center partnered with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding to bring together journalists and researchers for the session.