This week, IRAP launched a nationwide photo awareness campaign dubbed Breathe Free, featuring 14 portraits of IRAP clients who have successfully started safe, new lives in America. IRAP law students participated in Breathe Free all over the country, gathering in 15 cities to mount the large format portraits in public fora. Breathe Free seeks both to empower participating clients and to educate the public with success stories of refugee resettlement in the United States. You can learn more by joining the Facebook event page here, and by searching #BreatheFree on Twitter.
This week, we’ll be sharing written reflections from the participants each day. Today’s piece comes from Sham Hasan, an SIV recipient who IRAP helped come to the United States less than a year ago. Don’t miss the photos below of Sham at the launch of Breathe Free in Washington, D.C., and of his portrait in other cities across the United States.
I had a dream to live in the United States, and now I live the reality of my dream every moment.
My name is Sham Hasan. I am a Mesopotamian immigrant, and I was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. I’m a former U.S. Army interpreter and I arrived to the United States nine months ago through the Special Immigrant Visa Program.
Seeking freedom, and escaping social and sectarian violence are the main reasons I left Iraq.
So far, it has been an incredible journey, and certainly, the best is yet to come.
Sham’s portrait at the Breathe Free installation on Houston & 2nd Ave. in NYC.
Sham’s portrait at the Breathe Free launch at the University of Michigan Law School.
Sham poses with his portrait at the Breathe Free launch in Washington, D.C.