News & Resources

Former IRAP Client Publishes Op-ed in The Washington Blade

Yesterday, The Washington Blade published an op-ed by a former IRAP client, under the pseudonym Ali Alwan. Ali fled Iraq because he faced persecution as a result of his trans identity. In Lebanon, his gender identity continued to make him to the target of threats and attacks. After seeking assistance from IRAP attorneys in Beirut, Ali was able to win resettlement to the United States in 2013. He now lives in the Northeastern United States with his wife, works in information technology, and serves as an advocate for LGBT refugees across the Middle East.

“For me, it was never an easy step to leave everything behind to be a refugee walking toward the unknown future, but the situation in my home country forced me to leave with tears in my eyes,” writes Ali. “On the other hand, I feel blessed to be here in the USA. In this country, everybody is equal and if you work hard you can achieve your dreams. There is something here I have never experienced before, which is the rule of law.”

You can read the full piece here.