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From Baghdad to The Bay is a documentary that follows the journey of an Iraqi refugee and former translator for the US military. Wrongfully accused of being a double agent, tortured by the U.S. and ostracized from his family and country, Ghazwan Alsharif struggles to rebuild his life in the United States while coming out as an openly gay man.

Keeping Up With Ghazwan (blog)

San Francisco Premiere is Here!

Kat Cole

The much anticipated and long-awaited day has finally arrived! We are deeply honored to share that From Baghdad to The Bay will have its San Francisco and Oakland Premieres with the Arab Film Festival! Co-presented by Human Rights Watch and the International Rescue Committee, these two very special screenings are not to be missed. And, stay tuned for after-party details coming soon! Screening details below.

When Ghazwan arrived in 2008, he spent his first year living in Oakland in an apartment with a group of other Iraq refugees, all were assisted in their resettlement by the IRC. They bonded over their common ground and worked together to survive and rebuild their lives during the lowest point of our Great Recession and against the backdrop of the aftermath of 9/11, with anti-Arab sentiment permeating the air.

That first year for Ghazwan was filled with hope and excitement tampered by struggle and violence. However, no matter the challenge, Ghazwan persevered. He is a survivor. Against the odds, he held steadfast to his belief that he could succeed in making his dreams come true and today, many of those dreams have come true.

Nine years ago Ghazwan decided to make San Francisco his home. He conquered this wonderful city, built by immigrants like himself, by walking every inch. Anyone close to Ghazwan knows he loves to force his unwitting friends to walk miles - from bay to ocean and back again. Most recently he took these same walks with his 16 year old son who came for a month long visit, a decade after their separation. Throughout the Bay Area, Ghazwan has built up an incredible community and contributed so much to this city he calls home. You can read more about his incredible contributions in this past newsletter.

And, so it is with great pride that we celebrate the past 10 years of making this film in the two cities that have shaped the last decade of Ghazwan's life. Please join us in celebrating the strength, fortitude and sacrifice it took Ghazwan and the crew to make this film, the community that made it possible with their support (that's you!), and the countless contributions that Ghazwan and so many other immigrants have made to the Bay Area and beyond!

Erin Palmquist and the From Baghdad to The Bay Team

The Nation’s Oldest and Largest Festival of Arab Films

Wednesday 10/17, 6:15pm, Roxie Theater
Co-presented by Human Rights Watch

Friday 10/19, 5pm, The New Parkway  
Co-presented by International Rescue Committee
*Tickets available soon

Ghazwan and much of the crew will be attending one or both of the screenings! After-party details coming soon.

Circa 2008! Director, Erin Palmquist, Ghazwan Alsharif and Ghazwan's Army friend Tom Stewart who is also in the film and will be joining us for our San Diego premiere!