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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)

Exciting News & an URGENT Request

Kat Cole

We have so much wonderful news that it is hard to know where to start. We even have some exciting news that we can't share just yet... So, stay tuned for upcoming newsletters!

Before we share the good news, I would like to make an urgent request. Please join me in taking just 2 minutes of your time to help save an unprecedented number of lives. We promise it won't take more than 2 minutes.

WHY
According to the International Rescue Committee, the organization that helped resettle Ghazwan, "More people have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and crisis than at any time since World War II. At the same time, the U.S. is slamming its doors on refugees."

By the end of this month (just 24 days away), the administration will determine the maximum number of refugees that could be allowed into the U.S.. Currently we are falling shamefully behind our last commitment. 45,000 refugees should have been allowed entry this fiscal year, a fraction of those in need of resettlement, and with only a month left, less than half (18,738) have been allowed entrance. An unprecedented number of lives are at risk.

HOW
You can impact this critical decision if you act now. Scroll to the bottom of this email to read more about the urgency and to find 3 easy ways to make a difference in just 2 minutes or less.

Thank you for supporting From Baghdad to The Bay and the countless people with stories just like Ghazwan's.

Sincerely,
Erin Palmquist at The From Baghdad to The Bay Team


Ghazwan Helps Raise $16,000 to Stop Hunger

For the past two years, Ghazwan has been the Executive Chef for the Stop Hunger's annual fundraising dinner. Last year, the event raised in $14,000 and this year $16,000! 

THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE EVENING!

Ghazwan had a special guest at the event, his son! The two had not seen each other in 10 long years. This Summer, they spent a month reconnecting and traveling across the U.S.. In honor of his son's childhood love for Ghazwan's Chocolate Fudge, Ghazwan created a special desert and named it "Memories."

Check out this touching video of Ghazwan announcing the evening's menu to his guests that was edited by our incredible Assistant Editor, Scott Schwertdfeger!

 The watermelon salad with balsamic walnut mint pesto and aged feta, topped with micro arugula was a show stopper!

The watermelon salad with balsamic walnut mint pesto and aged feta, topped with micro arugula was a show stopper!

 
 

SCREENING ANNOUNCEMENTS

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We are honored to be an official selection at the United Nations Association Film Festival and to have been selected to kick off the Festival's 21st year! 

UNAFF will host a very special screening of From Baghdad to The Bay at their press conference at the World Affairs Auditorium in San Francisco.

Screening: Tuesday 9/18 at 6:30pm
Tickets on sale now!

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We are also excited to share that From Baghdad to The Bay is an official AWARD NOMINEE for the BEST FIRST-TIME FEATURE FILMMAKER AWARD at the GI Film Festival, San Diego! 

Screening: Friday 9/28 at 6pm
Tickets on sale now!


ALL UPCOMING SCREENINGS

Thursday 9/6, 7pm (TODAY!) - DOCUTAH Film Festival Screening 1
Friday 9/7, 3pm - DOCUTAH Film Festival Screening 2
Tuesday 9/18, 6:30pm - UNAFF Kick Off, San Francisco
Friday 9/28, 6pm - GI Film Festival San Diego
October TBD - UNAFF, Stanford University
Friday 11/2, 4pm - Ojai Film Festival
Saturday 11/10, 10am - Ojai Film Festival

*More Bay Area screenings to be announced soon!

Interested in hosting a screening in your city?
Please reach out. We would be happy to help make this happen.


3 Ways to Take Action in 2 Minutes or Less

In just a few minutes of your time, you could take a small action that can save lives.

ACTION #1

Time is running out for many whose lives are in jeopardy.

"Refugees have reinvigorated our economies, brought innovation to our towns, and made our communities stronger. The significant decline in refugee arrivals this year has had a negative impact on communities.” Read more.

This sentiment by hundreds of elected officials and directed at President Donald Trump could not have described Ghazwan more accurately!

The International Rescue Committee has made it easy for you to take action by creating an auto generated phone call and an easy script to read. 

Tell Congress we are still ready to welcome refugees! 

 
 

ACTION #2

While Ghazwan was wrongfully accused of being a double agent and tortured by the U.S., other Iraqis who assisted our armed forces have been denied rescue based on suspicions triggered by the very work that this country asked of them.

This Reuters article explains: "Iraqis can raise flags for national security concerns for a number of reasons, especially if their work for the military required them to keep tabs on militants and other potential threats. Years after their work for the military has ended, it can be difficult to verify that their contact with suspicious individuals or groups was strictly related to their job."

Veterans for American Ideals, a Human Rights First project has made it simple for you to have impact. This takes less than 30 seconds!

Click the button below and select "Get Involved".

 
 

ACTION #3

There are many incredible organizations doing amazing work that could use your donations. Check out our website for a list of several that we endorse.