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Jamal Ali of “Iraqi Voices” on the immigrant experience

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Memories of home are powerful, just ask Jamal Ali.

Mr. Ali, an Iraqi immigrant to the U.S. who now lives in suburban Minneapolis, is interviewed at Frozen River Film Festival on February 18, 2017, by Cotter Teen Press.

Mr. Ali is a director and participant in the Iraqi Voices project, which is a series of short films documenting the stories of Iraqis who have relocated in Minnesota.

According to the group’s website, “Iraqi Voices is an ongoing collaborative mentorship program that gives Iraqis in Minnesota support and training to produce high-quality documentary video shorts. The films are written and directed by Iraqi-American participants and are photographed and edited by Nathan Fisher. Operated by the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, this activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.”

Mr. Ali was an aerospace engineer and his wife as a medical doctor before they left Iraq for Minneapolis in 2009 after being displaced by the war there. They are now working as interpreters.

Members of the Chronicle saw Mr. Ali speak at a question and answer session at last year’s Frozen River Film Festival.   In that talk Mr. Ali emphasized his love for the America and the people of Minnesota, but his great regret at the destruction of his home country that resulted from America’s invasion of Iraq.  He also commented on the image of Iraqis that is presented in the media and that one of the goals of the series is to show that Iraqis in Minnesota and Iraq, are looking for the same things as most people here: family, work, freedom and peace.

The interviewers for this story are Alisia Hull, Alessia Velasquez-Nitti, Kathleen Bowey, and Maddie Kohner, filming was done by Joseph Costello.

Last year, Cotter Teen Press/Chronicle members interviewed Nate Fisher, director and editor of Iraqi Voices,  at Frozen River Film Festival, that interview may be seen here:

www.cotternews.org/6034/news/iraqi-voices-nate-fisher-interview

Here’s the link to the Iraqi Voices project:

www.iraqiartproject.org/iraqivoices

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1 Comment

One Response to “Jamal Ali of “Iraqi Voices” on the immigrant experience”

  1. Valerie on July 23rd, 2017 4:43 am

    Hello,
    I’m leaving a messege because about one year ago I saw a powerful short video about an Iraq immigrant who lives I believe it was in Minneapolis Minnesota. The young lady did a voice over so her face was never shown and in her own words she describes just what its like living in a completely different culture from her own. MAN! was that powerful it made me think about how difficult life must be for her. I’m an American citizen & that video was wonderfully done. The short video was made to Beethoven’s 5th symphony for added effect and since I love classical music ……well I’ll just say that it made me stop & pay attention absorbing everything said. Would anyone know the title of the short video? I should have wrote it down for future reference but I didn’t thinking that I’d remember. I sure love that short video & I haven’t forgotten it since. Thank you

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Jamal Ali of “Iraqi Voices” on the immigrant experience