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Illustration Gallery

Calling Home To Baghdad [Illustrations]

Slideshow

Ahmed Fadaam, the interpreter who helped host Dick Gordon report in Baghdad after the U.S. invasion in 2003, filed reports for The Story in a series called “Ahmed’s Diary.” He made these illustrations based on those reports.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
In the early days of the war, the country had no air defense, and Ahmed could see fighter planes flying low.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
The school where Ahmed taught art was burned to the ground, so his brother visited him and suggested that Ahmed use his English proficiency to work with western news organizations.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
Ahmed worked with Dick Gordon over 10 days of reporting in Baghdad. They continued to collaborate for several years.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
Several years later, Ahmed left a press conference where an American commanding officer spoke, and got a phone call threatening to kill him for cooperating with western journalists.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
Ahmed and his neighbors carried arms to protect themselves from militias. Ahmed sometimes fell asleep in a chair, and had nightmares that he was forced to shoot at a man attacking his house.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
Ahmed decided to send his family to Syria, which was safe then, and his wife asked him why he wouldn’t join them.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
After Ahmed’s wife and children left for Syria, he began doing all the house chores himself, and sometimes chain smoked as he waited for his wife to call.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
On his first birthday after his family left for Syria, they called to wish him a happy birthday. He celebrated alone.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
When Ahmed visited New York City in 2008, he thought about what was happening in Iraq.

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By Ahmed Fadaam
When Ahmed visited New York City in 2008, he thought about what was happening in Iraq: “Sometimes I think I can just sit and draw these thoughts on paper, but everything I can remember is too dark.”
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