Audio Recording of Interview
Basla describes moving from Baghdad to the United States for leukemia treatment and the subsequent cultural and linguistic barriers, especially after condiitons in Iraq made returning impossible. She explains how her Muslim faith has become more important to how she raises her children now that they live in the United States, and how she sees her childrens’ national identities evolving as they spend more time in America.
Other interviews of this person can be found below:
Narrator: Basla Rubaiye
Date: August 24, 2020
Location: Dallas Texas, Virtual
Summary: Basla describes moving from Baghdad to the United States for leukemia treatment and the subsequent cultural and linguistic barriers, especially after conditons in Iraq made returning impossible. She explains how her Muslim faith has become more important to how she raises her children now that they live in the United States, and how she sees her childrens’ national identities evolving as they spend more time in America.
Topics: Childhood, Religion, Immigration Process, Cultural Adjustment, Conditions Back Home, Family, Identity, Pandemic, Mental Health
Section 1: 00:00-11:21
Childhood- Grew up in in Bagdhad, Iraq and lived a simple life
Religion- Practicing religion was easy because everyone in her neighborhood was the same religion
Immigration Process- Needed to migrate because she has Leukemia and was told that she could only get treatment in America
Motivated by her family, specifically her children
Cultural Adjustment- Faced many challenges trying to adjust to American life, especially not knowing English
Immigration Process- Visited for 3 months to get medical care, but things changed in Iraq so she was unexpectedly unable to come back
Children preferred to stay in the U.S. because they have more memories in the U.S.
Section 2: 11:21-38:21
Cultural Adjustment- Her youngest child was 5 when they moved to the U.S. so he is not as familiar with Iraqi culture
Childhood- Received from her mother and father: her mother constantly told her she was strong and her father was in the military.
Religion- Practiced religious like everyone else in Iraq, but when she moved to the U.S. she began to practice more because she felt obligated to be a role model for her children
Also felt she needed God because of her medical problems and her personal desire
Was encouraged to keep on practicing by her friends
Conditions back home- It was easier for children to learn about religion in Iraq because it was everywhere. In America, it became the parent’s responsibility
Religion- Feels that God is a father like figure who sends her friends, messages, and assistance
Feels strong when she is in community with others at the mosque
Religion- Feels closeness and “reverence” to God during the first prayer at dawn because most people are generally asleep still.
Section 3: 38:21-53:48
Family, Identity- Youngest child feels more American, but her other children feel they are half Iraqi, half American.
Religion, Family- Youngest child asks more questions about his faith especially when he sees TikToks about different prayers
Cultural Differences- The refugee community is growing, so at school her son is interacting with people from Iraq, Syria, and other neighboring countries
Conditions back home- Iraq was safe, she considers it her home because of the memories she has even though her children may consider the U.S. their home
Pandemic, Mental Health- Family is practicing social distancing, but they also feel lonely and depressed