Iraqi Living In USA – His Thoughts About America

Oct 31, 2021 365K Views 1.6K Comments

Join me as we meet Iraqi/American Fidel who left Iraq because of war with the USA and now lives in the USA. Fidel tells us what it’s like for him to live in the USA, how he’s received by Americans, and what the USA has taught him.

Good morning, guys.
We all know that America and Iraq
have a very turbulent history
but the story the media fails to capture
is the one of Iraqis living in the USA.
What are their experiences like?
How have they integrated
into American society?
What can we learn from them?
So today we have the
great honor to meet a local
Iraqi-American living
here outside of Detroit
who is going to bring us into his world.
Is this Fidel?
Yes, it is Fidel.
How’s it going, Peter?
Thank you, brother.
-Good seeing you.
-Thanks for bringing us out.
-You’re welcome here anytime.
All right, here he is.
I haven’t met him yet in person
we talked on the phone.
But already I can tell, cool energy
nice smile.
How’s it going, buddy?
-Thank you.
Looks like we’ve met
but we’ve never met.
Very warm, very warm.
Fidel, you got a great
neighborhood out here.
-It is beautiful.
-You’ve lived in the US for how long?
-I’ve been here since ’93.
So after Desert Storm?
My barely teenage was over there
in Iraq
and then I came here.
-Okay, so you’re gonna
have great perspective.
Your neighbors here
they’re born in the US?
They’re all different backgrounds?
-Different backgrounds.
Americans, Italians, Iraqis, you see
a few Yemenis, a few Lebanese
around here living in peace.
As one big family.
-You guys get along pretty well?
-Oh yeah, we get along pretty well.
Never had an issue.
Not looking to have
an issue anytime soon.
These are the cookies
from the beautiful
neighbor over there, Kathy.
-Oh thank you, Kathy.
I don’t think she’s watching but…
-She just left actually.
She saw us eating out here
So she was like
“You know what,
here’s some cookies for you guys.”
-I know a little bit of what
we’re getting into today.
These are all Iraqis?
-All Iraqis.
-We’re doing an Iraqi theme today.
So I’m gonna get into your thought process
about living in the US
and Iraq, and these sorts of things
but we’re gonna do
fun things along the way.
Got a crazy car we’re seeing.
We got a cop we’re seeing, Iraqi cop.
Iraqi food.
So you have Arab channels on the radio?
So you have Arab channels on the radio?
-Arab channels, yes.
Arab channels, Arab newspapers.
Is there any competition ever?
Like, “I’m Iraqi and my food’s better.
You’re Lebanese and blah, blah, blah.”?
-You can sense it sometimes
but it’s like people go for with
whoever have the better food.
-I don’t know Iraqi food
but I know Lebanese is good.
Lebanese is top-notch.
You’re about to taste
the best Iraqi kebab ever.
Downtown Dearborn,
it’s sort of a driving place.
Oh my God, you’re getting some
bad Canadian influence there
Tim Hortons.
-There is a lot of Tim
Hortons around here.
-Stay away from that.
Do you need to lock here?
-We’re good, we’re surrounded
by Iraqis so we’re safe.
We’re safe.
-I have the Iraqi guarantee here.
Assalamu alaikum.
I need a haircut.
What style do you suggest?
Low fade with some
stripes maybe, some lines?
The Detroit Lions come
to you guys for haircuts?
Signed jersey is Darius Slay right there.
He’s plays for the
Philadelphia Eagles now.
Iraqis are the best barbers.
I’m not going to lie to you.
This is not done.
-It’s not done yet.
-That’s a start, okay.
You know it’s very
good to see people like Al
Not even being Iraqi.
Just being from the
Islamic and Arabic…
-Middle Eastern community.
What’s your take on this place?
-It’s solid, everybody professional.
They’re cool as f*ck.
It’s a good energy and everything.
-And this is your boy over here?
He does your cuts?
MG, you got a beautiful
beard I gotta say.
And there is the
high-school right around here is
I would say 97% of it is Arabs.
I would say maybe 50%
of it is Iraqis.
It’s right around here.
It’s a very historical high-school.
I was a good soccer player.
I had a
scholarship from UCLA
but we did not know
anything about scholarships.
So my dad was against it.
He was like,
“You’re not going there
by yourself alone.
You are single, you are still a teenager.
You’re not going there.
You’re not traveling.”
We did not know what scholarship is.
-So you were that good?
-Pro Player.
Until now, I still played.
How much was that scholarship,
like 30 grand, 40 grand at that time?
I never knew.
We didn’t know what scholarship is.
Some bad advice from dad, huh?
I mean everything happens for a reason
could have been something else.
For me to go by myself there alone.
-My dad took my whole stock portfolio
and put it into the ground.
So I know what you mean.
But now my nieces, my nephews
everyone has a full ride
going to college and everything.
They’re happy about it.
Nobody tells them nothing.
‘Cause now we have more
understanding of what’s going on.
-Got you, got you.
Okay, so you were saying in the car
I didn’t get it on camera
something about
you were taught in Iraq
when you come to the USA
women are gonna kidnap you.
Yeah, there is the gangs
of women going around.
That was a long time ago.
You know how Americans
have image of what Iraq is
and overseas they have
images of Americans.
They were telling us this
is what’s gonna happen.
All right, guys.
Here we are in a neighborhood
Fidel was saying is primarily Arab.
Arab neighborhood, yeah?
-Yes it is.
So this is Arab style I would say, right?
I left Iraq in 5th grade.
I lived in a refugee
camp for about two years.
Survived that refugee camp in Saudi Arabia.
Was right around the border line between
Saudi Arabia and the south of Iraq.
-And then you came
to the states from there?
-I luckily stayed for two years.
Other people stayed there for many years.
Longer than 10 years stayed in there.
There wasn’t any source of light there.
All just sand and tents
you have to live in there.
Surrounded with army
and in that camp
also we had the army
invaded us
into that camp.
The Saudi army?
-Saudi Army.
Helicopters, Bradleys, Humvees, soldiers
put everybody against the tents
searched everybody.
-So then how did you get to the USA?
By the United Nations.
They came into the refugee camp
and started taking people out.
Meeting with people, doing interviews
and they selected the
people that they wanted.
And the people, when they arrived here
they bring the people that they know.
-How do you feel
as an Iraqi
in the US
how has America taken you in lets say?
Or how has your experience been?
-When I first arrived
I never had an idea what America is like.
Never had an idea how to
associate with Americans.
My neighborhood was
a good neighborhood.
When I first arrived here I
was in Erie Pennsylvania.
Yeah, so my neighbors
were always nice to me.
So I had a different
image than what I was told.
I was told differently than
what I was experiencing.
-So people were cool to you?
Very nice, actually.
-And how is it now?
Now it’s different
-I see the difference
between Americans before
and the difference between Americans now.
I don’t want to say racism
but you can see it.
You can sense it.
-Was this after September 11th?
-That was after September 11th.
-That changed it?
-And that is because of…
I’ll be honest about this
because of
The way they put it.
It’s not because of the people.
-And the media, how it spun it?
-In the media, that’s exactly what it is.
-Okay, so I think before September 11th
most Americans
had no idea about Islam or Muslims
and then their first introduction was
-September 11th, bombings.
and then the media tied
that to Islam very closely.
-Islam and Muslims.
-And then what are people
gonna thing if that’s their only
information, right?
-Exactly, exactly.
I think they did that to
use it as an excuse to
invade the Middle East.
I hate talking about politics man.
I don’t want to go near it.
-No, it’s cool.
I generally stay out of politics
in this channel.
I really try my hardest but
it’s hard to avoid it sometimes.
-It is what it is.
-I mean to me that was the biggest
blunder in US foreign policy.
I remember 1991, sitting at a restaurant.
I was a kid.
When was that?
January 17th
or 16th?
-Right about that time
-42 days of bombing, right?
This is honestly what sparked this work.
I was like
“Okay, all over the media for 42 days
and then it stopped, 100%.”
and then I was like
“What did those people
How are they living now?”
Like what is their world like now
after 42 days of bombing?
-And that’s what got me
curious about the world.
Because I felt like the media let us down.
That was the time of three channels.
At least that’s what I had.
-And one thing I don’t get actually is
September 11th happened because they say
Osama Bin Laden, Saudi.
What does Iraq have to do with it?
As a young child I understood that…
Look, Saddam, Ba’athist party
that guy fears radical
Islam more than anyone
because they want to take him out
He doesn’t represent their interests.
As much as a bad dude as that guy was
-He was not pushing Islam on people, right?
-Women didn’t have to wear
head scarves under Saddam?
-They were not forced to.
He wasn’t connected to Bin Laden but they
framed it that way
and they lied us into that war
and that’s why I feel
a bit guilty
and I’m gonna let you run in a second
I just gotta get this out.
That’s why I feel a little bit
I don’t know if guilty is the word
but I always felt for Iraqis
because that invasion
destabilized the country.
So I wanted to meet Iraqis.
I went to Syria when it was safe, 2008.
Met Iraqis
these people all had to leave their land
many of their lives destroyed
many of their families broken up, whatever.
-Despite that they knew I was American
they would invite me in and say,
“Would you like some tea?”
-They still do that.
-And so
they didn’t take their anger out on me
which was unbelievable.
-They know it had nothing to do with the
population of Americans.
They know it’s all about politics.
-They know this
because we’ve been through it.
We lived our lives
Over war…
I was raised in two wars.
Saddam was controlling
too much of the country
You were always on the run
because of something
you did not do yourself.
Because probably your brother did it
or a friend of your brother did it.
So they come and take you
instead of taking somebody
they come and take you
until your brother returns back.
They came, invaded my house.
Security forces of
Saddam invaded my house.
My brother did not join the Iraqi army.
They invaded my house.
They did not capture my brother.
They came back
looking for the little ones
until the brother comes back.
So we went out
on the roof of the next-door neighbor
we snuck out the outside door.
The snitch that snitched on my brother
came and picked us up.
He was like,
“What happened to your brother?”
We told him they captured him.
So he picked us up.
He asked us where we were going.
So we said we were
going to my cousin’s house.
-And this is where he took us.
The same snitch that snitched on my brother
came back from around the house
met us, picked us up
and took us somewhere else.
To a safe haven I would say.
-Safe haven?
-So how did you feel when
the Americans went into Iraq?
-At first we were happy
’cause we were told…
-And we’re talking 2002?
-2002, that was the second time.
2002, approaching 2003 I believe.
Right around that time, yeah.
We were happy.
-You were happy?
-In the beginning because they
were talking about bringing democracy
Iraq is gonna be one of the most
valuable countries in the Middle East.
Everybody’s gonna look up to.
Now look at it.
-Yeah, but how do you bring democracy?
Doesn’t it need to come
bubble up from the…
You can not…
From the culture, right?
So do you think the US
government did not understand
that somewhat basic fact
or do you think they knew it?
-They knew exactly what they were doing.
They know how many
pieces of hair you have.
-With all the cameras these days, yeah.
No doubt.
-They know exactly what they’re doing.
Trust me, man.
They know exactly what they’re doing.
-So it was by design
but by that design
it destroyed a lot of people’s lives
but also
you didn’t come at that wave
but some people did come
over to the US at that time, right?
Some Iraqis?
-Iraqis started migrating out of Iraq
right after the Gulf War.
Yeah, we never had that experience.
You go outside the country
’cause we were not allowed.
You were not allowed to have passports
outside Iraq.
What about Iraqis, have
any come over recently
to the US?
-Palestinian flag right there.
Palestinian, yeah.
The Israeli flag wouldn’t
do well in this neighborhood.
Let’s be honest.
-No, no, there was one.
There was one right across from the…
-Forston High-School, there was one.
This country is Allah country.
-Is what?
-Allah country, there is a
constitution country here.
You live, you don’t
harm people, you’re good.
Put whatever flag.
Put the gay flag if you like.
They don’t care.
As long as you don’t harm others.
That’s the reason
most of us chose America to be here.
-You chose America?
-You didn’t want to go to Europe?
I’m happy to be here in America
which is…
Can’t complain about, you know?
I like it, myself.
-And what do you do?
What’s your profession?
-I was in college two years.
After I left college
I was in the
private contracting that I told you about
and then I…
-Private contractor for government, okay.
-For government.
-We can’t go into detail you said but…
-Yeah, yeah.
And then now I’m running
a trucking company.
-How’s that?
-I drive myself sometimes.
I like it.
I’ve been in it for the past almost…
2009, I started.
I like it.
-This is a great neighborhood.
Iraq is very unpredictable, honestly
-Very unpredictable.
-Is that why you guys like the US,
it feels more predictable?
‘Cause here is more secure future.
-How do you feel now after this last year?
Do you still feel that secure future?
-It’s better than any other
country, I would say that.
-You can see everyone here is
All the women are covered
and then you’re into like a normal American
strip-mall environment.
Very interesting.
It’s gotta be a challenge
having kids though.
The values are so different
between Iraq and here.
-You cannot enforce it, you have to teach.
You cannot enforce something.
-Because you want them
to blend in here, right?
But you don’t want them
to blend in all the way.
-What do you mean by all the way?
-All the way like when you’re 18 years old
you just leave right out of your house.
-You don’t want them to do that?
-I don’t want that to happen.
-You don’t want your…
-I want my family to stay close to me.
I want my family to stay more
belong to their moms
and dads through thier
good times or bad times.
-You don’t want them to dress in
ways that are provocative, right?
-That is number one.
I want them to be presentable.
-How do you control that though
with like Instagram and
all these forces out there?
-I don’t want to say it is hard
but we try to monitor, control things.
-And then I mean whatever happens
we try to teach them
not enforce it but teach
them what’s the good way.
Show them something…
-Tell me where to stop,
wherever you want me to stop.
Your brother died, can I ask how?
-He died because he stayed.
The Iraqi forces
Saddam Iraqi forces came
trying to take over the city.
Trying to take back the city from the
from the uprisers.
That uprose against
Saddam’s Ba’ath Party.
And my brother did not want to leave.
He said, “I’m staying here.
I’m not leaving.”
We’ve been waiting for this day
take Iraq back to the people.
To get rid of Saddam
and he stayed there until he got…
God bless his soul…
-This was ’91?
-That was in ’91, the
uprising that we had, yeah.
-That uprising was
active for about 21 days.
-Oh, wow.
-Yeah, I was
what, 11, 12 years old?
And I remember I was in my mom’s lap
I was hearing explosions
all over the place.
I was seeing
what they call it?
Something similar to fireworks
to lighten up the…
It was at night.
To lighten up the area so people can see.
So the army can see where
is the people movement.
My dad telling my mom we
have to get ready to get moving.
We have to leave the country.
We have to leave the city
because the army is moving in.
-And then we called the neighbors of ours
he has a dump truck.
They got all of us back
into this dump truck
and then we made a stop
to pick up my brother
the dead brother I just told you about.
To pick him up from
this certain area he was in.
He said he’s not
leaving, he’s staying there.
So we went across from
the city to the country
I was seeing with my own eyes
the helicopters were
cleaning out the area
from the people we used
to call the Mujahideen.
Against Saddam’s Ba’ath party.
-Cleaning out as in
just bombing everything?
Bombing everything.
So we took off.
We got to a place
a safer place
and then all we know is
my brother and his buddies…
I was on the other side.
My brother, the one we talked to
He was online earlier.
He came to me.
He was like, “Hey Fidel, come here.”
I was like, “What’s going on?”
and he had tears in his eye.
My brother was named Ali
and this is why I named my son Ali.
And so my brother came to
me, he was like, “Ali got killed.”
I couldn’t take in my mind.
I couldn’t take it in my mind
but we were doing everything fast as we go
because we were fleeing the country.
So we put him in that land.
That’s the land I was telling you about
and we took off.
Then we took off from
one city to another city.
Until we got, let’s say
to to the middle of Iraq.
It was just me
my older brother…
One year older.
And it was the ladies and my dad
and all we know is that
Saddam’s army going inside of the cities
with sirens playing songs for Saddam.
Calling out for everybody to come out.
They put us in the big land, open land
and helicopters were
flying on top of our heads.
They separated…
-Wait, wait, music, Saddam’s music played
everyone had to go out into the streets…
They were with sirens,
they were telling mandatory.
-And when you went out did
you feel you were just gonna get…
-We were scared.
We thought we were gonna get…
Because it happens.
People were in mass graves.
This is what they normally do
Most of the people were
put in mass graves.
They took everybody out.
They wanted to separate the young men
and leave the children
and women on one side.
The young men, they were taken out.
They were put in mass graves.
They were gone, disappeared.
Even to this day, they’re
still discovering mass graves
here and there.
-So how did you and your family avoid that?
-How did we avoid it?
It was just me and my
one-year-older brother.
We were young.
They expected us would never carry a gun.
They let us go
with the women.
Because we were young.
We were much younger than the other ones.
-So if you were a few years
older you wouldn’t have gone?
I would have been gone.
I wouldn’t be here now.
-You would have been shot?
-I said I woulda been done.
Not shot, they dig in
the ground a big hole.
They put you in there.
They bury you alive,
put sand on top of you.
-They bury you alive?
-They bury you alive, yes.
-They didn’t shoot you, push you down?
They don’t shoot you, they
just put you in a dump truck
and they flip you back in this big hole
and they bury you, death, that’s it.
When we fled Iraq
my brother, we couldn’t bury him
where we wanted to bury him.
So we were fleeing Iraq.
We buried him in an emergency place.
Just to bury him so we
could take off and leave.
And we waited for all those years
until got rid of Saddam.
My dad went back to
take him out of his grave
and sent him to Najaf
where the Sharain of Imam Ali.
Most of the Shia, they bury
their dead ones at that spot.
-Fast forward to the second invasion.
You were for it.
You were for Saddam getting removed
-But then again on the street
back there you said you were
not for the invasion.
Is it super complicated?
Is that what it is?
-It is super complicated.
It would have been much
easier to have a solution to Iraq
instead of invading the whole country.
-You were glad to see Saddam go.
-I’m glad to see him go but I’m
not glad to see Iraq as it is right now.
Is that how a lot of people feel?
-Most of us feel like this.
-And it depends if you’re
Sunni or Shia, right?
Not really there’s a lot of Sunnis been
also tortured.
-Okay, but if you’re Kurd you’re
100% happy the Americans came in?
-Kurds are very happy.
-‘Cause they’ve been left alone?
-I wouldn’t blame them.
They were in a green
zone for almost 10 years.
Saddam was not allowed to
go into the north side of Iraq.
It’s sorrowful to rethink back all this…
Everything that happened.
-Okay, we can stop whenever
’cause it’s a window in
that most of us don’t have.
-And the more I dig into everything
It’s more complicated than it…
So deep, so deep.
It’s like I have to take you back
and forth through the story to
put everything back in pieces to
understand exactly what happened.
-Okay, okay.
Look, there’s no silver lining
in any of this it seems like
but is there anything,
a tool that it’s given you
to become stronger in life
or to navigate life better?
Is there anything you’ve gotten out of it?
That’s exactly what I got.
Now I look at big things
as a little thing in my life
Like the other day we didn’t have
hot water.
My kids were complaining
“How am I gonna take a shower?”
I’m like, “C’mon man, you serious?”
I got me a pot
fill it up with water
put it on the stove
heated the water, went
back into the shower.
That’s it, it’s done.
It basically moved the goal posts.
-Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly.
I mean hard situations
makes you a hard man.
People should appreciate what they have.
For the littlest thing they
have, they should appreciate.
What’s that over there?
It’s madrasa school
where they teach you about God.
Strictly religious school
Most of Islam that I’ve seen is good.
Most people have been open, friendly.
I think it’s being taught in a peaceful way
but how much of it is taught in
a more militant way, let’s say?
Well you have to know
the differences between
a political Islam and just
a regular Islamic people
who want just to live like everybody else.
-There’s big differences between them.
-How many are involved with political Islam
versus let’s say, regular Islam?
-Very small percentage
but they had a loud voice.
-They have the loud voice?
-And in the US too?
-I don’t think in the US they do.
-There is Mom calling.
SPEAKER: Incoming call, press
uConnect phone button to answer.
-That’s your mom?
-No, no, that is actually my wife.
I call her mom.
She treat me like her son.
Where you going?
Where you at now?
She’s calling.
Oh, there we go.
You were saying that Islam
Some are looking at it as just Islam.
Some are looking at it as politics.
It is a theocratic religion, right?
-It is, yes.
-In the Middle East it’s
the politics and the
religion are tied together.
-Depending on the country?
-Depending on the
mentality of the people to be honest.
A lot of us
they minding their own business over there.
I’m talking inside of my country, Iraq.
A lot of us, they’re
minding their own business.
Most, their worry is where
they’re going out to eat.
Where they’re gonna go hang out
Because lifestyle there
is different than here.
You don’t have to work from
this certain hour to this certain hour
They work in the morning.
8:00, 9:00 in the morning
wake up, eat their
breakfast, they go to work
a few hours, four or five hours.
They come back, sleep.
They go open up their shop
again from five to seven.
They’ll go dress up, they go hang out.
-This is an interesting shot right here.
Trump, American Flag…
I’m gonna show you
Trump and Allah right there.
Woman in head scarf.
That’s why I love doing this work.
I see things I would never imagine.
-This is what I do, I go around here.
-Doesn’t mean that’s her flag though.
-There’s Trump and Allah,
something you’re gonna like
-Oh, wow.
So unpack that for me.
There are some Muslims
here that are big Trump fans?
See right there?
“We don’t care where you came from
but now you are our neighbors
so we love you.”
Something like that.
-You like to see those?
-Yeah, I like it actually.
Yes, I do.
-How do you feel when
you see the Trump sign?
-I don’t mind it.
I personally don’t mind it.
-I never thought I’d see
Arabic scripts next to…
This is the elementary
school for your daughter?
-Education here is much
different than overseas.
we see a diverse…
Here we see a diverse education.
I used to stay home
listening to the teacher
that teaches my kids online.
A lot of the names she mentions
is Islamic names, to be honest.
Mohammad, Omar,
something like this.
-In the public school?
-In the public school.
Probably you would hear it somewhere else
like say maybe
somewhere like European countries
of course you hear that but you
don’t hear that in Arab countries
Like you know what?
Like in a dialogue you don’t hear
Chris says, this, this, and that
into an Arabic conversation
but here you hear it
into the English conversations
Mohammad says, this, this, this, and that.
That is teaching kids here, students here.
When I hear these words
I defend this country more
I try to tell people this is not
everything that you have heard
I feel I belong to here.
It makes me get more
offensive when I hear something
bad being said about the Americans.
so I tell people, “You know what?”
‘Cause when I was overseas in Iraq
they were telling me about America.
You know what?
Why are you in this…
Why are all you guys
in this Koffer country?
-In this what country?
Koffer country.
Koffer country means people
who does not believe in God.
This is not a koffer country, you
know what a koffer country is?
You guys are a koffer country.
Honestly, this is exactly what I tell them.
For homeless
there is an option for
you to go look for a home.
If you are jobless
there is the option for you to get a job
regardless where you came from.
Regardless what you nationality is.
-They help you out.
That doesn’t happen
in the Arab countries.
That is the truth.
That is the reality we’re living here.
So we get offensive when
we hear that overseas
they’re telling us this is true.
We tell them exactly what it is.
That is something they need to know about.
-So when you go back to Iraq
you’re speaking proudly about the US.
-I do, I do.
I speak proudly about the
US, the justice in the US.
And I even told them that
because one image they
have about America here is
like you go there, you
get all the women you want…
There’s my daughter right there.
-Your dad’s a pretty
funny guy, you think so?
-He is funny.
-He’s funny.
-But he’s fun.
So cute.
-C’mon, you want to go home?
-How was school?
-Careful now.
My pleasure, my pain.
-That is my wife’s…
I say her name is my pleasure, my pain.
Ah, my pleasure, my pain.
-Hi mother.
Well, she is my pleasure, my pain.
She’s the one that makes me happy.
She’s the one that makes me cry.
No matter how happy I am,
she can make me cry.
No matter how sad I am
with her warm hug
She can calm everything down.
-Behind the doors of the
home, who is in control?
Honestly, she is.
Yeah, she controls my wallet.
She’s the one that runs the home.
Even though I act like
I’m the man of the house
but she runs the home.
And every day you see
demolishing homes here
rebuilding into much bigger homes.
-That’s definitely an Arab.
-All of them, Arabs.
-All of them?
-All of them.
-Big homes, Arab.
Columns, Arabs.
-That, the copper…
-That’s one of them, yes.
That’s what I’m telling you.
We came from big home.
My house was a three story house.
Almost nine bedrooms in there.
My dad spent most of his savings
for building this house.
-Yeah, and it’s not just Arabs showing off
everyone does that.
-Yeah, I mean if you have
the money, why not enjoy it?
-That’s true.
We don’t like to feel like someone owns us.
We like to work hard
to own our homes
work hard to own our businesses
work hard to own our own cars.
We don’t like to feel like
there is someone behind
we have to run back to, you know?
That is one thing and
that comes out of hard work
especially when we first come in here
we worked hard to accomplish
what we were looking for.
and there is I don’t want
to say a lot of people
hate on us because of this
because we have
nice things.
You see a lot of people envious.
They think
when we get here
The government gives us
nice cars and nice homes.
Which is totally not true.
-People honestly think the
government is giving you nice cars?
-They think this is what they do.
They think the government
gives us nice homes and nice cars.
-What happens to Iraqis
that come here right now?
-They get assistance in the beginning.
-Like what?
-They give them food stamps, cards
to get them going.
But Iraqis do not like to live like this.
-Okay, Iraqis…
-They’re here, they have dreams.
Especially the new
ones that are coming here.
They’re not coming here to be laid back
and get paid by the government
and just eat, sleep, repeat.
-You’re not going to represent
your people poorly, obviously.
You think most people?
-Most people I would say.
-Some are mooching off the system, right?
That’s always the case.
There’s some lazy people.
-I honestly would say a
very small percentage.
They’re hard working people.
That’s from my experience.
Hard working people.
-Well look, the US policy
destabilized the country dramatically
So I get
we owe something to
the Iraqi people, I feel.
-I mean, owing something
to the Iraqi people?
I mean I would say just leave them alone.
Just leave them alone.
Don’t do it.
-Don’t do anything?
Yeah, just help them.
Maybe help them to
reestablish their act together.
-No, no, no, no more nation building.
We already went through that.
Leave them alone, let
them build their own homes.
Just don’t bother them,
leave them alone, let them do it.
-Leave Iraq alone right now?
Let them do it, yeah.
Let the country figure out itself?
-Let the country
figure out itself, exactly.
All right, guys.
Always interesting to see things
through someone else’s perspective.
Especially an immigrant’s perspective
and Fidel came over a long time ago.
But he still has his feet in both worlds.
I believe everyone we
came into contact with today
is Muslim.
Fidel practices five times a day
He told me, practices Salat.
And then I think there
are just varying degrees.
Just like I would…
Someone asks what religion, ah…
I guess I’m protestant.
I was born protestant.
I don’t practice.
when people think of Islam or
look at Muslims
it’s the same thing.
The range is massive
and you can be at this side of the spectrum
or this side of the spectrum
and a lot in between.
And secondly, in my content
I usually avoid politics for the most part.
It seeps in to certain videos
but I try to
steer the needle away from it
as much as I can
but a video like this
about America and Iraq
there’s no way of avoiding it.
It’s going to seep in.
Rightfully so.
The countries have
very turbulent histories
with each other geopolitically.
I was against the war from the get-go.
Really upset when it started.
Never wanted it
and it was interesting
hearing Fidel speak about it.
he loved that Saddam was taken out
From his history with Saddam
and how the country was run.
But then
wasn’t really for the way the war
continued on.
So the point I’m trying
to make here is it’s
like most things in life.
Like most of this content.
Like most religion
and most topics.
The deeper you go into them,
the more murky
and gray, and confusing they get.
take that with you if that’s the
one take away from this video.
That was one opinion.
Fidel talking about his thoughts about
American intervention in Iraq.
There are going to be many
different opinions depending on
where the person is from
if you go to Erbil
in Kurdistan, in the far North.
I think, I haven’t been there
but I think 100% of
the people or close to it
are gonna be very happy
with the US’s invasion.
Now if you go to Baghdad
you’re Sunni
I think it’s going to be a
different story to some degree
and then imagine if you lost somebody.
If a family member was
killed because of the war
what would that do to
your feeling about the
So something to think
about with these videos.
I’m not trying to provide an answer.
I’m just trying to provide you
a way in
and you can interpret it
how you’d like to.
Thanks for coming along.
And if you haven’t seen
my other videos in the series
I’ll have them down in the playlist
and some more interesting
content coming your way.
Okay, until the next one.

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