The Lost Dream Premieres on World Channel’s Global Voices on Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ongoing Iraqi Refugee Crisis in the U.S. on 10th Anniversary of Iraq War

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Ten years after the US-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States, yet their personal stories have been mostly underreported. The Lost Dream, which premieres nationally on the WORLD channel’s critically acclaimed Global Voices, presents an intimate portrait of two such refugees in the DC area. 

The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al-Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting US forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Once in the U.S., however, they find themselves without any resources or support, wondering in the end if it was all worth it. Through their Iraqi home videos, personal diaries, and media coverage the film intimately captures their emotional, psychological, and physical struggles as they try to reconcile their hopes for a liberated Iraq with their harsh reality as refugees who can never go home. 

The Lost Dream is produced and directed by DC-based filmmaker Jehan S. Harney in co-production with the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Harney filmed the characters and their families over the course of four years. She hopes the film can spark discussion of US refugee policies that only offer limited government support, forcing many traumatized Iraqi refugees to fend for themselves as strangers in an alien culture, struggling to understand its language, connect with the community, find work, and provide for their large families, all while they try to treat their post-traumatic stress disorder. 

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER Jehan S. Harney made several documentaries on human rights, women’s issues, religion, and culture. Her film The Colors of Veil won Link TV/ One Nation Many Voices award for best documentary on American-Muslim women. Soul Mechanic made the Washington Post Metro cover page. Radio Prague profiled Jehan as “one of the most interesting figures in Czech life today” for her original documentary Sterile Dreams, on the illegal sterilization of minority Roma women in the Czech Republic. Harney also worked in TV and multimedia news production at ABC and NBC affiliates, and on NBC’s weekend Congressional news program, Power Breakfast. Her media work earned the Writers Guild of America-East’s John Merriman Award and the Christopher’s Making a Difference Award. She has an MA in International Journalism & Public Affairs from American University in Washington, DC. Jehan was a journalist in Egypt, and was born and raised in Kuwait. More at 

WORLD is distributed by American Public Television (APT) and is available to more than half of American TV households, and 14 of the top 25 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, Boston and Atlanta. WORLD features nonfiction content including PBS signature series, FRONTLINE, Nature, P.O.V. and Independent Lens, as well as original co-productions like Global Voices, America ReFramed and Aspen Institute Presents. Funding for the WORLD channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. More at

The Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds, presents, and promotes award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the web, and the Emmy® Award-winning weekly series Independent Lens on Monday nights at 10 PM on PBS. Mandated by Congress in 1988 and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, ITVS has brought more than 1,000 independently produced programs to American audiences to date. For more information about ITVS, visit 

Produced by ITVS International, Global Voices is a critically acclaimed international documentary television series premiering on the WORD channel (check local listings). The first original series to launch on WORLD, Global Voices was included in the New York Times’ Mike Hale’s list of “Favorite TV shows of 2012”. Global Voices is comprised of 18 episodes including programs making their U.S. television broadcast premiere, as well as programs previously broadcast on public television. The sixth season of Global Voices will air June through September 2013, Sunday nights at 10pm EST.

Posted on May 31, 2013