Madeeha al-Musawi, An Iraqi Heroine

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Media Outlet: The New Yorker

In a past life, before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and the lawlessness and looting that followed, Madeeha al-Musawi was a seamstress. She found a new vocation by chance, after a violent night in 2003, when several armed burglars stormed her home, demanding money, with her husband and young children present.

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Rania Abouzeid was a Class of 2016 & 2017 New America Fellow, writing a book about the Syrian uprising. She has reported from the Middle East and South Asia for over a decade and is currently a freelance journalist based in Beirut.