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Chaldean Refugee Women Experiences

An interview with a recent SDSU Chaldean woman graduate who was born and raised in Iraq was displaced due to political unrest, and finally resettled in San Diego.

Chaldeans are an ethnic minority group who live in Iraq. They started immigrating to the U.S. as early as in 1910.[1] They first resettled in Detroit Michigan where the population exponentially grew as political unrest increased in Iraq in 2003. They flew their homeland as a result of religious persecution from the Muslim majority. The process of assimilation for Chaldeans is also challenging where they face. They struggle with cultural differences, especially the generation born in the United States. For the immigrants that arrive at a younger age here, they witness the displacement process yet spend their golden years trying to assimilate into the culture. I decided to focus on this particular group of Chaldean refugees because I myself had to live through the displacement process, witnessed the struggles most first-generation refugee parents face and had to fight battles to overcome those challenges and pursue higher education in a country that faces challenges inequality and equitable opportunities. This interview focuses on the experiences of the young Chaldean refugee women who migrated to the United States with their families, became first-generation students to even graduate high school, and are the sole providers for their families. Maryam Aso is a 22-year old Chaldean refugee woman who is a recent graduate from San Diego State University. She is getting ready to take the LSAT and attend law school despite the traumatic experiences she went through and the challenges she faced pursuing higher education as a refugee minority woman.


[1] Anon, Chaldean Americans. Countries and Their Cultures. Available at: [Accessed March 15, 2022].



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