Meet those who took the next step

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Anna Kaminski


Cathy Breen

Voices for Create NonViolence, New York

"Sadly, my time with the class is drawing to a close and I am having to prepare myself emotionally to leave them. We have indeed, as Sami continues to emphasize, become like a family... We've eaten out in a restaurant, role-played waiter and customer. We've gone on a picnic, taken a boat ride and had tea and juice by the river. We have laughed and joked together and shed as well a few tears. I will miss these wondeful people."

Chris Romanagni

Apollo, Pennsylvania

"The resilience, happiness, generosity, and sincerity of Iraqis are absolutely incredible. People I met 8 days ago call me Dear Chri's and tell me they love me. They tell me that I have a pure heart and that I'm their brother. With a deep sentiment, I can say the same about those that I've met here. If you're reading this from abroad, please understand that these people are our brothers and sisters. If you ever have the fortune of meetings some of them in the future, inshAllah, you will understand. Peace."

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Chuck Benson

Brainerd, Minnesota

After hearing Dr. Sami Rasouli speak in Minnesota, Chuck knew he would like to help with the effort to build lasting relationships between American and Iraqi people. Chuck is a retired radiologist ad current member of the Brainer Coalition for Peace.

Fernando Espinoza

Miami, Florida

After serving as a Humanitarian Aird Foreign Volunteer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and later the UN's Civil Development Organization (CDO).

Greta Berlin

Los Angeles, California

“I’ve taught English all over the world, and this experience has been one of the best I’ve ever had. The students are remarkable, and, frankly, they have taught me more than I’ve ever taught them. I would encourage people to come to Iraq and see for yourself. I’ll do whatever I can to return in a year.”

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Islam Mohammed

London, United Kingdom

Dr. James Hayward

Negaunee, Michigan

Former Ann Arbor Public Schools teacher and retired dentist, taught elementary, junior high and high school students and services stints of dentistry in South America and Africa. 

Joan More

Berea, Kentucky

Joan is a Peace Corps alumna and retired nurse who had previously visited Iraq before being our guest.

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John Mesler


"This has been one of the most extraordinary experiences in my life. I've never met such positively wonderful people who - despite what has happened to their country, constantly reminded me of what really matters in life - respect, faith and a genuine desire to help others."

Katie Sunshine Struble

St. Croix County, Wisconsin

"It was a life-changing experience for me when I came the first time. Everyone should have the opportunity to come and teach here. It's breaking barriers for both cultures as well as personally. I promised I'd return and iI have. I hope to continue to be able to come back to teach and to learn. Please come. you will not regret it."

Lanny Cordola

Los Angeles, California

Lanny, founder of The Miraculous Love Kids / Girl with a Guitar, has focused on musical projects aimed at raising awareness, resources and funds for some of the most vulnerable children, based on the premise that “it shouldn’t hurt to be a child” and that a kid with a melody in their heart has hope, and with hope all things are possible.

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Luke Wilcox

South Dakota

Martha Hayward

Negaunee, Michigan

Martha is a retired English and Special Education teacher from not only Chicago Public Schools but also a Wisconsin correctional facility. She had previously taught Iraqis English and had volunteered her time with medical teams in South America and Africa.

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Mary Benson

Brainerd, Minnesota

After becoming a retired nurse, Mary previously traveled to Columbia as a Christian Peacemakers Team peace and justice advocate. Mary is a longtime member of the Brainerd Coalition for Peace, a small group of individuals dedicated to working towards a more peaceful world.

Mustafa Almamar

Detroit, Michigan

Rafael Prado

State College, Pennsylvania

I was too young to understand the American-Iraqi conflict. I had too many questions about the answers I was given. I knew only of the faulty pejorative generalizations. I came here to get to know the Iraqi people and learn through my own experience. I may not have left with all the answers I came with, but I can say without a doubt that my list of friends and family grew after my stay.

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Rose Aslan


Stu Russell

Xavier Raychell

United Kingdom

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Zackerya Allian

Najaf, Iraq