Ex Pats in the Big Easy: Shia Women from Southern Iraq
Farah Alkafaf writes about her experience as a “first generation Shia woman from Iraq living as a minority in the southern United States.” Her mother, Ikbal Mohammed, relates her experiences in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s that caused her leave and establish a new life in New Orleans. Mohammed explains the sociopolitical context of the war and how it impacted her daily life. She also speaks to the pressures of assimilation and how she maintained her faith and core cultural values through connection with the New Orleans Muslim community. In dialogue with her mother’s story, Alkhafaf explores her own upbringing, values, and her role in her faith community.
Neighborhood Story Project
: Islam; Iran-Iraq War; Jafari; Shia; Baathist Party; Immigration; Religion; Spirituality; Assimilation; Muslim-Americans; Ramadan; Eid; Foodways; Um Bashar
New Orleans, Louisiana; Middle East; Iraq; Iran; Karbala, Iraq; Najaf, Iraq
Social and Cultural Anthropology
Alkhafaf, Farah. “Ex Pats in the Big Easy: Shia Women From Southern Iraq.” A Guide to South Louisiana: Stories of Uncommon Culture, edited by Rachel Breunlin, Neighborhood Story Project, 2017.