Since the war began in 2003, more than four million Iraqi civilians have fled their homes — half of them becoming exiles in neighboring countries and the rest dislocated within Iraq’s borders. While headlines are dominated by the deadly sectarian violence engulfing Iraq, the refugee crisis — the biggest in the Middle East since the displacement of the Palestinians in l948 — is all but ignored.
An Iraqi woman receives food items from UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
WIDE ANGLE goes to the heart of the crisis — to Syria and Jordan, which harbor the vast majority of uprooted Iraqis — and explores the displaced Iraqi community in Syria, from the middle class suburbs where Iraqis have sent housing prices soaring to the cramped Damascus slums where one out of three residents is Iraqi-born. WIDE ANGLE follows aid workers from the Syrian-Iraqi Red Crescent as they help refugees cope with their new surroundings amid government pressure and rising resentment from the local population whose health, education and housing resources are being stretched to the limit. Anchor Aaron Brown speaks in Jordan with regional leaders about the impact of this catastrophe on the Middle East and what the future holds for Iraq’s lost generation.