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This episode was created in order to highlight the narratives of two immigrants in Harrisonburg, Zee AlKhater and Nasser Al Saadun. We draw attention to the similarities of their experiences as refugees, ranging from their time in the country they travelled from, Iraq, to their well-established lives in the Shenandoah Valley. While the episode does highlight the resemblance between the two stories, the overarching theme emphasizes the individuality and humanity in each of them. Referencing “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, we hope to establish a different perspective of “the huddled masses.” The word immigrant is established in the identity of many people, but the value of the person extends far beyond that label.

The episode was inspired by those who helped make it possible, including Zee AlKhater and Nasser Al Saadun, Dr. Fagan, and JMU libraries’ special collections and digital specialists. It is under their direction that we have the honor of giving a voice to immigrants in Harrisonburg, and it is because of them that we are inspired to continue capturing the essence of this project outside of the classroom.

Links to works that we referenced in this Episode:


Lazarus, Emma. “The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,   

Munro, Ian. “Nasser Al Saadun: Integrating Refugees into Harrisonburg.” The Breeze, 22 Jan. 2018,

Saadun, Nasser Al, oral history conducted by Daniel Brennan, 2009, The Shenandoah Oral History Project, 2005-2009, SdArch 29, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Va.

“The Iraq War.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations,