Don’t shut your doors to refugees

I walked among dead bodies of people blown up by bombs. I ducked and covered from bullets falling around my feet, and I was almost choked to death by an angry mourner. One of millions of Iraqis, I was trying to survive a brutal reality that never seemed to end.

I still cannot escape these images. I still smell the dead. I had to go to where death lay due to my job as a reporter. That job left many journalists, including one of my former colleagues at the Washington Post, dead.

Rahim Alhaj: We have a responsibility to end the refugee crisis

This post was originally published on the World Bank's Voices Blog.

He learned to play the oud, a pear-shaped stringed instrument, at an early age in his hometown of Baghdad. He grew up writing protest songs against the dictator who ruled his country with an iron fist for three decades. He was imprisoned, tortured, and eventually forced to leave his beloved Iraq in 1991. He later found refuge in the United States.

Rahim Alhaj, a renowned Iraqi musician whose music often sends powerful messages on humanitarian and global issues, recently visited World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. He discussed how music plays a big role in raising people’s awareness and solving worldwide issues.