||Many refugees from around the world have witnessed and experienced violence in their
communities, causing them to flee to a new country. Iraqi refugees have been displaced
to neighboring countries, such as Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Though in exile, memories
of the past linger and contribute to the ongoing challenges in the host community.
People cope in different ways, and this thesis examines how Iraqi refugees in Egypt
heal and re-imagine a world during displacement. Using life-story interviews from
Iraqi refugees in Egypt, in addition to field-site observations in Jordan, Amman and
Durham, North Carolina, I argue that faith offers moments to heal and re-imagine better
futures. The interviews suggest that faith is derived differently for male and female
Iraqi refugees. Female Iraqi refugees discussed faith in terms of outwardly religious
expression and community, such as the Quran, mosque, hijab, and collective prayers.
Male Iraqi refugees, however, described their faith as a “feeling” or a personal relationship
between themselves and Allah. Though faith precipitates out of different behaviors
and activities, Iraqi refugees in Egypt cling onto their faith to keep imagining better
worlds. They keep working, and as evidenced by latest encounters with the Durham refugee
community, they keep migrating, hoping that they will, one day, discover a safe, comfortable
life that makes sense to them.