Diaspora Identity: A Profile of Iraqi Immigrants in the USA

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 PhD in American Studies, University College Dublin (UCD), Dublin, Ireland and Researcher in Technology Studies Institute, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Political Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Since the late 19th century, Iraqi immigrants have formed a community in the United States, which is widely known as a part of the Arab-Muslim diaspora in the country, while the reality is rather different, since the majority of this community is non-Arab and non-Muslim. The focus of this paper is to investigate the US-based Iraqi diaspora identity regarding its formation and evolution by reviewing its history and exploring its diversity, which could inform readers about the major identification modalities taken by members of the community in the American context. The key question discussed in this paper is therefore the following: how does Iraqi diaspora identity diverge or converge within the American context, influenced by historical, ethnic and religious elements? Using analytical narratives as our corpus of study, we will discuss the way in which Iraqi-Americans present their identity by commenting on their ethno-religious diversity and the impact of the diversity on the community. Findings indicate that affected by US-Iraq relationships as well as different contexts in both homeland and the host country throughout the last three decades, a divergent dynamism has serious potentials to influence the future of this diaspora community in the United States.

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