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A flood of Iraqi refugees struggle to adjust in Orange County (Photos)




An Iraqi war refugee poses with an American flag at the Access California Services office in Anaheim, Calif.
An Iraqi war refugee poses with an American flag at the Access California Services office in Anaheim, Calif.
Christopher Okula/KPCC
An Iraqi war refugee poses with an American flag at the Access California Services office in Anaheim, Calif.
Suad Hatem (left) and her husband, Wajeeh Alameen, moved to Anaheim from Mosul. "I was rich, and now I am poor," said Hatem.
Christopher Okula/KPCC
An Iraqi war refugee poses with an American flag at the Access California Services office in Anaheim, Calif.
Nahla Kayali, Founder and Executive Director of Access California Services, participates in a staff meeting held March, 7 at the community organization's offices in Anaheim, Calif. Access California Services aims to address the needs of Anaheim's Arab-American population, which includes refugees from the war in Iraq.
Christopher Okula/KPCC
An Iraqi war refugee poses with an American flag at the Access California Services office in Anaheim, Calif.
Iraqi war refugees gather with Access California Services staff outside their offices in Anaheim, Calif. on March 7. Access California Services aims to address the needs of Anaheim's Arab-American population, much of which consists of refugees from the war in Iraq.
Christopher Okula/KPCC
An Iraqi war refugee poses with an American flag at the Access California Services office in Anaheim, Calif.
Hanna Gaznakh left his job as a radiologist in Iraq to settle in Anaheim with his son and wife 2 months ago.
Christopher Okula/KPCC
An Iraqi war refugee poses with an American flag at the Access California Services office in Anaheim, Calif.
Yousif Hana Younan Gaznakh, an Iraqi seeking refuge from the war in his home country, displays his injured arm outside the offices of Access California Services in Anaheim, Calif. on March 7. Gaznakh's arm sustained shrapnel damage when an explosive device detonated in his vicinity while he was still living in Iraq.
Christopher Okula/KPCC


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Since the U.S. opened up its doors to Iraqi refugees in 2007, more have ended up in California than any other state, nearly 20,000.  An increasing number of then are arriving in Orange County and are facing big challenges once they arrive. As KPCC's Ben Bergman reports, they can face significant challenges.

RELATED: See all of KPCC's coverage on the Iraq War, 10 years later