Doctor escapes Iraq only to face economic war in U.S.

Modesto BeeFebruary 9, 2009 

CERES -- Emil Adam knew he'd have eight months in the United States to find work before he'd lose the benefits he's entitled to as an Iraqi war refugee.

That timeline seemed inconsequential to the 51-year-old physician when he prepared for the journey in Lebanon last year.

"I didn't care for the eight months," he remembered thinking, "because I am going to the U.S., the master of the world. I will get a job."

His deadline is just four weeks away, and Adam still can't find steady work.

His dreams for a stable life in America are colliding with the country's worst economic recession since World War II.

"This is our luck," said Adam, who fled Iraq with his wife and three daughters when sectarian violence in their south Baghdad neighborhood made life unbearable.

"I am ready to work any job. I have to save my daughters," he said. "I am ready to work any job, but I can save patients."

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