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Courtesy of 'From Baghdad to the Bay'

From Baghdad to The Bay: The Epic Odyssey of Ghazwan Alsharif


“I lost my family, I lost my country, I lost my career, I lost everything.”

From Baghdad to The Bay follows Iraqi Ghazwan Alsharif on a years-long, harrowing journey from his homeland to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Subsequent to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Alsharif became an interpreter and guide for the US military. Prolific filmmaker Erin Palmquist follows our hero through years of loss, struggle, hopelessness, growth, and change to Bay Area-based celebrity chef.

Alsharif’s journey is a text-book example of Joseph Campbell’s ‘hero’s journey’ with allies, adversaries, barriers, and a heart-rending triumph. It is clear that Palmquist experienced her own hero’s journey in following Alsharif’s.

The hero’s journey is intrinsically noble, but does not necessarily end in triumph. Palmquist’s and Alsharif’s journeys both end in triumph.

From Baghdad to The Bay grips viewers from beginning to end. We are with Alsharif the whole film, rooting for this sweet, loving, joyful man through his losses and gains—and we celebrate the fulfillment of his dreams.

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Ghazwan Alsharif, documentary, Erin Palmquist, iraq, san francisco