A decade ago, Marwan Sweedan was performing surgeries in Iraq. At the time, his family was working with coalition forces, and they became targets.
“My dad got captured, kidnapped, tortured and killed,” says Sweedan.
He says doctors were also being marked, so he applied for refugee status and was later relocated to San Jose, California.
“Being a refugee is not something you plan for, you don’t wake up in the morning and go, ‘I’m going to be a refugee today.’ No, it just happened,” says the 37-year-old Sweedan.