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June 15, 2007

Big Wide World

When he was a teenager, Haider worked in the Iraqi Ministry of Information. He was specially trained to talk to visiting dignitaries and foreign reporters, and he loved his job. It was exciting, and he was treated like a celebrity.

Haider Hamsa.

Then the war broke out, his job disappeared, and Haider suddenly had to figure out what to do next: Hide, like his father wanted, or jump into the fray. Plus, other stories about what happens when you strike out into the world.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass tells a story about how, when he was in seventh grade, he was over at his best friend's house and saw beer in the fridge. He'd only ever seen beer in fridges on TV; he didn't think it existed in real life. It was a little disturbing. And suddenly, he had to reevaluate what he thought of his friend's family. Valentina Filimonova had a similar experience when, two weeks after she arrived in New York from Ukraine, she went to the drugstore to buy tampons. And Starlee Kine describes how her father learned that there was a whole other way to live his life—after staring at a fish tank. (6 minutes)

Teen Wolf...blitzer

When he was a teenager, Haider Hamza worked in the Iraqi Ministry of Information. He was specially trained to talk to visiting dignitaries and foreign reporters, and he loved his job. It was exciting, and he was treated like a celebrity. Then the war broke out, his family fled, his job disappeared, and Haider suddenly had to figure out what to do next: Hide, like his father wanted, or jump into the fray—in one of the most dangerous ways possible. Gideon Yago tells the story. (28 minutes)

Song:

“Ala Honak” by Sajada Al Ubaid