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Local Chicago Woman to Advise Bush on Iraq

Posted: Friday, April 04, 2003 at 12:20 PM CT

WASHINGTON President Bush will meet today with Iraqi immigrants, including a Skokie woman whose parents fled Saddam Hussein's rule, to talk about the war and rebuilding Iraq.

"He looks forward to meeting with these free Iraqis to talk about the progress and speed being made in the war, and discuss the humanitarian situation on the ground," said White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.

The people meeting with Bush will be Shiite Muslims, Sunni Muslims and Christians from Iraq.

Nadia Mirza, 31, an Assyrian Christian, left Baghdad when she was 9 years old because her parents were being threatened by Saddam's ruling Baath party.

"There was continual harassment," said Mirza, a legal assistant at a Chicago law firm. A first cousin who voiced her political views disappeared one day after school, Mirza said, and the family never determined what happened to her.

Mirza said her message for Bush is: "In order for there to be democratic government in Iraq, you have to have the inclusion of Assyrian Christians."

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