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Arts & Culture

Syrian Family From Pulitzer-Winning Cartoon Talks About Rebuilding Their Lives In Connecticut

What’s it like to build a house, a family, a life…and then have a war take it all away?  

This hour we sit down with West Hartford, Connecticut residents Adeebah Alnemar and her son, Naji Aldabaan. They’re Syrian refugees who fled during the civil war, and came to Connecticut in 2016.

Their family is the subject of a 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon series in the New York Times. We also talk with one of the people behind the cartoon series—New Haven-based journalist Jake Halpern.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


  • Adeebah Alnemar – West Hartford resident. She, her husband Ibrahim Aldabaan, and their children are Syrian refugees. She is a caterer and an artist, and is raising money to start her own food truck
  • Naji Aldabaan – student at Hall High School in West Hartford; Adeebah’s son
  • Jake Halpern – New Haven-based journalist and author. His nonfiction cartoon series “Welcome to the New World”, with New Haven artist Michael Sloan, follows the lives of two Syrian families who come to Connecticut as refugees (@JakeHalpern)


New York Times - Welcome To The New World (Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan, 2018) -  “Two brothers…fled Syria in 2012, with their wives and children. After four years waiting in Jordan, they finally received a visa and traveled to the United States as refugees. They arrived on Nov. 8, 2016, which happened to be Election Day. It was, of course, a loaded moment. In effect, the brothers and their families landed in one country and woke up the next morning in another.”

Ryan Caron King, Carlos Mejia, Lily Tyson, Aidan Kaplan, and David Wurtzel contributed to this show.   

Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.
Carmen Baskauf was a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show Where We Live, hosted by Lucy Nalpathanchil from 2017-2021. She has also contributed to The Colin McEnroe Show.

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