A collection of unfinished news clips covering Aiham Alsammarae and the Iraqi conflict. Includes some unnamed segments, "Chicago Iraqis", "Alsammarae Profile", "Iraq Electricity Update", and "Alsammarae May Update", as well as a segment from Chicago Tonight and camera original footage from an interview about Alsammarae's return.
0:04Copy video clip URL Opens on a Chicago street. Voice-over mentions the immigrant groups who have settled in the neighborhood, and the increasing number of Iraqis after the Gulf War. Footage of men in a restaurant talking about American policy in the Middle East (No sound).
0:49Copy video clip URL Segment moves on to a man who has started a limousine service after moving to America; he does not want to be identified. He talks about his experiences fighting with the resistance in Iraq, and his opinions on America reentering the area.
2:15Copy video clip URL Aiham Alsammarae talks about his family tragedies, not being able to return to Iraq, and his political views.
3:30Copy video clip URL Elizabeth Brackett talks to various immigrants about American intervention in Iraq. They generally agree that American intervention would be generally welcomed and would not incite terrorist attacks, and that they want Saddam Hussein overthrown.
5:36Copy video clip URL A man talks about his concerns for civilian casualties. A woman who wishes to remain unidentified echoes similar sentiments. She doesn’t like Hussein, but she is suspicious of America’s intentions.
7:33Copy video clip URL Patrons of the local mosque remember chemical warfare initiated by Hussein, and voice-over discusses the wishes of immigrants to return to Iraq to fight.
9:04Copy video clip URL Alsammarae talks about a post-Hussein Iraq. Information about America’s potential assistance in Iraq.
10:14Copy video clip URL End of segment.
10:21Copy video clip URL Title card: “Alsammarae Profile”
10:30Copy video clip URL Opens with a shot of Aiham Alsammarae, the Minister of Electricity in Iraq, sitting down to eat lunch. Alsammarae talks about how his body guards hinder his daily life. Elizabeth Brackett does a brief voice-over introduction detailing Alsammarae’s past year and work on the electrical system in Baghdad.
11:15Copy video clip URL Alsammarae talks about the difficulties of his job, and his concerns about safety. Brackett gives more information about the current state of electricity in Iraq.
12:09Copy video clip URL Alsammarae shares more about safety issues in Baghdad, and insurgents targeting electrical plants. “I am working in hell.” If terrorists knock down a transmission line Alsammarae cannot send workers to fix it without police or else the workers come under fire. He keeps losing workers due to dangerous working conditions.
13:36Copy video clip URL Even after an attack on Alsammarae’s home in Iraq, he still plans to stay until January elections. “I am there; nobody will run me. Especially the terrorists. No way.” Alsammarae continues to talk about his plans in the face of growing violence, and how they affect his family.
15:03Copy video clip URL Brackett talks about the consequences for Alsammarae’s consulting firm in America due to his work in Iraq. Alsammarae admits that his firm is “not doing well, to be frank.” His absence has caused layoffs and a loss of clients.
15:50Copy video clip URL Brackett talks to Assad Ali, a nuclear physicist and one of Alsammarae’s former employees. He talks about his plans to return to Iraq. “I feel guilty not to take my part in rebuilding Iraq.”
16:40Copy video clip URL Alsammarae discusses the responsibility on his shoulders, and progress’ dependence on better security. “We have to deliver a secure country to the elected government. We have to.”
17:26Copy video clip URL Segment talks about Alsammarae’s trip to Washington D.C. and a recent suicide bombing that killed three more of his employees. “Part of the campaign they are doing is to destroy the country and make chaos… [but we will] keep fighting until we succeed.”
18:36Copy video clip URL End of segment.
18:48Copy video clip URL Title card: “Iraq Electricity Update”
19:08Copy video clip URL Shot of Alsammarae walking into his office, followed by shots of him working at his desk.
19:30Copy video clip URL Cut to Alsammarae talking about the state of Iraq’s electricity. “I don’t like to say we are doing very good, but I think that in the condition we are in, with the security problem, we are doing very good in relation to that.” Cut to footage of a power station; no voice over.
20:27Copy video clip URL Shot of an Iraqi lighting a lantern in a dark apartment. Alsammarae talks about the varied lengths of time citizens receive electricity. “If I put all of this together… I think we are at 65% electricity.”
20:48Copy video clip URL B-roll of a business, a car burning in the street, and crews working on electrical wires. Zoom in on a generator, and audio from Alsammarae talks about transporting an enormous generator, and the complications that go with it. “We put big signs up… ‘This is to help bring electricity to you and your family’. We put too many things around it to make everybody feel very bad if anything happened to this.”
22:11Copy video clip URL Footage of electrical wiring. Alsammarae talks about his”Electricity Police”.
23:05Copy video clip URL He moves on to talking about people placing explosives to bring down electrical towers.
24:10Copy video clip URL Shots of a fire in the street. Alsammarae speaks but no audio. Audio comes back in; he is talking about a close relative and friend that he lost two days prior.
24:47Copy video clip URL Footage of Alsammarae at work. Back in the studio, he describes what his convoys look like, and what it feels like to be a part of the convoy. “I mean, they keep shooting at me. I have to protect myself, right? It’s normal.”
25:52Copy video clip URL He talks about how, now that there is no secret police taking people directly from their homes without warning, he feels it is safer. Brackett points out the continual dangers of car bombs and losing relatives to shootings, and Alsammarae claims that it is all in how you look at it.
27:15Copy video clip URL End of segment
27:21Copy video clip URL Title card: “Alsammarae May Update”
27:38Copy video clip URL Footage of a fire in the streets of Iraq, followed by footage of workers operating heavy construction machinery. Shots of Alsammarae walking into work and in a meeting.
28:17Copy video clip URL Alsammarae talks about how the situation in Iraq has gotten worse. “I think, since this government took over, the security [is] I can say worse than before by probably ten times.” He continues to talk about the terrible state of Iraq’s electricity. Followed by photographs from electrical plants.
29:26Copy video clip URL Comments on Iraq’s failure to supply the needed funds for fuel, and how the generator is now just sitting idle.
30:15Copy video clip URL Problems with transmission lines and families getting electricity. “There are a lot of things, without law and order in the country, that you cannot do.”
31:32Copy video clip URL Alsammarae shares his opinions on the man who has taken over. B-roll of him at work.
32:11Copy video clip URL He talks about his optimism for Iraq despite the bad security conditions. He points out that his family is a mix of Sunni and Shiite Muslims, and that many Iraqi cities are similar. More about the diversity of individuals he works with.
33:47Copy video clip URL Footage of police cars driving through a street in Iraq
34:02Copy video clip URL End of segment
34:21Copy video clip URL Footage of a power station and heavy construction machinery.
35:54Copy video clip URL Cut to black, then title card: “Chicago Stories – Still to Come”
36:03Copy video clip URL Phil Ponce and Brackett introduce a segment about Alsammarae. Brackett talks about interviewing him for the past few years, and recently receiving a call from him explaining that he was in jail and afraid for his life.
37:17Copy video clip URL Cut to subtitled phone conversation with Alsammarae. He elaborates on his situation, and shares that he feels abandoned by the US.
38:03Copy video clip URL Brackett and Ponce discuss the US Embassy’s response.
38:28Copy video clip URL Alsammarae’s son reinforces the urgency of the situation. “Not only does action need to be taken, but it needs to be taken immediately.”
39:00Copy video clip URL Ponce and Brackett go over the charges Alsammarae is facing. Alsammarae describes his dangerous working conditions in a clip from a previous interview, and his son details the specific charge against Alsammarae, which is ‘financial mismanagement’.
41:17Copy video clip URL Brackett gives Alsammarae’s explanation of why he returned to Iraq after being charged. His daughter touches upon Alsammarae’s sense of duty. “He went there, he went to help, he put his life at risk. We really expected the US would appreciate that, and that they would stand by their fellow citizen and they’d bring him back home immediately.”
43:00Copy video clip URL Ponce closes out the segment and announces a commercial break. Word from sponsor, then clip ends.
43:30Copy video clip URL Elizabeth Brackett and Aiham Alsammarae stand in front of the camera waiting for a cue.
43:53Copy video clip URL Brackett receives her cue and asks Alsammarae whether he thought he would ever get to return to Chicago. Alsammarae then details the events that led to his release.
45:34Copy video clip URL They go into further detail on how Alsammarae was able to get out of jail.
46:18Copy video clip URL Brackett questions how Alsammarae was so easily able to get through Iraq and out of the country to Jordan, then go from Jordan to America. “The Iraqi government… They consider you a fugitive. They say there are still charges pending. They also said that Interpol would stop you, that you were going to be considered an international criminal. I take it that didn’t happen?”
48:40Copy video clip URL Alsammarae addresses concerns for his safety in America.
49:20Copy video clip URL Correspondence ends and Brackett and Alsammarae relax. A crew member asks them to pose for a cutaway.
49:40Copy video clip URL While posing they talk about how long the clip was and the longer interview coming up the next day. Brackett asks him if he wants a ride.
50:12Copy video clip URL Cuts to over the shoulder of Brackett. No sound.
51:02Copy video clip URL End of segment.
51:13Copy video clip URL Footage of Aiham Alsammarae pushing his luggage through O’Hare Airport. Voice over from Elizabeth Brackett explains the events leading up to Alsammarae’s return home.
51:42Copy video clip URL Footage of Alsammarae at home with his wife. He shares his fear of being killed in an Iraqi prison, and his happiness in being home once again.
52:17Copy video clip URL Voice over from Brackett gives a bit more background on Alsammarae’s life and career leading up to his conviction. Footage of him in a meeting. Cuts to interview with Alsammarae from 2002 talking about the need to overthrow Saddam Hussein, followed by footage of Alsammarae as Minister of Electricity in Iraq with further explanation from Brackett.
53:30Copy video clip URL Alsammarae explains why he believes his conviction was politically motivated. He was in America when charged, but returned to Iraq to defend himself.
54:17Copy video clip URL He talks more about his time in jail, and his guard’s threat to take him outside the Green Zone though his conviction was overturned. He then goes into how he was able to escape.
55:54Copy video clip URL Brackett explains how surprised the Iraqi government was at Alsammarae’s relatively simple escape, and talks about their stated intent to bring Alsammarae back to face five more charges. Alsammarae says these charges are false.
57:33Copy video clip URL Alsammarae asserts that a political solution is needed to quell the unrest in Iraq.
57:04Copy video clip URL He explains why he will someday return to Iraq.
57:22Copy video clip URL Footage of Alsammarae’s family speaking with Brackett. Cut to Alsammarae laying out why he decided to clear his name by returning to Iraq.
58:11Copy video clip URL Brackett voice over closes out the clip.
58:23Copy video clip URL End.