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More than 2 million civilians have fled the kidnappings, car bombs and killings of war-ravaged Iraq for the relative safety of Jordan, Syria and other Arab neighbors. The greatest refugee exodus in the Middle East since the Palestinian flight of 1948 is impoverishing the Iraqi middle class — and straining relations in an already volatile region.

Baltimore Sun

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reporter Matthew Hay Brown follows the refugee trail, from the Middle East to Maryland.

Brown traveled to Syria and Jordan on a World Affairs Journalism Fellowship funded by the

and administered by the

. In recent years, United Nations officials say, when refugees have been identified by name in the Western news media, their families in Iraq have been threatened or harmed.

The Sun

permitted many of the refugees interviewed for these articles to adopt assumed names to protect their relatives in Iraq.

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