Hesham Abdul Ghani and his wife, Oras Touma, came to Michigan to escape religious persecution. Jacki Lyden/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jacki Lyden/NPR

As many as 5,000 private security contractors will be protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The U.S. Embassy compound (above) and several consulates will have about 15,000 workers, making it the largest diplomatic operation abroad. Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Landov hide caption

toggle caption Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Landov

After delivering mass, Monsignor Pius Kasha poses with security officials who are guarding the Syriac Catholic church in the Mansour neighborhood in Baghdad. Sean Carberry/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Sean Carberry/NPR

Iraqi security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad earlier today (Dec. 22, 2011). It was one in a wave of such bombings in the Iraqi capital today. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

Iraqi security forces gathered at the site of a car bomb blast, one of more than a dozen seemingly coordinated explosions across Baghdad on Thursday. Hadi Mizban/AP hide caption

toggle caption Hadi Mizban/AP

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor