Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Khari Brown


With the removal of Saddam following the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, life for all Iraqis changed for the worse, especially for minorities such as Christians, including Chaldeans. Considering the powerful push factors that have compelled Chaldean Refugees in the Detroit area to leave Iraq, the idea of returning to the homeland would seem like a remote possibility, however, these Chaldeans present an intriguing case, due to the fact that they are among the indigenous people in Iraq. Do their deep rooted ties to the homeland contribute to a desire to return? This research examines this possibility through an in-depth qualitative interview study that analyzes the push/pull factors involved in the decision to leave Iraq and to relocate to the Detroit area, as well as the push/pull factors pertaining to the potential decision to either stay in the Detroit area, or to perhaps return to the homeland. The theoretical perspective guiding this research is, “the myth of return.”