Man shares his journey to citizenship

This was an awesome story to cover. Karzan Mahmoud has been through hell – but now he’s an American. Watch the video to learn more.


 It was a simple ceremony in Fairfax Wednesday morning, where he was just a face among 49 others, all hopeful for their future as Americans.

Each has a story of overcoming odds, leaving their homeland, all for a better life. But Karzan Mahmoud’s story is perhaps one of the most extraordinary.

Karzan was a driver and body guard for the prime minister of the patriotic union of Kurdistan. In 2002 during an assassination attempt, Karzan was shot 23 times.

Karzan remembers that day, when he watched five of his friends die and hen he almost died.

“April 2, 2002 the terrorists came. They came to prime minister’s (home),” remembers Karzan Mahmoud.

The attack was later retold by journalist Kevin Mckiernan in the book, The Kurds.

Mckiernan would soon become more than just a journalist to Karzan. He would help Karzan get to the U.S., where he had multiple surgeries that would save his life. And later, on the path to U.S. citizenship.

Twelve years later, Karzan is not taking the day lightly.

With his wife and two children, Karzan is proud to be an American.

“(For a) long time I am waiting for the day. I am very happy. I owe them my life because I am an American,” says Karzan.


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