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To order your DVD copy of The Lion's Journey: The Story of Wadie P. Deddeh, please visit

Upcoming Screenings:
The next screening of The Lion's Journey will be at Central Library in San Diego on February 24th, 2010 at 6pm. Please join us to watch the film and participate in a Q&A session with former Senator Wadie Deddeh after the screening.
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Wednesday, February 24   6:30 p.m.
Central Library, 820 E Street, San Diego, CA 92101

The Lion’s Journey: The Story of Wadie P. Deddeh
Directed by Bonni Rooney, 2009, 60 minutes, USA
An intimate portrait of an iconic leader in the Chaldean Iraqi community of San Diego, this film tells the saga of former California Senator Wadie Deddeh, an Iraqi immigrant, as he travels the road from a child of poverty to a seat in the California State Assembly. This film focuses on the essence of Deddeh’s success as a man who worked across the aisle to bring about some of the most far-reaching transportation legislation during his time, while illuminating his grace as a father and dynamic member of his community. Post screening questions and answers with filmmaker and Senator Deddeh.
Contact: 619-236-580


Cox Channel 4 in San Diego, CA aired The Lion's Journey on the following dates:
November 21, 2009 at 10pm
November 28, 2009 at 4pm

Visit to read a recent review in the Chaldean News. 

For more information about past and upcoming screenings, please visit our
  News and Events page. Hope to see you there!

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DVDs are now available to order online! Please visit to order your copy today!

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After watching The Lion's Journey, I found myself completely filled with emotion.  Ms. Rooney did an excellent job of portraying the accomplishments of a hard working, honest naturalized citizen of the United States.  Wadie Deddeh embodies the values and opportunities that this country was founded on and reminds us of what Americans take for granted.
--Deanna Berube, Entertainer

Bonni Rooney captured the essence of the American dream in this stunning documentary on Wadie Deddeh.  Watching Mr. Deddeh's story reminds me that in this great country you can come with nothing and make something great of yourself.  It was an inspirational piece masterfully crafted and worth everyone's time to see.
 --Ron Najor, Filmmaker
The Lion's Journey is a tale well-told... It brings to life the American dream ---a hard working immigrant achieving remarkable success.
 –Mark Freeman, Filmmaker and Professor of Television and Film at San Diego State University 

This film is very interesting, and Senator Deddeh is a fascinating man who has done an enormous amount of good for our country. He has not only served 28 years in the California State Assembly and Senate, but has been asked by Presidents to go on special missions to the Middle East.
--Alex Farnsley, Filmmaker

The San Diego film premiere showed us the life Story of Wadie P. Deddeh, a Chaldean Christian Iraqi, born in 1920, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1947. He was elected to the California State House and later the California Senate. The film included interviews with former California Governor Pete Wilson and Wadie's son Superior Court Judge, Peter Deddeh. Wadie's life is that of early hardship in Iraq, hardwork, education his strong support of American principles and faith, family, death threats during the Gulf War and success in the political world. His notable legislation success culminated in the creation of the California Department of Transportation and his recognition as the Father of Caltrans. He achieved the highest level of political office for an Iraqi. At the conclusion of the film, Wadie gave us an inspirational talk that focused on what America means, and while there is no free lunch you can achieve the American dream. His speech received a standing ovation.  We are so very happy to have been able to witness this outstanding event and film.  Additionally, Bonni Rooney's narration in the film was excellent.
--Bill Nikkel, Film Screening Attendee

“ Wadie speaks with so much passion for the freedoms that we as Americans may take for granted- because he knows the opposite- oppression, illiteracy for women, and his own inability to attend law school in Iraq because he was Chaldean. Wadie is a true patriot who has made this state and this country a better place…and we honor him for his great achievements
--Karen Schroeder, Film Screening Attendee






Audience at premiere screeningCrystal Ballroom attendeesNMA Staff (Neighborhood Market Assoc)

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