Nour and Lisa
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Forever connected

Nour Khal, left, worked as a translator in Iraq for American journalist Steven Vincent, and she was with him when he was shot to death in Basra. Lisa Ramaci, right, was Vincent’s wife, and she helped bring Khal to safety in the United States. Now the two women share Ramaci’s New York apartment. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Ramaci has made a little shrine to her late husband, Steven Vincent, in the New York apartment they once shared. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Nour Khal opens the door to the apartment she shares with Lisa Ramaci. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Khal now works as a receptionist in New York. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Khal’s life in Iraq wasn’t easy. She was imprisoned for 11 months for opposing the reign of Saddam Hussein; in the post-Saddam years, she was seriously wounded in the shooting that killed her employer, Steven Vincent. Now Khal lives in New York, free to dress and speak as she wishes. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Khal often looks up at the tall buildings in Manhattan. She plans to move out of Ramaci’s apartment, but her friend isn’t ready for her to go. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Nour Khal’s statement to Lisa Ramaci when they met for the first time, as the Iraqi landed in the United States in June: “I’m so sorry I came back without Steven.” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)