Monday, July 10, 2006

Iraqi Diaspora

Zayed, whom I have been following off and on for well over a year, is getting ready to come to America. Many well-wishers in the comments.

Meantime, refugees from Iraq are flooding into Jordan, the safe haven from which Zayed, and finally his family, also fled.

This is the picture of a country coming apart.

An unofficial estimation by Jordanian authorities, based on residency records, recently put the number of Iraqis inside Jordan at half a million, which in a country of 6 million is, understandably, an alarming trend. All other evidence, however, indicates that actual numbers are much higher. The majority of Iraqis here work around the restrictions of Jordanian immigration laws by paying fines or by staying illegally.
I mentioned that my family was expected to arrive here a few days ago. They made it safely, but they experienced a 12-hour ordeal at the Karama border center on the Iraqi-Jordanian border. My brother, Nabil, was not allowed to pass. According to my mother, he was literally devastated to hear that. Hours later, following lengthy negotiations with Jordanian security and customs officers, several phone calls to relatives and officials at Amman, and a display of some old medical reports, he was finally permitted to go through. Other Iraqi youngsters were not so lucky. Sometimes female and elderly members of a family would be granted entry, but not the young men. Such scenes of families breaking apart, with some allowed to tread safe land and the rest forced to go back to hell, are not pretty to watch.

His post is long and informative. It's not all personal. This man is a good observer and writes well. Go take a look.

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