madly in love with Iraq

1.10.06

In Denial

My friend has to go home. His application for asylum has been refused.

Omar came four months ago to visit his brother and sister.
Both are willing to support him, and they signed a declaration to this effect.
“No recourse of benefits or public money”. But all that did not count, not even an exceptional leave to stay was granted.

As it was his first time out of Iraq. Omar suddenly realised the hell he had been living in.
The comparison was too much to handle.

When we go out I could see his eyes glowing with joy. He just couldn’t believe that people can get on with their lives without fear. People can plan and fulfil, can go out and stay late, can commute and reach their destination and can sleep soundly.

He once told me that the difference here is not only you feel secure but the bliss of waking up in the morning and say to yourself here comes another day and with it another hope not another bomb.

He reminded me of my mother when I met with her in summer. She used to move around the room in the dark, and when I questioned why, she told me that she lost the habit of switching lights on and off. She was always reluctant to go out at night; something in her subconscious told her it is dangerous.

What is upsetting me really is that the media in here is full of detailed news about Iraq.
Reports are very hard to catch up with, and you can hardly find a Newspaper without an extensive article about what is taking place on that day. Sometimes I phone my family to check on them, only to find out that they are oblivious to my worries imprisoned in the house, and I start to tell them what happened in their own city.

Tony Blair was discredited, humiliated and kicked out of office because of Iraq.
For once he was speechless and stopped his theatrical lectures because the damage done is beyond covering up.

And yet, the Home Office reports consider Iraq not at war since May 2003, and in their refusal letter they stated “We couldn’t find one single convincing reason to why Omar is under threat!”

Two years back another friend whose application for asylum was submitted just before March 2003 received a refusal for a different reason, and that was “You should go back now, Iraq is free from tyranny, just keep away from Falujja!”

But the whole of Iraq is Falujja now and worse.
If you have failed your mission, at least have the courtesy to acknowledge it on paper.

And now senior military officers are pressing the government to withdraw the British troops from Iraq and reinforce the ones in Afghanistan, and why is that? Because they think it is more worthwhile and winnable battleground in Afghanistan!

The irony is their troops are getting killed by the same people they supported to kill the Russians back in the eighties!

One has to think that whoever invented the board game RISK must have a say in the British foreign policy.

For them it seems we are just another game, an adventure and an opportunity. If it works fine if not let’s just change faces to absorb the anger of the public and whoever is opposing and move on to another.

No one seems to think that flesh and blood are involved in this process, including their own.

I feel sad and upset for Omar and whoever is in the same position. But deep inside me the idea of people leaving Iraq still upsets me more.
It is like giving up and giving in at the same time.

And here I am at the top of the list.

35 Comments:

  • "And yet, the Home Office reports consider Iraq not at war since May 2003, and in their refusal letter they stated “We couldn’t find one single convincing reason to why Omar is under threat!”"

    The double standards are disgusting. Simply, destroying Iraq is OK, but when its people scatter and seek refuge from the carnage, then they are not allowed to do so. It seems as if the US and UK are determined to place Iraqis into the line of fire come what may. I really deplore this attitude.

    By Blogger Bruno, at 6:47 am  

  • I'm so Sorry for Omar... get him inside Sweden or better Ireland. then the clockworks will start the process.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:56 am  

  • Poor Omar:( But the British invaded Iraq and looted its riches back in the 20th century and all this havoc we have been living in is caused by none other than the Americans and themselves, why can't they just let him stay!!!

    Seconding Zappy, let him try some other places.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 pm  

  • hala_s, has your friend considered Brazil as an option? We have here universities which have good opportunities to foreign students. I've sent you my email, and if I can be of any help please contact me.

    By Anonymous anton, at 6:15 pm  

  • Hmmm, no reason to provide assylum. Thats pretty interesting. Who are they kidding???Or maybe they think that this is the norm??? Wallah its beyond me how they make their decisions.

    As for those leaving Iraq, Hala, what else can they do? There's a harub ibadiya thats taking place right now. They wanna erradicate all the Iraqis, and thats whats exactly happening. People have no choise but to leave for awhile until things improve, if they ever do...

    Maybe Omar should try Sweden as Zappy suggested, I hear they are less strict.

    By Blogger neurotic_wife, at 9:00 pm  

  • Hmmm, no reason to provide assylum. Thats pretty interesting. Who are they kidding???Or maybe they think that this is the norm??? Wallah its beyond me how they make their decisions.

    As for those leaving Iraq, Hala, what else can they do? There's a harub ibadiya thats taking place right now. They wanna erradicate all the Iraqis, and thats whats exactly happening. People have no choise but to leave for awhile until things improve, if they ever do...

    Maybe Omar should try Sweden as Zappy suggested, I hear they are less strict.

    By Blogger neurotic_wife, at 9:01 pm  

  • do not even get me started on my country's corrupt immigration system, it's disgusting.
    'sorry you have a government now, there's nothing we can do for you'

    they are scared to take even one for any reason because then everyone will try to come, but it's still so wrong.

    By Anonymous other nadia, at 9:27 pm  

  • I completely understand the hardships that assylum seekers face in this country and all over the world, I suppose. It's hard enough that they're being displaced from their homes. When they're being treated like tramps and parasites, it's only adds insult to injury.

    I really don't know what else to say other than wish Omar and all Iraqis a brighter, safer future. We all do our best to ensure that it's not just a mere dream, but in fact an attained reality.

    Kind Regards

    By Blogger Little Penguin, at 11:04 pm  

  • Here is information from the Swedish migration board:
    "A total of 62,463 persons were granted residence permits in Sweden in 2005, 8,076 of them as refugees or on other protective grounds and for humanitarian reasons. 1,263 persons were brought to Sweden within the the so-called refugee quota.

    Residence permits were granted to 21,908 persons because of family ties, permits to visiting students to 6,837 persons and permits on grounds of adoption to 805 persons. Residence permits under the EU/EEA agreement were issued to 18,069 persons.

    Altogether 17,530 persons requested asylum in Sweden during 2005. The largest group consisted of citizens of Serbia and Montenegro (2,944 persons). The second and third largest groups came from Iraq (2,330 persons). and Russia (1,057 persons)."

    http://www.migrationsverket.se/english.jsp

    By Anonymous Tim, at 6:27 am  

  • How many Iraqis has South Africa granted asylum to, Bruno?

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 9:22 pm  

  • Actually, I take that back, Bruno... an Iraqi would have to be insane to leave Iraq and go to the only country on earth that's got just as much factional violence as Iraq does, wouldn't they?

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 9:25 pm  

  • what on earth are you talking about?

    i'm assuming you're getting at some rhetorical point here but i have no idea what it is.

    By Anonymous other nadia, at 11:46 pm  

  • Other Nadia, if you are talking to me, I was referring to Bruno's never ending lectures to Iraqis about how it's the Americans who are ruining their lives.

    Bruno lives in South Africa. I think it's kind of funny that somebody who lives in the only country as messed up as Iraq is, thinks he knows what the causes and/or solutions are.

    Sorry if you missed my point, but I did address both of those comments to Bruno.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 2:33 am  

  • of course how ridiculous is it to claim to be an expert to one place you've never been when you can be an expert on two.

    By Anonymous other nadia, at 5:03 am  

  • of course how ridiculous is it to claim to be an expert to one place you've never been when you can be an expert on two.

    Yes, I really enjoy it that Bruno thinks he knows so much about Iraq AND America!

    By the way, is it your day to babysit Bruno, Nadia? I didn't comment on the topic, and I didn't address anything to you, so what's your deal? You and Bruno have a litle something going on, or what?

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 5:17 am  

  • i was just about to ask you the same thing.

    i get that you're very protective of your country and have strong opinions about it and whatnot, but you have a blog of your own to post about those things. south africa doesn't have anything to do with this post by hala. even if you disagree, i don't see why every opinion posted here needs to be endlessly debated here as well. particularly personal aspects.

    it gets boring yaknow?

    By Anonymous other nadia, at 5:26 am  

  • [craig] “You and Bruno have a litle something going on, or what?”
    [other nadia] “i was just about to ask you the same thing. i get that you're very protective of your country and have strong opinions about it and whatnot, but you have a blog of your own to post about those things. south africa doesn't have anything to do with this post by hala.”

    Sorry about this. I didn’t realize that Craig was skulking about here as well. It’s just that I embarrassed him in the past, and he has some sort of grudge against me, picking fights over irrelevant personal topics since he is unable to debate the actual facts at hand. I agree that SA has nothing to do with this post. As far as I know, Iraqis can freely emigrate to SA without restrictions.

    By Blogger Bruno, at 9:36 am  

  • it looks like this post made it on electroniciraq.net

    By Anonymous other nadia, at 5:28 pm  

  • Nadia,

    but you have a blog of your own to post about those things.

    Are you confusing me wiuth somebody else? I've never been a blogger :)

    south africa doesn't have anything to do with this post by hala.

    Niether does America, but that didn't stop Bruno, did it?

    even if you disagree, i don't see why every opinion posted here needs to be endlessly debated here as well. particularly personal aspects.

    Which still leaves the question off why you got yourself involved in teh debate, doesn't it?

    it gets boring yaknow?

    Yes, I do know. Bruno pollutes just about every Iraqi blog I ever read with his poison.

    Sorry about this. I didn’t realize that Craig was skulking about here as well.

    Skulking about, is it? I'm not a regular on this blog but I do read it from time to time, and I think I commented the first time a year or so ago. Try to contain your ego a bit there, buddy. I usually just read without commenting because I have very little to say that's productive about Iraq. I only commented this time because of your hatemongering. That's not useful, you know. Especially coming from a South African. Iraq will be in this mess forever if they follow your advice. You don't know any other way. If you did, South Africa wouldn't be a violent shithole.

    It’s just that I embarrassed him in the past, and he has some sort of grudge against me

    Don't listen to him, he's just mad because of that thing with me and his mama.

    picking fights over irrelevant personal topics since he is unable to debate the actual facts at hand.

    Facts at hand, eh? I've caught you in so many outright lies it's not even fun to point them out anymore. I don't think you ever touch the keyboard without telling a lie.

    I agree that SA has nothing to do with this post.

    It does have something to do with the value of your assinine opinions, though, doesn't it? I was taught long ago that before following somebody's example I should first ask myslef "Do I want what he has?" - well, do Iraqis want what South Africa has?

    Do *you* think that they do, Bruno? Do you think that they should?

    As far as I know, Iraqis can freely emigrate to SA without restrictions.

    And I'm sure the line is long for Iraqis to leave one hell and enter another, isn't it?

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 6:48 pm  

  • *yawn*

    By Blogger Bruno, at 6:38 am  

  • Hala_s,
    I wonder if Omar can't into GB with you and a relative volunteering to help him, what chance does he have to get into Sweden?

    If he is a student, he has to have money, and if so, then he has great flexibility. He has to think carefully. Time is not to be wasted. He has to think how he can build upon his career plans even if it means returning, probably. There are still worthy people living in smaller Iraqi towns, aren't there? where the violence isn't daily.

    He could join the Iraqi Red Crescent, couldn't he?

    As we all get older there is less and less flexability.

    By Blogger EdoRiver, at 1:12 pm  

  • As my mother put it, it's fine for them to force their way into our country, NO VISAs, NO RECOGNIZED INTERNATIONAL status except OCCUPATION...and yet, they raise he** if a victim seeks refuge in their country from the chaos and killing THEY created! As my brother put it, "150,000 US soldiers with NO VISAs in Iraq" and yet they deny elderly people who want to be with their loved ones in the US a VISA...when they have every reason NOT to stay in the US anyway. It's the power of Imperialists against their victims..."I will render your country in ruins, and when you come crying to me for refuge, I will kick you out of my country"...There is a God, and "What goes around, comes around"...and I hope the first to feel it "Mr. Oblivious Craig"!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:07 pm  

  • Anonymous 4:07,

    A) I'm not British.

    B) I don't know how many Iraqis have come to America, but there are a dozen bloggers I can name, so I assume the number is quite large.

    C) I was not in favor of the war in Iraq.

    D) I'm not anti-immigration, and I even married an immigrant

    E) The US has accepted more immigrants from more countries than any other nation, and has been doing so for over 100 years.

    F) I didn't even COMMENT on any of this, so what's your deal with condemning me for things I never said?

    But... since we ARE dragging me into this... a recent poll says that over 60% of Iraqis support attacks on US troops in Iraq. I don't want any of those 60% who are self proclaimed enemies of the United States to be in the United States. It would be STUPIDITY for us to give enemies visas to come here. Wouldn't it?

    The other 40% are fine, and I personally am happy to have them here in America. Of all the Iraqi bloggers I know of who are currently living in the US, there is only one that I want gone - Raed Jarrar. He has called for the deaths of Americans while he was blogging from Iraq. He has NO BUSINESS living in the United States.

    There is a God, and "What goes around, comes around"...and I hope the first to feel it "Mr. Oblivious Craig"!

    Yes. There is a God. And what comes around, goes around. You can see that in Iraq right now. Terrorism was pretty cool when it was only non-muslims who were the victims, wasn't it? If God can be said to be punishing anybody right now, he is punishing muslims.

    By Blogger programmer craig, at 5:14 pm  

  • [craig] “I was not in favor of the war in Iraq.”

    Oh, come on now! You really expect us to believe that BS? What possible reasons would somebody like you have against killing people?

    [craig] “Terrorism was pretty cool when it was only non-muslims who were the victims, wasn't it? If God can be said to be punishing anybody right now, he is punishing muslims.”

    Yeah, that’s the same reasoning bin Laden used when he hit the WTC. Pack ‘em all in the same box and burn ‘em all. That’s monkey logic. But hey, if you really want to expand a war that started with a couple of thousand (at most) Muslim radicals that are in no way representative of the population at large into a fight with ALL Muslims … be my guest. There are only a billion and a half of them, and they ALSO have nukes.

    My way would be to tackle to actual people that started the fight, and leave the bystanders out of it.

    But, last I heard, Bush had called off the hounds from bin Laden’s trail, and some big shot GOP senator called Frist was seriously calling for an armistice with the Taliban, the ACTUAL people who WERE involved with OBL. The Taliban, for chrissakes, the people who really do deserve a bullet breakfast.

    Frankly, you people are crazy. You get hit by one group and end up fighting everybody EXCEPT them.

    No wonder you are in a crisis.

    By Blogger Bruno, at 8:23 am  

  • It's not 'God' punishing Muslims, Craig. It's a Zionist NeoCon Extreme Right Christian agenda that is...and you are the epitome of that agenda...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 pm  

  • Craig,

    According to your statistics 60% of Iraqis are with attacking the US troops in Iraq. You don't like that. What would be the case if Iraq invaded your country after bombarding it from north to south, leaving it completely devastated? Demobilized its army which left the country exposed to terrorism, killed your people and looted its archaeological treasures? (N.B. The US have no archaeological ruins unless you consider the some cowboy towns so) What feeling other than hatred would you build up towards Iraqis then? Stop your Western arrogance and try to look at things as they are.

    I was one of the most enthusiasts of having Saddam toppled by the US to start a new era of democracy instead of tyranny. What happened is the following:

    1- Religious fundamentalists took over power in the country.
    2- Iraq has no official army and the US army don’t even try to maintain peace and discipline so that the chaos continue which would give Bush a good reason to keep saying “ the US troops will not leave Iraq as long as violence exists”
    3- Iraq is lacking electricity and water supplies (the basic needs for everyday-life)
    4- Violence is accelerating in a terrifying way which led a huge number of Iraqi families to leave the country towards the neighbour countries and the US troop watch all that cross-handed.

    And the list is still long….

    You the Americans believe blindly in your media. I am sure that you derive your opinion only from the US TV not even the press, and from those who conduct those polls about everything in the world …. From the popularity of McDonald in China, dog’s favourite dog food, the Americans’ opinion about the French kiss to such delicate subjects like the War in Iraq!! You are all naïve and manipulated by your leaders. Wake up and try to see how the world live. Also, don’t forget that God has blessed us with Reason: an indispensable tool that enables the Man to weigh and measure the facts. I am sure you don’t lack it, just use it and you will see life differently.


    I was one of the most enthusiasts of having Saddam toppled by the US to start a new era of democracy instead of tyranny. What happened is the following:

    1- Religious fundamentalists took over power in the country.
    2- Iraq is lacking electricity and water supplies (the basic needs for everyday-life)
    3- Violence is accelerating in a terrifying way which led huge number of Iraqi families to leave the country towards the neighbour countries….. the list is still long.

    You the Americans believe in your media blindly. I am sure that you derive your opinion only from the US Tv not even the press and from those who conduct those polls about everything in the world …. From the popularity of McDonald in China, dog’s favourite dog food, the Americans’ opinion about the French kiss to such delicate subject like the War in Iraq!! You are all naïve and manipulated by your leaders. Wake up and try to see how the world live

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:46 am  

  • Sorry, the comment was imputated, here is the full one.
    Craig,

    According to your statistics 60% of Iraqis are with attacking the US troops in Iraq. You don't like that. What would be the case if Iraq invaded your country after bombarding it from north to south, leaving it completely devastated? Demobilized its army which left the country exposed to terrorism, killed your people and looted its archaeological treasures? (N.B. The US have no archaeological ruins unless you consider the some cowboy towns so) What feeling other than hatred would you build up towards Iraqis then? Stop your Western arrogance and try to look at things as they are.

    I was one of the most enthusiasts of having Saddam toppled by the US to start a new era of democracy instead of tyranny. What happened is the following:

    1- Religious fundamentalists took over power in the country.
    2- Iraq has no official army and the US army don’t even try to maintain peace and discipline so that the chaos continue which would give Bush a good reason to keep saying “ the US troops will not leave Iraq as long as violence exists”
    3- Iraq is lacking electricity and water supplies (the basic needs for everyday-life)
    4- Violence is accelerating in a terrifying way which led a huge number of Iraqi families to leave the country towards the neighbour countries and the US troop watch all that cross-handed.

    And the list is still long….

    You the Americans believe blindly in your media. I am sure that you derive your opinion only from the US TV not even the press, and from those who conduct those polls about everything in the world …. From the popularity of McDonald in China, dog’s favourite dog food, the Americans’ opinion about the French kiss to such delicate subjects like the War in Iraq!! You are all naïve and manipulated by your leaders. Wake up and try to see how the world live. Also, don’t forget that God has blessed us with Reason: an indispensable tool that enables the Man to weigh and measure the facts. I am sure you don’t lack it, just use it and you will see life differently.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 am  

  • Well said walla!
    You see , every single thing in Iraq is being done for one reason, protecting America and its citizens that is why they do not like it when we talk and every now and then they say Iraqis are killing each other like this is the only reason why things here are shitty.

    They provoked civil war since the minute they entered.

    I accuse the United States of America of provoking the people by hitting every single religious shrine and everything has anything with radicals.

    By Anonymous miraj, at 12:31 pm  

  • Hala_s...

    it's been a while since we've last seen you around, just wanted to check to see what's up.

    1. Why couldn't Abu Hafsa just hand out copies of the reports where all the victims bear the name 'Omar', plus the fact that maybe he lives on the wrong side of town? I wonder if that is not proof enough that he is under threat?

    2. Definitely Sweden, half the people I know are going there, by all means possible. Blondes, hmmm...

    3. And finally, I TOTALY relate to the feeling that you people get when they leave Iraq, actually he can never fully understand the effect unless he returns to Iraq, the revelation is astoundingly humiliating.

    By Blogger Konfused Kid, at 10:54 pm  

  • Are you sure you are really in love with Iraq?Why smear a land that has been liberated from a diabolical dictatorship?

    By Blogger Urnammu, at 12:02 am  

  • It is diabolical people like you that are causing the demise of Iraq Urnamu!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:39 pm  

  • Dear All
    For me the ideal situation is that everyone stays in their own country. Difficult to apply but it is the best solution.
    People are entitled to live and enjoy life, you cannot ask them to stay in a country where you could get killed by simply walking in the street.

    Thank you for your suggestions to Omar. He appealed against the decision and decided to wait....the chances are very thin

    Hello Kid
    nice to see you around.
    They all have lists at the moment.
    Lists of Omars and Hayders. But it doesnt count I am afraid.
    If the government here confesses on paper that they lost the war, the whole government will collapse. They only admit some faults.

    urnamu, who do you think you are to question my love to Iraq?

    By Blogger hala_s, at 4:39 pm  

  • Dear friend Urnamu
    Here's something in Iraqi for you, it's very important so i suggest you should find someone to translate it to you, I cannot really find words for it in English:

    Balla Ma Tinchaab L'Khatir il Ka'aba.

    By Blogger Konfused Kid, at 12:54 am  

  • So Hala is angry at the country which opened its home to her and Omar's brother and sister now won't extend that to Omar.

    As to those who claim the UK destroyed Iraq...

    Hala wrote she had an idea to open a Gym in Baghdad. I think it is fair to say that if she did that today it would not be American or British soldiers preventing her to do so...or threatening to kill her if she didnt close it.

    When you answer who would...it is then you will find who is truly destroying Iraq today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 pm  

  • I am angry at the hypocracy of the politicians in this country.
    I am not an ungrateful person.
    But being here doesn't mean I support this government's agenda or is it a must?

    Iraqis are killing each other not because they are killers by nature, but because they've been ruled for so long with an iron fist, let alone oppression and tyrany with the help and support of UK government. they dont trust each other, they lived so long in poverty and were deprived from education let alone the censorship on everything they see or read. We were hijacked for as long as I can remember.
    People in the UK can kill each other over a dispute about a football match don't they? or after having one drink too many on a Saturday night. If there was no law and order people go to the extreme.

    You have to understand that what is happening in Iraq is intentional. Was planned for and was triggered carefully. We are a fertile land for this due to the above reasons.

    By Blogger hala_s, at 3:44 pm  

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