WHAT WAR BRINGS: refugees fleeing to foreign countries
Yes, wars and violence and occupations always result in refugees running to a place that is safer, or at least, some place they think is safer. Often times this means going to a foreign country, and then attempting to rebuild your life.
Refugees, whether internal or external to their home countries, face hunger, malnutrition, lack of sanitation, disease, trauma, lack of housing, lack of drinking water, extreme stress that results in mental health problems, lack of employment, disruption in education, and threats to their very survival. Doctors without Borders have put together a slide show documenting what a refugee might face. I recommend watching it.
Iraqis have fled by the millions, mostly to
“Little relief in sight for millions of displaced Iraqis.” - Nir Rosen
Iraqi refugees have fled to dozens of foreign countries (but mainly
“You have now entered
…. In another alley I walked past the field office of one of
….. Since the spring of 2003 up to three million have fled
The number of Iraqi refugees in
The international community has been very slow to act in the face of this disaster. From the same article as above, Nir Rosen talks about why the world has been slow to recognize and take some action on this huge problem.
One explanation for why the international community has been slow to act is that is has been waiting for
The numbers tell that story. “First the minorities left
And here is Nir Rosen’s warning about all these Iraqi refugees, and their impact on
Unable to return home, running out of savings, carrying with them sectarian grudges and many with military experience, Iraqi refugees may yet destabilize much of the region.
Aid for Iraqi refugees is drying up. The following report was from July 2009.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR said it has temporarily stopped medical assistance to 600 Iraqi families, some of whose members suffer from diseases like cancer and heart problems. ‘The agency has requested 48 million dollars for 2009, but nearly half of this amount is still unavailable,’ Dana Bajjali, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR in
….. About 4.4 million Iraqis have fled their homes since the US-led invasion of 2003, with about 750,000 now living in
Of course, Iraqis have fled to other countries too. Some of them, in 2008 and 2009, made it to the
The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is outdated and under-funded and is resettling Iraqi refugees into poverty rather than helping rebuild their lives in the country that offered them sanctuary, says the International Rescue Committee. In a new report, “Iraqi Refugees in the
Welcome to the land of the free, Iraqis. That means free to live under horrible conditions. And even though we call ourselves a “Christian” nation, we mainly do not follow the example or teachings of Jesus Christ at all. That is why we allow our neighbors to face destitution and homelessness, and lack of medical care, without doing much about it. Nothing personal, Iraqis – we treat our own this way too.
Hayder Abdulwahab's life as a refugee can be traced to the day he awoke on a pile of bodies in a
….. A caseworker signed them up for food stamps, Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income so Hayder could receive disability checks. The SSI checks totaled $674 a month, but their rent was almost $800 and utility bills another $100. They were desperate for Iman to find a job. In the past, churches or families would sponsor Sudanese youth or Bosnian families for months if not longer, helping with rent, furniture, used cars and clothes. Just as important, they might serve as ambassadors in a new country, helping navigate a maze of confusing government bureaucracy and customs. While never easy, resettlement for groups like Cubans is aided by a broad network of Spanish speakers, relatives and countrymen who came before. Hayder soon learned for Iraqis that support network is fraught with political and religious tensions brought from home.
The U.S.-led invasion of
Iraqi refugees resettled:
Sources: United Nations; Florida Department of Children and Families; Lutheran Services
Some Iraqis in the
They are two of the characters in "Aftermath," a new play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen based on interviews with Iraqi war refugees who fled to
Some of the Iraqi refugees are in danger of losing their religious and cultural identity because of the fact that their families and communities have fled to various countries on several continents.
Minority Rights Group International said a disproportionate number of those who had fled Iraq were from ethnic or religious minorities, including Christians, Circassians, Sabian Mandaeans, Shabaks, Turkmen and Yazidis. Many undertook dangerous journeys to
The article goes on to say that leaving the country is no guarantee of safety and survival. Several countries in Europe (including
Some Iraqi refugee groups are so small that dispersing them among several countries almost guarantees their culture and religion will not survive. The Mandaeans are an example of this. They must marry other Mandaeans, and this is difficult when the only ones you know are your own immediate family. The Mandaeans are finding their extended families in dozens of countries, where cousins may speak only one language, and it may be English, French, Dutch, Swedish, and Arabic. Rather hard to get to know your cousins if you only speak English and some of them only speak Swedish and some more of them only speak Dutch.
Many refugee aid organizations and the UN have called, time and again, to help these refugees. Very little has been done, in light of how huge the problem actually is. The
Marking World Refugee Day on 20 June, Iraqi non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies working in
There are many organizations trying to help Iraqi refugees, and they could use your donations.
And Angelina and Brad are trying to help the Iraqi refugees in
“Most Iraqi refugees cannot return to
After the US/NATO invasion in 2001,
Since 2002, in the largest refugee return process ever, over five million Afghans have gone home, the vast majority from neighboring
Things have changed since 2006.
Through two decades of war, Abdul Ahad never contemplated leaving
In 2008, about 18,000 Afghans applied for asylum in countries in
“It’s death or destination,” said Shuja Halimi, who expressed no regrets after he was deported back to
They are desperate. Nearly all refugees from wars and occupations are desperate. I certainly am not up to the task of adequately portraying how they feel, or what they are going through. In the past, some Afghan refugees went to
There are smuggling operations running these migrations. They are both dangerous and costly. They are, of course, illegal. But to the desperate Afghans, these are secondary concerns. They want a chance at a life, a normal life. The following report is from July 2009.
When Greek police bulldozed a makeshift migrant camp in the western port city of
…… Most of the immigrants arriving illegally in
Refugees International is trying to help Afghan refugees, and there are other aid groups trying to help also, although most of the aid is going to the internally displaced people. Afghan refugees fleeing to foreign countries are a growing problem. And as violence increases, more and more will flee for their lives, or flee to find some economic opportunities that they cannot find in the insecurity of their home country.
If you support the continued occupation of
REAL NEWS on the Iraqi refugee crisis in 2007
Sitting nearby in a car, an elderly Sunni woman from Ghazaliya, in western