Monday, August 08, 2005

Boggles the Mind, One - Iraqi Diaspora

Diaspora – The breakup and dispersion of a people as a result of force, famine, etc., Jewish Diaspora, Palestinian Diaspora, etc..

There could be as many as 500,000 Iraqi refugees in Amman, Jordan, or as few as 800, depending upon whom you believe. There are no official figures. Governments and governmental agencies are classifying them as “visitors” or “on business,” leaving them in limbo without help, especially financial. However, they cannot return to Iraq because their homes and businesses have been destroyed by the initial invasion, insurgents, or by vandals.

Here are some quotes from an article by Jon Elmer in the The New Standard:

"Popular accounts on the streets of Amman place the number of Iraqis in Jordan seeking refuge from the war at 500,000 and higher, though only a tiny fraction of these people are offically categorized as refugees."

"Jordanian Interior Ministry General Secretary Mukhaimer Abu Jamous told TNS that the accepted numberof Iraqis in Jordan is more like 300,000 - though he was quick to claim that these are not refugees, but rather people on personal business or vacation."

“An official at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Amman said that 15,000 Iraqis had received temporary protection for asylum-seekers pending official refugee status. Only 800 Iraqis have received official refugee status in Jordan, she added, almost all of whom fled during the Saddam Hussein regime.”

“According to the official, "only in the rarest of occasions" have those who fled after March 2003 received official designation, and therefore the attendant compensation from UNHCR. All such rare cases are characterized as the "most vulnerable" – primarily the elderly or ill.”

Access the entire article by clicking the title of this post. Faiza posted a link on her blog, but the one I have posted is the root link.

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