I am leaving..
It has been such a long time since I posted “No, Not My Daughters!” on my Blog; I stayed away from “I was there..”, because I was not there! I was straying, looking for a way to save my family and containing the catastrophes we were facing.
I thank all my friends who sent me e-mails asking about me; they were so worried because I disappeared all of the sudden.
I am back again to “I was there..”
I want to talk about my own suffering, since “No, Not My Daughters!”, because I was forced to displace and leave my home, my relatives, my friends and my country, which is just an example of how displaced Iraqis are feeling now.
I was forced to displace with my family after the threats we had faced in Iraq.
Working as a journalist in Iraq now is a big threat for the journalist’s life and for his family; the Committee to Protect Journalists CPJ, called the war in Iraq “the deadliest conflict for journalists in recent history," with a total of 127 journalists and 50 media support workers killed since 2003
The Committee to Protect Journalists said 105 of the 127 journalists were Iraqis; 51 journalists have been kidnapped in Iraq since 2004, with 12 of those killed.
Moreover, working for an American organization in Iraq will add more threats to the life of the Iraqi journalist and to his family.
This is what I faced in Iraq, within two weeks, right after posting “No, Not My Daughters!”:
- When the armed men failed to kidnap one of my daughters, they kidnapped my nephew who lives close to my house.
- My wife’s brother killed by armed men in police uniforms when he was in his way to my house to lend me some money, which I needed to get my daughters out of Iraq.
I displaced my family to Jordan, left them there, and returned to Iraq; I stayed in the office because I was afraid to go back to my house.
I was shot at two times in two different incidents later on, which means that we can never return to Iraq, so I decided to apply for the UNHCR, who puts us into a resettlement program to be resettled in the US, just like many other Iraqis.
We went through number of interviews at the UNHCR and the IOM, the International Organization for Migration, and finally they accepted our case but it is pending the completion of the security review.
The IOM people advised us to prepare ourselves for immediate leave upon their call, because we will not have time then to sell our furniture and get ready to leave.
The hardest and the most difficult part is when I started selling my furniture to get ready to leave Iraq and resettle at the US.
All that furniture that took me years to buy; now I have to sell in three days.
All this furniture that I have memories in every part of it; those beds that my daughters used to agglutinate to, in the morning, refusing to wake up and go to school; the paintings that my wife bought in the Christmas; I have to sell for low prices, because who cares for the memories I have in every piece of furniture.
The Air-conditioning units no one wants to buy them because the electricity is no good in Iraq, no one can operates them, so no one needs them.
It took years and thousands of dollars to buy all this furniture and now it does not make more than 4000 dollars at the maximum.
Many things I just cannot sell, because they mean a lot to me or to my family, but where to leave them?
I have to sell everything within three days and I am tight in time, while I am thinking of the new life in the US, in case they will accept my case; I have to leave as soon as they will call me.
Some friends told me that the organization at the US, which will receive us the minute we arrive there, would pay a rent for only one month at the US so I have to get a survival job to pay for my rent and my bills; I am so worried and afraid that I am taking the wrong decision.
I am talking to my family trying to make them accept the idea of moving to the US but if I will get a non-respectable job there, my daughters will ask me, “Why did you bring us here”, they will not be happy to go to the US and I do not want to put them in such a condition.
I did not think that it is going to be so difficult; if I will not succeed in there I will have to go back to Jordan and then I have to start from scratch.
I am torn between selling all furniture that means a lot to me, and the fears from the new life in the US.
I do not think that it is only me, but every Iraqi who is leaving the country feels the same.
When I called my wife and told her that I sold my car, she started crying, “You loved this car,” she said.
The people are paying for how much my furniture worth and not for how much this furniture means to me.
I am a type of man who likes to save everything and do not like to get rid of anything; I am still keeping my elementary school’s notebooks, and now I have to get rid of all this; all my books and everything I kept and was taking care of, keeping it in a nice place where I can show them to my friends who used to visit me at my house, all this must be thrown away.
This is my history that I am selling, after selling everything I will end up a man with no history.
I wish that I would not regret this decision in the future.
I know that all Iraqis who is leaving Iraq feel the same way because,
I was there..firstname.lastname@example.org