Friday, August 1, 2008

Waiting, waiting, waiting

“There were many threats and terror by the Muslims against the Sabeans, but it was hidden, no one talked about it, we were all scared,” said Amir Hadar of the situation of Sabeans in Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein.

Amir, his mother and 2 sisters show their UNHCR refugee status.

In 2000, Amir a single man, now living with his mother and 2 sisters in Amman worked as a cameraman for a TV station owned by Oday the much-feared son of Saddam. Odays’ guards would tease and threaten Amir making his life miserable, “it was like a sport for them,” said Amir of his ordeal. “I couldn’t take it anymore, so in 2001 I fled to Jordan and applied for asylum.”

Amirs’ father died (a natural death) in Iraq in 2003 leaving Amirs mother and 2 sisters to take care of themselves and the huge home which had been in the family for generations. Then came the threats. It got worse and worse until one night masked men broke into their home, pointed a gun at the eldest sister and the mother and told them to get out or they would kidnap them. The 3 women left as soon as they could get a passport taking nothing but a bag with them to Amman.

“ We cannot go forward and cannot go backwards, we are in a prison,” said the sister of Amir.

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