Monday, December 27, 2010

Iraqi refugee fights for survival

And one need not ask why is he a refugee. Just one of the millions created in the last decade and still growing with the ethnic cleansing unleashed by once good friends or neighbors and fellow country persons in a once secular advanced society!

Iraqi refugee fights for survival in city

December 27, 2010 - A postgraduate in English literature from Delhi University, this 29-year-old avoids getting photographed, identifying himself by name or the sect of his religion. What’s more, the sight of a city policeman is his ultimate nightmare. Ahmed Salaam, an Iraqi, is often picked up by the local police on
suspicion of being a terrorist. Back at his rented one-room accomodation in Munirka, the landlord periodically arrives in the dead of the night to rummage through his ‘suspicious’ suitcases and pile of clothes.

Salaam, like 122 other Iraqi nationals in the city who have been certified as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is battling for his survival in India but still shudders at the thought of returning to his country.

Salaam’s study visa expired last year and he does not have the money to get another. Unlike the refugees from Afghanistan and Myanmar, he is not entitled to a residential permit from the Indian authorities. He does not have a work permit either.

In other words, Salaam is a ‘nowhere’ man. {continued}

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