IRAQ: Fu’ad Ahmed, Iraq, “I have no job, no food, no home and no respect”
Persecuted and without work, Palestinian Fu’ad Ahmed, 47, is desperate to leave Iraq
BAGHDAD, 14 March 2007 (IRIN) - Fu’ad Ahmed is a 47-year-old Palestinian father of two who has been living in Iraq for the past 18 years.
“My children grew up here [in Baghdad] and we always had good relations with all Iraqis but in the past few years my situation in this country has become terrible.
“My daughter, Hanan was married to an Iraqi but was forced to divorce him because his family didn’t want to have Palestinian blood in their future children.
“My son Waleed and his wife were killed in July 2006 by militia men who accused him of participating in the insurgency, but he was a good boy. Since his death my wife has developed serious psychological problems. Because I am unemployed, I cannot afford medical treatment for her.
“I had never before been without a job in Iraq but I haven’t had a job now for the past three years. When employers learn that I’m Palestinian they just give me a silly excuse and tell me to look elsewhere.
“We fled our home in September last year and became displaced [because of the violence in the neighbourhood]. Since then, we have been constantly on the move, looking for a more secure place. But the violence is getting more dangerous day by day and with Palestinians targeted, no one wants us near them.
|I have to look after my sick wife, my daughter who is suffering from depression since her husband left her and my grandchild after my son was killed. |
“I have to look after my sick wife, my daughter who is suffering from depression since her husband left her and my grandchild after my son was killed.
“I don’t have money to leave Iraq. All my savings were stolen by Iraqi soldiers when they raided my home in December 2005. I went to a police station to seek help to recover my money but the only answer I got was that I should be thankful to be alive because Saddam’s followers were being killed every day.
“I’m desperate. I have no job, no food, no home and no respect. I don’t want to become a beggar in Baghdad’s streets but if the situation continues like this, I don’t know if I can it stand any longer.
“I spend all day in the streets looking for a job. Sometimes I am hired to clear somebody’s garden because they don’t know I’m Palestinian and I can get a few dinars to buy food for my family. We try to cope with fewer meals so that we can survive for a longer time.
“We’d been very well treated and respected during Saddam Hussein’s time. We were like any other Iraqi, receiving monthly food rations, free health and education and working in any place without trouble.
|I don’t want to become a beggar in Baghdad’s streets but if the situation continues like this, I don’t know if I can it stand any longer. |
“Now, my food ration has been cut off and my son was expelled from dentistry college in his fourth year before he was killed. They told him that they were tired of giving free education to people who never helped to build the country.
“The situation got worse when we asked for psychiatric treatment for my wife in a public hospital. He [the doctor there] was rude and refused to attend to my wife and daughter saying that he is not paid to treat ex-regime supporters.
“Today, I’m living as a displaced person on the outskirts of Baghdad but tomorrow I might be in a grave if someone doesn’t help us soon.”
see alsoPalestinians say gov’t cannot protect them More Palestinians flee BaghdadUN concerned for persecuted Palestinians
Health & Nutrition,
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]