Magazine article New Internationalist

Forgotten Refugees

Magazine article New Internationalist

Forgotten Refugees

Article excerpt

IRAQ/JORDAN

Sectarian violence spilling over into Iraq from Syria is threatening to plunge the country into a new crisis and is producing a steady stream of Iraqi refugees.

Thousands have quit the country this year and UNHCR Jordan has registered the arrival of hundreds of families every month since February 2013.

Hamid was already displaced within Iraq but fled to the Jordanian capital in September with his wife and four children after they began receiving death threats.

'We always had hope that things would get better but it was actually getting worse,' he recalls. 'My kids couldn't study, there were bomb explosions very close to the school. When we received threats through our door, we decided to leave.'

A friend helped Hamid find a small house to rent in Jordan, but with his meagre savings running low, he worries about his family's future. Iraqi refugees are not allowed to work in Jordan and may jeopardize their chance of resettlement to a third country, or even face deportation back to Iraq, if they are caught breaking the rules. …

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