Iraqi blogger ordeal at Amman airport

Two Iraqi bloggers recently began talking about a similar subject related to Jordan: the treatment of Iraqis upon entry to the Kingdom. The two are veteran blogger Omar from Iraq the Model and Fayrouz from Fayrouz in Beaumont (who posted a story from her friend in Basra). After reading their posts, I realized that the situation at Jordan’s entry point — particularly when it comes to Iraqis — is far worse than I thought. Not only that, but the tension between these two Arab nations on an individual level seems to be on the rise. I came to this conclusion mostly after reading the last two paragraphs of Omar’s post:

On the next day in the early afternoon, I boarded the plane that was returning to Baghdad with about a dozen other Iraqis. The kind stewardess was apparently familiar with cases like ours and noticed how tired we were so she immediately welcomed us with bottles of cold water and some kind words to comfort us, "There’s a few of you this time, yesterday we returned 75 passengers!" she added.

The guy sitting to my left said "There will be a day when they [Jordanians] will beg us to let them enter Iraq". No, the guy sitting to my right objected. "They were mean to us and they hurt us, but if we do the same we’ll have sunk to their level. Let’s instead hope that one day our country will become a better place."

Jordanian blogger Hamzah added a comment to this post that is worth highlighting in order to get the Jordanian side of the story:

Not only Jordanians, but all Arab nationals were denied entry to Iraq in at least two periods between 2005 and 2006, with the second one being the longest. And the funny thing is, during those periods, only Arab nationalities were denied entry into Iraq. So it’s really not they way the article makes it sound like in the end. Iraq too has played this game in the past, and actually before Jordan, and today, it is Jordan, not Iraq, that has hundreds of thousands of the other country’s citizens living in it.

And when you think about it, it might as well have been a Jordanian saying that quote a couple of years ago about Iraqis, and what happened to you and your friends, was that day that that Jordanian talked about!

The current situation needs to be amended. If Jordan is overwhelmed handling the number of Iraqi visitors to the Kingdom then the international community needs to step in immediately to help Jordan establish a more efficient and humane manner of handing the influx. Fayrouz’s friend ended her post by saying:

I wonder about what’s behind what happened to us in Amman. Isn’t it a violation of human rights to keep us in custody for no reason? Is it humanely proper to keep a child in custody for two days without reason? I just wonder.

Jordan, with the help of the international community, needs to act soon to amend the current situation. My two cents.

Update: Here is a comment from Fayrouz:

It wasn’t me who traveled to Amman. As my post states clearly, it was my friend from Basra who traveled with her family and co-workers to Amman. Every word in the post needs to be attributed to her.

My bad. I amended the post accordingly.

8 Comments

  1. bambam July 25, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    might be worth checking at mohanned’s blog since things got a lil heated about this specific post by made

    Reply
  2. natasha July 25, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Thanks Bambam for the link. I will take a look for sure.

    Reply
  3. Mohanned July 25, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    Hey my first comment on your blog, but not my first read:)
    I read abot his “Ordeal” and we had some debate at my blog as Bam said. Before I reached the end of his piece I was outraged at jordanian authorities, but when I read his “imaginery” conversation at the end of his “journalistic Piece” I was outraged at him and the guys on his left and right! I don’t know but he seems to forget were he came from before his plane landed! The process of screenning is necessary, but the steps taken by our authorities are wrong, they just need some management skills, but hey at least he had the chance to boil a Cup of tea! I had my take on this in two posts you are welcome to check them out.
    God bless jordan.

    Reply
  4. mkilany July 25, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Excellent post, I think you handled this issue without bias…

    Reply
  5. Fayrouz July 26, 2007 at 7:00 am

    Natasha,

    I tried to post a comment yesterday and I’m not sure if it got lost.

    I’d like to make a correction. It wasn’t me who traveled to Amman. As my post states clearly, it was my friend from Basra who traveled with her family and co-workers to Amman. Every word in the post needs to be attributed to her.

    Reply
  6. GermanArab July 31, 2007 at 8:30 am

    i have no single idea how the situation practically is in Jordanian airports.
    for me Jordanian i go through a lot using my Jordanian passport in any airport as well… in Cairo in Beirut… ive been literally humilated in Cairo airport . my loggage got all checked without my permission in Beirut airport and the workers treated me more less like a terrorist… so i believe its not really a jordanian iraqi problem but rather a pan Arab problem for some certain reason that i could never understand while using my German passport makes things wayyy so much easier everywhere!

    one could never deny the tension b\w jordanians and irakis and for so many reasons.. but also who could deny the fact that Jordan provided a refuge for iraqi citizens and governors in time of danger when the invador denied them any visa!!

    Reply
  7. Sam September 2, 2007 at 6:34 am

    Man no Iraqi has the right to say anything regarding Jordan … they cam in took over lots of parts of Amman … 90% of Iraqis in Jordan are rubbish and its not the fault totally cause our poor government gave then access…
    now that they are in Amman all prices are rising specially housings and lands now the average Jordanian cant dream of getting married or having a future cause there is always an Iraqi with more money to pay…
    if you notices there are tensions in
    Jordan now before two days … in Al Karak there was violent riots against the raise in hay prices… people are boiling and Iraqis i thing you better leave cause you are wanted by 5% of the population which is the rich … you don’t want to be in Amman when it blows cause it wont blow in the governments face it will blow in Iraqis face … what ever happens i hope they leave soon because when Jordanians cant get married or have a future because of a bunch of filthy rich Iraqis its not fair…
    and believe me they will be kicked out with their ugly car plates

    ALLA YIR7AMAK YA SADDAM

    Reply

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