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.