Getting Out

War, News and Stories of Iraq

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Getting Out

Post by Bellisima » 06-16-2004 08:27 AM

A country's hope for the future is based in its young people. What happens when those young people just want out?

Iraq's Future? These Kids Want No Part of It
For Baghdad University's class of '04, the main ambition is finding a way out

Monday, Jun. 21, 2004
At 21, Louis Yako has an impressive resume. He speaks five languages, cites passages from Arthur Miller and Ernest Hemingway, has a fine singing voice and will graduate from Baghdad University this month with high marks in English literature. In brief, he is the kind of go-getter Iraq could sorely use in the months to come, as the U.S. occupation winds down and the newly named government tries to prove that Iraq is ready to run itself.

Like almost all his classmates, however, Yako has something else in mind: leaving Iraq. The U.S. hailed the naming of an interim government two weeks ago as a step toward an eventual withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. But the graduating seniors at Baghdad University are already plotting exit strategies of their own. Outside the school's College of Languages, two friends discussed which British graduate programs might accept them. Another student thought he might have found a job in the United Arab Emirates. Even students without concrete plans have decided to get out. "I haven't a clue where I'm going, but it will be outside Iraq," says Omar Abdul Wahab al-Samarrai, 24, an English major who grew up in Europe and Africa. For years he had his heart set on a job in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but that idea slipped away as the country descended into violent chaos. "I want a chance in life," he says. "I don't see it here."

That is not the way it was supposed to be. Advocates of regime change in Iraq predicted before the war that the well-educated elite would flourish under new freedoms. Despite all the turmoil of the occupation, the graduates of Iraq's class of '04 may be standing on the cusp of a booming job market, as foreign companies arrive and the interim government taking office this month begins looking to hire thousands of skilled employees. And yet to the students planning their first career moves, those prospects seem remote. "Even if the government does everything that it has promised, it will take years for Iraq's economy to recover," says Tariq Mohammed, 22, a computer-science student. "I can always come back when that happens."

The full extent of the stampede out of Iraq can be measured in yards, in the line that stretches down the block outside Baghdad's passport office. In Saddam Hussein's time, many professional Iraqis were restricted from traveling abroad. Now the crowd begins to gather at about 6 a.m., three hours before the office opens. By 3 p.m. one recent Tuesday, immigration officials had run out of the 1,800 travel documents they issue each day. The number of applicants is likely to soar during the next few weeks when new graduates rush to leave. "I guess that 50% of them will never return to Iraq," says Emad, a passport official who asks to be identified by only his first name. "Even I would leave if I could."

From the Jun. 21, 2004 issue of TIME magazine

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Post by jeri sexton » 06-16-2004 12:13 PM

Glad you posted that article...

I would do the same, if in their shoes.
They are not warriors' and they are caught in the middle of a scene that they have no control of at present.
They are right, it will take years for that government to take hold without the violence.

The Bush Admin. has poked the hornets nest'...

Who in their right mind wants to fight off the swarm...

Now, with what i have heard from c2c last night, Iran is massing their armies at the boarder... :eek:

The graduating seniors at Baghdad University are smart enough to get out...

Hopefully there will be a better time to return to their country and help with the new governmnet.
I hope.
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Post by Laird » 06-16-2004 12:29 PM

Can't blame the students for wanting out, most of em have become victims of war.

Let me tell you about my step father, Leiv Kvamme, M.D. who was interrogated and tortured by the Germans for three days during the occupation of Norway. He held tight to his spiritual convictions refusing to fight for em. As soon as possible he left Norway for the USA to pursue his dream of becoming a physician.
He never to return to Norway.

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Post by taran » 06-18-2004 12:10 AM

Most excellent

This fits in perfectly with our plan to colonize Iraq with good, stout, white Christian American stock. Soon the Empire of America will stretch around the world.

Mwa ha ha ha ha.


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