here, there, everywhere


In Iraq, Middle East on May 29, 2007 at 7:03 pm

On the highway to Iraq.

OK, so I didn’t really get into Iraq but that wasn’t for lack of trying.  I was with some Iraqi friends yesterday who had to cross the Iraqi border to get a stamp to re-enter Syria with permission to stay for another month.  They continued on past the Syrian border on a charter bus without me and I stayed behind with one of the Palestinian bus drivers.  He tried his best to help me cross No-Man’s Land, taking me to the general having his morning breakfast in his undershirt.  The nice general told me to get lost as did the other immigration officials.  The Iraqi major was the nicest of all telling me ‘Next time’ as he headed back to Iraq with two security guys in bulletproof vests and a truckload of Iraqis returning to their hellhole.

Nevertheless, the experience was good, if not for the adventure then for seeing how these people are trying to cope and struggle from day-to-day, forced to flee from their country and having to fight for rights in the only one that will give them refuge.  Right in the middle of No-Man’s Land is a camp of displaced Iraqi-Palestinians.  There have to be more than 2,000 people living in tents right now, stuck in the middle of nowhere with no resources.  I’m not sure how they get their food and other sustainables but I think it needs to be brought in by groups passing between the two borders.  It makes me appreciate how incredibly easy we have it in Canada.  There is also a military training base beside the border so as my new buddy and I were walking around you could here them exploding bombs on the other side of the security fence. This is the farthest thing from my Mennonite upbringing, really.

Check out the longer story here.

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