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Cry Me A Riverbend II

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Irony upon Irony

In the Comments, Dilnareen posted following stunning question regarding Raed:
Is raed a palestinian who lived in Iraq and is now living in Jordan or an Iraqi living in Jordan. Cos it keeps switching from one to the other, if it was the first then his comments would all make sense now. All non-iraqi arabs lived very well in Iraq under Saddam.
(...)
Mainly cos a lot of egyptians and palestinains were given iraqi homes and jobs. Jordanian/Palestinian university students were given around $100 monthly allowances (at a time when a lecturer at the same university would get about $3)
At some point even egyptian farmers were given furnished apartments, when many educated iraqis had to live in some pretty dodgy housing.

After the fall of baghdad most of them were kicked out of their homes and businessed with links to Iraq had all the funding stopped. So theyhave a lot to hate the new government for.
Thats why I was asking where Raed was actually from. Cos it fits well with that stereotype.

I was blown away by this revelation. I had not heard any mention of this aspect anywhere else. I responded:
You're telling me that it wasn't just the French and U.N. who were skimming the Oil For Food program but carpetbagging arabs as well? Not just Arab leaders who were taking bribes but ordinary Arabs that Saddam imported to buttress his support locally??

That is incredible!! Talk about irony!! No wonder the "Arab Street" never gave a rat's patootie about the suffering of Iraqis under Saddam. Qaddaffy is right: "Arab Nationalism is Dead."

So Dilareen elaborated:
I know seems pretty far-fetched doesnt it. And to think it is just the tip of the iceberg.
No news articles to confirm it im afraid but baghdad university had alot of non-iraqis in it and they were definately getting their little 'scholarships'. my driving instrcutor once told me she sent both her children there ebcause they were taken care off over there and jordan was too expensive (this was3 yrs ago btw). Actually any 90s baghdad university grads want to confirm that report?

The thing is with Saddam there was no logic watsoever to anyhting he did when i went back in the 90s there was talk about how he wanted to donate money to poor families in the states, u know like iraq was so well off that we were giving money to a country that was 'worst off'.. by the way put in mind the context that in Iraq the version of the 91' gulf war was that iraq won the war, so you know in his mind he was 'helping' the poor. I wish there was an archive of all the newspapers and media of iraq during his rule, you will find a different version of history. The ultimate orwellian experience.

Here are the links i came across regarding other arabs living in Iraq, the ones that gave most results were palestinains and egyptians. Though i am sure there were many more arab nationalities in iraq
Well here are the links:

Here states that 80-90,000 palestinains living in Iraq:
Twice Displaced: Palestinians in Iraq" : Personal Stories

while Al-Jizz's version of the story states they were around 70,000:
Palestinians persecuted in postwar Iraq

here is one regaring egyptians in iraq from a newspaper called the seattle post-intellegencer (never heard of it so not sure how reliable it is) regarding refugees coming from Iraq at the beggining of the war. It states that there was around 120,000 Egyptians in Iraq:
Preparing for many refugees in the coming days


These links do suggest that foreign Arabs had a very cushy existance in Iraq under Saddam. For example, from the Al-Jazeerah link:
"For 30 years, we had to rent this house to Palestinians for 1,500 dinars ($1) a year. When the war came, we finally had a chance to get it back," said Abir Jassam, 70, who returned to his home in June. "But we felt sorry for them, and we gave them two months to leave," he added.


And this quote sounds so much like Riverbend's sacking at her software job:
"We lived with our neighbours for years; we went to each other's parties; we took each other to the hospital. But after Saddam left, they told us there was no place for us in Iraq any more," said Feduah Abdel Ghani, 34, whose family moved into a tent last month after being forced from their home of 14 years. "I thought they liked me. It is a big shock."


It seems to me that the Jarrars have said that they came to Iraq in 1991. Also, their family is HALF Palestinian. Which makes this passage from Al-Jazeerah so intriguing:
Even those born in Iraq or married an Iraqi cannot become Iraqi citizens or hold passports.

Is the Jarrar's exile to Jordan entirely of their own choosing? Have they been facing a turning of the tables in Iraq since Sugar Daddy Saddam left? Is this the root of the Jarrar resentment?

Are there any [other?] Iraqis, current or former residents of Iraq, or other near-at-hand witnesses who can illuminate the extent of the benefits foreign Arabs received under Saddam? Is this part of the reason non-Iraqi Arab's were not that bothered about the suffering of Iraqis under Saddam? Any Jarrar-watchers with steel-trap memories who can shed some light on this?

6 Comments:

  • We also had lots of Syrians, Palestinians, Algerians, Egyptians and even Sudanese.

    Most of the Syrians were Baathists and actually worked for Saddam Baath party against the Iraqi people and Al-Asad regime (the father), you also found them in the intelligence services, secret police and assassins.

    By Blogger Osama - Iraqi, at 9:26 AM  

  • Gosh, I can't imagine why the Iraqi Liberation received so little support from Iraq's neighbors.
    /sarcasm

    By Blogger CMAR II, at 12:23 PM  

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