Saturday, February 17, 2007

Perspective: Young Iraqis, foiled in bid to leave, return to Baghdad

BAGHDAD - The young Iraqi men thought they had good reason to enter Turkey: to escape their violent homeland and sneak to Sweden.

But their dreams came to an end at the Istanbul airport when two dozen of them had "Cancelled" stamped across their Turkish entry stamps by immigration officials.

With $700 each wasted on tickets, the despondent crew – some 25 men who had happened to travel on the same plane – flew back to Baghdad to greet families who had let them go with high hopes that they would settle abroad and then send for relatives.

"My parents don't believe [I was refused entry]," says a glazier called Hassan, whose upper-lip peach fuzz belies his 22 years. "They are angry. Not because of the lost money, but because I didn't make it. Now I prefer to die in Baghdad."

Read the rest at the Christian Science Monitor