Thursday, March 08, 2007

Perspective: Iraqi risks all for a life free of fear in Sweden

Malmo, Sweden

Malmo, Sweden — WHEN we finally reached the Swedish border, the officer at the checkpoint climbed onto our bus and headed toward me, my wife and my daughter all the way in the back.

Our complexions were obviously Middle Eastern, suspicious. My heart jittered. I reminded myself that we had legal passports with legal visas from a European country. But my fears didn't subside. I'd sunk everything I owned into getting me and my family out of Iraq, and I was terrified we'd be sent back.

It was nighttime. The policeman began searching our faces with a flashlight. When he reached me, he stopped.

"Are you alone?" he asked, first in Swedish, then in English.

"No," I answered. "We are a group."

He continued to stare at us. I thought to myself, "That's it, we are finished."

Read the rest at the LA Times