Sophia's Peace Work

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Sinking Ship

I was able to offer a friend of mine a job. The caveat? The job is in Baghdad with the strong possibility that it could move to the much safer area of Northern Iraq after a few months. My friend told me, "Best you not think of me for this job."

"Why?!?" I asked, "This job has a lot of potential and will lead to more and better work for you."
"I can not stay in Baghdad."

After a long and exhaustive discussion I realized that my friend is between a rock and a hard place. He is the only caregiver for his aged and ill mother who doesn't want to leave her comfortable home in Sadr City, even though she and her son can't risk going out the door for fear of being killed. She resists moving to the north where they apparently have relatives already and if he is offered a job in Baghdad, she would tell him just to stay at home where it is safe.

Only completely abandoning Iraq and starting over somewhere else seems to be a viable option (this, apparently, his mother would accept, if only so that her son could have a chance to start over again. If he did this, she would be willing to move to the safety of the north where her relatives are).

"I am thinking of going to Syria, like my cousin." He said, "From there I can buy a forged visa to Sweden. My cousin made it to Sweden and says there is work there."

After I tried to reason with my friend that this was a very dangerous thing to do and could probably mean that he loses all his money and ends up back on a plane, deported to Iraq, I realized that for him, it was the only thing he was really willing to consider. Anything less than leaving Iraq altogether was just not worth considering.

He had, until recently, been doing work inside the Green Zone ... (one of the most hazardous things in Baghdad is going in and out of the Green Zone) but having a co-worker kidnapped, tortured and killed put a stop to that.

Now he sits a home, taking care of his mother, lonely and depressed, brooding on the impossibility of his life in his own homeland.

2 Comments:

  • Hello. My name is Cyrus Stoller and I am a reporter for War News Radio (www.warnewsradio.org). I'm hoping to run a story about ESL/ELT in Iraq. Your experiences make you perfect for an interview.

    I'd be interested in interviewing you for 15 to 20 min over the phone. I'm willing to call any time that you are available.

    Here is an overview of War News Radio.

    Based at Swarthmore College WNR is broadcast on 44, public radio stations nationwide, as well as on a handful of international stations. Our weekly half hour show aims to give a unbiased report of what is happening on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, including deeper analysis of political and human issues. Among other venues, our show is linked on the US Marine Corp training website. We are proud to be regularly criticized by both liberals and conservatives.

    We have no political agenda. Our goal is to give people the facts so that they can form their own opinions. We talk to people on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as others who are knowledgeable about the current situation.

    I would urge you and your colleagues to listen to some of our past shows to get a sense of the quality of our work. Also to read article about us in our press section, including praise from the New Yorker, New York Times, Fox News, ABC World News Tonight and the LA Times.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to know.

    Thank you very much for your time. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,
    Cyrus Stoller

    War News Radio
    Mobile: (415) 867-2705
    Studio: (610) 957-6151
    Website: www.warnewsradio.org
    Email: cyrus.stoller@gmail.com

    By Blogger Cyrus, at January 25, 2007 10:14 PM  

  • Hello. My name is Cyrus Stoller and I am a reporter for War News Radio (www.warnewsradio.org). I'm hoping to run a story about ESL/ELT in Iraq. Your experiences make you perfect for an interview.

    I'd be interested in interviewing you for 15 to 20 min over the phone. I'm willing to call any time that you are available.

    Here is an overview of War News Radio.

    Based at Swarthmore College WNR is broadcast on 44, public radio stations nationwide, as well as on a handful of international stations. Our weekly half hour show aims to give a unbiased report of what is happening on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, including deeper analysis of political and human issues. Among other venues, our show is linked on the US Marine Corp training website. We are proud to be regularly criticized by both liberals and conservatives.

    We have no political agenda. Our goal is to give people the facts so that they can form their own opinions. We talk to people on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as others who are knowledgeable about the current situation.

    I would urge you and your colleagues to listen to some of our past shows to get a sense of the quality of our work. Also to read article about us in our press section, including praise from the New Yorker, New York Times, Fox News, ABC World News Tonight and the LA Times.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if there is anything else you would like to know.

    Thank you very much for your time. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

    Sincerely,
    Cyrus Stoller

    War News Radio
    Mobile: (415) 867-2705
    Studio: (610) 957-6151
    Website: www.warnewsradio.org
    Email: cyrus.stoller@gmail.com

    By Blogger Cyrus, at January 25, 2007 10:15 PM  

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