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Re-integration of Iraqi Refugees

It has been six years since the U.S. military operation began in Iraq and everyone is debating when the U.S. armed forces will leave and speculating on the future of the country.

Not many, however, ever pay heed to Iraqi refugees, who are unevenly spread across Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and even further afield.

How will these hundreds of thousands of young people, who are living in appalling conditions in shantytowns and dreadful refugee camps, regard Western democracy if the United States and other primary players fail to ensure a lasting peace? Of course they will regard the West as an enemy and most will grow up feeling a sense of vengeance.

Setting aside those lucky enough to have the financial means to support themselves and those with relatives in European countries and the United States, a large number of refugees are living in Syria, where the already impoverished government is struggling to share the daily bread without discriminating by race, religion or creed. Unemployment is at dire heights and industrial infrastructure is hopelessly inadequate. How far can Syria stretch her means to feed her children?

The shantytowns and suburban dwellings engulfing the capital city of Damascus are home to Iraqi refugees from various classes and backgrounds; uncertainties dominate every moment of their lives. The children of these refugees, who came to Syria six years ago, have already forgotten what life was like in Iraq and if being an Iraqi signifies anything to them. For them, Damascus is where they were born or bred, and it is Syrian schools they attend.

When the lasting peace and stability of Iraq is being considered, the United States ought to take Iraqi refugees into account and -- along with the United Nations -- put forward a solution for them and create a future to look forward to.

In his pre-election speeches, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made it clear that starting with the oil bill, the new power structure of Iraq will be a strong central executive with autonomous self-governing regions based on ethnic and religious entities. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that enacting the oil bill will cheer the homeless within the country and the refugees abroad more than anybody else.

Even if a lasting and peaceful structure is put in place in Iraq, the United States has to regard the conditions of the refugees; initiative by the U.S. must be shown and the fates of those victimized, deprived masses of humanity should not be left to the yet-powerless and inadequate Iraqi central government. The best educated section of the Iraqi society belongs to this mass of refugees and their return to the country will be leverage for the improvement of the Iraqi economy. This may offer an opportunity to the Obama administration, which intends to win these people back and establish a lasting peace within the country.

If the United States does not play a decisive role in determining the future of Iraqi refugees, in ensuring their peaceful resettlement, employment and integration into the economy, society and power structure, these children may well become the new generation of human raw material for terrorism, and even the masterminds of it.

In other words, the uncertainties endured by these children sow the seeds of discontent, where radical terrorism finds very fertile ground to recruit troops of terror.

For Iraqi refugees to be able to see any future and return to the country, the United States must be the architect of autonomous regions strongly attached to a central Iraq. The economic benefits of the country's underground resources must be equally shared amongst all Iraqis. Unless the Obama administration redraws the map of Iraq's federal regions fairly and distributes the underground resources evenhandedly, these people will not return and -- even if years later -- will continue threatening Middle Eastern peace.

The return of Iraqi refugees to any region of their choice must be ensured. It may be a good idea to use the former central government's billions of dollars, currently blocked in New York, to ensure the safe return and reintegration of these refugees back into Iraqi society.

In brief, it is in the hands of the United States to end the human misery of recent years and annihilate would-be nests of terrorism before they reach their deadly fertility. Solving a human drama that has been going on for decades -- and is likely to go on for decades to come -- and destroying the sources of radical terror that will become a burden for the U.S. is in the hands of the United States.

By Markus Urek

Markus Urek is a research associate at Harvard University's Ash Institute Vietnam Program.




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Re-integration of Iraqi Refugees Nov. 15, 09

Violence against minority communities in Nineveh Province Nov. 10, 09

U.S. State Department annual International Religious Freedom Report 2009 Nov. 10, 09

Disappearance, Forced Conversions and Marriages of Christian Women in Egyt Nov. 10, 09

Assyriska rises to Sweden's promised land Nov. 10, 09

Militants Kill, Kurds Intimidate Iraqi Minorities Nov. 10, 09

Ancient canal network is recasting archaeologists' understanding of t
he Assyrian capital
Nov. 3, 09

Refugees Turn Their Backs on Iraq Nov. 3, 09

Asking for international investigation about who is terrorizing Iraqi Christians
Nov. 3, 09

October = Teeshreen-I

Foreign Degrees in Hand, No Jobs in Sight for Assyrian Refugees Oct.15, 09

Biblical music with lyrics drawn from the Aramaic and Greek texts Oct. 14, 09

Iranian Female Converts Charged With Apostasy, Spreading Christianity
October 14, 2009

British MPs Call for Investigation of Kurdish Militia in Assyrian Assassinations
October 14, 2009

Assyrian refugees- After ruin in Iraq, a new Life in Minnesota Oct.r 13, 2009

Who is driving non Arab minorities out of Iraq? October 10, 09

U.S. government is failing to help Iraqi refugees resettle Oct. 10, 09

Conflict Between Arabs and Kurds in the Nineveh Province Oct. 10, 09

Christians in Iraq fearing more violence October 07, 2009

Iraqi Government's Inaction about Crimes against Christians Oct. 07, 09

Meeting With Iraqi Official about the plight of Assyrians Oct. 06, 09

Marathon in Brussels Calls Attention to Assyrian Persecution Oct. 05, 09

Body of Kidnapped Assyrian Businessman Discovered in Iraq Oct. 04, 09

Kidnapping of Christian Assyrians in Kirkuk Continues Oct. 04, 09

Iraqi Arabs Wary Of Joint Patrols With Kurds In North Oct. 04, 09

Angelina Jolie Urges World Not to Forget Iraqi Refugees Oct. 04, 09

Anti-Kurdish Militia Demonstrations in Iraq's Mosul Oct.r 02, 09

“Assyrian Medical Society Responds to Refugee Medical Concerns”
October 02, 2009

September = Eilool


The US and the Internal Islamic Threat Sept. 29, 2009

Assyriska defeats Syrianska 1- to Zero Sept. 28, 2009

Kidnapped Christian Doctor Released in Northern Iraq: Police Sept. 28, 2009

Fire Destroys Assyrian Club in Sweden Sept. 28, 2009

Assyrian city of Nineveh Sept. 27, 2009

Kidnapped Assyrian Doctor in Iraq Freed, in Critical Condition Sept. 23, 2009

Statement of Pax Christi Delegation which visited Iraq Sept. 22, 2009

Muslim Man Beheads Christian in Egypt Sept. 21, 2009

Bishop of the Assyrian town of Qaraqosh explains why it's demographic balance should not be changed. Sept. 19, 2009

Assyrians in Iraq Hope for Autonomous Region Sept. 14, 2009

Chaldean Church denial of its Assyrian Heritage Sept. 14, 2009

Kurdish and syriac to be taught in Turkey for the first time Sept. 11, 2009

Cry My Beloved Nation Sept. 11, 2009

Christian Soldiers; Protecting towns in the Plain of Nineveh Sept. 07, 2009

Assyrian Empire: Bringing Civilization to the Near East Sept. 07, 2009

Sargis Agajan; Assyrian Christian Leader in Iraq Has Hope ! Sept. 03, 2009

From Security Withut Freedom to Freedom Without Security Sept. 03, 2009

AUA youth of America statement Sept. 03, 2009

Syria Opens the Gateway to Humanity for the Assyrian Medical Society
Sept. 03, 2009

Assyrian Refugees in Transit; Documentary Film Sept. 02, 2009

August = Thabakh

Assyrian Medical Society Sponsors Patients in Syria August 31, 2009

Chaldean Church promoting ethnic identity based on Church affiliation
August 31, 2009

Ancient Assyrians Accomplishments August 27, 2009

Assyrianhistory-accomplishments.html August 27, 2009

150 christians of Iraq face deportation in Sweden August 27, 2009

3 Iraqi refugees who crossed the Rio Grande and landed in a federal lockup August 25, 2009

A “Shrine” for almost every Assyrian child that has visited US for medical treatments August 21, 2009

Unique football rivalry in Sweden between two Assyrian migrant teams August 19, 2009

Pregnant Christian Dragged Naked Through Pakistani Police Station
August 18, 2009

Yalo; a novel, By Elias Khoury August 14, 2009

Polish Aid Organization Visits Assyrian Refugees in Syria
August 14, 2009

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Letter to President Obama August 14, 2009

Australian Conference Calls Attention to Endangered Assyrians of Iraq August 14, 2009

University of Toronto archaeologists find cache of cuneiform tablets in 2,700-year old Assyrian temple August 13, 2009

Two Iranian Women Arrested for Converting to Christianity
August 13, 2009

UNPO Publishes Report on Kurdistani Elections August 12, 2009

Iraq's Christian Community At Risk of Disappearing. August 12,2009

Assyrian Refugees Expelled From Sweden -- Fleeing Again
August 11,2009

Attacks on Iraqi minorities soar August 11,2009

Iraq attacks raise fears of renewed ethnic tensions
August 11,2009

Large explosion rocks a village near Bartalah, kills dozens
August 10,2009


Mr. Obama, What About the Christians of the Middle East?
August 9, 2009

Bombing Christian family in Mosul August 9,2009

The Kurdistan region's Election Results for Our people
August 7, 2009

How to steal minorities voting rights, the Kurdish style?
August 7, 2009

Desperate plea for help came too late for ancient Assyrian leader August 7, 2009

Iraq's Assyrian Christians Find Temporary Home in Kurdish North August 6, 2009

Resolution on Genocide Committed by Ottoman Empire
August 6, 2009

Pakistan Must Abolish Blasphemy Law August 5, 2009

Christianity's long, storied tradition in Iran August 5, 2009

Business Models in Antiquity. August 2, 2009

Christian in Mosul deny the discontinuation of attacks
against them.
August 2, 2009


Tamuz = July

"I am Assyrian, not Kurdish. We were here first and now we are treated as strangers." July 29, 2009

Q&A: Iraqi Kurdistan elections July 29, 2009

July 29, 2009

Local Assyrians protest Iraqi church bombings July 29, 2009

Iraq’s Kurdish Region Elections, Derailed July 28, 2009

Patriarch: ‘Our survival depends on the unity of Christians’
July 27, 2009

Gunmen kill Iraqi Christian outside factory July 27, 2009

July 26, 2009

Coptic Human Rights Organization Condems recent Church Bombings in Iraq. July 25, 2009

Some Christians express doubt that their representatives will "obtain all their rights." July 24, 2009

Supporters Of Iraq's Assyrians Rally In San Francisco. July 23, 2009

Iraq Steps Up Security Measures for Christians.
July 23, 2009

US Lawmakers Send Letter Regarding Assyrians to Iraq's PM. July 22, 2009

Assyrian Medical Society helps Two Young Visitors from Iraq to Receive Vital Medical Care
July 22, 2009

Statement by the Executive Committee of the Council of Churches about persecution of Christians in Iraq. July 16, 2009

Amnesty International condemns attacks on Christian minority in Iraq. July 15, 2009

Shameful attacks. July 15, 2009

7 Iraqi Churches Bombed Within 48 Hours
July 14, 2009

Why is Britain Deporting Persecuted Christians? July 14, 2009

The Desperate Plight of Iraqi Christians July 13, 2009

Kurds, Arabs Cooperate; Christians Suffer July 13, 2009

Iraq Curfew in Some Christian Areas After Church Bombs July 13, 2009

Virgin Fatima Church in Mosul Bombed July 11, 2009

Assyrian Medial Society – Turkey Mission Press Release. July 11, 2009

Aramaic; The language of Christ is not dead in the Syrian village July 05, 2009

Video of British Parliament Report on Assyrian Persecution - Kurds Stealing Assyrian Land!
July 03, 2009

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Dhimmitude
July 03, 2009

Secretary of Sate Hilary Clinton's Town Hall Meeting With PRT Leaders and Iraqi Partners
July 02, 2009

Khzirun = June

Britain's Indifference to the Plight of Iraqi Christians emphasised in the House of Commons June 27, 2009

USCIRF Expresses Concern Over Reported Attacks on Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt June 27, 2009

In Nineveh, tensions between Iraqi Kurds and Arabs simmer June 25, 2009

Dominican sister vows to remain in Iraq despite increasing violence June 24, 2009

Parliament of the Kurdistan region to ratifies the territory constitution June 24, 2009

Turkish Court Rules Against Assyrian Monastery
June 24, 2009

Iraq Kurds pass new constitution to include Kirkuk June 24, 2009

Fear of Massacre Grips Christian Village in Egypt; Crops Destroyed June 24, 2009

Muslim Mob Attacks Church and Loots Christian Homes in Egypt June 20, 2009

Christian Coptic Twin Boys Struggle Against Forced Islamization June 20, 2009

Organization Helps Injured, Ill Iraqis
June 20, 2009

A member of Drafting Kurdistan Constitution Describes Our Clergies interference in Politics as a "major crime" June 20, 2009

Assyrian Refugees in Sweden Caught in Political Struggle June 19, 2009

Autonomy and the Assyrians of Iraq
June 16, 2009

Motion in the UK Parliament for the return of our Churches June 16, 2009

Assyriska versus Syrianska; World's Most Competitive Football Contest June 10, 2009

Assyrian Medical Society Without Borders, Without Passports June 10, 2009

Sweden's New Asylum Policy
June 10, 2009

Rosie Malek-Younan Awarded Assyrian Woman of the Year June 10, 2009


The war on Christianity in the Middle East
June 4, 2009


Iraqi Christians in need
June 2, 2009



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