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Monday, February 05, 2007 

Iraqis protest at new Syrian visa laws

As I reported yesterday, Iraqis are now subject to the standard visa rules - 15 days stay in Syria. Until now, all Arabs had been allowed to stay in Syria without restriction.

So today there's been an angry protest by Iraqis who face going home outside the UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) office in Damascus. They're angry not enough is being done.

Photo: John Wreford. Check out his site, he has some of the best Syrian photography around. The sign reads: "How can we return and the violence is still there?"

Iraq is angry that their citizens might be forced to come home. Syrians are angry house prices and food prices are rocketing in Damascus. Iraqis get free health care and education.

Syria, of course, is already strained under the weight of 1 million Iraqi refugees, 400,000 Palestinian refugees, 100,000 refugees from the Israeli Occupied Syrian Golan Heights and countless Lebanese refugees whose houses were destroyed by Israel's war on Lebanon last summer.

Long ago, Jordan imposed visa similar restrictions on Iraqis, and trapped Iraqi refugees in deplorable conditions at the border post. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran have banned Iraqi refugees.

Interesting analysis here.

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This is disgraceful. Where will all the Syrians go once the Americans and Israelis attack? Do they think these problems will just go away?

2 million Iraqui. That's the official count. 4 million unofficialy. 600 000 Palestinian plus soma 200 000 coming from Iraq and protesting we're not giving them luxury suits in Malki. And all world organisations are busy broadcasting how inhumane we are and how much we deserve to be destroyed. In case of war, expect the Otoman and Hebrew to give us asile, and never ever expect it from our "brothers".

i'm confused. lets back-track a little.

If syria did more than it did when saddam was in power, then maybe there would not be such a large influx of iraqis going into syria.

yani, where on earth are the iraqis suppose to go?

stay in their homeland and be killed?

they can't seek refuge in the UK.

so they're going to spill in the neighbouring countries.

come on people.. lets not cut them short, what are arabs known for? their kindness.

good post...seems the word gets round fast. I posted on this too (photos also supplied by john) very interesting to read other reactions.

Good to hear from you Arima.

Yes, I liked your analysis...different angles from everyone. Josh has a great post on it.

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