Sunday, February 04, 2007

Iraq War Spurs Massive Migration [Washington Post 2/4/07]

The Washington Post today is reporting that more than 2 million refugees have fled Iraq since the start of the war.
WP: Iraq war spurs massive migration - Highlights -

I visited a preschool for Iraqi refugee children when I was in Amman in November. It was run by ICMC (the International Catholic Migration Commission), under their Extremely Vulnerable Iraqi Project. There has been an influx of Iraqi refugees into Amman since the start of the war, and although Jordan is providing refuge, they are a tiny country without the infrastructure to support this kind of immigration. Parents do not have working papers, and children are technically not allowed to go to school (although many schools let them in anyway). This school was run by a British woman who was absolutely passionate about the work. We sat and played for about an hour with a group of young children and their mothers, to whom ICMC is providing humanitarian assistance and preschool education. I connected with a little guy who was playing with Playdough (or the local equivalent). He was incredibly anal - I showed him a few molds and how to draw little faces in the soft dough with a pointed stick. He started making multiple versions of everything we tried, lining them up precisely, like little soldiers! Adorable.

We didn't share a language, but we connected, nonetheless.

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