Friday, February 15, 2008

Do we even have a right to return?


You know, since the War started in 2003, with its all-around stupid name "Operation Iraqi Freedom", I never thought that the war would hit home as it did in the past five years. Hamdulilah, throughout the Iran-Iraq war and the sanctions, my family seemed spared of the tragedies all around. Instead of going into personal details, I'll tell you exactly what I mean by 'hitting home'. How about finding out that your home, in your homeland, is now 'home' to people you do not know or trust? 
Many Many Iraqi's are finding that, after being encouraged to move back to Iraq after their own stints as refugees are returning to find people, sometimes entire families, living in their home. The worst part is that the baladeeya (local community councils) have been giving people the right (and most of the time, the addresses) of these 'vacant' homes to settle in, without informing the proper owners. 
This opens the door to so many other problems that are both cause and effect of this squatter problem. Shia's being forced out of Sunni-majority areas, Sunni's being forced out of Shia-majority areas, local militias ganging up on households for whatever reason they seem not to fit the bill. What about the paperwork? Is the paperwork of the estate ownership being sold as well? What proof will the original homeowners have to reclaim their land in the near or distant future? 
Man...... what a mess....... what a mess........

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