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The Mudcat Cafesj

User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Dickey BS: 7000 refugees to arrive in the U.S. (120* d) RE: BS: 7000 refugees to arrive in the U.S. 01 Mar 07

Iraqi refugees hope for US strike

Iraqi exiles blame Saddam Hussein for most of their ills

The Central Cafe in downtown Amman is a typical Arab establishment where men meet to play backgammon, smoke a water pipe and talk politics. The difference is that the only topic of discussion here is Iraq.

Most of the customers at the cafe are Iraqi refugees, stuck in Amman, some already for years as they wait for an answer to their request for asylum from the UN's refugee body, the UNHCR.

If America helps us get rid of Saddam Hussein, then welcome and many thanks to America

Majed Abed Abbas

The plans for a US strike against Iraq may still be unclear and there have been warnings about the consequences such a strike would have for the stability of the region, but Iraqis at the Centraal are hoping it will happen... and soon. Majed Abed Abbas, a 35-year-old Iraqi Shia, fled his country two years ago. He said he was persecuted as a Shia by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's Sunni regime.

He also got in trouble after helping his brother-in-law flee to Denmark. He blames all his misery on Saddam Hussein.

"We have to save the Iraqis, they are oppressed and they are hungry," he said.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
Iraqi refugees would like to see a change of regime

"Iraqis don't care any more who rules them as long as it's not Saddam Hussein.

"If America helps us get rid of Saddam Hussein, then welcome and many thanks to America."

This is an unusual statement in a region where the US is viewed with suspicion, sometimes called the Great Satan and always criticised for its pro-Israel stance.

"We need outside help to topple the regime," Mr Abbas said.

"The Iraqi people are weakened, they are too worried about surviving and putting food on the table, they don't have the strength to rebel against this regime."

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