Page last updated at 18:34 GMT, Monday, 17 March 2008

Iraqis who left: Mustafa

My visa here in Jordan expires at the end of the month and I don't know what I'm going to do.

Age: 25
Lives: Amman, Jordan
Status: applying for asylum in UK

I was a newly qualified doctor when I arrived in July 2006.

Of course I had no papers - the Iraqi government had withheld them - but I decided to apply to hospitals here.

Through connections I was lucky enough to be accepted into Jordan's university hospital - to work without a salary.

So, I was given a one-year visa in March 2007 - and I have been working unpaid since then.

A few days ago they just ended this system.

If I want to carry on working here, I would have to pay a Jordanian hospital $500 a month.

We cannot sell our house in Baghdad - because it is now occupied by Shias

It's a deal between the Iraqi and Jordanian health ministries to force Iraqi doctors to return.

But I think a lot of doctors here will be prepared to pay - they are paying for their life after all.

I cannot work in Iraq. I am a doctor, I cannot imagine having a gun held to my head and being told not to treat certain people because of their sectarian grouping.

I cannot work in a hospital with no medicine. I cannot knowingly give a patient the wrong drugs to save my skin.

This is what happens; if you tell someone you don't have the drugs they need, they'll come back with their family and their guns and blame you.


This is not the life I want.

Some people here are paying $20,000 to get to Sweden. The price has gone up. The more time you waste deciding whether to do it, the more you pay.

The majority are caught and put in prison, either in Greece or Turkey, and then sent back. And then they start again.

My mother and my three sisters are with me in Jordan. We have been living on our savings - and we have sold a lot of the family jewellery.

We cannot sell our house in Baghdad - because it is now occupied by Shias. As Sunnis we were expelled from that part of the city.

So, I have applied for asylum in the UK. They said it would take anything between six months and a year for the case to be heard. And then maybe you get rejected.

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