Video: Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project Helps Iraqis Waiting for Resettlement
The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project strives to help Iraqis who are in the legal limbo of waiting for resettlement papers.
This series of videos tells the stories of refugees and also shows how through policy advocacy, providing legal representation to refugees and assistance once they are resettled, the IRAP is helping them out.
The two next videos show the stories of Ekhla and her children and explains why they had to leave Iraq and seek resettlement elsewhere. Death threats and the children's health problems, which they believe were caused by the war, were two of the main reasons.
For Zaman harrassment because of her status as a woman and part of a religious minority, as well as the violence the whole family was exposed to, were the causes for which they left. They have been in resettlement limbo in Amman for 5 years: unable to work or study, the family of 6 spends their days in one bedroom and a hallway, waiting for a resolution that will allow them to move on with their lives.
All Mustafa wants is to go on with his life. As a refugee, he fears that returning will get him killed, so he goes on, living in Jordan with his brother and two friends. Unable to legally work, they spend their days hoping time will pass faster: talking, watching TV and preparing and eating their meals, and not going out farther than the market to get their food. As a Shi'a Muslim and refugee, he's twice a victim of discrimination in a country that wishes them to leave as they themselves wish to depart.
Some of these stories have happy endings: both the Ibrahim family and Mustafa have successfully resettled in the United States, but as for Zaman and her family, the process has yet to finalize.
The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project was started by graduate students at Yale Law School to provide legal representation and policy advocacy on behalf of Iraqi refugees seeking resettlement, and to assist those who have resettled. Eight other law schools and several hundred volunteers including students, lawyers and advocates have joined the effort to deal with this humanitarian crisis.
The IRAP provides different ways in which people can join the efforts and help them by either making donations or volunteering, information is available on their site.
Written by Juliana Rincón Parra