Local Iraqis Want to Visit Relatives

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

He fled from Baghdad, Iraq when he was 17-years-old. Rasul Mahdi and his family hopped into a taxi, paid large sums of money to the driver, and escaped to Turkey, where he and his family lived for a few months before coming to the United States.

That was five years ago. Mahdi says Baghdad was a beautiful city, but Saddam Hussein's regime prevented him from expressing his feelings openly, and voting. He says if anyone were to speak out against the regime, they could be thrown in jail or executed.

Now, as he watches the war from the United States, Mahdi says he's excited Saddam Hussein maybe removed from power, but he's worried for the innocent people who may be killed in an effort to eliminate Saddam.

Ali Azzaidi says he has similar feelings. Azzaidi came to the United States about six years ago, after he fled to Saudi Arabia from Basra, Iraq.

He says he's hoping to see his parents and the 12 brothers and sisters he left behind in order to escape from the country. He even dreamed about the reunion a few nights ago.

Both men rely on photographs and memories while they wait for the fighting to end.

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