The good life

Material Information

The good life Iraqi refugee perceptions of success in Plains City
Carlile, Wanda E
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
iv, 119 leaves : ; 29 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
1991 ( fast )
Persian Gulf War, 1991 -- Refugees ( lcsh )
Refugees -- Iraq ( lcsh )
Refugees ( fast )
Iraq ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 114-119).
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Arts, Anthropology.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Wanda E. Carlile.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
35326367 ( OCLC )
LD1190.L43 1995m .C37 ( lcc )


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Full Text


owing to well-foundedfear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is ,unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.




There is keen awareness of the failures of the settlement policy, but generally it is assumed that the fault lies not with the aid programme, but with the refugees themselves. widely held hypothesis that refugees are to blame for their continued economic dependence did, however, suspect that a major reason for this psychological dependency might lie in the manner in which relief is given and the supplicatory role which the refugee is forced to assume in the initial period of an emergency.


Shi 'as: Muslims who regard Imam Ali as the legitimate successor to the Prophet Muhammad. Shi'i: of or pertaining to Shi 'as.


Sunni: of or pertaining to Sunnis. Sunnis: Muslimfollowers of the sunna, the path of tradition.


They take my father and my mom--my family to jail because 1 miss two days in the army. They take brother--five years old--and they put him in, you know the cable, the electric cord? ... They know my dad not say anything, because he old, but my li'tle brother, he five/ six and my mom, she watching when they do this and she cry and scream. Everybody has the picture of Saddam. fVhen you ask the child, "Who's your father?, he say "Sad dam .That's your life--ifyou don't have the picture, maybe they kill you.


... they sold us for a handful of oil ..... They wanted to make money dealing with Iraq for oil.


I do remember that my brother ... we almost left him. They were kicking us on the army trucks--just put your stuff in and get in. My brother was in school that day. He was riding his bike home in a hurry, because we almost leave him. You can't argue with the army. So anyway, afterward they moved us south to Samawah..


I grew up in a big village, like 100,000 people, and they had one nurse, and everybody respected that nurse more than a doctor .... The only thing he didn't do was surgery. I wanted to do that when I grow up, but in my teen years there was a revolution. I was watching the Iraqi army, how they worked next to us--tanks, planes. That time we started to work against the government--the revolution. That's how I end up running away from school to go to the revolution, because, you got two choices: end up injail, or go to the revolution.


That was worse than the mosque, you know. Cockroaches everywhere. You can't keep your food even in the refrigerator. Six o-clock in the morning one of the neighbors knocked on our door to askfor tomatoes!'" or one dollar because she wanted to something. I knew I wouldn't stay there any longer. Just because I came from Iraq doesn't mean that I would stay in a dirty place ..... And yet, the other place was so nice! It's still a good place for them and very cheap for a house. You know in my other complex, they raised the rent three times.


... theyare betwixt and between the positions assigned and arrayed by law, custom, convention, and ceremonial.




.... you become very selfish and you don"'t care about other people, just theirself. ... Family life is not like single life. When you're single, you're not grown up yet.


My grandfather used to be very rich man in the area, and he had, I remember like a dream, you couldn't see the end of the sheep.


We left all that behind and these people take that over-for free! ..... all these lands, all these crops.


They torture me by, uh, by, uh burning my body and put salt on and wrap it. Yeah ... and, uh they take my clothes off and put cold water on me many times.


you would get up to get water and food. That's what we did every day. Some people just sat there and got fat. That's how my hair got curly. I used to go out and play soccer--every day in the heat on my head My head burned, my face burned. The Saudis gave us a lot offood, but no freedom. They told us everyday, "Go back to Iraq. In the summer it will be 100 degrees here--you will die. ..... Some Iraqis stayed one month, some two months, then they went back to Iraq.


Americans are nice girls, beautiful girls. The problem is I'm different. We can't stay together. They gotta too much freedom. She can go by herself and work. I want a girl that protects me, that respects me, that cares about me all the time .... we can talk of our country, we can be close about everything--you know? .. she's Muslim.


The American families I see from the church are great--the same as us, only a different religion. Here in the United States everybody works too hard. Everybody works together because it's expensive. One can't do it alone. you have to pay for the hospital, it's too much. You have to pay for baby-sitters, too. Sometimes I think people are too far away, and too busy working. Believe me, I don't even know my neighbors. In Iraq they think of one day at a time. Tomorrow He will take care of you. When I think about my family, I think how I love to sit on the ground to eat, with my mom, my brothers, my nephews, my sisters. When I think of it, I want to cry. People are close there. When my dad died, everybody Kurdish here came to be with mefor three days ...... Yeah, they come to see me, kiss me on both sides, tell me that I will be better, that we all must die someday. In Iraq you give that person ten dollars, then when he have someone die, I give him fifteen dollars--you know to help themfor that time.


1 never felt there 1 always/elt this was not my suit, and this suit doesn't fit me. 1 never got my chance there. 1 like this society over that society. Sure, I'll go back to visit.

PAGE 118

"those situations of being detached from an old status while not yet incorporated into a new one.