Iraqi youth in Jordan participate in focus group

24 Oct 2012

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18 young Iraqis living in Jordan participated in a focus group sponsored by UNDP Iraq. 

The discussions came in support to the work on the National Human Development Report which focuses on challenges faced by Iraqi youth. The meeting helped the report’s  researchers better understand reasons behind young Iraqis leaving their homeland and the challenges they face in Jordan; it allowed these young Iraqis to share their perceptions and feelings towards  Iraq.

According to most of the participants, security was the primary reason for leaving. Most of the participants said their families were economically secure inside Iraq but were forced to leave as a result of threats, abuse, unlawful detention, violence and the death of their friends and relatives.

One female participant said “I lost both my father and brother in violence that followed the 2003 war.”  Another young man from the Mandean minority added: “I was a little child when I witnessed the body of my uncle taken away in a pickup truck. This memory still haunts me today”.

All of the participants expressed concerns over their long-term future:  their residency in Jordan was not guaranteed and their chances of settling in a third country were slim. None of the participants expressed willingness to return to Iraq and, when asked about their prospects for Iraq:  11 participants said they saw “no hope at all for Iraq”, two said “there may be some improvement” and only two were “certain that the future will be better.”

For more information, please contact Khalid Khalid, khalid.khalid@undp.org