Saturday, 3 October 2009


Forhad is 30 years old. He comes from Iraq. He finished his uni studies and worked as an accountant for a few years. He lived in Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq. In 2002, George Bush invaded his oil-rich country and got rid of its leader, Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was a close ally to America for a long time and they used him to attack their enemy, Iran. Saddam fought Iran for many years and spent all his country’s wealth buying weapons from the West. Although his country is very rich in oil, the Iraqis are very poor people.

Saddam became an enemy of America after he invaded Kuwait. Kuwait is a small country but very rich in oil. America fought against Saddam Hussein to keep the oil supplies safe from any danger. They also controlled Iraq’s economy for many years and thousands of people died, especially young children. Saddam could not fight America but decided not to use the American dollar in selling his oil. America saw that as a new danger and decided to invade Iraq and get rid of Saddam. They wanted to have a new government in Iraq that was friendly to the West.

During the invasion, many Iraqis fought the Americans while others helped them. In a matter of days after the American invasion, many Iraqis started to fight and kill one another. Forhad’s family received a letter asking them to leave their home or they would be killed. There was a bullet inside the letter. His sister went to another country called Jordon. She managed to travel to Europe and stay there. Forhad paid a lot of money to get a fake passport and try to leave Iraq. He went to Jordon and then used his false passport to try to get to his sister in Europe. He paid a lot of money to some people to help him get to Europe. Those people asked him to travel to South-east Asia and try to get to Europe from there. He travelled to Indonesia using his false passport. From there he flew to Malaysia.

It was surprising how easy it was for him to use the fake passport. The picture in that passport was different but he managed to use it. He couldn't stay in Malaysia for long. He travelled to Thailand. From there he wanted to go to Hong Kong. He thought it would be easy for him to fly from Hong Kong to Europe. He stayed in Hong Kong for 10 days. When it was time for him to board a plane to fly to Europe, customs officials stopped him at the airport. They suspected that he was using a false passport. They gave him the option to send him to Thailand again or to arrest him. He chose to go back to Thailand and decided to try a different country. By then, he had spent nearly 20 thousand dollars including 12 thousands that the people smugglers charged him.

Forhad could not come to Australia although he had a big family here. The Australian government arrests anyone who comes to Australia illegally and puts them in prison for a very long time. Forhad started to have a nervous breakdown and after spending a lot of money, he decided to go to the police station and hand himself in. The police arrested him and he was sent to court. His cousin flew to Thailand from Australia to get him a lawyer and help with his problem. A few thousand dollars were spent and he was sentenced to serve one year in prison. In prison, he met many Iraqis who were trying to flee their own country. After finishing one year, it was decided that he had to leave Thailand immediately.

Forhad didn’t feel that he was a criminal. He was running away from death, a destroyed country and a miserable life. He was looking for a better future anywhere in the world. Forhad spent a few months in prison and then he tried to kill himself. The Thai government decided to release him and set him free. He was sent back to Iraq. Now Forhad doesn’t live in his own city. He is still on the run. He is running away for his own life. After spending so much money and risking his own life, he is back again in Iraq facing death at any moment.