Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iraqi travelers at QAIA

I have been reading with some embarrassment the criticisms of how Iraqi travelers are treated in Queen Alia International Airport. While all of the concerns of my fellow Jordanians are valid, I have a problem with the way this is dealt with. It is backward and demeaning for all parties. Moreover, it may be unnecessary.

People have figured out a long time ago how to deal with unwanted influxes of people. It is quite simple, actually. If people want to come to your country, you have to issue them a visa first. Even when there are no embassies, councils can do this job. Have a consulate in Baghdad to screen people who want to come or travel through Jordan. Approved people can be given a visa, and at the airport you can deal with them in a civilized manner. It is easy to understand why the situation can deteriorate quickly at the airport, because all the standard screening processes have to take place on the spot. Sometimes it takes a while to decide if you want to let certain people in. This is why the visa system was invented.

If it is impossible to establish an embassy or consulate in Iraq, then this situation can not be avoided. Given the problems in Iraq, no responsible government in the world will allow people in without thorough security screening. It is sad, but not as sad as the reality in Iraq.


At 1:22 AM, Blogger Mohanned said...

Thats what I have been saying, but the thing is our embassy got bombed and will get burned each time a "jordanian" commits something there!So whats the best soloution? Even the US doesn't issue visas from Iraq!

The process itself is dehumanizing but jordan didn't invade iraq, nor it caused the mess, as a matter of fact we helped more than anyone else on their "security"..

And what kills me more is that sometimes people forget where they come from, all of a sudden arabs became the most liberal-humane people on planet earth!We never called Iraqis Evil when jordanians were slaughtered in baghdad or when our embassy was bombed.

I talked toooo much about this issue, and I am sick of it..God bless jordan and god bless the security force- PERIOD.

At 4:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mohannad are you getting a Jordanian Dinar each time you say "God Bless Jordan and God Bless the Security Forces"?

If you aren't you are even more ridiculous than I thought.

At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just see this video about iraqi and QAIA

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really like it when some people like that anonymous always associate loyalty with money. I totally understand that he (anonymous) cannot imagine that loyalty is a feeling of love to the country and does not have a monetary value maybe because his only objective in life is money.
I totally agree with you Khalaf. No one should travel to any airport or any entry point for a country without having permission to enter. The problem should be solved or made complex before anyone reaches Jordan and start screaming about human rights. I wish the Iraqi people to unite and build their country instead of killing each other on identity, since then other Arabs will be eager to visit Iraq and not the contrary.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Mohanned: It is not the Iraqi's fault. It is circumstances that both of us need to deal with the best that we can. I agree that we should place priority on our own security and well being.

Severus: These are standard airport scenes, without windows. It is not Abu Ghraib.

Batir: Hopefully one day they will have a chance to treat us this way. I wish Iraq all the best.

At 2:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I don't know the details of what is happening. But, Iraqis fly to other countries too. Are they treated this same way in those countries also?

The 'principal' of conducting security clearance at the airport is valid, but the extent of treatment/rejections policy is within our control.

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Arrabi: People get visas from Jordan before going elsewhere. Imagine showing up at a US airport without a visa.

Treatment is a function of logistics, and I certainly agree that the rejections policy is in our control. There should be no compromise on this.

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted the following will mean the airlines that operate between Amman and Jordan will take a hit, but it might be worth a shot:

Say there are a total of 8 aircrafts that fly daily between Amman and Baghdad. As it stands today, the same aircraft could be used for a flight from Amman to Baghdad, or another flight from Baghdad to Amman.

What if we allocate 4 aircrafts to flights that are from Amman to Baghdad, and the remaining 4 to flights originating in the opposite direction. Once an aircraft arrives at Amman coming from Baghdad, its trip back to Baghdad would be reserved for passengers who came from Baghdad on it and were denied entry to Jordan.

Flights that originate in Amman and arrive in Baghdad can also only carry back to Baghdad people who were denied entry to Iraq.

Assuming the airport authorities at both countries can finish the review and screening process of all passengers on a plane before that plane is ready to go back. Things should go smoothly and those who get screened and are denied entry won't have to wait overnight for the next flight, assuming that planes can go back to where they came from the same day every day.

Does this sound like something that could be possible at all?

At 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, sure, there are plenty of ways that the (admittedly necessary) screening process could be made less painful for those involved.

All it would take is a little time, effort, money and creativity.

Oh, and of course, someone would have to care. Since the Iraqis are essentially powerless in this (and every) situation, why would anyone care? There are no repercussions to treating Iraqis badly -- especially if you treat them badly then reject them at your borders. So why would anyone take the time and the effort?

I don't think "decency" ever entered into the equation.


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