Friday, 9 May 2008


Last March I started my Trip to the states to Visit Washington DC on a business trip. Naturally, I would need my passport to accompany me through out this Journey. This trip made me realize how special my Iraqi Passport is.

My rout was through Istanbul Turkey where I would Take the Plane from Istanbul to New York in a none stop flight. Once I arrived at Istanbul International airport, we were searched thoroughly and went through metal detectors, since we are coming from Iraq. I thought that this is the normal procedure that the Turkish authorities follow, with every passenger who lands in Turkey, for this is the post 9/11 world.

Earlier when the American embassy, In Amman Jordon , mailed me back My "special" Passport with the American Visa on it ( oh, yes the Biggest over seas American Embassy , in Baghdad , dose not issue Visa's for ordinary Iraqis. there fore you have to go to Amman Jordon or any other country to get your visa), along with a Visa , came a letter with instructions telling me that I should go an register My Self at the (Immigration & naturalization service – INS) once I get to the Airport, because " INS register certain Individuals from the foreigners coming to the United states in consideration for the National security interests or for implementing the laws". So even when I already had a visa on My passport , but since I have a special passport then I have to get a special treatment, like have my picture taken, finger prints and full special forms. The guys at the office were nice and done every thing really quickly, but still the fact that you are treated like a potential terrorist is still there in the back of your mind.

Throughout my stay in the states every body was nice and once they realize that I'm an Iraqi they would express their apology to what their country did to my country.

On My trip back, I was supposed to take an Air France flight to Paris where I would stay in Transit for 4 hours and then take another flight to Istanbul on my way back to Baghdad. First of all, I have to show up again with a Boarding ticket at the Immigration & naturalization service office and register my self out. When I got to the Ai France counter at JFK Airport, I was surprised to know that I need a visa to get to Digul Airport in Paris, so that I change planes. Even though I would not inter Paris and will only spend 4 hours at the transit area. The visa in my case would take 2 weeks. When I asked the Air France official why is that? And why do I have to get a visa just to change planes in Paris, his reply was "because you have a special passport".

Eventually I had to change the whole plan and take a direct; none stop flight all the way from NY to Istanbul.

When I got to Istanbul I was waiting for that long line before the metal detector and that search which I went through when I came from Baghdad last time. To my surprise, none of it took place this time. I immediately went to the passport officer who let me in and the whole thing did not last more than 15 Minutes. I realized that you only get that special treatment only f you come from Baghdad.

I wondered if other Nationalities from Countries from where all those notorious terrorists like Saudi Arabia where 15 of the 19 of the 9/11 hijackers came from, Jordon from where Abu Mosa'ab Al-Zarqwi, the notorious Qayida man was from , Egypt where the Zaerqawi successes Abu Hamzah Al-Muhajir ( AKA Al-Massri) is from, for Al-Qayida dose not put Iraqis on its leadership for some reason, get the same special treatment. But it is us the Iraqis who are suffering from terrorism on daily bases are the ones who should also bear its shame.