Iraqi diaspora: Wikis

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Iraqi diaspora refers to native Iraqis who have left for other countries as emigrants or refugees, and is now one of the largest in modern times, being described by the UN as a "humanitarian crisis" largely due to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Contents

History

The Iraqi diaspora is not a sudden exodus but one that has grown exponentially through the 20th century as each generation faced some form of radical transition or political conflict. There were at least two large waves of expatriation. A great number of Iraqis left the country during the government of Saddam Hussein, and large numbers have left during the Second Gulf War and its aftermath.

Various ethnic and religious populations have also been displaced or relocated. The Assyrian people have dealt with a century long dispersion of its people. Another ethnic group are the Mandeans, who numbered around 40,000 before the current war. Now, the last practising Gnostic sect in the Middle East has almost entirely left Iraq.

During the first Gulf War, Iran provided refuge for 1.4 million Iraqi's, though many did not settle their permanently. Facing international pressure, the United States agreed to allow Iraqi's in the Rafha refugee camp in Saudi Arabia to restle in America. Through 2002, over 32,000 Iraqi refugees had been resettled in the United States; they joined a population of non-refugee Iraqis in America, bringing the total to about 90,000 Iraqis in the US, most notably in Detroit, Chicago and San Diego.

The history of emigration and of the diaspora community then drastically changed with the invasion of Iraq in 2003. There are many sources claiming different amounts of displaced Iraqis. Some claim as low as 1.2 million people have left Iraq, while others claim this number to be around 4-5 million.[1] It is difficult to gauge an accurate number of how many Iraqis seek refuge in other nations because of the constant outflow of Iraqis.

According to "UN statistics on displaced Iraqis around the world" of September 2007, Syria and Jordan are absorbing 44 per cent of displaced Iraqis globally. Other countries have also received Iraqis. Egypt, which has pledged to end Iraqi immigration, already has 150,000 ethnic Iraqi people. The United Kingdom, whose Iraqi population comes largely if not entirely from before the 2003 Iraq war, has a population numbering between 250,000 and half a million. Iran also has approximately 204,000 Iraqi expatriates. And, in Lebanon, notably due to West of Syria has 100,000 refugees. Sweden has allowed 18,000 refugees to enter, by far the most of any European country, but has indicated that it too plans on tightening restrictions.

Current number of Iraqis in all countries

ESTIMATED IRAQI EXPATRIATE POPULATIONS

Australia: 75,000 Canada: 36,000 Denmark: 26,000 France: 8,000 Germany: 75,000 Iran: 134,137 Jordan: 360,000 Netherlands: 44,000 Sweden: 91,600 Syria: 500,000 Turkey: 40,000 United Arab Emirates: 100,000 United Kingdom: 250,000 USA: 313,000 (Source: IOM)

Rank Country Capital Centres of Iraqi population № of Iraqis Further info
1  Iraq Baghdad Entire Country 31,234,000[2]
2  Syria Damascus Damascus, Aleppo 2,000,000 [3] Iraqis in Syria
3  Jordan Amman Amman 1,000,000 Iraqis in Jordan
4  United Kingdom London London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Derby, Cardiff and Glasgow. 450,000 [4][5] Iraqis in the United Kingdom
5  Brazil Brasilia estimates range from 70,000 to 342,000 Iraqis in Brazil
6  Israel Jerusalem Jerusalem, Ramat Gan 250,000 [6] Iraqis in Israel, (Iraqi Jews)
7  Iran Tehran Tehran, Qom, Ahwaz, Elam, Shiraz, Mashad 203,000[7] Iraqis in Iran
8  Egypt Cairo Cairo, Alexandria 150,000[8][9] Iraqis in Egypt
9  Germany Berlin Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg 150,000[10] Iraqis in Germany
10  Sweden Stockholm Stockholm (Södertälje), Malmö[11] 117,919 [12] Iraqis in Sweden
11  Lebanon Beirut Beirut, Roumieh, Baalbeck, Beqaa, Nabatiyeh, Baabda, Aley, Matn, Tyre, Sidon, Hermel, Zahle, Bint Jbeil, Chouf, Jbeil, Tripoli, Koura[13] 100,000[14] Iraqis in Lebanon
12  United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi 100,000[15] Iraqis in the United Arab Emirates
13  Yemen Sanaa 100,000 [16] Iraqis in Yemen
14  Turkey Ankara Ankara, Istanbul 60,000-90,000 Iraqis in Turkey
15  Australia Canberra Sydney, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia) 80,000[17] Iraqis in Australia
16  Colombia Bogota Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Pereira 40,000-70,000+ Iraqis in Colombia
17  Greece Athens 5,000-40,000[18] Iraqis in Greece
18  United States Washington DC Detroit, Chicago, San Diego 37,714 (0.01%) Iraqi American
19  Canada Ottawa 36,000[19] Iraqis in Canada
20  Saudi Arabia Riyadh 33,000[20] Iraqis in Saudi Arabia
21  Libya Tripoli 30,000[21] Iraqis in Libya
22  Norway Oslo Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Bærum, Trondheim, Drammen, Kristiansand, Fredrikstad, Asker [22] 26, 000 (2008 est.) Iraqis in Norway
23  Puerto Rico San Juan 25,000 Iraqis in Puerto Rico
24  Algeria Algiers 20,000[23] Iraqis in Algeria
25  Kuwait Kuwait City 13,000[24] Iraqis in Kuwait
26  Denmark Copenhagen 12,000[25] to 15,000 Iraqis in Denmark

Locations

The following countries have hosted Iraqi refugees. This list is by no means conclusive.

Africa

Algeria

The current population of Iraqis living in Algeria is estimated at around 30,000.[23]

Egypt

Since the Iraq war in 2003, Egypt has allowed a number of Iraqi refugees in the country. The current Iraqi population in Egypt stands at around 150,000.[8]

However, it is reported that Egypt is closing its doors to Iraqis. The precise reasons are unknown but according to ReliefWeb, one reason, apart from the fact that refugees are a strain on an already fragile economy, Egypt does not want Iraq to become a Shia state, as most refugees to the country are believed to be Sunni.[26][27]

Since January 2007, more stringent laws have been applied restricting the entry of new refugees. Egypt fears that the arrival of more refugees may increase prices in real estate, potentially causing resentment towards Iraqis by Egyptians. Another reason is that Egypt fears the arrival of Iraqis belonging to different sects, possibly causing sectarian strife. The vast majority of refugees fleeing to Egypt are Sunni Muslims, therefore changing the demographics of certain regions within Iraq. Demands of building Shia mosques and shrines in Egypt by Iraqis have been rejected by the authorities.[28]

Libya

The current Iraqi population in Libya is estimated at around 30,000.[21]

Americas

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United States

Main Article: Iraqi American, about 200,000 Iraqis or Americans of Iraqi descent.[citation needed] According to the Arab American Institute, the Iraqi population in the USA is 350,000+ and the hub of Iraqi Americans is in Chicago.

Canada

An estimate of over 50,000 Iraqis live in Canada.[citation needed]

Puerto Rico

25,000 Iraqis, either permanent residents or refugees await entry to the United States, live in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.[citation needed]

Brazil

Approximately 340,000 Iraqi refugees have emigrated to Brazil.[citation needed]

Chile

There are around 56,000 Iraqis in Chile.[citation needed] Iraqis now rank second place to Palestinians among the top five Arab Chilean nationalities.[citation needed]

Argentina

Approximately 120,000 Iraqis live in Argentina, including around 72,000 refugees.[citation needed]

Europe

Further Information: Iraqi diaspora in Europe

Austria

The total Austrian population of Iraqi refugees is around 1,200.[29]

Bulgaria

The total Bulgarian population of Iraqi refugees is around 43,210.[30]

Finland

A recent influx of Iraqi refugees arrived in Finland, numbering at around 1,600.[31]

France

The current population of Iraqis in France is estimated at around 8,200. However, it has been reported that since the invasion of Iraq, France has only accepted 13 refugees.[32][33]

Some reports claim that there are 1,300 Iraqi refugees living in France.[34]

Germany

The number of Iraqis in Germany is estimated at around 150,000 [10] In 2006, out of 2,727 asylum applications for Iraqi refugees, only 8.3 percent were accepted.[35] Some sources claim there to be just around 40,000 Iraqi refugees residing in Germany.[36] In 2006, Germany granted just 8.3 percent of Iraqi asylum demands, according to the ministry.[37]

Greece

Over 80,000 Iraqi refugees are believed to came into Greece since 2003. The Greek government wants to resettle most of the refugees, though some refugees are using Greece as a path of entry to other European countries. Greece has long attracted Iraqis and other Arabic-speaking peoples from the Middle East for centuries during Ottoman Turkish times (the late 16th to early 20th) and in the 2000's, many Iraqi and Syrian workers are thought to arrived from Cyprus to find jobs in Greece.

Hungary

Approximately 1,200 Iraqi refugees have immigrated to Hungary.[38]

Ireland

Sources claim there to be 340 Iraqi refugees living in Ireland.[39]

Italy

The current population of Iraqis in Italy stands at around 17,300; however one source claims there to be 56,300, which is approximately 50 families.[40] Most of these are priests, nuns and seminarians who have come to pursue their studies in Italy.[41] The majority are residents of Rome.

There have been recent appeals from the Iraqi community living in Italy to free any Italian and Iraqi Italian residents currently working in Iraq.[42]

In November 2007, 1,800 Iraqi Kurds sought refugee in Italy, of which only 20 of them applied for asylum and the other received 15 day expulsion orders.[43]

Romania

Sources claim there are 450 Iraqi refugees living in Romania.[44]

Russia

Significant groups of Iraqis have emigrated to Russia as early as the 1990s.[45] Iran credits Russia with being one of the first countries to provide concrete assistance in processing Iraqi refugees; Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry began preparing two sites for refugee camps in western Iran in April 2003.[46] However, Iraqis admitted to Russia often find themselves the targets of racism; as with Afghan refugees, they are mistaken for migrants from the Caucasus, who are stereotyped in Russia as drug dealers and criminals.[45] The number of Iraqi refugees in Russia is unknown, but may exceed 50,000 in the year 2009. Iraqi Christians like Assyrians and Chaldeans migrated to Russia in the early 20th century.[citation needed]

Spain

The current population of Iraqis in Spain are unknown; however, since the Iraq war, Spain has been host to 45 Iraqi refugees. An additional 42 Iraqis requested asylum in 2006.[47] There are roughly about 13,700 asylum seekers in Spain, and a further 642 Iraqis hold residency permits.[48]

Iraqi immigration to Spain accounted for 1,706 permanent residents in the year 2006.

Switzerland

The current population of Iraqis in Switzerland is estimated to be around 5,000. However, the Swiss government is currently closing doors to future Iraqi refugees, and offering to send external aid instead. Christoph Blocher, the Swiss Justice and Police Minister, stated that "We already have 5,000 Iraqis in Switzerland and our country is in second place in Europe in accepting them".[49][50]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has the largest Iraqi community in the Western World with estimates ranging from 250,000 to 450,000.

Asia

Further Information: Iraqi diaspora in Western Asia

Armenia

Sources claim 460 Iraqi refugees are living in Armenia.[citation needed]

Georgia

The Republic of Georgia has over 10,000 Iraqi refugees at this time, and a long history of Assyrians resided in the Caucasus region, including the republics of Abkhazia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and South Ossetia.[citation needed]

Kuwait

The current Iraqi population in Kuwait is difficult to determine, as there are no official figures, but estimates range from 10,000 to 13,000.[51] According to the UNHCR, only 427 Iraqis have been registered as asylum seekers and 18 Iraqis have been recognized as refugees in Kuwait.[51]

Due to poor Iraqi-Kuwaiti relations, Kuwait had previously announced that it will not provide shelter for any Iraqi refugees and will prevent them from entering the country by guarding the border with Saudi Arabian troops. However, Kuwait did announce that they will hold any refugees in a 15 kilometer-wide demilitarized strip on the Iraqi side of the border, where it would provide humanitarian assistance.[51]

Kuwait has maintained strict regulations when considering refugees; however, the country hosted 15,000 Iraqis throughout the 1990s, most of which have resided in Kuwait. Currently, the country shelters some 13,000 Iraqis according to the UNHCR.[24]

Pakistan

The current Iraqi population in Pakistan is estimated at around 150, but exact figures are difficult to ascertain, as many have slipped away into the country's large urban centres unregistered. It is believed that many Iraqi's chose Pakistan as a conduit nation in their quest to enter Europe and America. It is believed that triple the current estimates of Iraqi's living in Pakistan have passed through the nation though exact figures are difficult to attain.[52] There are also a sizeable number of people in Pakistan who have historical Iraqi origin, having migrated and settled in the country in the past few centuries. They are known as the Iraqi biradri.

United Arab Emirates

The current population of Iraqis in the United Arab Emirates is estimated to be around 100,000.[15]

Yemen

Since the war in 2003, despite not sharing a border with Iraq, Yemen has become a host country for many Iraqi refugees. However, in 2004, the Yemeni government has changed its policy and currently requires Iraqi nationals to hold visas before letting them into Yemen; this has restricted their entry into the country. It is difficult to estimate how many Iraqis are in Yemen, as the numbers vary frequently, with many arriving and leaving quickly. In 2004, the UNHCR estimated that 100,000 Iraqis were living in Yemen.[16]

Israel

In 1951, about 120,000 Iraqi Jews fled to Israel. A number of Jews of Iraqi descent keep their unique traditions, cuisine, culture. The number of Iraqi Jews in Israel, is nearly 600,000.

See also

References

  1. ^ Martin Woollacott: One in six Iraqis are in exile | World news | The Guardian
  2. ^ "Iraq". International Monetary Fund. http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/01/weodata/weorept.aspx?sy=2006&ey=2009&scsm=1&ssd=1&sort=country&ds=.&br=1&c=433&s=NGDPD%2CNGDPDPC%2CPPPGDP%2CPPPPC%2CLP&grp=0&a=&pr.x=83&pr.y=17. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  3. ^ NGO's claim Iraqis have hit 2 million in Syria
  4. ^ BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » You expected maybe the Donald Rumsfeld fan club?
  5. ^ Iraqis far from home sign up to vote - International Herald Tribune
  6. ^ Baghdad's last rabbi to leave Iraq - Haaretz - Israel News
  7. ^ "The 2001 Iran census states that there are 203,000 ethnic Iraqis living in Iran". hrw.org. http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/mena/iraq021203/4.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  8. ^ a b "Iraqis In Egypt". hrw.org. http://hrw.org/backgrounder/refugees/iraq0407/4.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-18. 
  9. ^ 150 displaced in Egypt, only 5,000 Iraqi refugees registered
  10. ^ a b "Population pressures". ecre.org. http://www.ecre.org/positions/Iraq_Quest_Summary_Apr04.shtml. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  11. ^ "Iraqis in Europe". unhcr.org. http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:NVxhC7grMa0J:www.unhcr.org/publ/RESEARCH/470c9be92.pdf+%22iraqi+community+in+sweden%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=uk. Retrieved 2008-02-14. 
  12. ^ "Foreign-born persons in Sweden by country of birth and sex. Year 2000-2009". http://www.ssd.scb.se/databaser/makro/Visavar.asp?yp=tansss&xu=C9233001&huvudtabell=UtrikesFoddaR&deltabell=02&deltabellnamn=Foreign-born+persons+in+Sweden+by+country+of+birth+and+sex.+Year&omradekod=BE&omradetext=Population&preskat=O&innehall=UtrikesFodda&starttid=2000&stopptid=2009&Prodid=BE0101&fromSok=&Fromwhere=S&lang=2&langdb=2. Retrieved 2010-03-08. 
  13. ^ "Iraqi Population Survey in Lebanon". unhcr.org. http://216.239.59.104/search?q=cache:clCb_BBNmeEJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D4762690f2+%22iraqi+population+in%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  14. ^ "Iraqis In Lebanon". aina.org. http://www.aina.org/news/2007049133807.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  15. ^ a b BuzzFlash > World Media Watch > 1/21/05
  16. ^ a b "Iraqis In Yemen". hrw.org. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/jordan1106/8.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  17. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Fear-checks-turnout-for-Iraq-poll/2005/01/21/1106110948104.html
  18. ^ "Iraqi community in Greece". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:Lp7ZqUgvJzsJ:www.unhcr.org/publ/RESEARCH/40a4dd4b4.pdf+iraqis+living+in+greece&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  19. ^ BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iraqi exiles to vote in 14 states
  20. ^ "The UNHCR states that there are 33,000 ethnic Iraqis living in Saudi Arabia.". reliefweb.int. http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/JMAN-5ZBBEF?OpenDocument. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  21. ^ a b "Iraqis In Libya". weekly.ahram.org.eg. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/727/eg2.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  22. ^ http://www.ssb.no/innvbef/tab-2007-05-24-11.html
  23. ^ a b "Iraqis In Algeria". weekly.ahram.org.eg. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/727/eg2.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  24. ^ a b Refugees International: Countries: Kuwait
  25. ^ Germany accepts Iraqi refugees
  26. ^ Press Releases: Iraq, Egypt: Respond to the needs of Iraqi refugees
  27. ^ Warning over spiralling Iraq refugee crisis | World news | guardian.co.uk
  28. ^ Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | Cairo and Baghdad to link
  29. ^ ""Global Overview Statistics Report" states that there are 1,200 ethnic Iraqi Refugees living in Austria". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:6kG9PGiHFOQJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D461f7cb92+iraqis+in+new+zealand&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  30. ^ ""Global Overview Statistics Report" states that there are 43,210 ethnic Iraqi Refugees living in Bulgaria". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:6kG9PGiHFOQJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D461f7cb92+iraqis+in+new+zealand&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  31. ^ Displaced Iraqis around the world
  32. ^ "13 Iraqi refugees accepted". countercurrents.org. http://www.countercurrents.org/iraq-cogan240107.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  33. ^ FRANCE AND BRITAIN KEEPING IRAQI REFUGEES OUT
  34. ^ ""Global Overview Statistics Report" states that there are 1,300 ethnic Iraqi Refugees living in France". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:6kG9PGiHFOQJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D461f7cb92+iraqis+in+new+zealand&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  35. ^ The Iraqi Exodus:Number of Iraqi refugees in Germany Surges
  36. ^ Iraqi refugees in European nations
  37. ^ Refugees find Germany "1000 times better than Iraq"
  38. ^ ""Global Overview Statistics Report" states that there are 1,200 ethnic Iraqi Refugees living in Hungary". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:6kG9PGiHFOQJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D461f7cb92+iraqis+in+new+zealand&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  39. ^ ""Global Overview Statistics Report" states that there are 340 ethnic Iraqi Refugees living in Ireland". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:6kG9PGiHFOQJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D461f7cb92+iraqis+in+new+zealand&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  40. ^ ""Global Overview Statistics Report" states that there are 94,300 ethnic Iraqis living in Italy". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:6kG9PGiHFOQJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D461f7cb92+iraqis+in+new+zealand&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  41. ^ ""Asia News" states that there are 1,068 ethnic Iraqis living in Italy". asianews.it. http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=2446&dos=35&size=A. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  42. ^ http://www.unponteper.it/documenti/stampasimona/appelli_appeals/English/Iraqi_Community_in_Italy.htm
  43. ^ Migration News - Migration Dialogue
  44. ^ ""Global Overview Statistics Report" states that there are 450 ethnic Iraqi Refugees living in Romania". unhcr.org. http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:6kG9PGiHFOQJ:www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf%3Ftbl%3DSUBSITES%26id%3D461f7cb92+iraqis+in+new+zealand&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=uk. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  45. ^ a b Cienski, Jan (1994). "Chilly reception for refugees in Russia". Refugee Magazine (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) (98). http://www.unhcr.org/publ/PUBL/3b54109e4.html. 
  46. ^ "Russia Agreed First to Receive Iraqi Refugees". Pravda. 2003-04-01. http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/conflicts/01-04-2003/2224-refugees-0. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  47. ^ UNHCR | Iraq
  48. ^ UNHCR | Iraq
  49. ^ People's Daily Online - Switzerland decides against more refugees from Iraq
  50. ^ Report on Displaced Iraqis
  51. ^ a b c "Iraqis In Kuwait". hrw.org. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/jordan1106/8.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  52. ^ "IRAQ-PAKISTAN: Iraqi refugees in limbo awaiting third country resettlement". http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=74448. 

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