Iraq War refugees

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: HUMANITARIANS AL SANATI AND RAMIRO SANDOVAL SPEAK OUT ON EFFORTS TO HELP REFUGEES AND REBUILD IRAQ

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Al Sanati and Ramiro Sandoval

Cllick this audio link to hear our interview, or scroll down to read highlights.

February 23, 2019 (El Cajon) — Al Sanati, director of the War Refugees Group, and Ramiro Sandoval with Hermanos Unidos Sin Fronteras (Brothers United Without Borders) were our guests on our East Count Magazine Radio Show on KNSJ recently.

These humanitarian leaders are fighting for justice and filing suit to win financial reparations from the Iraqi government for1.2 million Iraqi refugees around the world, including over 80,000 in East County. They have also met with top dignitaries in Iraq in an effort to help the nation’s new government rebuild Iraq.

Audio: 

Interview with Al Sanati and Ramiro Sandoval

1,800 DISABLED, ELDERLY REFUGEES LOCALLY TO LOSE FEDERAL BENEFITS



Aide workers voice fears over impact of cuts on East County’s growing refugee population; San Diego’s Congressional representatives have thus far declined to take action to extend benefits

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

August 3, 2010 (San Diego) – Over 3,800 disabled and elderly refugees who came to the U.S. legally, all victims of persecution or torture, have been notified that they will lose Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on October 1st. Those slated to lose benefits include about 1,800 Iraq War refugees living in East County.

 

“They don’t have any other income. They want to find work and they can’t. They are too old and too sick,” said Joseph Ziauddin, president of the East County Refugee Center in El Cajon. Ziauddin estimates that there are around 40,000 Iraqis now living in East County.  Asked how many of East County’s Iraqis are currently refugees, he replied, “Ninety percent.”

SURVIVOR RECALLS HARROWING ESCAPE FROM SADDAM HUSSEIN’S SECRET POLICE PRISON

By Miriam Raftery

August 4, 2010 (El Cajon ) – Joseph Ziauddin, president of the East County Refugee Center, rolls up his sleeve to reveal deep scars on his forearm acquired during a daring escape. “This saved my life,” said Ziauddin, who said he was thrown in jail and tortured daily for three months because he loaned money to a friend who opposed Saddam Hussein, then president of Iraq. “I am the only one who fled from the secret police prison.”

Today, he dedicates his life to helping fellow refugees, teaching English classes at the Refugee Center. He has funded his efforts out of his own pocket, he said, but seeks help for the growing number of refugees in East County. Many of them, like himself, have endured torture or other horrors.

EL CAJON FIRE MARSHAL CLOSES DOWN OVERCROWDED EVENT

 

IRAQI IMMIGRANTS WAITING HOURS FOR SERVICES FORCED TO GO HOME EMPTY-HANDED

February 12, 2010 (El Cajon) –Iraqi immigrants began lining up at 5 a.m. today to recertify documentation and quality for social service benefits at the Chaldean-Middle Eastern Services Office at 343 Main Street in El Cajon. But shortly after 9 a.m., Heartland Fire & Rescue crews responded to a medical aid call. They found a crowd estimated at 500 to 1,000 people congregating in and around the second floor office.

IRAQI CHRISTIANS SHARE STORIES OF THEIR HOMELAND AND DREAMS FOR A NEW BABYLON IN EAST COUNTY

 CHALDEANS & ASSYRIANS COMMEMMORATE 1600-YEAR-OLD SYNOD

 

 By Miriam Raftery

 

January 22, 2010 (El Cajon) – “We look forward to establishing a New Babylon. This is something many of us have dreamed of,” Bishop Bawai Soro, a Chaldean Christian from Iraq, told East County Magazine in an exclusive interview.

 

Soro is among an estimated 65,000 to 70,000 Iraqi Christians now living in the western U.S., of whom most are in East County. He provided insights into the plight of persecuted Christians in Iraq, the struggles faced by thousands of local Iraq War refugees, the rich heritage of their ancient culture, and his hopes for the future of his people. 

 

He spoke with us at the Catholic Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle in El Cajon, where Chaldean and Assyrian bishops led a symposium January 7-9 to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the Synod of Mar Isaac in 401 AD.