Local Iraqi Student Reacts to the Crisis Overseas

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By WSIL Manager

CARBONDALE -- Much of the fighting in Iraq is happening along the southern border of the Kurdish region. For Iraqis living in the U.S. with family back home, every day is nerve-wracking. 

Soran Jaff makes several phone calls a day, but he says it's a struggle to get information and to make sure his family is okay. 
 
"My original town where I was born, it's near the conflict area. So there's much more pressure on me. I always call them, be careful, what's happening."
 
But after days of tension, there was good news on Monday. Soran's brother-in-law, a Lieutenant in the Iraqi army, was just released by Sunni insurgents after giving up his car and having his family pay $5,000. That is the type of reality his family now has to live with every day.
 
"In our country, nobody cares about the house and their fortunes, because we will lose it today or tomorrow," explains Soran. "So living in such a situation somehow psychologically affects you, and you're always mobilized. You don't know what's your future."
 
Soran says everyone back home was expecting this fight to happen. It's a product of an ever-lasting feud between the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.  
 
"I think that partition is the best solution," he says.
 
Soran says while the Sunnis and Shiites are fighting for power, the Kurds want their own identity. But it could be a long time before that can happen.
 
"We have a sectarian feeling inside the people, and we have a ethnic problem inside the Kurdish and Arabian. So I don't feel we have a very bright future."
 
Soran says despite the constant bloodshed in Iraq, he has every intention of going home after his studies are done here in Carbondale. He says if the Kurds are going to have a say in what happens to the country, he wants to be a part of it.
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