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A firsthand account of war

Aspen Times Staff

A Carbondale woman is getting a close-up look at the effects of the war in Iraq.

Cathleen Krahe traveled to Syria and Jordan on June 12 with the San Francisco-based human rights group Global Exchange. Krahe and the rest of the delegation will meet with Iraqi citizens during their week-and-a-half stay to learn firsthand what Iraqis think about the U.S. role in Iraq.

Many of the Iraqis meeting with the delegation are part of a ballooning number of professionals who have fled the instability and random violence on the nation’s streets.

According to Iraq’s interior ministry, more than 1,000 Iraqis cross the border to Jordan every day, up from just a few hundred per day in 2004. The 15-person delegation will get a firsthand perspective on the massive displacement and “brain drain” the war has caused.

Krahe will meet with an array of Iraqis from very different backgrounds, among them an Iraqi blogger and engineer whose son was kidnapped in Iraq, a former Iraqi National Congress member who initially supported the U.S. invasion but now opposes American military occupation, and Iraqi Christians now living as refugees in Syria.

Krahe is scheduled to return June 21. As part of the Global Exchange program, she will follow up the trip by organizing events and giving talks.


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