Tuesday, May 18, 2004

It's easy to get a travel document..! 

Today, my brother in law and I went to the passports office to get an interim travel document, cause he wants to travel to Syria for some work, so I decided to get a document for me , who knows, probably I might travel oneday.
I was shocked by the new behavior of the officials and the new procedures there, I thought that I were in another country!
There was an organized queues of about 200 man and woman, the boss got out of the building and took the application forms from the elderly people who were standing there checked them and said: ‘ that’s it, come here at 1:00 PM’ ! We were surprised by the polite behavior of the boss! Not only that, he said: ‘ anyone has a problem in getting the document or any obstacle just tell me’ !!
We were used to hear: ‘ HEY..READ THE NOTICE WELL BEFORE ASKING US ANYTHING’ and ‘ BE SURE OF YOUR APPLICATION FORM, OTHERWISE WE WON’T TAKE IT, DON’T BOTHER US’.. And in addition to the bribes, unexplained demands, the disgusting loop between the passports office and military offices with their insults and disrespect....and and and.. If I write about what was going on to an Iraqi who wanted a passport I’ll write a book about different stories, tragedies and those doctors who were imprisoned because they dared to try to get out from Iraq !
Today, everything is easily obtained and no one is banned from going abroad like what was happening under the ex-regime.. When Iraqis were getting out, they were thinking thousands times before coming back again..
Nothing like that now..
Nearly more than 200 application form were applied in 20 minutes only, which is something impossible in Iraq ! Or was impossible.. The officials said ‘ come back at 1:00 PM to get your documents’, we went back home, very happy with the new dealings, we played ‘Empire Earth’! Drank coffee and then we were there at 12:50PM, then after 10 minutes an official started to deliver the travel documents and we got them!! ..Wonderful ..
Believe me.. You might see this as something absurd ‘ getting a passport’ but it was something hard.. Very hard to get..

There is one problem here, which is: this document is ‘interim’ and a ‘document’, so most of the countries don’t accept it, we can travel I think to Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Iran only..
We are waiting for the new government to get the traditional passport in the same way!

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