In Iraq, It’s Tough to Stop Talent from Leaving

By Staff Report

Sep. 21, 2004

After the fall of Baghdad to coalition forces, many Iraqi exiles came home. Many are still there, and are active in the interim government.

Still, with parts of the country dangerous and chaotic, some of the country’s best and brightest are leaving, according to reports in the Christian Science Monitor, ABC News and the Center for International Disaster Information. Many Iraqis are going to Jordan, Syria and the United Arab Emirates; ABC News says some are going as far away as Australia.

The Monitor reports that “more than 40,000 Assyrian and other Iraqi Christians are estimated to have fled since war’s end, hastened by a series of church bombings this summer.” Hundreds of the country’s best professors have taken jobs in other countries. Some doctors and judges are also relocating.

“The brainpower of the country is leaving,” Isam Kadhem al-Rawi, a geologist and president of the Association of University Teachers, tells the Monitor. “It happened after 1990 and it’s happening again now.”

According to IRIN, a news service affiliated with the United Nations, there are indeed hoards of Iraqis lining up for passports. Some of them, however, merely want to learn what business is like elsewhere. Nidham Hamoudi al-Taie, a judge, says “”I want to visit Syria and Jordan to see how commercial law and private law are practiced there,” al-Taie says. “I want to see the difference, but I want to return back to Iraq to help my country.”

Schedule, engage, and pay your staff in one system with