The irony is just too much!
Six months ago, Tarek Darwish and his family arrived in Utah as refugees craving a new and better life. Last week, his family wept and kissed his hand in farewell as the former lawyer, disillusioned, left to return to Iraq.
Life in Utah has been a list of disappointments. His family of seven lives in a two-bedroom apartment. None of the adults have jobs. His wife needs glasses and dental work but has been told Utah's Medicaid won't cover them.
He feels betrayed by the United Nations' promises and the scant help offered by the American resettlement system. He hopes his family will follow when school is out.
"If you have a drop of brain, don't leave Iraq," he said through an interpreter.
After the truck taking him to the airport drove away, his wife of 38 years released a small cry.
As human rights organizations call for aid and resettlement for millions of Iraqi refugees, some who are exasperated by America's refugee system are going home or attempting to return to other countries in the Middle East. They feel abandoned by federal policies that offer limited and brief financial support and leave many refugees living in poverty.
Refugees planning to leave acknowledge they may be less safe in Iraq, but believe they will be better able to afford food, pay rent and receive medical care.