Matthew Hay Brown, for the Pulitzer Center
Marwan Abdullah misses Iraq. But he has no plans to go back.
"I would be killed for sure," the 18-year-old told me yesterday.
Abdullah was walking home from school in the Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad, he says, when a group of men grabbed him, blindfolded him and threw him into the back of a car. he still doesn't know who they were, but they might have targeted him because he is a Sabean Mandean, one of the small community of followers of John the Baptist that flourished in Iraq before the war.
Abdullah was held three days, he says; his family paid $15,000 for his release. Within the month, they were headed for Jordan.
When his father when back to Baghdad to sell the house, he was shot dead.
I heard several such stories yesterday, during my first interviews with Iraqis here in Jordan. As many as 500,000 have come to this country of 6 million; many have personal experience with the violence that has torn Iraq apart.