Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Dallas Iraqis Make Their Voice Heard

UPDATE 01/13/2004 Evening
You can listen to the report here. Michael Leland really angered my husband by saying Mark is "unemployed". Mark was laid off from his job with another 249 employees of Belo corp. That's not being unemployed. That's being treated unfairly. I even told Michael Leland this fact during the interview.

Lesson learned: Not to talk to radio or TV folks.

UPDATE 01/13/2004
Michael Leland, news director of NPR Michigan Radio News, called me yesterday to include me in a report about the Iraqi-American vote. The report may air today on "All Things Considered."

Jim Landers, wrote in The Dallas Morning News two days ago:

"Iraqis living in Dallas in particular face one of the biggest challenges for voting," said Jeremy Copeland, who is managing the U.S. election for the International Organization for Migration. "But we're operating on a very tight timeframe. ... It's a question of doing the best you can, and unfortunately we ended up leaving out cities like Dallas."

Kurds living in Texas aren't happy about the U.S. arrangements. Omar Barzani of Dallas, who represents Texans in the Kurdish Democratic Party, said he plans to vote. But he's pleaded without success to get registration workers sent to Texas so voters won't have to make two trips to Nashville.

"If we go by bus, each time it takes two days - one to go, and one to come back," Mr. Barzani said. "We want to make it easy to vote, but they are making it hard. They don't want the Kurds' votes."


We have a good size Iraqi-Kurdish and Shia community in the DFW area. So, this community is really frustrated about not having voting centers somewhere in Texas.

I'm also surprised that Arizona doesn't have any voting centers. Arizona is becoming the new Michigan for ChaldoAssyrians. The nearest voting center for them is Los Angeles, which is at least a five-hour drive. That's kind of difficult considering the voter needs to go twice to the voting center in less than two weeks.

Still, choosing Los Angeles was another surprise for many Iraqis as the biggest Iraqi ChaldoAssyrian community is in San Diego and NOT in Los Angeles.

For my readers and family in Detroit, please go vote. I've been to Detroit and I know it's not a long drive from anywhere in your city to the voting centers. Read above and know we would've loved to have voting centers anywhere in the DFW area. Unfortunately, we don't have that option.

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