By Steve Holt, Copy Editor
The United States’ impending invasion of Iraq has sparked international protest for months, and with attacks currently underway, students from the Middle East have mixed opinions.
Salah and Sarah Taweel are seniors from Aleppo, Syria, a country that directly borders Iraq.
Salah said the siblings’ town is near the Turkish border in northern Syria, and the Iraqi conflicts are occurring about 1,000 kilometers south of their family’s home. He said Syria faces a different problem, however.
“The only problem Syria will be facing is the number of refugees escaping to bordering countries,” said Salah, a senior finance major.
Sarah said she is more worried about the after effects of the war than the combat itself.
“I don’t know how it will affect the economy,” said Sarah, a senior graphic design major. “If they can get rid of Saddam Hussein and his politics, the whole region might just jump a level up.”
Some analysts have predicted that Saddam may attack Israel in order to bring it into the war.
Shai Shalev, a graduate organization and human resources development student from Kibbutz Nir-Oz, Israel, said he thinks it is not likely Israel will be brought into the war.
“Only in case they use chemical weapons or there is great damage,” Shalev said. “I don’t think there is a chance Israel will get involved. Israel is in contact with the United States, so they won’t act alone.”
Shalev disagrees with the war.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily the best solution, but that’s the course they chose,” Shalev said. “I hope it is quick and there is very little damage.”
Unlike many Syrians, Salah and Sarah are in favor of the invasion of Iraq.
“I am with the war and with a change of regime in Iraq,” Salah said. “It’s time to get [Saddam] out of the place.”
Salah said he’s met Iraqis who have been terrorized by the Hussein regime.
“If anyone opposes Saddam Hussein’s political views in Iraq, they are thrown in prisons and dungeons no one knows about,” Salah said. “He’s just brutal.”
Sarah said she supports the war for the common people of Iraq.
“The Iraqi people are highly educated and brilliant, but they aren’t able to show it,” she said. “Even though it’s scary and I know innocent people will die, this situation won’t go on forever.”