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Leaving Baghdad

The al-Hayalis were set to join the hundreds of thousands of middle-class families who have fled Iraq since the invasion. Just before their departure, calamity struck

By Kim Sengupta   September 2007

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The last time I saw Nadia and Mohammed al-Hayali in Baghdad was in early 2006. They were waiting for visas to Dubai, joining the middle-class exodus out of Iraq. “We are just surviving day by day,” Nadia said. “Terrible things are taking place all around us. Unless we get out now, something bad will happen.”

But the al-Hayalis and their two children were destined not to make it together to their new life. Just when a place of safety was within reach, the violence of their homeland caught up with them in…

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