When two soldiers fell in love on the battlefield of Iraq

US Army intrepreter Nayyef Hrebid and Iraqi soldier Btoo Allami fell in love at the height of the Iraq War.

Hrebid felt like something beautiful when he first saw Btoo. “One day I was sitting outside and this guy came out of the shower block. I saw his hair was shiny and very black and he was smiling. I just thought, ‘Oh my god, this guy is really cute.’ But Hrebid didn’t know that Btoo also liked him secretly.

Iraq is a highly homophobic country, so, Btoo hadn’t come out. He could even be killed for this.  Hrebid and Btoo had a chance to get to know each other when they took part in a mission to clear insurgents from the city’s general hospital. One day, Hrebid and Allami found an excuse to go outside to talk on their own.

“I felt very close to Nayyef and I felt it was time for me to say something,” Allami says, “So I told him about my feelings and that I loved him. And then he kissed me and left. It was an amazing night. I didn’t eat for two days afterwards.”

When some of the other soldiers found out about their relationship, they stopped talking to them. One of them hit Hrebid with a stick which broke his arm. They knew they had no future in Iraq. So, they decided to move to US. But being an Iraqi, it was most difficult for Btoo to get an immigrant Visa. Their appliation was delayed and rejected several times.  Michael Failla, a reugee activist helped him  to get out of Iraq. The couple got married in 2014 in Canada on Valentine’s day.

In 2015, Btoo Allami finally got an immigrant Visa. “I could not believe it was finally happening. We were going to live together in the place where we wanted to live.” They had  another wedding ceremony in the US and tied the knot in Washington State.

Today they live together in an apartment in Seattle. Hrebid, who now works as a home decor department manager is a US citizen. Allami has a green card and is due to become a citizen next year. He works as a building supervisor.

Their story has been turned in to a documentary called Out of Iraq, which premiered at the LA Film Festival last year.

“We do not have to hide. I can hold his hand when we walk down the street,” Hrebid says. Allami agrees. “It’s so different for us now,” he says. “Before we were so hopeless but now we feel like a family. It’s a gay-friendly city. I’m living the dream. I’m free.”

Although homosexuality is legal in Iraq since 2003, activists say many gay men, and some women, have died in targeted killings. In 2012, a BBC World Service investigation found that law enforcement agencies had been involved in systematic persecution of homosexuals.The Islamic State group killed dozens of gay men between 2015 and 2016 – many were thrown to their deaths from high-rise buildings

Source: BBC

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3 thoughts on “When two soldiers fell in love on the battlefield of Iraq

  1. ben c’est partout dans le monde ces histoires….l’homosexualité est présente partout, et pas mal de gens la vie discrètement et ne sont pas heureux….c’est dure ça, c’est comme ma vie à moi, …

    Envoyé à partir d’Outlook

    ________________________________ De : André Barsalou Envoyé : lundi 23 janvier 2017 12:54 À : Sweety c Objet : [New post] When two soldiers fell in love on the battlefield of Iraq

    HI SWEET LOVER AS YOU CAN SEE WE’RE NOT ALONE ANDRÉ OXOXOX

    Like

  2. Good Evening beautiful handsome Andre

    How are you doing?

    Where are you today?

    Yes, I can see…we are not alone hahahah [😉]

    Miss you

    Please call me lover….

    Love

    Daniel

    xoxoxox [💋]

    ________________________________

    Like

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