In the face of a dwindling budget and uncertain future Mubarak settled on moving to a cheaper neighborhood. As Mubarak thought of his next move, he recalled what an Iraqi refugee once told him “The rent is very cheap in Khrebat. Take the Wehdat minibus and tell the driver to drop you off at Hajja Nima bus stop. There, ask anybody about the Sudanese who live in Hajja Nima residence. Everybody in that neighborhood knows them. They will be more than happy to help you find a cheap apartment there”
As Wehdat minibus arrived into Khrebat and stopped at Hajja Nima stop, Mubarak got off and asked a passerby if he knew where the Hajja Nima's residence which the Sudanese rented. “You are at their residence. This one is their residence,” said the young man, pointing to a dilapidated building with a low-set red brick fence. Mubarak thanked the man and walked around the fence. A half-asleep and half-naked young man answered when Mubarak knocked on the leaning and half-open door. When the young man welcomed him into the living room, one thing that drew Mubarak’s attention was the huge number of people inside the tiny house. In the first instance, Mubarak thought the men gathered to grieve a loss of a beloved one. Thirty people or so crammed in three by six living room and two small bedrooms. As the group responded to Mubarak’s greetings, one young fellow called Ibrahim got up and insisted that Mubarak sit in the only chair they had. When Mubarak said how all are you doing everyone responded Hamdulillah, Hamdulillah, thanks to Allah.
Ibrahim, who spoke for the group, instantly waded into a lengthy explanation “We thank God for whatever condition we are in, Brother. However, things are terrible. All these men you see live in this small place. When it is bedtime, more people show up for sleep. With the exception of me and another fellow, nobody has a job here. Some of us fled Iraq when the Gulf war broke; we left behind whatever we hoarded over the years. Some of us came directly from Sudan sixe years ago when Basher came into power” continued Ibrahim as Mubarak looked alarmed. “I had just finished college that year. I had big plans. Now, I am a cook for people who do not appreciate my service” said Ibrahim, sadly. “Anyway, I am thankful that I am making some money and feeding these starving brothers,” added Ibrahim, jokingly, pointing to the attendance as if asking for validation. “How about you Mubarak” he added, hoping that Mubarak would not turn out to be one of Basher’s loyalists.
“As a matter of fact, I arrived in Amman six months ago. I lived at a couple of places and went through some setbacks. Now I am trying to find a cheap place around here” “I am sorry for you guys. We are all in the same boat” said Mubarak sympathetically.
"We would love to get out of this dungeon and walk about the city if it were not for the fact that we would be arrested and deported. We...