Refugee housed in decrepit UK house: ‘Hull is the same as Iraq’


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A refugee who arrived in the UK after fleeing Iraq has said that “life in Hull is the same as in Iraq.”

The United Nations moved Intesar Hassan, 55, and her four children to the northern city of Hull in 2012 from Syria, where she initially moved to escape the fighting in Iraq.

Intesar says her health is deteriorating due to the terrible condition of the house her family was placed in, which is damp, crumbling and in desperate need of renovation.

“When I think about Iraq and Hull, they are the same to me,” she said.

“I open the window at night because I can’t breathe from the damp inside the house. The situation is reminding me and re-traumatising me from past experiences.”

READ: Syria: 40 people killed in airstrikes, US intelligence provides information to Israel

Intesar’s GP told her that her breathing problems were an allergic reaction triggered by the damp in the house.

“We have no heating, and no maintenance work has been done on the house in the past eight years,” she said.

Intesar is a wheelchair user and has to bathe in the kitchen sink because she cannot go upstairs.

“I fell down the stairs which led to me needing to have my gall bladder operated on.”

Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, co-led by the UK, Iraq has witnessed severe violence and mass displacement.

Iraqis are one of the top three nationalities seeking refuge in the UK.

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