A widely shared video posted on Instagram by an Iraqi teen asking for asylum outside his country has caught the attention of a top US diplomat, reports the National.
In the video 17-year-old Ali Adil tells US President Biden he will “commit suicide and jump from the building.”
With the sound of gunfire in the background he continues: “If you don’t help me, I will jump, I’m not joking with you, I’m on the rooftop, if you don’t help me I will die, can you hear the fire in the background? This is normal in Iraq.”
“Please invite me Mr Biden, there’s fires in hospitals, the weather in Iraq is hot, there’s nothing. Biden look for me, if you don’t help me, I will jump on the street, please invite me because I’m sad and angry.”
Iraqi doctors have said they are losing the battle against coronavirus as infections soar and neglected hospitals with no beds or medicine struggle to cope.
The fires are thought to have been caused by oxygen cylinders exploding.
In addition to the global pandemic, there is widespread unemployment in Iraq, failing public services due to widespread political corruption and ongoing security concerns.
Protests have continued in the country since 2019 over various issues including frequent electricity shortages and power outages and lack of accountability for the targeting of activists.
Acting Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood picked up on the video, recording his own response: “Please Allawi, we in America love you, do not jump, I’m not Joe Biden, but Joey Hood, and life is precious.”
“Iraq needs you; your voice is important for Iraq, I cannot bring you to the US but if I ever visit Iraq I’ll make sure to see you.”