Baghdad Bride Waits For Visa

Friday, June 2nd 2006, 9:46 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa man desperately tries to bring his new bride to America. The two have been separated since their wedding more than six months ago because she's unable to get government approval to leave her home in Iraq. She lives in a volatile Baghdad neighborhood, and her husband, already an American citizen fears for her life.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin explains.

"As soon as I saw her picture I just fell in love with it." Hassan Ahmed says he knew right away, he and Huda were a perfect match. The only problem, he lives in Tulsa, she in war torn Iraq. Connected by their families in Baghdad, the two carried on a telephone romance for months, then finally met and married in Amman, Jordan. They had only two weeks together then were separated. “It was very difficult because she was crying and I was very sad."

She applied for a Visa and was told it would be just a few months, only to learn now the US government won't consider her application for another year. "That's just too long." Especially when it's more than just missing his bride, Hassan fears for her life. "Her situation is so dangerous, because she is working and every time she leaves the house she has to go through so many checkpoints."

Huda lives in the heart of Baghdad just outside the green zone. Hassan calls to check on her several times a day. Just a few weeks ago, a major attack by insurgents at a nearby mosque left Huda badly shaken. “That mosque got hit while I was talking to her on the telephone, and it missed her house by like 50 yards. I told her just to stay home and maybe we can get her here as soon as possible."

Hassan says he doesn't understand the delay. Normally spouses of American citizens are able to get Visas fairly quickly. "All that's waiting is really a matter of hours. Just two hours for her physical and two hours for her interview." He says is if it weren't so dangerous, it would be an easier wait, but with the nation at war, he won't be able to rest until his wife is safe in her new home. "I just love her dearly, I miss her very much."

Hassan called Senator Jim Inhofe for help. An office representative tells us they are working on the couple's case.