The desire to earn a lot more than what Indian firms can pay has forced their decision

Thiruvananthapuram : Less than four weeks after Sunni insurgents freed them in Iraq, the nurses who returned home after days of terror are already looking for new jobs in the Middle East.

But none of the 46 women, including one from Tamil Nadu, wants to return to Iraq, a country now caught up in a mindless civil war that shows no signs of ending soon.

J. Merena, who hails from Kottayam, is still busy going to various churches because she feels her safe return was made possible only by god.

“My husband works in Qatar and our two small children study here. After this Iraqi ordeal, we have decided to live together,” Merena told IANS.

“So I am applying for a job in Qatar. If I go there with our children, we can live as a family.”

Merena will soon join a course to write the qualifying examination for a nurse’s job in Qatar.

Another nurse, Renu Balakrishnan, says the dreams she had when she took up work in Iraq remains unfulfilled — the desire to earn a lot more than what a nurse can get in India.

She has always wanted to own a home in Kerala, wanted to help her eldest sister get married and provide a good life for a younger sister who is mentally challenged.

“If it was not for god, I doubt if I could have come back from Iraq,” said the teary eyed Renu Balakrishnan. “I have no choice. I need to get another job in the Middle East.”

It was on July 5 that the 46 nurses returned after a harrowing two weeks in Tikrit where Sunni insurgents who overran much of Iraq first confined them to a hospital and then forced them to go to Mosul.  That was when the nurses’ Middle East dreams came crashing down.

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