Near her house in the stretches of Mountain's Edge is a lot losing dust to the wind, the skeleton of another house, some homes where the last roof tile was laid a week ago and a few houses with families unloading groceries from the car.
There's an air of instability, the not-yet-ready, the soon-to-arrive, the just-left, the settling in.
Muhamed has lived like this for 14 years, moving from Baghdad to Yemen, Munich, Tijuana and finally Las Vegas. She has been a civil engineer, a secretary, a real estate agent and a card dealer in a casino, all while raising a son and daughter.
Soon, she may have to pick up again, if immigration authorities deport her to Iraq - the country she fled after being raped, she says, by a gang member with ties to one of Saddam Hussein's sons.
Muhamed, who last month lost her bid to stay in this country in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, would be one of the very few people the U.S. government has sent back to Iraq in recent years. Over the past three fiscal years, 38 Iraqis have been deported, 13 of them criminals, according to federal authorities.
Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the Department of Homeland Security "is still trying to develop a procedure" with the Iraqi government on deportations and is reviewing the issue case by case.
The situation confronting Muhamed is two-edged, observers say.
Sending someone to a country at war, especially when the U.S. is involved, is "extremely troubling," said Kareem Shora, national director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.
Back to anguish!
O the grief alone!
Your asylum has departed, you’re vanishing;
a flower without light .
You will remember the days of dread. The many,
unlike you, who’ve tasted but the one world;
beaten, tortured, unloved and now crucified,
wish that you stay removed.
The country, the liberator that you adore
has traded `way a dictator for a thousand ghosts…
O! Back to anguish!
Returned to gloom!
Your asylum has departed. You’re vanishing;
a flower without light.
Your story is one of an even more scaly grief
than those you left long ago, who’ve never known
the counterfeit security tasted by your children, or
been witness to this; our freedom’s ebbing flame.
Your nation’s crumbling from the violent edges
of your redeemers scheming hands,
and only this story, your plight,
has chance of giving hope,
For, even if you wanted to return,
You could not, the country’s now a ghost.
© 2007 mrp/thepoetryman
Hat Tip to C & L