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AMMAN // Back home in Baghdad, Najim Abid Hajwal owned a sheepskin factory. He had a house in the fashionable Al Mansour neighborhood and a farm where he raised chickens and grew oranges and lemons.

I met Hajwal this morning at a clinic run by the Catholic charity Caritas in East Amman. He was clutching an envelope containing X-rays taken of his 16-year-old son, who had fallen off a roof while attempting to adjust a satellite dish.

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The hospital here is charging 2,000 Jordanian dinars to treat Abdullah. That's more than $2,800. Hajwal, who sold his BMW a few months back for cash to pay rent and buy groceries, had come to Caritas to ask for help.

"I had 30 employees in Iraq," he said. "We exported our sheepskin to Italy and Turkey.

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"Now look at me. I'm asking for aid."

As they share details of their physical and financial hardships, refugees here have also been describing the psychological pain of exile. Violence in Iraq has forced a once-prosperous middle class to flee for a country in which they have no legal status, are not allowed to work and must rely on handouts to survive."Clearly, this creates severe effects on the psychosocial well-being of these families," said Angelita Caredda, Jordan country director for Relief International. She spoke of the stress of working illegally, the fear of being caught, and the vulnerability to exploitation.

"Considering that it's more dangerous for a man to work, sometimes it's women that have to work or children that are sent out to work," she said. "But also this has impacts on the synergies within the family. Because the men feel like, 'I'm not taking care of my family. I'm losing my role.' And there are a variety of reactions, from depression to taking it out on the family."

Bassim Swidan, who was a political scientist at the University of Baghdad, still draws income from rental properties inside Iraq. But he says he has lost his country.

He described a recent visit to Cairo to attend an academic conference. He was held up at the airport.

"I became angry," he told me. "I said, 'I'm a professor. I have an invitation and I have a visa.' Everyone else went ahead, regardless of their profession.

"If they knew I had a government and an embassy and a country to defend me, they wouldn't have treated me like this. But there is no one, and they know it."

Wahd Deen Fadel owned a restaurant in the fashionable Karradah district of Baghdad. He says he feels like a stranger in Jordan.

"During the reign of Saddam, it was different," he said. "An Iraqi had pride. Wherever he went, people respected Iraqis."

"I visited Jordan in 1988. The treatment I received then is very different from the treatment I receive now."

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