Friday, January 09, 2004

Monday Dec 29, 2003
It is now 5 in the evening. I just finished doing the laundry very quickly, since we have electricity and we are all happy. The electricity situation has improved in that last two days. We get electricity for 3 hours and then it goes off for several hours. Wow! 3 hours! I came home at 3 in the evening and till now I have been doing the laundry. It is cloudy outside but no rain. In the days before the war I used to dry in the laundry in the drier. Now the drier has taken a long vacation! Now it takes several days for the clothes to dry. The gasoline crisis is starting to get better. The rations are increasing for the gas stations and they are staying open for longer hours. Although the rations are set but the gas station attendant can fill you gas tank full and take something for his pocket. Who worries about principals these days except the fools? This is the state of the world. Now we wait at the gas station for 3 hours only and not the whole day.

Yesterday I filled half the gas tank (100 liters) for 38 thousand dinars. Last year I used to fill the whole tank (200 liters) for 5 thousand dinars. How many multiples is that? I can afford it but others don’t have a good source of income or have a set salary, what do they do?

In the morning I went to pay the store’s rent for the whole year of 2004. That is what the store owner requested. He asked for a 20% increase in rent from all the renters in all his buildings all over Iraq. I discovered that the owners are brothers from a family known for its wealth. Most of them own business buildings or are merchants. The office was full of renters and all of them were complaining that they don’t get much business and are not earning that much money, how can you increase the rent? The employee working there was apologizing and telling everybody that this is not his fault, he is simply following the instruction of his bosses. That he tried to pressure them to help the people but that the owner refused because they are investors and investments must grow. The war, the situation? They say it doesn’t concern them! … who does it concern then? I ask foolishly? This oppression became fashionable. What is happening to the world?

[translation provided by]

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