Sunday, September 19, 2010


The Sad Story of Iraq is Endless....

Friday 10 September 2010

Peace be upon you

I apologize for not writing for months as I was busy due to work and traveling. Working is much enjoyable than talking, but experiments and experiences must be documented from time to time hoping that it may be useful to people. I have been observing people and their behavior during my visits to Iraq in the past months, during my work with local and foreign organizations, and during my meetings with all range of people from simple and poor people to parliament representatives, ministers, civil social organization activists, merchants, and businessmen, to employees at government, private sector, and funding international organization, even people at Baghdad airport while waiting for hours for the departing flight.
I wished then that I was a writer like Chekhov, the old Russian writer whom I used to like his style of describing people and their funny behavior, but the hard work consumed most of my time, effort and thoughts and left me little time for contemplate and write a novel!
I finished my one year studies on conflict transformation and peace building on post war communities “Peace-building and Conflict Transformation”. When I returned few months ago, I started looking at everything with scrutiny and tried to analyze things and understand what is happening on earth. My five year absence from Iraq is helping me see the obvious difference. Most of the things deteriorated. I like to remember one positive thing that happened, but I cannot recall it now. May be I will remember it later.
I started to see the characteristics of post war communities in Iraq now after five years away from Iraq. The destruction of the country’s infrastructure is very obvious as well as its need to rebuild water, sewer, electricity, streets, transportation, and communication systems.
The damage of agriculture, industry and water systems resulted in the collapse of Iraq that was subjected to illegal robbing by its neighbors. Iraq now is like an ailing man who is getting robbed by his greedy neighbors and ungrateful children.
Iraq’s wealth such as oil is still a mystery case for which details are still unknown. What is the daily produce of Iraqi oil? Where does the oil money go? What are the terms of the contracts with foreign companies? Who guarantees the right in Iraqi oil in such a chaos that the country is going through?
No one knows. These are hidden secrets and people are repeating rumors here and there.
Of course, in the absences of transparency and real democracy, people live in a world of misconceptions and rumors because they are the only alternative…
Now, Iraq has a weak and failure political system that is based on sectarianism, ethnicity and partisanship. There is no real loyalty to the nation. The army and security systems are also penetrated due to sectarianism quota as well. Where should the soldiers’ loyalty go? Should it be for the Nation or for their Party and ethnic leaders? What is the authority granted for Iraqi politicians in the government, parliament, military and public security?
Do they have a real authorization or is it limited while real authority is in the hand of the occupying force?
The neighboring countries’ interference in the formation of the government is very obvious. Six months have passed without a government in Iraq because the matter wasn’t in the hand of Iraqi’s. The neighboring countries decide who would be the prime minister, the president and the Parliament president. This is called regional balancing and it happens when a country collapses such as in Lebanon after 15 year of civil war. Till now, Lebanon is a weak country while neighboring countries interfere in deciding the formation of a new government there…
Therefore, what is the value of elections in a country like Iraq now?
European and American organizations spent 22 million dollars in Iraq for an election awareness program. I will not talk about the steeling and corruption that took place in this program. All the Iraqi organizations that took part in this program complained about the corruption of fund granting agencies. They had a local organization sign on a certain amount and delivered one third of that amount. To whom shall they complain? To whom shall they submit a corruption report? The defender is the robber. The fund granting agency steels the fund.
Anyway, what was the result of the spent 22 million dollar? After six months of election, Iraq is still without a government. Is the problem due to lack of awareness about election on the part of Iraqis? Or is it because Iraqi politicians were lost in the spin of splitting shares and the balance of power with neighboring countries?
All the dreams of Iraqis disappeared, same as the disappearance of the 22 million dollars…
This is a small example of the mockery that happens inside Iraq, what is hidden might be even greater as the proverb says…
I then observed the damaged social infrastructure including social relationships among people or extended family members, and the lost of identity among the youth. People are becoming more materialistic and hard hearted. Everyone thinks of himself. There is the phenomenon of street kids, addictions, female trade in addition to financial and administrative corruption which is becoming a public characteristic…
The country doesn’t have the culture of rewarding and punishment, instead there is tremendous chaos. No one punishes the thief while honest straight living people are starving to death. Therefore people’s conceptions have been shaken. It is clear that there is a need for a strong country with strong laws to be applied on everyone. Iraq is still without a law…
The country lives in political, social, economical, security and military chaos. Everything is penetrated and broken. Nothing is held together…
The humanity of those who live in such communities is crushed and they feel deeply lost and sad. They also lose the meaning of things…
Such people decide for themselves about what to do…
Shall he become a thief and a liar?
Shall he become an opportunist and a hypocrite?
Or shall he stand still and hold on principles?
This is a difficult decision to make given the absence of a country and a law. People shall choose for themselves. Off course the system of values and morals collapses in this chaos…
Poverty, ignorance, and illiteracy have increased noticeably in Iraq
The number of widowed women has also noticeably increased, but there isn’t any clear system of how to deal with them or meet their needs.
There are thousands of abandoned families. The country has not yet found a final solution for that phenomenon.
Sectors and parties take advantage of such war victims during elections. They give them blankets and food with the condition that they elect them, which means that they base their victory on the suffering of their fellow citizens.
A human can be a noble creature or a low greedy creep. Wars and crises reveal the real faces without make up or masks…
The spread of Cancer in Iraq is becoming like flue in other countries. The hospitals in Iraq receive new Cancer patients every day, both children and adults. The spread of cancer is a frightening phenomenon in Iraq but no one is talking about it of course. The reason for this spreading is not only due to the occupation and the past wars, but also due to daily uranium filled explosions that pollute the atmosphere.
I noticed the deterioration of general education and religion. There is no commitment to the sophisticated morals of Islam. There is the moral of sectarianism, which I never liked. It segregates rather aggregates people, and narrows the human horizon causing him to hate people around him and become more hostile and rigid.
I remember that Gubran said once: Alas for a nation that abandons religion and followed sectarianism.
Indeed, Iraq entered a slippery and dangerous road since 2003. I always ask myself: would Iraq collapse hadn’t have been for occupation?
Isn’t what is going on in Iraq serves the interest of occupation to stay for indefinite period of time? It is as if Iraq lives through 1920 period. The neighboring countries are all developing and advancing. Even Iran, that is accused of being the country of Mullas and Ayatullah, have an economy, industry, agriculture and a nuclear energy generating factories! The rest of the Arab neighboring countries are growing and developing while we are the only country that is falling behind…
I always worry about the terminologies related to the fate and future of Iraq: Sovereignty and dependency.
How much sovereignty is left with us? And how far are we going to follow the occupier who is claiming to withdraw all its forces. Everyone knows that it is phony charade…
My heart bleeds for what is happening in Iraq, but I will always have hope. I am still convinced that the Iraq will rise again as long as there are honest men and women who believe, even if they are few and scattered here and there. The hypocrites outnumber the honest people and they are much more visible, but certainly God will grant victory to the believers…
Later on I will write more details
Today is the first day of Eid Al Fitr,
I wish you all a happy Eid,
In God’s willing, Next year, Iraq will be in better place than last years
I wish everyone all the best…
Peace be upon you

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