The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Comments after my trip to Baghdad

+AD4-I'm posting this message in case it might be of any interest to the list
+AD4-I've returned yesterday from a one-week-trip to Baghdad. I was with a
+AD4-delegation of an Italian sports association that organized Papaluca's
+AD4-marathon Amman-Baghdad and the short run +ACI-Vivicitt+AOAAIg- in Baghdad and in many
+AD4-other towns around the world.
+AD4-I had been in Iraq twice before, in 1993 and in 1995, with the association
+AD4-Bridge to Baghdad.
+AD4-The thing that impressed me most in this trip was the gap between the
+AD4-who are getting poorer every day and those who are getting richer,
+AD4-exploiting in some way the isolation of the Country due to the sanctions.
+AD4-This gap has enlarged a lot. It was surprising to see in Arassat al-Hindya
+AD4-(a rich area of Baghdad) so many new restaurants and shops with the latest
+AD4-models of TVs, videorecorders, etc. that must be paid in dollars and cost
+AD4-much as in Europe. On Thursday night those streets were crowded with big
+AD4-cars, while most people in Iraq have cars produced in the 80s, if they
+AD4-have cars. It seems there's a new economic +ACI-ruling+ACI- class, not educated and
+AD4-probably enriched by illegal actions. They are taking the place of the high
+AD4-educated middle class, that's disappearing, because Iraqi teachers,
+AD4-professors, doctors and technicians are paid just enough to survive.
+AD4-Neverthless, their dignity is still strong and they prefer not to have
+AD4-instead of not wearing suitable clothes.
+AD4-Schools and Universities are not like before, when they could be compared
+AD4-those in Europe. Teachers are tired of working for a few dollars a month,
+AD4-they sometimes accept money from the families of their students to let them
+AD4-succeed in examinations. Young people do not speak English as well as the
+AD4-previous generation and they will probably not have the same culture of
+AD4-their parents. (So, it's the opposite of what generally happens all over
+AD4-world). The best +ACI-brains+ACI- are abroad now or are struggling to survive.
+AD4-Corruption is everywhere. Illegal things (such as abortion and getting
+AD4-or other documents without permission) have become normal when people can
+AD4-pay some money to a doctor or an officer. A friend tells us: +ACI-I hope
+AD4-is lifted, but even if it happens tomorrow, the Iraqi society has already
+AD4-changed too much, it's wasted for ever+ACI-.
+AD4-The poorest people have no job and no money to feed their children, who are
+AD4-generally sent not to school but to the streets as beggars. You can see it
+AD4-in Saddam City or Kifah (some of the poorest areas of Baghdad), where
+AD4-the war people were not rich but could have what they needed to live and
+AD4-there were no beggars.
+AD4-Another thing that impressed me a lot was the visit to Saddam Children
+AD4-hospital. I had seen it in 1993, too and apparently it looks better now. A
+AD4-very kind doctor tells us that, after the oil-for-food agreements, they can
+AD4-receive simple medicines, such as those for a flu, but they haven't those
+AD4-necessary for life (against heart attacks or cancer), as the UN considers
+AD4-them double-use (civil and military). We visit some rooms with children
+AD4-suffering for leukemia and the doctor tells us that they will all die, as
+AD4-the rate of mortality for this kind of desease is 100+ACU-: chemiotherapy for
+AD4-leukemia is made of three products combined and the 661 UN Committee
+AD4-generally blocks one of them. I ask to a 12-year-old girl what she wants to
+AD4-become when she grows up and she says to our translator: +ACI-if she asks me
+AD4-this, they didn't tell her that I have leukemia+ACI-.
+AD4-Please, feel free to ask me questions on my trip, if you are interested.
+AD4-Eri Garuti

This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq
For removal from list, email
Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]