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+AD4-Hello, +AD4- +AD4-I'm posting this message in case it might be of any interest to the list +AD4-members. +AD4- +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- +AD4-I had been in Iraq twice before, in 1993 and in 1995, with the association A +AD4-Bridge to Baghdad. +AD4- +AD4-The thing that impressed me most in this trip was the gap between the people +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 as +AD4-much as in Europe. On Thursday night those streets were crowded with big new +AD4-cars, while most people in Iraq have cars produced in the 80s, if they still +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 lunch +AD4-instead of not wearing suitable clothes. +AD4- +AD4-Schools and Universities are not like before, when they could be compared to +AD4-those in Europe. Teachers are tired of working for a few dollars a month, so +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 the +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 visas +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 embargo +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- +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 before +AD4-the war people were not rich but could have what they needed to live and +AD4-there were no beggars. +AD4- +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- +AD4-Please, feel free to ask me questions on my trip, if you are interested. +AD4- +AD4-Eri Garuti +AD4-eri+AEA-deejay.it -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi