Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Witness in Baghdad

The doughty Saad Eskander's diary for May can be read here. Electricity and water shortages in the Iraqi capital have been making life very difficult as the temperature soars and even Eskander's mood seems to darken by the month. If you haven't got time to read the whole, this excerpt gives a flavour of what life is like:

"one or my library workers approached me, asking if I would grant her one month paid leave, before she submitted a memorandum. After I asked her about the reason, she told me that she suffered from some heart problem. She needs to go abroad to have an operation on her heart, as most Iraqi heart surgeons left the country for fear of kidnapping and killing. So, we have not only political, security, electricity, water and economic crises, but also acute medical crisis. We have not enough good medicine, hospitals and experienced doctors. Only the well-off people can go abroad to receive good medical treatment. The poor has always been paying much heavier price then the others, since the outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War in 1980. The night was as hot as the day. The sky was soon clouded. This what made the situation far worse. The temperature exceeded 42 centigrade. We did have national electricity for two days. We could not take frequent showers, as we have been suffering from water shortages for some time now. I was not able to use my generator for more than four hours, as I had little fuel to cool my very hot flat. The prices of fuel have gone up sharply in the black market, as our 'beloved hero' , the Minister of Oil, failed to put an end to the ongoing fuel crisis. Like all Baghdadis, we escaped to the roof, trying to have some fresh air; but there was not any. High temperature and humidity prevented my son and my wife from sleeping. They slept finally at 4.00, after the weather got a bit cooler."

No comments: