Thursday, September 15, 2005

Here is the sort of post on Iraq you can expect to receive from CPT (in addition to my own) if you subscribe to the CPT Iraq listserv cpt_iraq@yahoogroups.com :
Wednesday, 7 SeptemberKERBALA:

Provencher and Van Wagenen traveled from Kerbala to Najaf, another Shi'a holy city. They spent the day with members of several Iraqi human rights and humanitarian NGOs. Conversation focused on the experience of women in Iraq and the failure of reconstruction in Iraq. One women's leader said, "The years 1977-79 were the golden years for women in Iraq. But since then, because of the Iran-Iraq war, the 1991 war, the sanctions, and this war, women have lost their fathers, husbands, brothers, and they have had to take on all of the family roles themselves."

When asked about the new constitution, she said, "The role of women is getting worse. Many of the new political and religious societies limit the role of women. And women are not taking more of a role because they are scared. Our job is to be so active that we help women to be risen through awareness, to be risen from sleep."

Concerning reconstruction, the Iraqi group agreed that "there is more corruption in Najaf" than in any other Iraqi city. One man said, "I can show you places where reconstruction projects were supposed to happen, and I can tell you who the contractor was. The Iraqi contractors just pocket the money, and the U.S. does not follow up to see what happens."

BAGHDAD: The team heard a loud explosion at a few minutes past 9:00 AM.

Chandler and Nash visited Iraqi colleagues at a human rights organization.

While shopping, Chandler and Nash discovered that the loud explosion they heard that morning was from a car bomb in the area. A nearby shopkeeper told them that it was targeting a convoy of white GMC cars, like those driven by U.S. contractors and non-military government agencies. The explosion missed its target, but killed one boy selling ice and another bystander. Chandler and Nash then went to the site of the explosion and found a young man from a photo shop standing amid the rubble. He and his father were not there at the time, but their shop was completely destroyed. Dozens of other shops in the area had their windows blown out.

In the evening, Chandler and Nash hosted a team translator for a dinner to celebrate his birthday.

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