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An Average Iraqi

An Average Iraqi is just a fictional character whose....well, fictional. I will use this character to make a comparison between him and real human beings like myself or any one else.

Location:Baghdad, Iraq

My name is Hassan Kharrufa. I am a 20 year old Iraqi student. I study civil engineering at the Department of Building and Construction at Al-Jami3a Al-Taknologia (The Tecknology Univirsity), Baghdad, Iraq.

Iraqi Bloggers BiographyUpdated November 11

Friday, June 24, 2005

Lets Talk About The National Guards

   Finally the water is beginning to get stronger, it appears that the terrorist attack on main water pipes was more devastating than it first appeared, because they anticipated that it wouldn't take them more than two or three days to get it fixed, this has affected most of Baghdad, even the meeting of the National Assembly has been postponed because of it.

   Getting to the point of the post; A friend of mine was arrested a few weeks ago by National Guards, and especially by the wolf regiment or as called in Baghdad (Loa' Al-zeeb), which is the unit that usually makes all the raids of houses suspected of terrorist actions. So they raided the house of a friend of mine a few weeks ago, although the poor guy didn't have anything to do with terrorism or anything, but the raid was made as result of some information given by an anonymous person. It seems that whoever informs about terrorist locations gets $1000 if it was true, which is the good part. But the bad part is if it is false he gets $300, which made many people give such information regardless of it's credibility, because he still gets the money whether it is right or wrong. The NG personnel searched the house and one of them searched the computer thoroughly, even when they didn't find anything they took him with them, it seems that whoever is caught cannot be released unless by a judge, which is something we are not used to in Iraq, could say that a few years ago my friend would have been dead.

   One other thing, did you know that the uniforms of the National Guards and Police forces in Iraq are being sold in certain areas of Baghdad, especially Bab Al-Sharjy, which is almost a market of everything, anything can be found there. For example right after the war there, a friend of mine tells that he did see a commercial written by hand on a wall saying (Solve your problems for just 1500 Dinars) which is a little less than a dollar, guess what you will by that, a HAND GRENADE. Anyway I guess I drifted off point, back to the National Guards, anyone can get their uniforms, Imagine the chaos that could create, it has been known for some terrorist groups to mimic national guards units and do whatever they please in their name, which isn't exactly what we can call popular in Baghdad. This is mostly because of their brutality, too rough in doing everything, they have developed the idea that they have the right to do what ever pleases them in order to get their missions done, even if it meant random fire.

   I noted a few interesting posts this week, first one I noted was made by Mad Canuck. The post is titled Us army In Iraq Police As the Target. The post is talks about what problems the US soldiers are facing especially since they are the most targeted people in town. Second post is has been made by Cile the post is titled Declaration of Revocation. The post is a letter from England to the US, which is not intended againt anyone so let's try to be mature about this. Finally Raghda wanted to tell that she is back with more cats pictures if you are interested. This is starting to sound like a TV commercial so I guess I'll stop here.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Electricity Vs Water

  Oh so that is why we are having a water shortage, guess who. That is right; a terrorist attack at Al-Kazim had resulted in cutting the water off from over half of Baghdad. It is really a depress to come home after a long day in the blazing sun of June and find that you can't take a bath. How does the Average Iraqi deal with such problems? Mostly he will resort to getting from other sources, for example in each house there is a big water tank in the roof, which can be useful if the domestic water is out. Another method, but not so common is to buy water, either bottled or contained up to 20 litters in a container. The last resort is to get a well in the garden, which is actually very easy to do, because there is a lot of ground water in Iraq. All you have to do is to dig a 20 m hole in the ground and there you have it, you just have to make sure the hole doesn't close, so you put a pipe or something. The only problem is that the water isn't really drinkable, although it is healthy, but it is hard for someone to drink such water.

This comes in the same time electricity had gotten better, now we have a 3 after 3 schedule. Which means we get electricity for three hours and we miss it for another 3, and so on. Well I guess one can't get everything at the same time. Come to think about it, it wasn't more than two weeks when we heard that Dubai had a total blackout, which almost stopped life out there, the blackout was no longer than two hours, but it did massive damage because no one was prepared for it. While here in Iraq, the Average Iraqi can easily spend his day without any domestic electricity at all.

  There are many ways to go around the problem of no electricity, the most common one nowadays, is to get your own electricity, by either a small home generator, or a massive area generator which can power up many houses with basic electricity needs. So all you have to do is to sign in, and get a cable that can cover up the distance, and the last solution is to get them both, which we have done in the house. We have a 4.5 KV generator on the roof, which has been secured with chains to the balustrade, cause the only thing you can't steal in Iraq is something you can't move. And we have signed in the local area generator, which is a 500 KV generator. Plus, there are other ways the Average Iraqi would use to get around the electricity problem, like UPSs for computers, and there are some local ones that have been made to run on car batteries, to light up a few things with. Which we have too.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

A Come Back

  Finally the 16th, today I finished my final exams, did fine. I would have thrown most of the books from the window by now if most of them weren't so huge, some of them could kill a man if they fell on him. The department used a cut-down policy during the exams, which is to cut down the number of the student in the department to almost half the number, achieved by hardening the questions. Questions for the strength of materials, fluid mechanics and concrete design were especially impossible. The reason of the policy is that most of the department students joined the department after the war by means of connections, and there was no limit for the number of students at the time, which resulted in too much students, needless to say; survival for the better.

  So many things have happened since my last post, probably the biggest event is that operation lightning is put into action, there are now more than 40000 U.S soldiers in Baghdad, which is why we have been seeing them every so often these days, and there are Iraqi National Guard personnel at every traffic intersection. I even heard that some areas of Baghdad are going to be cut off, and searched house by house. There are three hot areas in Baghdad now which are: Al-Kazalia, which is near the highway going to Fallujah, that place became a war zone during the operation in Fallujah. Next is Al-Amiria, and last is Al-Dora. These areas are going to be the most affected areas by operation Lightning. Also during my exams there was a huge battle between terrorists and U.S. soldiers at the Al-Amiria highway, the next day we saw about 15 burned cars scattered along the street. Oh and the last good news is that the Iraqi National Guard have finally gotten their own armored vehicles to use, we see them everyday at the sides of the airport highway, which is the main highway in Baghdad, it connects main parts of Baghdad together, and is the only way to the Baghdad Airport.

   Now I have to catch up to the blog news, so many posts have been posted that I have to read, I feel like I have traveled through time, and came to the future, to see everyone have been posting and posting and I don't know how many people have forgotten that the Average Iraqi blog exists. Well now my exams are over and I'll be back posting, hopefully I won't fail any material or I'm going to have to take it again in the summer.

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