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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

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A catastrophe

  Although most of the roads today were blocked, I was going to a friend of mine, since his house is pretty near I didn't think the roads would be much of a problem, so my thought was to get to the main street and get a ride from there, but my idea was proven wrong when I got there, because the street was overcrowded, but there were no cars there, only people. Today is a big religious event for Shiites in Iraq, they would all march to a place in Baghdad called Kazimia.

  So there was no way I could go by car, but the scene was nice, I stood there watching for a while, then I went back, called my friend so he could come pick me up from a different route. When I was at his house, his father suddenly entered the room and said "Come watch the news, quickly". Ok so this is the news. Ok now although you will read the article, but I have a few things to add. The local TV news station said it all began when some mortars fell on a nearby park, so people started running everywhere saying there was an attack, the news quickly traveled until it reached the bridge. Some people on the bridge started screaming that there was a bombed car on the bridge, or there were some terrorists on the bridge, in a few seconds later chaos was everywhere, and people started running everywhere, pushing each other off the bridge or stepping on each other, total CHAOS. Many fell of the bridge, some rumors tell that a part of the bridge fell over, so hundreds of people fell off the bridge into the river Dijla, most of them drowned.

For me I don't know what to say for those people killed, but the truth is they can finally rest, they will rest from all the suffering the Iraqis are facing like electricity, water and benzene. But I fell so sorry when I think of those people with families, or for the children who came with their fathers and mothers, I'm a Sunni myself, but I do have a heart, and it is bleeding now.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005


  Today was the third day in a series of escalating violence in Baghdad. The story began when Bader Regiment made an attack on one of the Al Sadr offices in Baghdad. Then Al Sadr armed forces made many attacks on different offices of the Islamic Party which houses Bader Regiment. Just yesterday there was an armed conflict between the too forces at one of the main streets of Baghdad, then the Iraqi National Guard and some US forces came into the fight, the result was six different burned cars, which the Iraqi police pulled and pile under the bridge, I saw them today, and I say the marks of the battle on the ground, rounds and marks of explosions were everywhere.

  Yesterday I met a very interesting guy, he was taken as a prison in the Iraq-Iran war, he was taken prisoner on 1981, then release on 2002. Imagine 21 years as a prisoner. He told me that there was only two ways you could get released. The first was in a prisoners switch which happened a few times between the two countries, but not all the prisoners were released. The second way was to enlist at Bader Regiment, but no one would be accepted unless he had killed 5 other Iraqi prisoners, how brutal. Then the prisoner would be released to enlist with Bader Regiment and would fight for them. Now this regiment is in Iraq and supported by Iran, it's main task is to kill Sunis, and has been doing so since the end of the war. It is being supported by the Irani Islamic party, but right now it is in a big fight with Al Sadr forces, plus there is the Ali bin Aby Talib's Brigade, which is part of Omar's Regiment, and Omar Regiment is a terrorist Regiment who are followers of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, needless to say this brigade is an ally of Al-Sadr armed forces against Bader Regiment. This information is known in the Iraqi street and doesn't take a genius to figure out what is going to happen in the next few days between these sides.

  Leaving the war and coming to peace, today I read a small manual that has been distributed by the committee to write the legislation. The manual has many useful information, and it has a table of dates. At 15 October there will be a voting on the legislation which will decide whether it will be used or not, then the elections are going to happen on December 15, we have already gotten our names listed for the voting, the elections are yet to come.

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Carnival of the Relatives

  Since she is not Iraq, Najma has stopped blogging, and so one of frequent posts The carnival of the relatives, has stopped. Since many bloggers and readers use this post to make a quick tour of the new posts of our family, I took the task until she is back to Iraq.

She always started with the oldest, which is her dad :
In her latest one, Mama was next:
Now it is Rose turn. I had forgotten to add he in the original post, so I have to say I'm sorry for that aunt, but here are your posts:
Since her mother hasn't posted, I should be next:
Now it is Her turn:
Her Sister , is next in the age series:
Depending on her latest post, Dalia is next in the queue:
Now I have reached our local cats site, Raghda is the next one. Uh.. She has a million posts since they has left, so I'll just stop at her blog link.

It appears that the youngest blogger in our family is Sunshine, I haven't noticed it before, but she is the most active blogger among us:
Finished??? I can't believe it.. I have never put such effort in a single post.. Well . In the end I wish the Mosul Family a safe trip and for my sake a quick one...

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

An Average Iraqi Re-Fuelling

  A few days earlier the old system of fuelling at fuel stations was changed, to understand the new system I have to talk about the old system. To shorten the length of the queue waiting to enter the station, which in some cases exceeds a kilometer in length. So the government decided to cut it in half by allowing only cars with even numbers to fuel in a day, and only cars with odd numbers to fuel in another, and by saying numbers I mean license numbers. But even this hasn't been of much help, because the queue always advances slowly, and it is known that the current production is not enough to meet up with the demand, along with other reasons, which don't have their place here. In most cases it is the duty of the National Guard personnel to make sure that only allowed cars enter the station.

  The new system works in another way, first it cuts the cars into two sections; old cars and new cars (called Manifest in Iraq), which defer in license color. Then cuts the Manifest into odd and even. So a driver can only fuel once each 3 days. Which is less than enough for people who drive a lot, like taxi drivers and people who travel long distances from their work to their homes. In other countries, the transit system could take some of the traffic, but the ineffectiveness of the transit system, along with the huge size of the city of Baghdad, makes it useless to use them for transportation.

  This leaves our friend, the Average Iraqi out of choices, but to stand the tall queue of hungry drivers for fuel, and become one of them, where it is your duty to ensure that you keep up and not let anyone take your place, then because the line moves slowly, it is not practical to keep the car running, so you shut it off, and many drivers will choose to push the car when the line moves, rather than start it up and lose precious fuel. Although it's very cheap in Iraq, but it is scarce, the price of one litter of benzene in Iraq is 100 dinars (6 cents) which is half the prize of a one minute call on cell phone, meaning that to fill up medium sized car you need 4000 dinars (2 dollars and 72 cents). But what good is it's cheapness if it is rare and hard to get. Some of the old cars, can be used to pump up fuel out of them, so let's say that someone fuels his old car from a fuel station, and then pulls up the fuel of of it, goes selling the benzene at prices that almost reach 10 times as the original ones at the fuel station, although it is strickly prohibited to sell fuel in the black market, but this is becoming a job for many Iraqis, and a good one if you are in a good place, since many drivers will remember where they can get fuel, and go there every time. Which means the those black sellers are going to be in the station 3 or 4 times a day, or more, taking places of other drivers by doing so.

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Blast

  We knew in the morning that something was going to happen, because US patrols kept patrolling the are behind the construction site. The site is being built on higher ground than the surrounding area, although it is fenced, there is a place in the fence that has not been done, so we could see what is happening behind us. The patrols started early in the morning, the they went away, came after a couple of hours, then they went again, and the kept doing it. Late in the afternoon, we heard a big explosion from behind the site, as we ran to the low fenced are to see what was happening, I took this picture with my mobile:

  The explosion wasn't a really big one, it was probably a land mine, mostly an armor mine, which is very big, and it will be easy to bury it in the shaken sands of the deserted areas. So whoever did it, all they had to do was find the tracks made by the armor and bury the mine there. Although the explosion wasn't big, but it seems like all the dust in the are was immediately in the air, and when the dust was cleared, no one was there.

  Apart from bombed cars, and open conflict, mines are a rare way of fighting, because they aren't really useful in the city, since they can be spotted a long way away if they are not buried, and they can't be buried in the road. So only in rare cases has mines done anything to an American patrol, but in the open spaces like this, a mines destroyer come handy.

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Monday, August 08, 2005

The Red Planet

When I opened my eyes this morning, the room looked RED, at first I thought my eyes where playing tricks on me, but the room did really look red. I got up, and looked out the to discover that the world looked like this:

This is actually one of the heaviest dust storms I have ever seen, the atmosphere looks red because too much dust particles are in it, a very high percentage, as I write this post, almost 10 hours later, the air hasn't cleared yet. I had some business to do outside the house, so I had to get out. As the car went over the road, the cars ahead where invisible, only the phantoms of their headlights would appear, followed by a beam in front of them, and only a few meters away, would the car appear, it would appear like it came from a fog. The good thing is that US patrols where not very frequent today, or it maybe just that we didn't spot them.

But if I didn't spot any US patrols, someone else did. It happened when my brother and his lessons group, where stuck at a traffic jam, the driver was anxious to move on, so as they where waiting for the traffic to move, a black Prince (CAR) stopped at a nearby sidewalk, they watched the four guys get out of the black vehicle, opened the trunk, took out an RPG, by that time the driver went WHOA. In a few moments, the cars where all over the pavement, trying to get out of there, but as they sped through the pavement, the US patrol had already left the scene, and the guys where now behind them, and no one knows what happened to them, there was no sound of explosions or a combat.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Legislation; Good Enough??

  Although it is still a draft, but the new legislation has aroused much discussion around it, whether between the Iraqis themselves, or between others. I will not write the Legislation here, for two reasons: One; It is too long for a single post. Second; It has been written in many places in the net, whether in Arabic or in English. Personally I think that the Legislation is not yet good enough to be the law in Iraq. But with a little more effort it could become good enough to work out.

  But it is going to be very hard to get that legislation to be win the voting, I have made the math for the process to work. The legislation is going to need 12 million people to vote for it to be accepted, while on the other hand, 2 million people can get it un-accepted. Because it can get un-accepted if only two thirds of the population of three states voted against it. One reason of why that is going to be difficult to achieve, is that most Iraqis think that the legislation, once accepted, there is no way to change it except by changing the government. Yes although the court should have the power to change some parts of the legislation, but who knows about that. NO ONE.

  The reason for such ignorance is that for more than 30 years the court had almost no power in Iraq, and was not independent, on the contrary Saddam could easily reach any judge he had in mind and make all the decisions he wanted, so there was no way for a court to change the legislation he wrote. Now thirty years after, still no one actually realizes how much powerful a court can be, because even now we still can't get the hand of justice to reach everyone, or protect them. I'll give an example; My aunt's husband is a doctor at the Abo-Graib hospital, a few weeks ago he made an operation for a woman, although the operation went well, the woman had some side effects after the operation, which could have been resolved after another operation. He informed the family of the woman, and he told them another doctor that could do the job, instead they went to another doctor which told them that the first operation was not successfully. So they went to him and threatened to kill him unless he paid a ransom of 4 million denars, although he paid that ransom, they still told him that they will come back to him and kill him if the woman dies. Sad to say there is no use to go to the police or the court, none could help him, now his options are limited to either leaving his country or go work elsewhere without his name spreading out, both options includes giving up his career at the hospital.

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