I looked around at many Iraqi blogs, looking for stories, and decided to write about Tuota and Micho because their two stories are related to some chronic problems we are facing in Iraq these days.
Let me first start with Tuota who, together with Mhmd and her brother were walking in Baghdad to get some books or shoes for Touta, when they were stopped by some policemen who asked them Where're they going.Touta's brother addressed their question and then just before they let them go, another group of five policemen stopped the three again looking at them upside-down. Then, they asked them: What are your relations with this girl?! Mhmd explained what happened after this:
My friend (her bro) looks on in shock, i don't know how to reply.
in the end, touta spends half an hour talking to them about her human rights to walk with anyone she wants
So in actual fact Touta lectured the policemen for about half an hour, focusing on human rights. I told Mhmd that I'm so proud of Touta.Unfortunetley human rights are not taken for granted in our countries contrary to people’s wishes.You have to stand up for your rights against any violation for your civil rights and that's exactly what Touta has done and she successed as the ploicemen let them go.
I commented on Mhmd'blog saying that democracy is a learning process and the Iraqi policemen need lot of training and workshops to know how to respect the human and civili rights of the citizines they supposed to protect. To be honest, I'm so glad that Touta managed to lecture to the police about human rights for almost 30 minutes. I hope she'll put some thing about the incident on her blog. It is hoped that these and other actions will succeed to convert the Iraqi police from a force that are being used to oppress people into a friendly force that should protect all the citizines without any form of discrimination whatsoever.
I believe though that Iraq is moving in the right direction. We just need time to sort out some chronic problems and then I believe we'll be the most prpsperous country in the region. Then Mhmd asked me about our chronic problems to which I said there are many of them but let me list what I have in my mind at the moment:
1. Terrorism and sectarianism
2. Corruption, mismanagement and malinvestment
3. Inefficient public services
4. Also the U.S. military presence is another chronic problem which needs to be dealt with in order for our country to be fully independent. Nobody would like to see his or her country occupied for too long whatever the wisdom behind it.
Its nearly been a half year now, during which Micho spent lot of her time looking for a house to rent in Baghdad. The house of dreams will see Micho ties the knot with her long time fiancé. However, this's not an easy task in Baghdad.
Despite the fact that Micho has an army of volunteers that includes according to Micho words:
my family, my family in law, my father and his friends, my mother and some neighboors, my finace and all his friends, my friends and their families.
The outcomes are not successful,:
There is nothing to live in.
There is a housing crisis in Iraq and according to what Ms. Bayan Dezayee, the Iraqi Minister of Construction and Housing, said recently:
“Iraq’s population will reach 39 million and will require building 1.9 million housing units by 2015, which cannot be met with existing rates of supply.”
It's not easy now to find a house or an apartment for rent in the secure area of Baghdad such as Al-Karada and Zayoneh districts. Also the prices of property in our capital Baghdad have more than doubled since the year 2003 and the fact of the matter is that you must have more than 200,000 US$ to buy a little house in the secure districts of Baghdad.
The crisis is worsening day by day and it seems there's no simple solution for it. My friend Rasim desperately tried in August last year to find a suitable small house in Baghdad Al-Jadyda district but to no avail. Then he paid 90,000 US$ for a house in Al-Hillah city, 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad.Some people are now paying him 120,000 US$ for the very same house. This represents a 40% increase over the original price in less than a year.
For more information, please read the following two articles. They are not newly published articles but the information is still valid:
Boom time in Baghdad: Return of refugees puts heat under property prices
Baghdad property prices soar amid improved security
Let's see some of the options that are available to Micho in her struggle to find a place. She could very much focus her efforts to find an appartment in Zayoneh district or Hifa street because many place seekrs prefer a house:
The other solution is for Micho and her fiancé to find another couple (preferbley cousins or close friends) and then they could share a house in one of the secure districts for no more than a 550 US$ a month:
Micho could go to some of the old areas of Baghdad such as Al-Hayderkanah and rent a (Shanasheel) traditional Iraqi house. They have a unique architecture that makes them look very attractive and also it helps the house to keep the temperatures low in the summer and high in the winter. I have to say that they are cheaper compared to the modern designed houses:
Surley, Micho and her fiancé could start their marriage in one of the former dictator's palaces that is being offered to the newlymarried couple for about 175 US$ per night and after their short stay let's all say "ALLAH Yehlha" which means ALLAH will solve it:
Micho and her fiancé also have the option of moving to Kurdistan region which is one of the most stable and prosperous parts of Iraq. Micho has languages and accounting skills that should help her to get a good job to pay the rent for the following house in Erbil:
You don't need money or a job to live in the Marsh Arabs.It's FREE! All what Micho needs to do is going there to actually build her own Sumerian style house and start fishing together with her fiancé. They just have to fully integrete into the 5,000-year-old culture of the Madan, descended from the Sumerians who established humankind's first civilization, and to do so they may need to buy a (Jamousah) buffalo and try to learn how to milk her every day:
Although I'm not sure if Micho and her fiancé are ready to explore all the above options, nonetheless, we, the army of volunteers and her Iraqi bloggers colleagues should give the best possible advices and solutions. Needless to say that the final decision really lies with them both, Micho and her man, as she rightly declared in her following statement:
we want to do it the way we want, the time we want, we will wait untill we find a nice place for us.. this is my business, it is not others businss.
Finaly, I pray for Micho and her fiancé to get a house that suite them today and not tomorrow and I'm very optimistic they will.