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Just A touch of Real life

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The Labout party and their mate Bush seem very proud of their achievements in Iraq??



Just now we've got electricity, but I'll bet you it won't last more than a couple of hours at most.

We never have time to enjoy our national electricity. We switch to our own engines once it goes.

I've been in the shop since morning. Not surprisingly, there's no one here yet, no customers.

People are generally more afraid in the morning. Eventually they venture out.

It is normal for us to see police cars and gunmen and the Americans all over the place, without knowing what on earth is going on.

We just see them there, blocking roads, clashing with someone, firing at each other. Every day. It's become routine.

We're afraid of any car on the streets. How can you know if it's rigged or not? You can't. We just pray and then leave home for work.

We're sitting around. We're not feeling secure at all. We're scared. But what can we do?


Waria Salhi, Businessman, Kirkuk, 1020 (0620 GMT)

Today was supposed to be a day off, but something has come up and I have to work now.


I'm getting ready and have told my guards to prepare the cars to take me to the project that I need to check. After that I will have to come back and write up a review.

There will be no time to relax this afternoon.

I have to go and support a friend.

His daughter was killed earlier this week and it is her funeral.


Zainab el-Khafaji, Science teacher, Baghdad, 0940 (0540 GMT).

Today, as on every Friday, I complete whatever housework I couldn't finish during the week.

We all stay at home, and in the evening we will go to my parents' home just a few minutes walk from here.

During Saddam's time, we would stay at my parents' place until 12 or 1 am, because things were secure.

Now we can't do that anymore.

We go to the mosque for Friday prayers, and it's the same ordeal getting there and back as it is on work days.

Mosques are also targeted, despite all the security they now place outside them.

During Saddam's rule, I was a photographer. But after the invasion, I can't get away too far from home because of the security situation, so I'm never able to photograph what I want to.

It's forced me to change careers and give up doing what I like.


Elwan al-Elwan, Sculptor, Baghdad, 0959 (0559 GMT)

My day is like any other Iraqi's day: full of tragedy. We live under the dual threat of occupation and terrorism.


I am now at work, which is very close to where I live. I have an exhibition in Amman this summer, and I am working on some sculptures inspired by life in Iraq.

One of them is a sculpture of people walking, with only feet ahead of them. It represents the sinister future ahead. Another is a sculpture of a man on a stairway, the Iraqi symbol for nostalgia. It is where we get together to play as kids.

I have no other plans for the day other than work. No Iraqis have any plans. What can you do under such circumstances, other than work and go home?

You know how it is by watching the news, but the fact is, reality is much worse than what you see in the news. While at work I forget everything else. How else would I be able to get it done?

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