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IRAQ: Itís Springtime in Baghdad
Arab News (Saudi Arabia ) ^ | 28 April 2003 | Nadia Mahadeed, Arab News War Correspondent

Posted on 04/28/2003 12:53:25 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

It’s Springtime in Baghdad
Nadia Mahadeed, Arab News War Correspondent

BAGHDAD, 28 April 2003 — The blooming flowers and tall palm trees in the thousands of nurseries along the roads of Baghdad are competing for the attention of residents and visitors, away from the sights of destruction. They are indications of the new life that is about to begin for the Baghdadis and Iraqis in general.

Abu Adnan, who runs a nursery in Al-Azamiyah in northern Baghdad, talks about his love for the profession his father and grandfather have practiced before him. “We don’t only sell flowers but we are also specialists in landscaping,” he said. He doesn’t own the land where his nursery is but rents it from the district council, which in turn seized it from its owner — like many other properties in the past 35 years — whom he expects to return soon and claim ownership.

Like many in his situation, Abu Adnan intends to talk with the original owners of the land about the future of his nursery. They might agree to continue to lease the land to him, or they might want it back. Either way, Abu Adnan has no intention of abandoning his profession; it is the only thing he knows how to do.

There are about a dozen nurseries on the Al-Azamiyah road, each with more than a thousand plants and palm trees. Selling the dates from the palm trees is another source of income for the farmers. Not far from them, in Al-Qurai’at area on the banks of River Tigris, is another group of nurseries. There I met 46-year-old Sabah Abdullah who is angry at the militarization his society has undergone in recent years. “During my break from military service, which was no more than ten days, I would hurry to spend time in the nursery among the flowers and greenery to forget the sounds of cannon and gunfire,” he said.

He takes good care of his plants, watering them from the river, which is better for flowers and plants, according to his neighbor Abbas Al-Amiri from Al-Amiri nursery. “Tigris water is better than the tap water from the tanks,” he said. As for the red sand that covers Baghdad when the seasonal khamasin winds blow, he said it does the plants no harm. “In fact, it protects them from insects, because we can’t afford to buy the pesticides or the proper soil.”

The environmental effects of the missiles are another matter. “It’s still too early to determine the extent of the damage to the soil and the plants,” he said. “At least the water wasn’t cut off as in 1991, so we were able to take care of our plants and trees throughout this war,” said Abdullah.

Al-Qurai’at is one of the most famous districts in Baghdad, and its nurseries, almost a thousand of them, line the river on both banks, creating a special atmosphere. It is bound to become a tourist attraction again, especially when its famous restaurants reopen, offering their specialty, almaskoof fish. However, it will take time before these nurseries return to their full potential after being neglected for more than two months.

The Iraqis are still suffering emotionally, psychologically and physically from the effects of the war and have just begun to reclaim their lives. “Our children still can’t sleep without tossing and turning all night, our dreams have turned to nightmares; we are still in rehabilitation from Saddam’s rule,” said a gardener from Mustafa nursery. Kazim, the owner of another nursery, thinks that even his flowers seem liberated from the shackles of the former president. “Believe it or not, since the disappearance of Saddam, my flowers have been blooming as if they are happy about what happened,” he said. “Flowers feel what the people who take care of them feel, and they are happy because we are.” He seems to forget that it is probably spring that has caused his flowers to bloom. Another thing that could be adding to his happiness is that, with the fall of Saddam’s regime, he doesn’t have to worry about his bills for now.




TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 200304; bugspray; iraq; iraqifreedom; iraqiwmd; order; pesticides; postwariraq; precursors; redsand; warlist
Life is returning to Baghdad!
1 posted on 04/28/2003 12:53:25 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Happy Birthday, Saddam!
2 posted on 04/28/2003 12:54:48 PM PDT by Howlin (The Trojan Horse was a "gift," wasn't it?)
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To: *war_list; W.O.T.; Dog Gone; Grampa Dave; blam; Sabertooth; NormsRevenge; Gritty; SierraWasp; ...
I just thought this was very encouraging!

OFFICIAL BUMP(TOPIC)LIST

3 posted on 04/28/2003 12:54:50 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Recall Gray Davis and then start on the other Democrats)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
“Our children still can’t sleep without tossing and turning all night, our dreams
have turned to nightmares; we are still in rehabilitation from
Saddam’s rule,”
said a gardener from Mustafa nursery.
Kazim, the owner of another nursery, thinks that even his flowers seem liberated from the shackles of the former president.
“Believe it or not, since the disappearance of Saddam, my flowers have been
blooming as if they are happy about what happened,”
he said.
“Flowers feel what the people who take care of them feel, and they are happy
because we are.”


It morning (and Spring) again.
Even in Iraq.

And to think the French, Germans and other weasels tried to stop this.
4 posted on 04/28/2003 12:57:58 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
It's always darkest before dawn. The sun is coming up in Iraq.
5 posted on 04/28/2003 1:04:51 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
..and on Broadway, Springtime for Saddam plays to packed audiences...
6 posted on 04/28/2003 1:15:47 PM PDT by Portnoy (No complaints here....as long as I'm fly fishing.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
The environmental effects of the missiles are another matter. “It’s still too early to determine the extent of the damage to the soil and the plants,” he said. “At least the water wasn’t cut off as in 1991, so we were able to take care of our plants and trees throughout this war,” said Abdullah.

I would be surprised if the total tonnage of munitions used in this war is as much as was used in 1991.

Another side-benefit of precision. :-)

7 posted on 04/28/2003 1:19:53 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
OK...

The nurseries can't afford pesticides, but every barrel we find in the country is full of them.
8 posted on 04/28/2003 1:43:46 PM PDT by sharktrager
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To: sharktrager; Grampa Dave; Carry_Okie
The nurseries can't afford pesticides, but every barrel we find in the country is full of them.

Well --- Hmmm, I just sailed right on past that!

9 posted on 04/28/2003 1:55:47 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: sharktrager
Great pickup here, ST, The nurseries can't afford pesticides, but every barrel we find in the country is full of them.
10 posted on 04/28/2003 2:00:47 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Being a Monthly Donor to Free Republic is the Right Thing to do!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
"As for the red sand that covers Baghdad when the seasonal khamasin winds blow, he said it does the plants no harm. “In fact, it protects them from insects, because we can’t afford to buy the pesticides or the proper soil.”

I thought there were tons of pesticides there. We've been finding them everywhere.

11 posted on 04/28/2003 2:29:08 PM PDT by dixiechick2000
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To: dixiechick2000
I thought there were tons of pesticides there. We've been finding them everywhere.

That's very interesting isn't it!

Sherlock, come here!!

12 posted on 04/28/2003 2:37:42 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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