Skip to comments.IRAQ: Itís Springtime in Baghdad
Posted on 04/28/2003 12:53:25 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
Its 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 dont only sell flowers but we are also specialists in landscaping, he said. He doesnt 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-Quraiat 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 cant afford to buy the pesticides or the proper soil.
The environmental effects of the missiles are another matter. Its still too early to determine the extent of the damage to the soil and the plants, he said. At least the water wasnt cut off as in 1991, so we were able to take care of our plants and trees throughout this war, said Abdullah.
Al-Quraiat 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 cant sleep without tossing and turning all night, our dreams have turned to nightmares; we are still in rehabilitation from Saddams 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 Saddams regime, he doesnt have to worry about his bills for now.
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. :-)
Well --- Hmmm, I just sailed right on past that!
I thought there were tons of pesticides there. We've been finding them everywhere.
That's very interesting isn't it!
Sherlock, come here!!
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