As you might already know, Gaith is writing for the Guardian for some time now. And he is doing a series of articles about the life of people in Iraq. Its an interesting reading. I like his professional style in writing. I thought you might be interested in his latest article about the life of a school principal in Baghdad.
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After looking into G's videos for several times, I could not but applaud him for his courage. It is not easy to make such videos even if they were short in a place like Baghdad.
I think a guy like Gaith in Baghdad would give a good insight of what things really look like on the ground. And would help people to decide whether the "surge" is succeeding or not.
In the video "Baghdad: City of Walls", some remarks he made regarding the need of a fake ID and a pair of rings to get into Al-Qahira neighborhood is absolutely true. There are many places where even Shiaa people need to wear rings (with big colored rocks) as a decisive evidence that they are Shiaa. And it was very brave of him as a Christian person to go to Adhamiya and shoot the conditions in which people are living day by day. I think he might have needed another fake ID other than the one he used in Al-Qahira neighborhood.
One thing I could not help noticing in the article about the school principal in Baghdad, that I referred to earlier; it is the courage of that principal to speak out. I believe that people in Iraq have got to a point that the are so fed up that the just have to speak no matter what were the repercussions. For the school principal to reveal his name and photograph, I believe it took a great amount of courage. Masked gun-men tried to assassinate him once before in 2006, as he told Gaith in the interview.
Another video that blew me away was "Baghdad's Killing Fields". Shooting two graveyards in Adhamiya and Sadr City is just too impossible. Thank God Gaith managed to get out of there alive. I don't know the amount of security he needed to get to and out of these places safely, or maybe it was pure luck.
This, relatively, small graveyard in Adhamiya (the first one in the video) holds about 3,000 bodies since it was open only 2 years ago. And people buried there are of Adhamiya inhibitors only because no one would consider going to Adhamiya in the condition it has been since the occupation. This makes me think of the actual number of dead people since the occupation. If in Adhamiya only, and in two years only, three thousand people died, how many died in five years all over Iraq?
It was heart breaking for me to watch the dump in which the militias buried the people they kill. I have heard a lot about Al-Sadda, but I have never seen it until I saw this video. I keep thinking about all the mothers waiting for their sons to come back home, while their bodies are decaying in this dump called Al-Sadda. I just wish that the government "discovers" this graveyard and do not mistake it for the many of Saddam's massive graves.
This series from Gaith will continue to be published for a week, and I will try to update this post during that time.