[R-P] La huida de Iraq

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro en fibertel.com.ar
Lun Mayo 14 12:11:19 MDT 2007


[Quien remitió esto a la A-list no es en modo alguno una comefrailes. 
Al contrario, se trata de una defensora inclaudicable del régimen 
iraní, y comprende muy bien el rol que PUEDE cumplir la religión en 
un movimiento revolucionario. Pero no es ciega ni torpe, ni cae en la 
extraña idea de que, solo en el caso de la religión, aquello que 
PUEDE SER, ES. 

Los shiítas iraquíes, que están descerebrando el país en nombre de la 
"religiosidad popular" -que si conocieran la Argentina dirían que es 
constitutiva, supongo, del "ser nacional" iraquí- están al servicio 
del imperialismo, tal como lo han estado los partidos religiosos 
musulmanes en la India de los años 30 y 40 o, sin ir más lejos, el 
Vaticano en la Argentina de la década del 50. Basta con cruzar la 
frontera y en Irán el shiísmo cambia de signo.

La "religión" no "constituye" a la Nación. "Se constituye", como toda 
institución humana, en función de la contradicción fundamental que la 
caracteriza. Y no siempre del lado de las masas.

Traduzco parcialmente. Versión más completa, en inglés, al pie. ]


Huyendo de Iraq
por NIR ROSEN

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

La peor de las pérdidas, desde la perspectiva iraquí, fue la huida de 
la clase profesional, la gente que con sus recursos y habilidades 
hubiera podido ponerse de acuerdo para construir un Iraq post-
sadamista. Parece, sin embargo, que justamente porque son esenciales 
para reconstruir Iraq y menos propensos al confesionalismo y la 
violencia, los profesionales son los más vulnerables frente a las 
fuerzas que están partiendo Iraq en pedazos.Muchos están en Siria. A 
una hora de auto de Damasco, en Qudsiya, creció un barrio iraquí 
completo 

[...]

[Allí] vive Lujai —se negó a dar su apellido, con sus cinco hijos: el 
mayor, de 15 años, el menor de 2. Es una especialista en medicina 
familiar y llegó a Qudsiya a fines de setiembre. En Bagdad tenía su 
propia clínia y su marido, Adil, era cirujano de tórax, además de 
enseñar en la facultad de medicina. Tenían la misma edad y provenían 
del mismo pueblo (Ana, en la provincia de Anbar). Llevaban 15 años de 
matrimonio cuando Adil fue asesinado.

Inmediatamente después de la invasión de Iraq, me explicó Lujai, los 
clérigos shiítas tomaron por asalto varios de los hospitales de 
Bagdad pero no supieron gestionarlos. "Desde el principio hicieron 
una cuestión religiosa", dijo, "echando a los sunnitas, diciendo que 
eran del Ba'as".  En 2004 comenzaron los problemas porque querían 
separar a los sunnitas. Se entregó el Ministerio de Salud al 
Movimiento Sadr; es decir a la facción shiítia leal a Moktada al-
Sadr. Después de las elecciones de 2005, que llevaron a los shiítas 
islámicos al poder, dijo Lujai, los Sadristas iniciaron lo que 
llamaban "campaña de remoción de saddamistas". El ministro de salud y 
sus asesores de turbante se aseguraron de que en los hospitales y 
centros de salud se cubrieran las paredes con imágenes de los 
clérigos shiítas: Sadr, el Gran Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani y Abdul Aziz 
al-Hakim. En las salas, se podían oír frecuentemente cantos 
religiosos shiítas. En junio del año pasado, Ali al-Mahdawi, un 
sunita que había manejado el departamento de salud de la provincia de 
Diyala, desapareció con sus guardaespaldas en el ministerio de salud. 
En febrero, el ejército de EEUU ingresó al ministerio para arrestar 
al viceministro de salud, afirmando que estaba vinculado al asesinato 
de  Mahdawi.) Lujai me dijo que los funcionarios sadristas solían 
acusar de terrorismo a los pacientes sunnitas. Después que los 
médicos los trataban, la policía especial del Ministerio del Interior 
arrestaba a los pacientes sunnitas. Después, sus cadáveres aparecían 
en la morgue de Bagdad. "Esto pasó docenas de veces", me dijo, "a 
cualquiera que llegara con heridas de bala y no fuera shiíta."

El 2 de setiembre de 2006, el marido de Lujai fue a trabajar y se 
preparó para las tres operaciones que tenía ese día. Al fin de su 
turno apareció un paciente inesperado y no había otro médico 
disponible, así que Adil se quedó para atenderlo. Mientras manejaba 
su auto de regreso a casa, cuatro autos lo bloquearon, lo rodearon 
hombres armados, lo sacaron de su uto y lo llevaron a Sadr City. 
Cinco horas después, su cuerpo muerto apareció en la calle.

Lujai, al contarme esta historia, comenzó a llorar, y sus hijos 
confundidos la miraban en silencio. Había pedido que la policía 
iraquí investigara el asesinato de su marido, y l edijeron: "Es un 
médico, tiene un grado y es sunnita, así que no puede permanecer en 
Iraq. Es por eso que lo mataron". Dos semanas después, recibió una 
carta ordenándole que abandonara su barrio de la calle Palestina.

El 24 de setiembre, ella, sus hijos y su hermano Abu Shama 
(acompañado de su esposa y cuatro chicos) huyeron. Regalaron o 
malvendieron lo que pudieron, y pagaron 600 dólares por un viaje en 
4x4 que los dejó en Siria. Por lo ocurrido con su esposo, dijo, unos 
20 doctores más escaparon.

[...]

Veinticinco miembros de su familia huyeron a Siria. Cuatro días antes 
de mi visita, supieron que un doctor sunní de su conocimiento había 
sido asesinado en el barrio de Kadhimiya en Bagdad, donde trabajaba. 
Estaba casado con una shiíta. "Era pediatra", me dijo Lujai, "lo 
necesitábamos."

[...]

Hay una limpieza de la intelligentsia o de quienes sobresalgan de la 
masa. Las pequeñas minorías iraquíes [...] ya se han ido casi por 
completo. Se han ido los intelectuales y los artistas.

[Original en inglés, completo, al pie]

------- End of forwarded message -------

Date sent:      	Mon, 14 May 2007 08:02:31 -0400
From:           	Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages en gmail.com>
Subject:        	[A-List] The Flight from Iraq
To:             	A-List <a-list en lists.econ.utah.edu>
Send reply to:  	The A-List <a-list en lists.econ.utah.edu>

[ Double-click this line for list subscription options ] 

<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/13/magazine/13refugees-t.html>
The New York Times
May 13, 2007
The Flight From Iraq
By NIR ROSEN

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

From the Iraqi perspective, the greatest loss has been the flight of
the professional class, the people whose resources and skills might
once have combined to build a post-Saddam Iraq. It seems, however,
that precisely because they are critical to rebuilding Iraq and less
prone to sectarianism and violence, professionals are most vulnerable
to those forces that are tearing Iraq apart. Many of them are now in
Syria. An hour's drive from Damascus, in Qudsiya, there has grown up
an Iraqi neighborhood complete with a Baghdad Barbershop and an Iraq
Travel Agency. Off one alley, in January, I entered a hastily
constructed apartment building, rough and unfinished, the concrete 
and
cinder blocks slapped together. The carved wooden doors to each
apartment were in stark contrast to the grim, unpainted hallways.
Inside one such apartment lived a doctor named Lujai — she refused to
give her family name — and her five children. Omar, at 15, was the
oldest; the youngest was just 2. A family-medicine specialist, Lujai
arrived in Qudsiya last September from Baghdad, where she had her own
clinic and her husband, Adil, was a thoracic surgeon and a professor
at the medical college. They were the same age and from the same town
(Ana, in Anbar Province), and they had been married for 15 years when
Adil was murdered.

Right after the invasion of Iraq, Lujai told me, Shiite clerics took
over many of Baghdad's hospitals but did not know how to manage them.
"They were sectarian from the beginning," she said, "firing Sunnis,
saying they were Baathists. In 2004 the problems started. They wanted
to separate Sunnis. The Ministry of Health was given to the Sadr
movement" — that is, to the Shiite faction loyal to Moktada al-Sadr.
Following the 2005 elections that brought Islamist Shiites to power,
Lujai said, the Sadrists initiated what they called a "campaign to
remove the Saddamists." The minister of health and his turbaned
advisers saw to it that in hospitals and health centers the walls 
were
covered with posters of Shiite clerics like Sadr, Grand Ayatollah Ali
al-Sistani and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. Shiite religious songs could 
often
be heard in the halls. In June of last year, Ali al-Mahdawi, a Sunni
who had managed the Diyala Province's health department, disappeared,
along with his bodyguards, at the ministry of health. (In February,
the American military raided the ministry and arrested the deputy
health minister, saying he was tied to the murder of Mahdawi.) Lujai
told me that Sunni patients were often accused by Sadrist officials 
of
being terrorists. After the doctors treated them, the special police
from the Ministry of the Interior would arrest the Sunni patients.
Their corpses would later be found in the Baghdad morgue. "This
happened tens of times," she said, to "anybody who came with bullet
wounds and wasn't Shiite."

On Sept. 2, 2006, Lujai's husband went to work and prepared for the
first of three operations scheduled for the day. At the end of his
shift a patient came in unexpectedly; no other doctor was available,
so Adil stayed to treat him. Adil was driving home when his way was
blocked by four cars. Armed men surrounded him and dragged him from
his car, taking him to Sadr City. Five hours later, his dead body was
found on the street.

As she told me this story, Lujai began to cry, and her confused young
children looked at her silently. She had asked the Iraqi police to
investigate her husband's murder and was told: "He is a doctor, he 
has
a degree and he is a Sunni, so he couldn't stay in Iraq. That's why 
he
was killed." Two weeks later she received a letter ordering her to
leave her Palestine Street neighborhood.

On Sept. 24 she and her children fled with her brother Abu Shama, his
wife and their four children. They gave away or sold what they could
and paid $600 for the ride in the S.U.V. that carried them to Syria.
Because of what happened to her husband, she said, as many as 20 
other
doctors also fled.

In Qudsiya, Lujai and her brother pay $500 a month in rent for the
three-bedroom apartment they share. The children attend local schools
free, but Iraqis are not permitted to work in Syria, so they depend 
on
relatives and savings for their survival. Twenty-five members of 
their
family have fled to Syria. Four days before I visited them they heard
that a Sunni doctor they knew had been killed in Baghdad's Kadhimiya
district, where he worked. He was married to a Shiite woman. "He was 
a
pediatric specialist," Lujai told me. "We needed him."

In some ways, despite the ethnic and religious motives of most of the
Iraqi factions, the Iraqi civil war resembles internal conflicts in
revolutionary China or Cambodia: there is a cleansing of the
intelligentsia and of anyone else who stands out from the mass. The
small Iraqi minorities — Christians and such sects as the Mandeans —
are mostly gone. The intellectuals and artists are gone. Abu Ziyad,
for example, is a 60-year-old artist, a Christian, who used to have
his own gallery in Baghdad's Karrada district. Soon after the
Americans arrived in 2003, he began to be threatened for reproducing
the human image, which is forbidden by Islamic law. His gallery was
burned in August 2004, and the violence seemed to be growing — and
growing out of control. Neighbors were killed, houses exploded, with
little evident pattern. "You go shopping in Iraq and an explosion
happens, and you see a man dead on his steering wheel," Abu Ziyad 
told
me when I met him and his wife in January in Damascus. "We got
headaches from the smell of blood and explosions in Iraq," his wife
added. In October 2004 their house was set on fire as they slept, and
they escaped only by climbing from their roof to their neighbor's. On
the front wall of their house someone had scrawled, "Collaborators."

II. A Portable War

Unlike Damascus, Cairo seems to have been able to assimilate Iraqi
refugees without much fuss. It is a vastly bigger city, and the 
number
of Iraqi refugees there is much smaller. And Iraqis are familiar with
the Egyptian dialect from the many popular soap operas and films
produced there. Cairo is not unlike Baghdad, in some ways, and many 
of
the refugees in Egypt are Baghdadis. They also tend to be Sunni — and
the Egyptian government has made anti-Shiite statements in the past.
In mid-April, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Misriyun cited security
sources as saying that Egypt was withholding visas from Iraqis for
fear of Shiite proselytizing. This may have been merely
rationalization, but it does indicate the understandable fear that
Iraqi refugees will bring their sectarian war with them.

I met Muhammad Abu Rawan in February at the small Internet cafe he
runs in Cairo's Medinat Nasr district, near the restaurant Baghdad
Nights. Off the busy main street, tall, leafy trees shade quiet
neighborhoods. Muhammad was an air-conditioner repairman in Baghdad
until he and his wife, Lubna, both Sunnis, fled last year. Lubna lost
her father in 2004 when the Americans killed him; he was driving away
from a roadblock and somehow aroused suspicion. "He did not have time
to close his eyes before he died," Lubna told me, because there were
so many shots in his body. She showed me pictures of his
bullet-riddled car, with holes in every side. We were talking in 
their
sparse apartment. Flower patterns decorated the sofas and carpets,
while on the walls were pictures of a forest, a beach and a lake.

In Baghdad, Muhammad lived in Dora, a Sunni district — which meant
that the Shiites there were targets. When Muhammad picked up a 
wounded
Shiite from the street and took him to the hospital, he said, he 
found
himself targeted by the Sunni militiamen who shot the man. They told
him they would have killed him were he not himself a Sunni; as it 
was,
he was forced to move out of Dora. Muhammad's sister was married to a
Shiite man, he told me, and they had many friends and relatives who
were Shiites. The company that Muhammad and Lubna worked for was 
owned
by a Sunni man, with branches in Baghdad and Basra. In Basra, they
told me, 20 members of the company were kidnapped. The 7 Shiites were
released, and the 13 Sunni employees were murdered. In Baghdad,
however, the violence went the other way: the company's Shiite lawyer
was killed by Sunni militiamen. The owner himself belonged to the
al-Omar family, a name that gave him away as Sunni, and thus his
company was known as a "Sunni company." He fled Basra to Baghdad
because of threats; after more threats, he fled to the United Arab
Emirates.

Now in Cairo, Muhammad and Lubna said, they have Shiite neighbors who
were expelled from a Sunni neighborhood in Baghdad. I asked if
sectarian problems followed them to Egypt. "On the contrary," 
Muhammad
said, "we are happy to see any Iraqi so we can speak our dialect."
Lubna added that "the Iraqis who come here are all tired."

Not all of them are tired of sectarian conflict, though, and the
Egyptians themselves may just be getting started. Muhammad's co-
worker
in the Internet cafe is a Shiite named Haidar. Hatred of Shiites is
increasing throughout the region, and Haidar does not feel fully
comfortable in Cairo. "On the street and in cabs, people ask if I am
Sunni or Shiite," he told me. "They say we are infidels." One day at
the supermarket, the grocer heard Haidar's Iraqi dialect and told 
him,
"Your Shiites are infidels."

There are Iraqis in Cairo who feel roughly the same way. In the
courtyard of a hastily constructed apartment complex on the airport
road, I found a group of Sunnis sitting outside their small shops.
Ghaith, an 18-year-old from Baghdad's western Sunni stronghold of
Amriya — long since cleansed of its Shiites — had opened a small
grocery. He pointed across the courtyard to his 12-year-old brother
playing soccer with other boys and told me he had been kidnapped in
Baghdad and held for one week. The kidnappers demanded six million
Iraqi dinars. Sitting in the grocery store was Dhafer, a round
35-year-old man with a sharp nose. Originally from Baghdad's 
Ghazaliya
district, he had been threatened by Shiite neighbors. He was given 48
hours to leave. "I brought my relatives for my protection, and
weapons, and they escorted us out," he told me.

Next door to the grocery shop was a hair salon owned by a Sunni 
couple
also from Ghazaliya. It was decorated pink and red for Valentine's
Day. Its owner, Ghada, taught herself hairdressing after she arrived
in Cairo with her husband, Abu Omar, and their three children. Abu
Omar was a former colonel in the Iraqi Army who retired in 1999.
"After the American invasion, I started to feel the Iranian
influence," Abu Omar said. "Before, there were no problems between
Sunnis and Shiites, but then on television we started hearing people
talking about Sunnis or Shiites." Like many former military officers,
Abu Omar had been active in the Iraqi resistance. "As long as they 
are
attacking the occupiers or those cooperating with the occupiers," he
said, the Iraqi resistance was honorable.

Ghada told me that Iraq's sectarianism followed them to Cairo, 
causing
problems in their children's school. Iraqi Shiite boys beat their son
Omar, she said. "He hates Shiites so much," she told me, adding that
many fights occurred between Sunni and Shiite Iraqi children. Ghada
told me that Egyptian customers cried with her and consoled her after
Saddam's execution, and they had recited a prayer together. "The ones
that Saddam killed," Ghada said, meaning Shiites, "I would go back 
and
kill more of them. I hate Shiites."

III. The New Normal

Of the main destination countries, Syria is the friendliest for
Shiites. Egypt may be ill disposed toward Shiites, but Jordan is
downright hostile. Syria is a different story, and Damascus in
particular has a variety of Iraqis seemingly ready to live together.
Ali Hamid, a Sunni barber from Baghdad's Shiite district of Shaab, 
has
been working in the same Damascus shop since 2003. He explained that
many barbers fled Iraq to Syria because Islamist radicals, who 
believe
beards should be left to grow and Western-style haircuts avoided, had
forced them to close their shops. "In Iraq there is a sectarian war,"
he told me. "Here, we all get along." He attributed this to the
vigilant Syrian authorities: "Praise God, thanks to the Syrian
government we have no problems. If anything happens, they deal with 
it
when it happens. As shop owners we are not allowed to talk about
sectarianism. Word spread to all business owners: You live in a
different country, not your country; you have to respect their 
rules."

Even Moktada al-Sadr's representative in Syria, Sheik Raed al-
Kadhimi,
was espousing antisectarianism, even though Sadr's Mahdi Army has
systematically targeted Sunnis. "All Iraqis are united and well
integrated," he told me when I visited his offices in the Sayeda
Zeinab neighborhood one morning. "I can say that they are like one
body against the common enemy. Also I should say that Iraqis do not
kill Iraqis. It is not possible. It is only those who come into the
country, as well as takfiris" — radical Sunnis who anathematize
Shiites as infidels — "and former Baathists who operate under the
umbrella of the Americans. You see how they kill Iraqis through
torture and suicide bombings." Under such conditions, he said, it was
natural that "people resort to a safe place and they come to Syria."

Kadhimi's office was in an Iraqi neighborhood that has sprung up in
southern Damascus around the shrine of Zeinab, granddaughter of the
Prophet Muhammad and the daughter of Imam Ali, the fourth caliph. Her
brother Hussein was killed at Karbala. For Shiite Muslims, this
moment, when the family of Ali was betrayed, is one of the defining
moments of their history. A vast commercial district has grown around
the shrine. It has become home to so many Iraqis that, walking 
through
its streets, I felt transported back to Baghdad, where I had spent so
much time reporting — back to Kadhimiya, the Shiite commercial
district built around the shrine to Imam Kadhim. The Damascus streets
bustled with men speaking Arabic in the Iraqi dialect, overflowing
indifferently onto the road nicknamed Iraqi Street. The walls were
covered with political posters from Iraqi elections past. There was a
mobile-phone shop named after the Euphrates River, and there were
barbershops called Karbala and Son of Iraq.

On the eve of the 10th of Muharram — the month on the Muslim calendar
when the martyrdom of Hussein at the hands of the caliph Yazid's
forces is commemorated — a procession organized by Sheik Kadhimi's
office gathered. Dressed in black, the men were led by youths 
wielding
immense wooden flagpoles with colored flags that they struggled to
wave from side to side. Others carried framed pictures of Moktada
al-Sadr and his father. It was a latmiya procession, in which the men
chanted songs lamenting Hussein's martyrdom and vowing fealty to him.
"We have chosen our destiny," they sang, "we are the sons of Sadr,
soldiers for the Mahdi." The thousands of onlookers waited until dawn
for the culmination of the events. At 4 in the morning, hundreds of
men dressed in white robes met in tents. They carried short swords,
which they cleaned in buckets of soap. After performing the dawn
prayer they lined up, and led by trumpeters and drummers, they began 
a
march through the alleys toward the shrine of Zeinab. They chanted:
"Haidar! Haidar!" — another name for Ali, father of Hussein and
Zeinab. The men and boys swung their swords rhythmically, hitting
their foreheads and drawing blood, which soon drenched their faces 
and
robes. As onlookers filmed the scene on their camera phones and the
sun rose above them, the men danced in bloody ecstasy until they
reached the shrine and the event ended suddenly, with people 
returning
to their homes or hotel rooms. In Iraq's shrine cities, I had seen
such religious marches end in explosions and armed attacks. Here in
Syria, the commemoration ended with the beginning of another
unremarkable day. This must be what Iraqi normality is like, and now
it can only happen outside Iraq.

-- 
Yoshie
------- End of forwarded message -------

Este correo lo ha enviado
Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro en fibertel.com.ar
[No necesariamente es su autor]
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 
"La patria tiene que ser la dignidad arriba y el regocijo abajo".
Aparicio Saravia
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 






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