Tuesday, 31 March 2009

A caravan for each widow

The Iraqi government is offering a 40-square-meter caravan for each displaced family headed by a widow in a newly erected makeshift camp in the eastern side of the capital, Baghdad, the UN IRINnews reports.

The Head of Baghdad council’s displacement committee, Mazin al-Shihan, told IRIN that each caravan contains two bedrooms, a living room, a toilet and kitchen.

The camp, which is a twin for another one erected last year in Baghdad's western side, has a 500-KVA generator, washing facilities and a sewage system. It is designed to house 150 families.

IRIN's story also published for the first time an official statistic, issued by Iraqi Planning Ministry, for the number of widows in this war-plagued country.

It is about 900,000 nationwide.


Monday, 30 March 2009


Eventually, the Iraqi government has decided to establish a committee to investigate the certificates submitted by governmental officials for their educational degrees, calling the falsification of certificates a "phenomena" to get administrative and financial privileges.

And like hundreds of declarations, Monday's statement bore warns for those who submitted false certificates that all their privileges will be stripped and they will be brought to justice...WOW

Since you call it a "phenomena" why you decided to put an end to it just now? And if you can't touch officials who are accused of crimes and corruption just because they are affiliated to influential political parties how you will be able to bring those with false certificates to justice?


The right man in the right place

It is a remarkable gain by which we can really applaud the Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani and his Ministry's staff. It is the absence of petrol queues nationwide.

The Times' Dathar al-Khashab who heads the State-run Midland Refineries.

I remember when I first saw him when he was running Baghdad's Dora refinery in early 2000s.

Unlike most Iraqi officials who kept themselves inside elegant western suits and never leave their air-conditioned offices, al-Khashab was always in his blue engineering coveralls moving from place to another in the sites with other workers.

And he is still in his uniform even after he has been promoted to be the Head of the Oil Ministry's Midland Refineries.

"I am very optimistic,” al-Khashab told The Times. “I believe in the Iraqi capabilities. We do know we can do it, provided we get the right help from the right people,” he added.

Iraq's oil industry is in dire need for such persons who care only about their work and most important they know what they are doing.

In another word, the right man in the right place.


Saturday, 28 March 2009

Will you offer them or not?

In an interview broadcast on Friday, Iraqi Oil Minister ruled out that Iraq would offer production-sharing contracts to the International oil companies and that contradicts his March 10 statement in Vienna that his country was considering such agreements.

"The (oil) companies should not expect to share Iraqis with their (oil) resource," Hussain al-Shahistani told al-Sharqiya TV.

In his earlier statement, al-Shahristani said: : "We will consider production-sharing arrangements for" some of the 70 exploration blocks to be offered later this year, as quoted by Dow Jones News wires.

Now, Dr. al-Shahristani will you offer them or not? and why you are giving such contradicting statements?


Sunday, 15 March 2009

Good news from Interior Minister

That is really good news brought by The Associated Press' Sinan Salaheddin: a hire freezing in the Iraqi Interior Ministry due to shortage in cash this year.

Interior Minister, Jawad al-Bolani told The AP in an interview that his ministry has been forced to put on hold some of its plans to recruit more police due to cuts in the government's 2009 budget prompted by plummeting oil prices. He was planning to establish a police brigade in each province.

Thanks God, we will see no more police patrols roaming the streets with their sirens wailing around the clock who know nothing about their real mission or anything about the word "respect" that must be showed in dealing with normal people.


Friday, 13 March 2009

Allow me to play or I will mess up everything

Today's statements by two prominent Kurdish leaders over oil disputes with the central government reminds me with our famous say which says: "Allow me to play or I will mess up everything."

In provocative statements from London, the President of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, Masoud Barzani, and his Oil and Natural Resources Minister, Ashti Hawrami, threatened to put the stick in the wheel if they are not allowed to go with their oil ambitions.

Through Reuters, Hawrami warned international oil companies from signing oil deals with the central government to develop oil and gas fields that are located in what is called in the new Iraq "disputed areas" which are claimed by the Kurds as "their" territories and that should be annexed to their region.

"Oil companies must be crazy if they think they can go sign a contract with the ministry of oil and just get on and do the job. They can't, they need our co-operation," Hawrami says as if these territories or the oil fields that Iraqi Ministry has offered for development belong to his family.

Two things can be seen through these statements.

The first is that how mean the Kurds are and how much hatred they have towards other Iraqis to the extend they are threatening to deny them from the money they need so badly by developing these fields.

The second gives us an idea on the pressure they are going under from the oil companies, especially DNO and Addax, to have an export licence as they can't sell their oil in the local market.