May 12, 2008
Here’s a link to an article I wrote about Iraqi cultural books…
Given that Iraq is so topical, it’s remarkable we hear so little about Iraqi writers or aspects of Iraqi life beyond dictator, war, and occupation. We are becoming increasingly fluent on Iraq only in sectarian language and ideas. Words like Shia, Sunni, Moqtada, IED, roll off our tongues but we know little of Iraq’s rivers, soccer players, musicians, visual artists or food.
For those who protested or opposed the invasion of Iraq, a logical follow up could be to support some ongoing cultural life amidst the mayhem that prevails in Iraq. One way to do this is to actively purchase Iraqi books and thus create more publishing opportunities for Iraqi writers.
Click here for the rest.
January 28, 2008
The primary center for health care was the home, as it was when the ashipu or asu were employed. The majority of health care was provided at the patient’s own house, with the family acting as care givers in whatever capacity their lay knowledge afforded them. Outside of the home, other important sites for religious healing were nearby rivers. The Mesopotamian believed that the rivers had the power to care away evil substances and forces that were causing the illness. Sometimes a small hut was set up for the afflicted person either near the home or the river to aid in the families centralization of home health care.
(from The Asclepion Prof. Nancy Demand, Indiana University)
January 9, 2008
Dr Saad Eskander, director of Iraq’s National Library, explains why he decided to return from exile in Britain in an attempt to preserve his country’s rich cultural heritage in the face of extremists and corruption. He describes what it is like to live with the threat of assassination in a city where sectarian gangs have killed thousands.
Listen to the interview here
October 19, 2007
Now and again, usually infrequently, you come across something that’s so intelligent and progressive that it’s difficult not to slap your head repeatedly and wonder why oh why can’t governments come up with and support such promising and necessary possibilities.
I give you the Open Prosthetics Project. A gang of inventor/industrial designer dudes (Tackle Design) from North Carolina joined forces to collaborate and establish this. Bloody brilliant.
The Open Prosthetics Project is producing useful innovations in the field of prosthetics and giving the designs away for free.
Another interesting project is RP4 Baghdad
Rapid Prototyping for Baghdad supports severely injured people in Iraq by providing Iraqi surgeons with surgery equipment, prosthetic limb sockets and tangible 3D models.
The situation for amputees in Iraq from what I can gather is supremely shite. It’s very difficult to obtain information, so it must be ridiculously difficult for Iraqis to actually get access to prosthetics.
These assertions are supported by the following recent articles:
Interview and slides from photojournalist Farah Nosh: Iraq’s Brutally Wounded
If anyone knows anything further about the prosthetics situation in Iraq please comment or email with more links or info.
We, outside Iraq, on central heated sofas, despite our vehement (and unsuccessful) anti war protests need to urgently take this kind of suffering a lot more personally.
September 30, 2007
How does the richest nation in the world allow that there is no anaesthetic and no x-ray for this six year old in the clip from the documentary Baghdad Doctor over on The Guardian
Iraq for sale showed and described trucks travelling the country empty.
In spite of their unfathomable suffering the Iraqi people still demonstrate spirit and resilience.
If those who can affect change would show some basic regard for this unnecessary human suffering one could be hopeful. What does anaesthetic weigh for God’s sake?
Medincin Sans Frontieres have a piece on the struggles of Iraqi health system to provide to victims of violence.
September 17, 2007
In a week where all we heard about was Petraeus and “working” Nahlah Ayed is one of the few people reporting the truth about the state of things in Iraq, likely because she’s actually looking and being kept awake at night by it.
Violence in Iraq takes no holidays. So even over the weekend there were casualties: On Saturday, at least 15 died in a suicide car bombing in the mostly Shia Sadr City, and at least 45 were injured.