The reason why we weren’t posting regularly in the last week or so is because we were outside Iraq, having meetings with our friends who are running “Spirit of America”.
In the last meeting we put the final touches for the “friends of democracy” project; a project that is dedicated to spread the concepts of democracy among Iraqis through the internet by helping students’ groups and NGOs create their own blogs (in Arabic) and introduce these groups to each other in a way that enables them to exchange their thoughts and spread the news about their activities as well as by arranging for lectures and discussions to inform the Iraqi voters (through interactive discussions) about the nature and importance of the coming elections. This will be done without any interference with the choices they will make because our ultimate goal is to help our people choose what they believe is good for them.
The project will not be limited to the coming elections only; we’re looking forward to extend this project for the time following the elections.
We’ve already carried out some activities that are related to this project including lectures like this one at the college of physical education for girls. We were worried about the way students would react to a lecture like this one but amazingly the hall was full and the seats were not enough for the students. Moreover some of them engaged the lecturers in questions and discussions and most of them were eager to participate in the elections but they knew little about elections, democracy and constitution, etc and were so pleased to find someone willing to teach them. The way we see it is that the most important thing is to educate as many Iraqis as possible about the upcoming elections, their significance and how important each vote is.
We’re trying to tell them that each one of them has a significant role in deciding his/her country’s future. This is more important than encouraging them just to vote as we’re positive that the vast majority of Iraqis will vote but they need to know why they’re voting and what for.
For example some Iraqis still think that the elections are presidential ones! And many of them don’t realize that the main job of the national assembly is to prepare for writing the constitution and this is not their mistake it is the government’s and the higher commission for elections’ responsibility and till now they’re not doing a great job on this. This may be because of the huge responsibilities they have and the risks they’re taking and that’s why we want to help them in their mission.
Anyway, the coming week or two will witness more frequent and more focused activities and there will also be a website in both Arabic and English to keep the readers inside and outside Iraq updated as often as possible.
If anyone is interested in supporting this project, visit the website of “Spirit of America”.
We were planning to stay in Jordan for only 4 days but with the airport being closed, we had to stay there for a longer time.
Being out of the events’ field for a week and having the media as the only source of information made me understand more why many people have a blurred vision about the situation in Iraq, I mean watching Al- Jazeera and the CNN for a relatively long time made Iraq- at certain moments-look like “hell on earth”. Fortunately I lived my whole life in Iraq and when it comes to events taking place over there I can distinguish between the truth and the lies to a certain degree but my concern is about people who have never been there because the media twist facts and exaggerate things in an unbelievable manner.
As a matter of fact, from the news I got from the media I expected to find Baghdad in a terrible condition when I return; no gasoline, no electricity, fighting at every corner and dead bodies everywhere but of course I didn’t find it this way when I returned. Actually I haven’t seen any significant difference except for losing some hours of electricity!