Monday, August 11, 2008

Concrete blocs…Baghdad's new face


BAGHDAD, Aug. 7, 2008 (VOI) - Aysar Mohamed, a young man who returned from abroad after four years, was astonished by the civilized face of Baghdad which is covered by concrete blocs, which he said signals the modern age in Baghdad.
"I was surprised when i saw that my beloved Baghdad lost all its beauties because of the concrete blocs covering most of the capital's neighborhoods, I was totally shocked," Mohamed, who escaped to Germany from the violent acts that killed his sister, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

"We heard from our families in Baghdad about the new changes, but i never expected to see such ruins wrecks and blocs separating the neighborhoods to end sectarian acts, but the walls themselves consider can be considered sectarian act in separating one region from another," he added.

The concrete blocs are a controversial case as they have been placed throughout Baghdad to end the acts of violence the Iraqi capital witnessed in the past four years.

For his part, Saber Mohamed Saeed, engineer, who was working in the UAE and returned to Baghdad when he heard about the improvement in security conditions, said that "concrete blocs sealed most of the roads that lead to my house in Baghdad al-Jadieda region in southeastern Baghdad, so the taxi driver has to follow a long road to reach to the neighborhood where I live."
"Taxi drivers demand huge amounts to take me from one place to another. I excuse them because of the traffic made by the concrete blocs and the many checkpoints spread throughout Baghdad," Saeed added.

"Instead of planting thousands of palms, they placed blocs," he also said.
Meanwhile, Qateeba Aziz, a resident from al-Shaab region in northeastern Baghdad, called on the government to ease the impacts of these blocs, which look like a huge prison, by coloring them with pleasing colors and pictures and he suggested that the government should organize a competition for the most beautiful picture to encourage artists to draw on these pale blocs.
Um Hussein, who lives in Ur neighborhood, expressed her dismay with the blocs, saying that "the government spent large amount of money to set up these concrete blocs," noting that it would have been better to allocate such money to establish projects to fight unemployment.

She urged the government to organize festivals to draw on the concrete blocs from now and then in return for paying financial amounts to unemployed artists and hundreds of graduates from the faculty of fine arts in Baghdad to decrease the negative impact of the blocs.

:: Article nr. 46354 sent on 11-aug-2008 15:11 ECT


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