Monday, August 01, 2005
A postcard from the southern Iraq courtesy of our regular correspondent Haider Ajina's father, who has just returned from his second trip to Nejaf, Karbala and Kufah were he spent a week:
He told me that he has been honored by being appointed as chief consultant and administrator of the provincial reconstruction of Nejaf province. He said he would be starting this position within a week or two. He also said that he would be moving to Nejaf from Baghdad.
I asked him how were things in Nejaf? He said there has been a remarkable change in the southern provinces. In Nejaf, Karbala & Kufah people are walking the streets at night and early morning (since temperatures exceed 125 Fahrenheit during the hot hours of the day). People are picnicking along the river in Kufah in the late afternoon. He has not seen any military patrols in the streets for the week he was there, only police patrol. It seems the military (Iraqi & Coalition forces) have pulled out of the towns. There was no gunfire at night or any other time and very low crime. Power was on, water was on etc, there is a lot of work for every one, no one is complaining about the money they are making. There is open political discussion in the cafes etc . He says people have a sense of ownership in their cities their livelihood and business is booming because of strong security, strong and fast reconstruction. He said it was better than Baghdad, were because of terrorist attacks power & water gets cut off and reconstruction is not as fast as in the southern provinces.
I wanted to share this personal good news with you, and for you to read a side of what is happening in Iraq that very few hear or read about. This is happening because of our efforts and commitments to Iraq and the Iraqis, our sacrifices, our training of Iraqis and our know how in rebuilding and developing infra structure. The Iraqis themselves have also stepped up to the plate and taken charge of the freedom we presented them, for which they are grateful. Once again to all the men and women who have served and serving in Iraq, to all the families of those who have paid the ultimate price to all those who have suffered during their service in Iraq, my family's and my deepest thanks, gratitude and pride both from the U.S. and Iraq for all the sacrifices, endurance and service for our great country and Iraq and the Iraqis.