Saturday, July 28, 2007

Iraq's fixers, the people who now struggle to 'fix' their own lives

Ayub Nuri, an Iraqi fixer has written an interesting article for the New York Times. In it he tells us of the reality of those people who bring the news out of Iraq, that stuff that we read while eating our breakfast at home - a week's work for a 4 minute soundbite ...

I supported the war, as did many of my countrymen and pretty much all the fixers. We thought that only a powerful outside force could take on the job of ousting Saddam. The war also brought an economic boom. People began to refurbish their houses. In some streets, the sidewalks were piled with boxes containing TV sets, air-conditioners and other appliances.

People thought Iraq would become a kind of 51st state. Everyone wanted to find a job with a news agency, a foreign company or the U.S. Army. Speaking English was a key for success in “the new Iraq,” so English schools sprang up around Baghdad.

He ends with this. Many of the fixers fled Iraq and are now refugees in neighboring countries. Those who remained risk their lives every day. Some of them have big families to feed, so they stay. But some fixers I know refuse to leave the country merely out of loyalty to their trade.

We welcomed the U.S. war with a lot of hope. We changed careers and became fixers to help Iraq. Some of us paid with our lives. Now we are no longer sure we will ever be able to fix anything.

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