Weekly news update 14-20 May

Politics May 20, 2022 3 min read

Iraq hit by the eighth sandstorm, Baghdad airport closes airspace

It is the eighth dust storm since mid-April to hit Iraq. The latest heavy sandstorm to hit Iraq has forced some schools and offices to close, while flights at Baghdad Airport have also been suspended.  According to medical officials, hundreds of people across Baghdad and southern cities went to hospitals with breathing difficulties and one death was recorded. It is claimed that this happens to Iraq because of climate change but the 2003 US led war against Iraq was an absolute disaster for air quality, vegetation, fauna and temperatures. Let alone all the toxicity military waste pits caused.

Iraq's tradition of Amber rice threatened by drought

The Iraqi tradition of growing amber rice is decreasing after decennia of war where the use of critical toxic substances and interventions of drying rivers have been the norm. Amber rice, a long-grained variety of rice, takes its name from its distinctive scent, which is similar to that of amber resin. It is used in Iraqi meals including sumptuous lamb qouzi, mansaf and stuffed vegetables. After multiple years of extreme drought, it is estimated that Iraq's amber rice production will be only symbolic in 2022, forcing Iraqi consumers to seek out imported varieties and leaving farmers pondering their future.

Mass Graves Day

The 16th of May marks Mass Grave Day in Iraq, a national day to commemorate the many mass graves where thousands of people are buried. During the last years many more mass graves have been discovered. Victims buried in many mass graves were killed by the Saddam regime during the '91 uprising. The Saddam era has left many in Iraq scarred. His regime made Iraq number one in missing people in the world. Many of the former regime's men morphed into the islamic state or continue destabilizing Iraq from Jordan and the UAE. The wounds will not heal as long as there are still many out there glorifying the rule of the mass murderer Saddam.

Photo bg AFP

Iraq makes attempt to control its oil revenue with contract switch

Iraq has made a new attempt to control revenue from the Kurdistan Region by asking oil and gas firms operating there to sign new contracts with Iraqi state-owned oil company marketer rather than the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The Kurdistan region hosts foreign oil firms including Genel Energy, Chevron and Gulf Keystone, and Cleary Gottlieb and is the largest supplier or oil to Israel.

Iraqi parliament to vote on a bill banning the normalization with Israel next week

The Iraqi parliament is set to vote on a bill that bans normalizing ties with Israel on Wednesday next week, a source from inside the legislative assembly said on Thursday. The lawmakers are scheduled to engage in a three-day marathon of meetings and discussions to add the final touches on essential bills and draft laws. While such a law should be welcomed, it is not enough to actually stop Israeli interference with Iraqi politics and the rest of west-Asia, and has much to do with Iraq's current political elites to strengthen their legitimacy among the Iraqi people.

NATO officials visit Iraq

A meeting was held in Baghdad between the Iraqi minister of defense and the newly appointed commander of the NATO mission in Iraq. During the meeting, the two officials discussed the work progress of the NATO mission in Iraq, and the future support it could provide to the Ministry of Defense, particularly in the field of training. The NATO mission in Iraq has been established by the American occupation government in 2004. The NATO continues to exist as a tool to serve and enhance the imperialist interests of the US in Iraq.

Iraqi Poet Muzaffar Al Nawab passes away.

The Great Iraqi poet Muzaffar al Nawab has passed away today. Known as the revolutionary poet in the entire Arab world, Al Nawab was famous for his deeply moving writings and poems on the socioeconomic and political realities of the people. The legitimate criticism in his writings even lead to a death sentence of which the fearless poet escaped by digging a tunnel.

In one of his poems he wrote:

‎أصابح الليل مصلوبا على أمل أن لا أموت غريبا ميتة الشبح

“The night became crucified, on the hopes that I would not die the death of a stranger, the death of a ghost.”

May the great Iraqi poet rest in peace and may the spirit of his writings live forth.

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