Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

After the voting, the scavenging by deprived Iraqis  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 01/05/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - AFP) Minutes after polls closed in Iraq's parliamentary election and vote counting began, another operation quietly shifted into gear -- scavengers began tearing down election posters across Baghdad.

Motivated neither by malice nor by politics, the relatively poor Iraqis were trying to grab as many of the giant-sized iron frames on which the posters were displayed as possible, either to recycle or to sell on.

Areas targeted by the scavengers included Karamana Square as well as nearby well-known Firdos Square, where an imposing statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down shortly after the 2003 US-led invasion.

"First, we thank God because he sent a storm to lift these heavy poster frames out of the ground," said Jaafar, who along with a friend was lugging a large iron frame from Karamana Square in plain view of police, referring to recent rain storms.

"Secondly, we thank all of the candidates for their generosity and for giving these frames to us, without asking for anything in return," he added, smiling sarcastically, implicitly referring to the rampant state corruption that is a regular complaint of ordinary Iraqis.

"I have got a new roof and I will use it in my garage. Without this poster frame, I would have spent a lot of money, so thank you so much."

Not far away, Abu Hazim, who like Jaafar declined to give his full name, was carting iron frames from Firdos Square, noting: "We, the poor, are the ones that benefit from this metal."

- 'Roofing in our houses' -

"We use it as roofing in our houses and the rest, we sell it for money. Most of the members of parliament have not lost anything from their pockets -- this is the money that they stole from the people," said Abu Hazim.

"The poor have only this small thing."

More than 9,000 candidates ran nationwide in the parliamentary elections on 277 electoral blocs, all competing for 328 parliamentary seats with more than 20 million voters casti ballots.

More candidates than in previous elections had used massive iron frames to stand up brightly coloured campaign posters on squares and streets across the capital.

The stands were to help protect the posters from windy conditions and to ensure them pride of place in the public eye.

Many poor Iraqis had been eyeing the frames for weeks, either to improve their makeshift accommodation or to sell on to willing buyers.

Such was the potential windfall from the frames that one man waiting for polling to end admitted that he had portioned off an entire neighbourhood, in agreement with rivals.

"Iron frames from Hurriyah Square to the cross road of the university are my portion -- the others have agreed, and their portion will be on the other side of the neighbourhood," said Rasheed Abboud, speaking in the capital's upscale Jadriyah district.

The scramble for the iron is a reflection of the fact that while Iraq's government revenues have surged on the back of rising oil production, many in the capital still struggle to make ends meet.

Nearly a quarter of the national population lives in poverty according to official estimates. In parts of Baghdad, the poorest Iraqis live in garbage dumps with houses made of gas cannisters and mud, UNHCR-marked tarpaulins serving as roofs.

"Some people are living inside the Green Zone and inside their estates in other countries and we are here, dying of hunger," said Anwar Ahmed, one of the men taking the iron frames, referring to the heavily-fortified complex which houses parliament and the US and British embassies.

"We have the right to do anything. We are making use of this metal ... We take it to sell it," said Ahmed.

"We are not stealing -- we have the right to take the metal from the streets, because the elections are over. The new government will not help us, they are not offering us jobs -- they are using workers from Bangladesh and we are here, sitting jobless."

MENAFN0105201401430000ID1093822260

 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Jan 22 2017 - Libya still needs the UN-backed governmentMENAFN
(MENAFN) The deputy prime minister of Libya"s UN-backed Government of National Accord insists that despite major setbacks since the GNA's formation last year, it is the country"s only chance for ...

 Jan 22 2017 - Turkey admits U-turn on policy to rid Syria of AssadMENAFN
(MENAFN) Turkey can no longer insist on a resolution of the conflict in Syria without the involvement of President Bashar al-Assad, as the situation on the ground has changed dramatically, Turkey's ...

 Jan 22 2017 - Tunisian Salvation Front calls on UAE for financial supportMENAFN
(MENAFN) Tunisian political leader Ridha Belhaj called on the UAE to provide financial support for the Salvation Front to help challenge the Islamist-leaning Ennahda party during a meeting at the ...

 Jan 22 2017 - Iran, Russia at loggerheads over Syria peace talksMENAFN
(MENAFN) Russia and Iran are divided over US participation in planned Syria peace talks, a Moscow official said on Saturday, hinting at a rare public spat between the allies.In detail, a spokesperson ...

 Jan 22 2017 - Car bomb blast kills 4 at Syria refugee camp 'Ruqban'MENAFN
(MENAFN) A car bomb on Saturday killed at least four people and critically injured a number of others at the Ruqban refugee camp in Syria near the border with Jordan, according to sources on the ...

 Jan 22 2017 - British man dies working on Qatar 2022 World Cup stadiumMENAFN
(MENAFN) A British man has died after falling off a suspended platform while working on a 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar.In detail, the man, 40, fell when the platform, used to manage sound and ...

 Jan 22 2017 - IS demolishes part of Palmyra's Roman TheatreMENAFN
(MENAFN) Militants from the Islamic State group have destroyed part of the Roman Theatre in the ancient city of Palmyra.In detail, Syria's antiquities chief said the tetrapylon - a group of four ...

 Jan 22 2017 - US strikes in Libya 'kill 80 rebels'MENAFN
(MENAFN) A US air strike on Libya has killed more than 80 rebels from so-called Islamic State (IS), said outgoing US Defence Secretary Ash Carter.In detail, the mission, which dropped around 100 ...

 Jan 22 2017 - 'Forty jihadists' killed in Aleppo air strikesMENAFN
(MENAFN) At least 40 jihadists have been killed in air strikes on a training camp in western Aleppo, reports say.In detail, most of those killed are said to have belonged to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, ...

 Jan 22 2017 - US claims Idlib strike kills 100 al-Qaeda fightersMENAFN
(MENAFN) A US military air strike in north-western Syria has killed more than 100 al-Qaeda militants at a training camp, the Pentagon says.In detail, spokesman Capt Jeff Davis said the camp in Idlib ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Search News
Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help