The women describe their daily lives with candor. Most of them are financially better off now than they were a couple of years ago, but there are new uncertainties and fears that they face, too. Do read them all, they will open your eyes and engage you in a way that few journalistic pieces on Iraq have done. Note that the BBC has summarized the interviews in ways that reflect the general media bias against the war by taking certain comments out of context. In the interviews, you will read that:
-food is cheaper than it was under Saddam
-that school is better, textbooks are new for the first time, and that teachers are paid enough to actually make the job worth doing
-that "basic living supplies" are now available
-that the Iran-Iraq war was the worst thing to happen to Iraq; that the next worst thing was the war resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and that the UN sanctions were the next thing; the last war, while still damaging, was the least of these problems
-that the security situation is still dangerous. On the other hand, one girl who used to walk to school under Saddam can now afford a cab. Obviously, one hopes the danger will recede. All the women hope that Iraq will become a better place. Amen.
Taken for granted are some obvious facts, e.g. that Uday Hussein won't be raping anymore 12 and 14 year old girls (as profiled by Time Magazine last year). Two women mentioned that they now have freedom of thought that they never used to have. The women urge the international community to stick with them in their hour of need.
(The best good news round up of Iraqi news in English, by the way, can be read here. You can click on the "good news from Iraq" columns on the right hand side of the screen. This blogger's work has been featured several times on the WSJ online; I confess that I never read him directly from his blog.)