Quotes: US 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 casting 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."


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Sep 20 2014 - Syrian Kurds fleeing to Turkey pass 45000-markArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SURUC Turkey: Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours fleeing an advance by Islamic State fighters who have seized dozens of villages ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Yemen TV building on fire as clashes continue in capitalArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) SANAA: Yemen's state-run television building caught fire after a three-day mortar attack by Shiite rebels who are protesting against the government residents and a TV employee ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Jubail airport handles first civilian flightArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The first civilian aircraft landed at Jubail airport on Thursday morning marking its transformation from a purely military facility.The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Four held for stealing money carsArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Jubail police have arrested four young men who stole money from a company's safe and four vehicles from a car rental firm. They used the cars for drifting.Col. Ziad Al-Ruqaiti ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Factories ignore safety rulesArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Many factories and workshops in the Kingdom do not abide by safety and security standards to protect their buildings against fires. Such factories also do not maintain their air ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Preparations for pilgrims in Madinah completeArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Madinah Mayor Khaled Taher said that the municipality's preparations for this year's Haj have been completed as scheduled. The municipality's action plan aims at offering ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- 1000 Mozambicans to arrive next weekArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Some 1000 pilgrims from Mozambique will arrive in Jeddah for this year's Haj in three separate groups according to Mozambican Ambassador Cesar Gouveia.'I'll be traveling to ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Security agencies ready for any situation during HajArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Security and government agencies responsible for pilgrims' welfare during Haj are fully equipped to tackle any disaster including a helicopter ambulance and doctors linked with ...

 Sep 20 2014 - Saudi- Women investors beat men in stock marketArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) The number of Saudi women investors in the stock market has grown by 5 percent while men investors increased by 2 percent over the first half of this year.There are now 892900 ...

 Sep 20 2014 - With 4.2m links 47m clips IS rules cyberspaceArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) A 44-page search result by the search engine Google has revealed 4.2 million links and counting of Arabic websites newspapers and social networking sites in reference to ...

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

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details

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
Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

My MENAFN
Portfolio Tracker

Voting

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


 
© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help