The Tragedy of Life in Baghdad

Mustafa Bakri, Iraq “I never imagined that one day I would be a street beggar”

BAGHDAD, 25 Jan 2007 (IRIN) – “I’m a 57-year-old former Ba’athist official [under former President Saddam Hussein’s rule] at the Ministry of Finance where I was earning a very good salary. I originally came from al-Qaim city in Anbar province. I graduated in economics.

“I had a wife and two lovely children – a son and a daughter. Our home was an extravagant villa and we used to eat the best food you could find in Baghdad.

“I used to buy new jewellery for my wife and daughter practically every month and I used to get my wife and all my children the best clothes and shoes.

“Whenever my son got good marks in college I would reward him with a holiday to neighbouring countries. And when he graduated from Medical College in 1999, I gave him plenty of money and arranged for him to tour Europe.

“That was my life before the US-led invasion, a life of luxury. But when the regime fell, I lost everything I had.

“My wife, Nawal, who was 46, my daughter Sundus, who was 24, and my mother were all killed in an air-strike on my father’s house in Mansour, one of Baghdad’s most respectable districts.

“My son Abbas, who was 26, was killed three weeks later with his wife and their two children when they drove into a closed street. The Americans killed everyone in the car because they thought they were terrorists.

Read the rest here.

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