Thursday, October 27, 2005

Baghdad Squatters: No homeland in their own land

Here's what democracy has meant for many Iraqis: evictions and rising rents. This Washington Post article describes the problem: "After the [U.S.] invasion, landlords across Iraq seized the opportunity to increase rents and force out people who could not pay. Within weeks, thousands of suddenly homeless families had started looking for abandoned buildings."

The government has vowed to give these squatters the boot, but has delayed implementation of the rule until after elections in December. "Once the government becomes strong, these squatters will be forced out," Mohammed Hareeri, spokesman for the Housing and Reconstruction Ministry, told the Post.

As Sajida Abboud, an elementary school teacher who has been squatting in a former government building for the past 2 1/2 years, said: "We are really lost. We need a homeland. We are without a homeland."

Without a homeland in their own land. What could be more eloquent.

[thanks to Annia for the article link]

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