Thursday, October 30, 2008

Train Station (Fixed)


On the way back from a government office, dad and I toured the main train station that was built in the fifties. They have a line running down to Basra. It's an impressive building compared to more recent constructions. It's nice to imagine it what it would've been like back then. Something's wrong with the light meter in my mobile's camera.

(The following was appended later in the day)

I just spotted this article in the International Herald Tribune, and it talks about a new service running through Baghdad starting from the station I went to today. While my dad and I were there, my dad asked a couple of guys strolling past the platforms (neither were officials or of the sort) what services were running, one didn't know anything and the other mentioned the Baghdad - Basra line that includes bunkers but didn't mention the Baghdad service mentioned in the article. You'd think there ought to be some kind of big sign alerting people of a new route. But then again, with my poor Arabic skills, I only read things if I focus really hard.

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7 comments:

touta said...

I'm going there tommorrow! :)

Jeffrey said...

Shaggy,

Hey, I have a question. I read an article today that said that many Iraqi refugees are still too frightened to return to Iraq. What exactly is the security situation in Baghdad and Iraq in general these days? The stats seems to suggest that Iraq is pretty quiet right now and that people are getting back to their old lives. Is this true?

I know you normally don't talk about such topics, but I'd be interested in hearing your views on this matter. I know that some Iraqis have already returned, but should Iraqis continue returning to Iraq?

*

Shaggy said...

Touta: The comments you leave behind are sweet... did you go to the train station today?

Jeffrey: hmm... why must you be asking me questions like that? I'm only answering because I'm slightly tipsy hehe...

Aside from the those that were affliated with the old regime and therefore have people here that wish to exact some kind of revenge upon. I think that a lot of Iraqis can now return to Iraq without ending up dead.

Of course, there are probably many that still remain fearful, nothing guarantees that the present level of tranquility will last far past the next parliamentary elections. The sudden attack on Christians in Mosul is reason enough that one must remain wary of the present sense of security.

I think that for most Iraqis the question of returning to Iraq is more of an economic one than anything else. And using the security situation as an excuse to go immigrate is very convenient.

I'm quite certain that such folks believe that can provide themselves with a superior quality of life abroad than over here. Maybe a large part can't afford to come back and live here again considering how life here has become so much more expensive than it once was.

Another group believe that they have a better chance at prosperity abroad than here. Take a student that spends four years studying engineering, medicine or some other fancy degree here and then is offered the choice of getting a government job that pays peanuts or a chance to live and work abroad for a chance at a decent salary.

In conclusion, for Iraqis to be truly encouraged to return:

1) The security situation must be put to rest entirely.

2) The economy must flourish in such that a way that wages are comparable to those abroad or perhaps in such a manner that people may be able to at least take a mortgage.

3) That the quality of life in general to be restored to an acceptable level.

4) That there be a well-functioning welfare system for the disadvantaged.

And now I can't be bothered to write about how my dad had me wear the head turd a couple of days ago at the farm nor about how today, I got wound up in a bullshit engagement with a distant relative.

Jeffrey said...

Shaggy,

And now I can't be bothered to write about how my dad had me wear the head turd a couple of days ago at the farm nor about how today, I got wound up in a bullshit engagement with a distant relative.

Man, now I feel like a creep. Listen, I would always rather have you write about your own life than what I asked you to write about. Please, when you have time, tell us about wearing the "head turd" and ... your engagement?! Huh? With a distant cousin? Whoa! C'mon, Shaggy, mix another drink and spill the beans.

Oh, and thanks for your answer.

*

touta said...

no problem. :) Apparently the train station is near the green zone? Therefore unsafe for me to go. I did however almost brave an internet cafe. Woo. Real excitement there.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Engagement?

Hmmm...are congratulations in order? Or condolences?

Average American said...

Howdy Shaggy. I wondered if "engagement" meant like for marriage or just a get together of some sort. You don't strike me as the type to settle for an arranged marriage. That might be worse than no sex. How's the electricity these days, I haven't heard any bitching about it lately, from any bloggers from Iraq.

Joe