[imc-baghdad] Baghdad UPDATE - 12 May
rrkysia at yahoo.com
Mon May 12 14:03:20 PDT 2003
1. Printing update
2. Where to send
3. Summary for website
4. Contraints to publishing
6. Getting into Iraq
1. We've run into some snags in getting the paper
layed out & published. It looks like we'll have it
printed and ready for distribution on Thursday or
Saturday (Sunday at latest).
2. Much thanks to everyone involved in setting up the
website. It is appreciated. Thanks also to
Christopher, Jacquie, Spike & Mike for volunteering to
post the paper. I'll send it to all of you, along with
the extra articles that didn't make the cut this week.
Inshallah (God willing), we'll post for ourselves
3. Please write this yourselves - you're welcome to
use language from the proposal...
4. Our major problems, so far, and in no particular
order, continue to be:
a. limited electricity (fairly self-explanatory ;-))
b. limited communications (no phones at all, except in
some neighborhoods, and then only w/i those
neighborhoods - no intra-city phone service)
c. security concerns limiting movement after dark, and
even during the day - especially for women
d. no money to pay transportation costs for people
coming to the hotel to drop off
stories/edit/type/talk/etc... gas prices have
skyrocketed, relatively speaking, and cabs are much
more then folks can afford - especially if they need
them to cover events too...
e. no office space. the paper itself has no money
whatsoever, so no money for renting a place. voices
will let them use space when we get a house, but our
search has been unsuccessful so far. part of that
problem is that the 2 groups have somewhat different
needs/goals. another part is the requirement that
foreigners pay an entire year's rent ahead of time (or
at least 6 months at once), and, again, no money to do
that. but, inshallah, we'll find something soon...
f. very limited equipment. we have 2 laptops (mine and
voices') on which we've installed arabic fonts, so we
can type/edit stories in arabic on them. but neither
has arabic-windows, so we can't use any publishing
software to lay-out the arabic text for the newspaper.
this is a *MAJOR* hassle. if we could get at least one
computer here w/full arabic-language support, that
would be very, very, very helpful!
5. Folks working on this tend to be anti-Saddam,
anti-Occupation, but we are pro-actively trying to be
as inclusive of all points-of-view as possible, and
presenting ourselves this way too. Most Iraqis I've
spoken to are a divided on whether or not they want US
troops to remain, but all are pretty well united on
fearing total chaos (crime) and the possibility of
civil war if the troops just pull out (not that that's
likely to happen anytime soon, lol). Anyway, the point
is that I hope folks on this list would be supportive
of all opinions being expressed through this project,
regardless of whether we, personally, agree with them.
I understand that this is the general
approach/philosophy to indymedia, but just want to be
6. The situation has changed since I entered. My
understanding is that currently you have to apply for
permission (not a "visa" - those don't exist) through
the Iraqi embassy in Amman, Jordan, and that only
journalists and NGOs are being allowed in. Most
journalists are staying at the Intercontinental or
Hyatt hotels in Amman, and you can probably get info
on renting a car/joining a convoy at those hotels.
We're at the al-Fanar hotel on Abu Nuwas Street (next
door to the Palestine), until we find a house. Anyone
working on this project is welcome to come live with
us at $11/night at the Fanar, or whatever we work out
for the house (either free or maybe $50/wk if folks
can swing it). Regardless, anyone at all is welcome to
come visit with us, in either location, at any time
Ramzi Kysia, Baghdad
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