Just in case you aren’t a regular reader of Arthur Chrenkoff, here is his latest installment.
Good News from Iraq, part 34 – Chrenkoff
The first international airline flight to land in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in 15 years arrived here yesterday [22 August] receiving a warm welcome from local officials. A Sharjah-based Phoenix Air Boeing 747 arrived from Dubai with 22 passengers on board.
The company will begin two flights a week between Dubai and Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, officials said. “Hopefully flights to Iraq will increase from the region and the world,” said Basra’s governor Mohammed Al Waili at the airport while greeting the arriving passengers. Since the U.N. imposed economic sanctions in 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait, no foreign airline has flown to Basra.
Fly into Arbil, the regional capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, and you feel that you have arrived in another country.
It is the Kurdish, not the Iraqi, flag that flutters from Arbil International Airport, Kurdistan’s new, glass-fronted “gateway” to the world, which saw its first flights from Dubai, Beirut and Amman arrive last month.
The airport was built on a former military base once used by Saddam Hussein’s regime to bomb the Kurds of Halabja.
Now it brings in investors. Businessmen, scared away from other parts of Iraq, are coming to Kurdistan instead, and helping its economy to take off.
“Before all we saw was war, and planes bombing our cities and villages,” says the airport manager, Kameran Murad, who fought against the regime in the late 1980s.
“Now the aircraft are our link with the outside world. Everything is changing.”
Take the town of Suleimaniya. Its skyline is dotted with cranes. Everywhere you look bulldozers are at work.
“Things are booming. The price of land is ridiculous. It’s just going up and up and up,” says businessman Bettin Saleh, who has two shops in a new mall.
“People have money, people are spending it, they feel it’s safe to spend – and build for the future.”
And that is just a small sample of the entire posting. Funny, I didn’t hear any of this on the CBS Evening News lately…..why?
-Bruce (GayPatriot) – firstname.lastname@example.org