Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Computers Give Hope To Iraqi Children

The last few days sucked the life out of me. Between Sunday's attacks and yesterday's attacks, I needed a break from Iraq's bloody news. Luckily, I found an article on Middle East Online that brought me happiness:

"In this bleak atmosphere it is important to give children a glimmer of hope, far from the sounds of explosions and the news of death," says Safa el-Din al-Sultani, who runs a computer centre for children in the heart Baghdad.

"The Karrada Cultural Center for Youth Computer Teaching" is located in a villa which used to belong to one of the bodyguards of Saddam Hussein, before he was toppled in April 2003.

More than 130 Iraqi boys and girls, aged 8-14, from 17 different schools in the Karrada area attend a two-hour computer course every day, delivered by fresh university graduates who volunteer to teach the children.

"We teach these children for free. Most of them come from families who cannot afford to have a computer in there homes," says Mithal Alaa, 27, who studied at the Nationalist Computer Science Centre under the old regime.

Beyond the enjoyment of a break from the omnipresence of the country's tumultuous events, children are also the first ones to seize a tool for their future, one which was reserved to the elite under Saddam Hussein.


It's good to see Iraqi older generations trying to help the younger generations. These are the kind of projects that NGOs, UNICEF and other humanitarian organizations need to implement in Iraq. Younger Iraqis need psychological healing. This healing can't be achieved without the help of the outside world.

My condolences to the people who lost loved ones in yesterday's attack. Husayn, I hope you hear from your brother very soon.

Post Links:
50 arrested after Najaf bombing
Mosul rocket attack kills 15 U.S. troops
Baghdad kids click into virtual world
Tragedy In Mosul

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