Saturday, July 09, 2005

More On Basra

I sent my friend, who lives in Basra, a link to an article published in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper [Arabic Source]. The article mentioned that male doctors in Basra can't take female patients any more. That bit worried me the most. So, I asked her to comment on the article. Here's her reply:

About the article you've sent. I read it. Most of it is true. But, they do miss some details about those who sell the alcohol beverages. The militias and some terrorists killed the Christians who always sell those kinds of beverages and they are selling them themselves now. And all of them are under age and armed, their location now is Bashar street (do you remember this street and its reputation?)

As for the doctors, well maybe that's true for the doctors who are specialists in the women diseases. But, other than that the hospitals, especially the local ones are in bad shape.

I know a doctor that works in one of those hospitals that have stories which make your skin get the goss pump. Actually, some of those militias are getting inside the operation rooms with the patient while holding their guns. And that same behavior goes also with the common people.

In the another hand, my mother did have an operation two months ago in her left eye. The male doctor who did the operation have a lot of Muslim women patients and made a lot of operations to them. He had no problems with that.

And the barbers. It happened once or twice to some of those shops but not like what's happening in Baghdad. Also, women should not wear a scarf on their heads. Well, I don't even wear it when going to the local market or church.

The article described every thing that goes on in Basrah in a very bad shape. And not like what is really going on in Basrah. For example it didn't say anything about the electricity or water or that the police is now divided into two kinds. One which are the real police and the others are with the old police manager, which he himself is with Al-Sadr militias.

Yesterday the police arrested one of the shiekhs. His name is Al-Hesseni. He distributed his pictures and his FATAWIS on the walls all over Basrah in the last few months. Now they accused him to be one of the terrorists. And I think that he really is. But, the Muslims are between two opinions. One disbelieves that and the other believes it, which are the biggest group. Actually, one of my Muslim colleagues said that he won't believe any of those Shiekhs any more and another one agreed with him directly.
I hope it was a good and clear information,

I was confused over the scarf section. So, she sent me this clarification:

Yes, I don't have to wear scarf on my head when leaving the house, either to my work, church or the market. But, I live in an area where most residents are Christians and a lot of churches. The same area you used to live in. I also see other girls who are doing the same. But not -- for example -- in Hayaniya.

In other words it depends on the area you live in.

Hmmmm, as for Bashar street, which she mentioned in her e-mail. You probably figured why she mentioned its reputation. How can I put this in a nice way? In short, it's the land of prostitutes. Yep, that's my Basra. It's interesting to know the street still exist. How come Al-Sadr didn't issue a fatwa to close that street?

And, Hayania is the Basrawi version of Al-Sadr city.

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