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Hello From Baghdad

Hello, it’s me Lubna in Baghdad, Iraq and this is my very 1st post on this blog, so please go easy on me and give me a chance OK ? :)…. These days I am taking my neurology clinical rotation at Baghdad Teaching hospital (Which will end by Sunday Inshallah)… One crucial problem that most ordinary Baghdadis seem to suffer from on daily bases is the intolerable traffic jam caused by the endless number of military checkpoints imposed on Baghdadi streets, roads, and bridges by the Iraqi security forces, making it almost impossible for most Baghdadis to get in time to the places they want to get to… As for me, my clinical sessions at the hospital usually start by 8:30 AM, but I have to leave my house by 6:50 AM otherwise I will never make it to our hospital in time… Sometimes I joke with my friends about that telling them that my Baghdad is actually turning into the West Bank because of the endless number of military checkpoints that you have to go through before reaching your final destination…. These military checkpoints are an integral part of this security strategy employed by the Iraqi security authorities inorder to keep law and order in our Baghdad… After each major security breach (like bloody Wednesday, Sunday, and Tuesday) the number of military checkpoints imposed on the ground by the Iraqi security authorities significantly increases, yes, we tackle the disaster after it actually happens, but to avoid the occurance of the tragedy ? No, that doesn’t seem like a part of our security strategy… The real question here is how can we define ”security improvement” by Iraqi standards ? If you block most of Baghdad’s main streets, roads, and bridges, fill the city with blast walls, and impose an endless number of military checkpoints on the ground and still you get major security breeches that hit intensely guarded government targets and cause large numbers of civilian casualties every now and then then does that count as a security improvement ? By our Iraqi standards, may be…. Back to me at our hospital, I hear patients and their families complain all the time about how difficult it is to reach the hospital in time especially when the clinical condition of the patient is emergent and requiring an immediate medical intervention, but the real trick is when the patient collapses after it gets dark, then getting him/her to the hospital safely in time is the real challenge…. As for me, I have learnt with time to sleep in the car once we get stuck at a traffic jam, it is a useful strategy, very efficient indeed… Much love and blessings to all of you from my Baghdad, the city of pain, hope, and magic tales… Yours forever, Lubna…

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  1. audre
    January 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    A good report Lubna…

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