Thursday, June 09, 2005

some news and issues

**diplomatic relationships will soon resume between Iraq and our neighboring country Kuwait… reported that Hamid Al-Bayatee, a representative of Iraq’s foreign ministry said at the end of his visit to Kuwait that there is nothing holding up the process such as safety issues and such, except that there are some protocols that need to be taken care of. Al-Bayatee also commented on Syria saying that they need to take stricter actions to prevent Saddam’s people from crossing the border and seeking refuge in Syria…when confronted with this, the Syrian government claimed that it is hard for it to control the border…ha! Yeah right! they are Ba’athists for God’s sake and they are only being loyal by supporting their Ba’athist brothers don’t you think? Hehe, no that is not it…the thing is that they are probably becoming millionaires, if not billionaires, from the money these crooks (like Izzat Al-Douri possibly???) are paying them. Anyways, it is better this way…I would really be disappointed if we develop diplomatic relationships with Syria…the Ba’ath party is in power over there and from our experiences in Iraq with this corrupt party I think we wouldn’t want anything to do with it ever again. So, until Syria is clean and cured from this disease called “Ba’ath”, it would be wiser and safer for Iraq to stay far from it.

**Mohammad from Iraq the Model wrote a post about the rights of Iraqis with disabilities. I feel that this is a very important issue to be discussed, which is why I linked to ITM. The first step, I believe, is to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the same rights as other Iraqi citizens by implementing laws that require equality and prohibit discrimination. In addition, there has to be programs that work towards improving schools, places of work, roads etc. so that they offer services to people with special needs (a good start is making buildings accessible for ALL people).

But the bigger issue once the laws are instigated is to change people’s attitudes through awareness programs and such…the biggest thing that Iraqis need (and Middle Eastern countries in general, but we’re only talking about Iraq here) in regards to the disability issue is education and awareness. People must be made aware that just because someone is physically or mentally challenged does not mean that the person has no future, no rights and should be ignored or just merely treated with pity (which in my view diminishes from a person’s respect)…people of all capabilities must be given a chance to live and work on the areas that they can benefit society in…all human beings can offer some kind of benefit to society if they choose and are given the opportunity to do so. For example, disabled people should not be dismissed from getting into the college that they deserve or getting a job that they are qualified for just because they look different…how in the world do you know that that person is not going to perform the job better than you without giving him/her a chance? Some of the world’s greatest thinkers/artists/musicians etc. had some form of disability…Beethoven was deaf, yet he created the most amazing melodies ever!

Finally, reading over a draft of the Iraq constitution (in Arabic) I saw this statement:
المادة45-منع التمييز والأمتيازات
لا يجوز التمييز ضد أي فرد أو منحه أمتيازا على أساس الجنس أو الأصل أو العنصر أو اللغة أو الولادة أو العقيدة أو الأيمان أو العائلة
which states that there cannot be discrimination towards any individual on the basis of: gender, origin, ethnicity, language, birth, religion, or family.

I believe that “disability” needs to be added to the list; otherwise this is not really including ALL of the individuals. There are a lot of important issues in Iraq these day, and the rights of disabled individuals is one of them. It is a topic that should not be ignored nor postponed because there is just a lot of work to be done in this area.

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