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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June 2005, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
One Day in Iraq: Your questions
US soldiers walk past Iraqi woman while on patrol in Baghdad
Many readers wanted to ask Iraqis about security issues
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Iraq coverage on 7 June, we heard from people from all walks of life, all over the country.

Many readers sent in questions for Iraqis about various aspects of their lives, from how they felt about the new government to their fears over security and whether they managed to lead normal lives.

Here are some of the questions you sent and answers we received from Iraqis.


Q: Do Iraqis feel free to walk in the streets and around the markets? Can they see family and friends and are they free to go out into the country?
John M, Lynemeads, UK

Things are much better than a few months ago around election time. We have much better electricity - before we had to rely heavily on our generator - and our water supplies are good. Even the insurgents seem quiet and the coalition soldiers are not as active. We don't hear the American F-16 planes screaming overhead as much any more. Life seems pretty ordinary these days. But before [the war], people used to gather on both banks of the Euphrates near where we lived, to swim and play and run about. Now, nobody goes because there is still little security, despite things improving since January. We also used to go every Friday to a little village in the desert to fish. Now, these activities are out of the question, for now at least.
Tarik al-Ani, nr Ramadi, Iraq

Things are getting worse here. Life was easier during the first year after the war. You have to lock everything now, you are suspicious about everything.
Sanaa, pharmacist, Baghdad

The situation in Baghdad is very stable compared to a couple of weeks ago. I think the security measures that have been going on in recent days have helped.
Lidra, engineer, Baghdad

Things are very normal and calm here. I can go to restaurants and cafes. Even at midnight I can walk alone and feel very safe. The Kurdistan region is one of the safest areas compared to other areas such as Baghdad and the centre of Iraq.
Ava Nadir, journalist, Suleymaniya

Life here in the north has totally changed. I feel safer, we are not seeing any types of terrorist attacks or car bombs in this part of the country. There have been very few incidents in the last two years. People are carrying on their lives as normal, they are not scared. Even late at night, at two or three in the morning you can see people in the street. People are stopping at traffic lights, having picnics and enjoying their lives.
Mateen Dooski, Dohuk, Iraq

Q: I would be interested to know if petty crime is higher now, under coalition rule, than under Saddam's regime. What has changed either way?
Hywel, London, UK

A: The risks we're facing in our daily lives are not just from car bombs which take up most of the media's attention, we experience criminal problems like abduction or killings. In my family, my father was abducted early in the year. We had to negotiate with the kidnappers and pay them money in order to spare his life. We have him back with us now.
Osama Basil, engineer, Baghdad

From BBCArabic.com: When there is an explosion, all the burned out cars are left behind on the streets, making traffic jams even worse and because of corruption, the police do not act against those who break traffic law.
Hussein El-Najjar, student, Iraq

Q: I would like to know if Iraqis will support the new government once the coalition leaves or if they view it as a puppet of the occupiers.
Jim, New Jersey, USA

A: In spite of all the bad things we face on a daily basis in Iraq, life is beautiful without Saddam. Today there's a lot of talk about sectarianism but no one looks back to remember who the people Saddam governed Iraq with were. Today even as you see Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and others in the government there is talk about sectarianism and monopolisation of power by one group. Are 35 years of Baathist rule not considered sectarianism? The problem today in Iraq is the breath of Baathism and sectarianism that still hovers over the minds of some people and we should fight that to live in peace like other people.
Jalal Baghdadi, Baghdad

I left Iraq as a child. Last year I went back for the first time in 24 years to see family in Baghdad and Ramadi. I was shocked at the dreadful state the country was in. I blame the former regime and especially the US for the destruction of the country. The new government is corrupt, the police force is made up of militias, criminals and terrorists roam the streets, competent civil servants are purged from their jobs or executed, electricity on for only four hours a day, and sectarian killings are rife. If this is the new Iraq which is supposed to be a beacon of hope then I don't want to be a part of it.
Mohammed Rahman, Oxford, UK

Q: I would like to ask Iraqis if their view of the American invasion and occupation are coloured by having lost family members or friends to Saddam Hussein, the American military or to the insurgents.
B Kalmbach, Wisconsin, US

I try always to explain to them my role and calm them down. I know how it feels to lose some one dear you - I lost my mother and sister in a church bombing. It is a tragedy when you lose your family and can do nothing to prevent it.. I work in a hospital and we face many difficulties because the administration doesn't take any proper action - it claims the ministry of health doesn't help. This was always the case, before and after the regime change in Iraq and the occupation.
Basma, nurse, Baghdad From BBCArabic.com: I lost my husband due to the current situation and with him I lost all my dreams and hopes and the dreams of my children. I headed to work hoping I could set the wheel of life in motion again in my home. All I can say to describe my state now is that I am afraid of everything. I am afraid while I head to work and while I head back home of the danger I could face on the streets and I fear for my children and I fear the unknown. Simply put, I live a state of insecurity in all its forms. This sums up our life in Iraq.
Um Sara, Baghdad

Q: What were women's lives before and after Saddam Hussein? Could they speak as freely then about Saddam as they could about things that are happening today?
Jim, Springfield, PA, USA

A: I feel insecure wherever I go, at any time there is the risk of kidnapping, looting or explosions. I used to drive a car or take a taxi to go shopping. Now, there is no chance of this and when I want to go anywhere I must go with my parents or with my brother. Sometimes I spend one or two months without stepping outside the front door. There is no life here.
May, Iraqi architect, Baghdad

The only thing we fear is the danger of coming to and from the hospital and working night shifts. The situation is very difficult, especially for me as a young, single woman.
Basma, nurse, Baghdad

There is no security where I am and threats are flying [from insurgents]. Thank God our hair salon has not been targeted - but that doesn't mean we should not fear for ourselves. I mean, what would it cost to throw a bomb in our direction? It is a risk we have to take. It is our livelihood - us Iraqi women as a whole. Most of our men are sitting at home. My husband goes out looking for a job every day in vain. This is the kind of life Iraqi women are leading right now.
Um Mustafa, hairdresser, Baghdad

Q: After the 2003 war, do you think a civil war within Iraq could go on for years?
Shib SenChaudhury, Calcutta, India

From BBCArabic.com:I returned to Iraq after the war. I felt everything around me had changed. Now people are identifying themselves as Shia or Sunni, something I never witnessed before. I never felt it during my university days, or during my military service. We Iraqis were like brothers. I feel that segregation is being planted deeply inside the Iraqi society in a very clever way by the Americans under different names, such as Zarqawi, the Badr Brigades [Iraqi Shia militia group] and so on.
Omar al-Qaheef, Baghdad

From BBCArabic.com: All the suffering will end when our Arab "brothers" leave us alone to build our nation without anybody's help. I also want to warn my Iraqi brothers and sisters from using terms used by some of the satellite stations such as "sectarianism" and the like. We are one nation. Have you ever read or heard about wars between Muslims sects in Iraq throughout history? It never happened, and it never will.
Abdulaziz al-Jorani, Nasiriya, Iraq




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