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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 June, 2005, 14:05 GMT 15:05 UK
One Day in Iraq: Student lives
basra students
Students across Iraq have been sitting end of year exams over the last few weeks
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Iraq coverage, we will be hearing from people from all walks of life, all over the country.

Here, Faisal J, a medical student in Basra, and 18-year-old schoolgirl Jasmine in Baghdad describe taking their exams.

Faisal J, 21, Basra:

It seem that the days are all similar in Iraq because the same difficulties are always being repeated.

I have been up most of the night trying to study for an exam today and tomorrow, but the electricity has shut down. The temperature is about 41C and it has been difficult to concentrate.

But even so, when I see other students studying on the street because their student residences have not had electricity for a week, I thank God that I am studying in my room, even in such hot weather.

I often have to use a candle to study at night. Like many of the other students, my eyesight is starting to suffer because of the poor light.

Difficult life

I came to college today in my own car. It only takes about five minutes but the roads can be dangerous. Some drivers don't have a driving licence and they drive very badly.

On my way into college, I saw a little boy - about three-years-old - selling sweets at a traffic light. Imagine how difficult life must be for him.

There are a lot of students studying medicine at my college - many of them women.

We have text books, but they are old. Some are from the 1980s, others from the 1990s.

When we finish our exam today, there is nowhere really for us all to meet up to relax and socialise. There is no coffee shop at college and the student club has closed.

When I am not at college, I call my friends all the time on the mobile phone. We meet up at weekends. We don't go anywhere like the cinema, we just walk and talk or go to small coffee shops.

Jasmine, 18, Baghdad:

I went to school today and took an exam today. Was I worried more about security or the exam? Well, both really. I have to worry about my exam and studying but also we always worry about a bomb or an explosion going off nearby the school or even when we are on our way there.

We're actually starting to get used to it, it is beginning to be a normal fear. We actually prepare ourselves to face death any time.

After school, it isn't really possible to go and meet up with friends. We are too worried about being shot or kidnapped. So we just stay in and watch TV. Often there isn't any electricity so we have to use the generator.

As for the future, well I think it will not be good at all but hopefully it will improve.

It is sad when I know that all my friends and family are leaving Iraq to be safe. Right now, even if we are at home we are not safe.


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