Iraq Losing More Brains

Almost four years after the US invasion, Iraq continues to lose more of its distinguished brains to a raging violence in a country where, many believe, the "law of the jungle" holds sway

Iraq Losing More Brains

"I can't live in Baghdad any more," Asam Rifaat, a criminal lawyer living in the upscale Mansour district, told Reuters on Thursday, February 1.

"Every time I leave my home, I take a long look at (my children) Nora and Mahmoud because I always have the feeling that I'm not coming back, I'll be killed or abducted," he said.

"It's turned into a city for dead people and I'm not ready to have my children grow up as orphans."

His wife, a 35-year-old teacher who quit to stay home with the kids, is living in hell.

"Every time Asam leaves for work I keep praying for his safety. And when I see urgent news on television about bombs, I start crying until he comes home."

The International Medical Corps (IMC) warned on Tuesday, January 30, that up to one million Iraqis would flee their homes in the capital within the next six months if the bloody sectarian violence went on unabated.

Iraq has been gripped by a bloody cycle of violence since the US invaded the oil-rich country in 2003.

Since then, nearly two million Iraqis have fled the chaos-mired country and some 1.7 million been internally displaced, comprising a worrying 12 percent of the total population, according to the UN estimates.

Jungle Law

The 38-year-old lawyer believe Iraq is no more a country of the law

"I mean it, we are living according to the rules of the jungle," said a disgruntled Rifaat.

"I can't work for justice in a country run by militias which act above the law," he said.

Militias, many are working in collusion with the police, are mainly to blame for raging sectarian violence.

UN and Iraq medical sources had recently estimated that more than 100 people die every day in sectarian violence across the country.

The Pentagon accuses the Madi Army militia of Shiite leader Moqtada Sadr of responsibility for sectarian violence and death squads.

Salim al-Taie, a former army officer, is also taking his four-member family to Egypt.

"Every time I convince my wife that we mustn't give up hope, the ever-increasing blasts and sectarian killing prove I'm wrong," said Taie, who stopped sending his children to school.

"They broke my heart and their tears encouraged me to pack up and leave Iraq forever.

"I want no more tears in my children's eyes, even if the price is never to return to Iraq," he said.

"In the last four years many things have changed in Baghdad and definitely for the worse," asserted the former army officer.

"No one respects the law any more, which is a disaster," he lamented.

"Life in Baghdad is like living in a city run by the mafia where anybody can be killed in cold blood."

Almost 34,000 civilians died last year as the raging sectarian violence reached new heights, above all in Baghdad, according to the latest death count published by the Iraqi government.


The unabated violence and attacks targeting academics are threatening the education system.

"Maybe only three students will graduate this year. The other 27 never showed up," said Abu Mina, a university professor and a ceramic artist.

"I wouldn't even recognize their faces," he added, asserting he himself was considering to leave the war-torn country.

Abu Mina's son is studying medicine but classes are only held about once every two weeks, and many professors have moved to the safety of Damascus to teach at a private university.

A double bombing at a Baghdad university this month killed at least 70 people, mostly students.

At least 185 university teachers have been killed since the 2003 US invasion, according to the Iraqi Higher Education Ministry.

Some 52 university teachers have also been kidnapped and 41 others wounded.

A new UN report said there was a worrying increase in attacks on professionals such as teachers, doctors, artists, lawyers, ex-military officers and journalists.

"These attacks are typically perpetrated by extremists practicing conformist ideology and by militant/terror groups intent on spreading fear and intimidation."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16