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100 Days of Progress in Iraq



  1. Iraqi Olympic Committee is reconstituted without fear from Uday Hussein: The new President of the Free Iraq Olympic group said, "The Iraqi teams used to produce the champions of Asia in many sports. They have declined since the arrival of Uday. Now we want to rebuild them with the help of the international community." -- Sharar Haydar, one of Uday Hussein's former torture victims, The Guardian (London), May 15, 2003.
  2. The Baghdad symphony is performing, and their concerts are also being televised. The conductor of the symphony said, "We're trying to show the world that Iraqis have a great culture." -- Hisham Sharaf, at a performance of the Baghdad Symphony, Agence France Presse, June 12, 2003.
  3. Theaters are quickly reopening. In the words of one filmmaker: "You cannot imagine what it means for us to be here on this national stage, where everything we stand for was forbidden. Now it is ours."-- Oday Rashid, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2003.
  4. Religious rites are being reestablished. As one Iraqi said: "I can't express my feelings. All I feel is joy. This is the first time I've seen this (Shiite celebrations) for 30 years. Saddam forbade everything. He forced us underground." -- Sami Abbas, a Shia at the holy shrine of Kadhimiy, The Washington Post, April 16, 2003.
  5. 150 newspapers on the streets of Baghdad help get out the news of a free Iraq. Ali Jabar is quoted as saying, "Every day I buy a different paper. I like them all." Says a newspaper editor: "We can't train staff fast enough. People are desperate here for a neutral free press after 30 years of a totalitarian state." -- Saad al-Bazzaz, editor of the Azzaman Daily in Baghdad, The Independent (London), July 8, 2003.
  6. Satellite dishes are the most popular items for sale in Baghdad. "I want to watch all of the world, all channels in the world. I want to watch freedom." -- Mohammed al-Khayat, an Iraqi who just purchased his first satellite dish, The Baltimore Sun, April 26, 2003.
  7. Banned books are now available in the market. A teacher selling books in Baghdad said: "Before, so many books were forbidden -- anything that didn't agree with the regime. Which means practically everything that was ever printed!" -- Imad Saad, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2003.
  8. Artists are free to display their works and poets are free to write. As one poet said: "For decades, we were used to watching ourselves. Now you can think with words. But to talk loudly and to think loudly takes time. Freedom needs practice, and it takes practice to be free." -- Mohammed Thamer, The Washington Post, April 22, 2003.
  9. Education is being revitalized. As a member of Baghdad's city council pointed out, "We want to have a real education, to be a progressive country. Education is very important to the reconstruction of our society. If you want to civilize society, you must care about education." -- Al Sa'ad Majid al Musowi, The Chicago Tribune, July 31, 2003.
  10. The Marshlands are being rehabilitated. In the words of one Iraqi, "We broke the dams when the Iraqi army left. We want to teach our children how to fish, how to move on the water again." -- Qasim Shalgan Lafta, a former fisherman who helped restore the water to the Iraqi wetlands that Saddam had destroyed, The Chicago Tribune, June 13, 2003.

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