Protests by young Iraqis

The Korea Times - - OPINION -

Wide­spread poverty, un­em­ploy­ment, and cor­rup­tion have crip­pled life in Iraq and is forc­ing its young pop­u­la­tion to pour their anger onto the streets to de­mand what should be their ba­sic right in the first place.

When com­mu­ni­ca­tion with gov­ern­ment fails, protests be­come the pre­ferred ve­hi­cles to seek at­ten­tion of lead­ers.

The protesters, ma­jorly from the Shia pop­u­la­tion, feel they have been left be­hind while other sects have ben­e­fit­ted more from Iraq’s im­prov­ing eco­nomic con­di­tion. They are call­ing for re­forms. Th­ese young Iraqis are frus­trated with per­va­sive cor­rup­tion that has cor­roded ev­ery in­sti­tu­tion in the coun­try.

They are in­fu­ri­ated over the lack of em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties which are ar­guably the only means to im­prove liv­ing con­di­tions. They are vexed at the lack of ba­sic ameni­ties such as un­in­ter­rupted elec­tric­ity. It’s not too much to ask for. Come to think of it, why should an oil-rich coun­try suf­fer poverty at this scale any­way?

Iraq is among the top pro­duc­ers of oil. It’s the sec­ond big­gest in OPEC, and yet the Adel Ab­dul Mahdi gov­ern­ment hasn’t been able to steer the coun­try to a bet­ter fu­ture. Yes, Iraq was rav­aged by war but col­lec­tive ef­forts by in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity have put the coun­try back on its feet. (AP)

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