Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Look what we have in our sky, what do you call it? Balloon .. airship .. blimp ..
It was flying over Abo-Ghraib the other day,

Abo-Ghraib is the small district to the west of Baghdad, where the main prison is located.
I’m sure its full of bad-anti-freedom people

Baghdad is going through a critical economical transmission period,,
today is the last day of the three-month-changing-period of the old Iraqi Dinar, and dealing with old notes (the one with saddam’s smile) is not legal anymore.

(I will tell you the story of Newsweek later.. that’s another fairy-tale)
The good news: The value of the Iraqi Dinar increased more than 40%. And its getting better..
The funny-side-effect of the operation is not missing the smile of uncle saddam, it’s the unexpected inflation!!
The usual exchange rate of the Iraqi Dinar used to be around 2000 for one us dollar, today it is 1200. But at the same time this 40% rising in the value of the Iraqi Dinar was not accompanied with any change in the prices of food, transportation and other basic supplies and products.

The small problem of price increases is that no one used to keep or use Iraqi money in a practical way, people kept their money in US dollars, so from this point of view everything is 40% more expensive than before!!

Q: I used to pay 1000 Iraqi Dinar for the taxi driver and it used to equal 50 cents
Today I paid 1250 Iraqi Dinar for the same trip, how much is that in dollars?
A: one dollar
Conclusion: its time to use your car..

Q: I invite Salam on lunch and dinner everyday, and I pay, everyday, every time. Mmm .. ok .. I used to pay 10,000 Iraqi Dinar which used to equal five dollars, how much is that in dollars now?
A: Don’t invite him anymore.

For the first time since 1991 shops are refusing to deal with US dollars! Everyone is proud of our national currency now

Yeah .. I mean .. whatever was this price rising problem, its temporal and small, the economical conditions reminds me of the days before the embargo, in the late eighties when the Iraqi Dinar used to have his credibility, power and enormous potentialities.

Ok .. going back to that Newsweek thing, no one can really describe the difference between the Arabic edition and the English one, but let me try..
Difference 1:
They have a strange version of Arabic language there.
Difference 2:
I feel it’s more an educational curriculum than anything else, trying to teach us some interesting politically correct facts about life.
Difference 3:
There is even a different version of images; the Arabic ones are less artistic and more educational, expressing certain ideas.

I think Faiza – mamma mia – can describe more what I’m trying to say.. you can read what’s she writing on A Family In Baghdad.