Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Baghdad elite flees Iraq and the daily threat of death


Quietly, in their ones and twos, the professional classes of Baghdad are slipping out of the country to avoid becoming another fatal statistic.

Iraq is losing the educated elite of doctors, lawyers, academics and businessmen who are vital to securing a stable future. There is also fear that their departure will leave a vacuum to be filled by religious extremists.

Outside the shelter of the Green Zone, home to the American and Iraqi political leadership, lawlessness has overtaken the capital.

Prof Abdul Sattar Jawad, the head of English literature at Baghdad University, will leave next month to take up a post in Jordan. Two of his colleagues left recently after being intimidated.

At his home in east Baghdad the professor answered the door with an outstretched hand. In the other hand he carried a loaded revolver "because I don't trust anybody nowadays".

No comments: