Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Baseball in Iraq.

:: The directorate general of traffic has recently issued a number of decisions to organize the traffic in the streets in Baghdad and other governorates and to monitor the possession and use of vehicles by the citizens. This included declaring that the traffic police will start releasing tickets for drivers who commit certain violations which never happened since the 9th of April as many drivers were acting irrisponsibly and misunderstanding their freedom. For example, a driver who drives on the wrong side of the road, parks his car in the wrong place, drives without a license or his car lacks registration plates will receive a 10000 to 30000 ID ticket. And in order to protect the traffic policemen while doing their job, the ministry of internal declared that anyone found guilty of insulting a traffic policeman will be sentenced to one year in jail while anyone who physically offends a policeman will be sentenced to five years in jail.
Today I noticed and heard from many as well that the traffic was much more smooth and there were almost no traffic jams.

:: For the first time in 14 years, the Iraqi Dinar’s exchange price can be seen on the financial reports of the Arabic channels including the MSNBC Arabiya which is probably the only specialized Arabic TV financial channel. And the fluctuations in the price is being detected daily and theses do not exceed a limit of a few Dinars, actually the Dinar has kept a steady price of 1445 for 1$ during the last week

:: Cell phones service is now available in the south. The network coverage is not full right now but it’s expanding week by week as more towers are constructed. It was very surprising to see a small office advertising for cell phones in the poor village where I work.

:: Some of the readers told me on a previous occasion that they wish to see Iraqis play baseball.
This wish is coming true; last week I saw a report on the Iraqi Al-Sharqiya TV about the first baseball championship in Baghdad. Honestly, I wasn’t aware that we had baseball teams until I saw that report, moreover, it appeared that we also have a team or two for ladies who the channel made a report about.
Anyway, I hope that one day I can understand how this game works!.

:: This one is good for myself and other junior doctors and dentists; there will be a change in the salaries of the ministry of health employees. Senior doctors’ salaries will remain as they are while young doctors will get a relatively good raise; I, for instance will get a 55000 ID raise, so at the end of this month my salary will be 285000 ID instead of 231000 ID and the raise will be added to the salaries of the last five months retrospectively and the accumulated money will be paid next month.

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