Thursday, April 21, 2005

Water project cancelled.


Nuradeen Ghreeb, a civil engineer, dreamed of bringing clean drinking water to his hometown, Halabja, but the United States canceled its planned water project there this week.
Christoph Bangert/Polaris, for The New York Times
Nuradeen Ghreeb, a civil engineer, dreamed of bringing clean drinking water to his hometown, Halabja, but the United States canceled its planned water project there this week.

By JAMES GLANZ

Published: April 16, 2005








HALABJA, Iraq, April 11 - For years Nuradeen Ghreeb has dreamed of bringing clean drinking water to his hometown. That town happens to be Halabja, where 17 years ago he and his parents cowered in a basement as Saddam Hussein's airplanes attacked with chemical weapons, killing at least 5,000 people.

But on Sunday, Mr. Nuradeen learned that his dream was over, because the United States had canceled the water project it had planned here as part of a vast effort to rebuild Iraq after the 2003 invasion. Ordinarily a quiet and reserved civil engineer, he sat on one of his beloved water pipes on hearing the news and wept, his tears glistening in the afternoon sun.

"If the Americans think that training the Iraqi Army comes before clean drinking water for the people of Halabja," he said quietly, "then we can't expect anything from them."

Link to NYT