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DID YOU KNOW THIS? - July 2005

Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq?

Did you know that the Iraqi current government employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq?

Did you know that Iraq's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational?! They have 5- 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a navel infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 bell jet rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?
Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?

Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consist of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?

Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a recent televised debate recently?

The above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense website.

Iraq Progress Report 11-15-2003

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...

The first battalion of the new Iraqi Army has graduated and is on active duty.

Over 60000 Iraqis now provide security to their fellow citizens.

Nearly all of Iraq's 400 courts are functioning.

The Iraqi judiciary is fully independent.

On Monday, October 6 power generation hit 4,518 megawatts-exceeding the pre-war average.

All 22 universities and 43 technical institutes and colleges are open, as are nearly all primary and secondary schools.

By October 1, Coalition forces had rehabbed over 1,500 schools - 500 more than their target.

Teachers earn from 12 to 25 times their former salaries.

All 240 hospitals and more than 1200 clinics are open.

Doctors' salaries are at least eight times what they were under Saddam.

Pharmaceutical distribution has gone from essentially nothing to 700 tons in May to a current total of 12,000 tons.

The Coalition has helped administer over 22 million vaccination doses to Iraq's children.

A Coalition program has cleared over 14,000 kilometers of Iraq's 27,000 kilometers of weed-choked canals.

They now irrigate tens of thousands of farms. This project has created jobs for more than 100,000 Iraqi men and women.

We have restored over three-quarters of pre-war telephone services and over two-thirds of the potable water production.

There are 4 900 full-service connections. We expect 50,000 by January first.

The wheels of commerce are turning. From bicycles to satellite dishes to cars and trucks, businesses are coming to life in all major cities and towns.

95 percent of all pre-war bank customers have service and first-time customers are opening accounts daily.

Iraqi banks are making loans to finance businesses.

The central bank is fully independent.

Iraq has one of the world's most growth-oriented investment and banking laws.

Iraq (has) a single, unified currency for the first time in 15 years.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...satellite dishes are legal.

Foreign journalists aren't on 10-day visas paying mandatory and extortionate fees to the Ministry of Information for "minders" and other government spies.

There is no Ministry of Information.

There are more than 170 newspapers.

You can buy satellite dishes on what seems like every street corner.

Foreign journalists and everyone else are free to come and go.

A nation that had not one single element-legislative, judicial or executive-- of a representative government, does.

In Baghdad alone residents have selected 88 advisory councils. Baghdad's first democratic transfer of power in 35 years happened when the city council elected its new chairman.

Today in Iraq chambers of commerce, business, school and professional organizations are electing their leaders all over the country.

25 ministers, selected by the most representative governing body in Iraq's history, run the day-to-day business of government.

The Iraqi government regularly participates in international events. Since July the Iraqi government has been represented in over two dozen international meetings, including those of the UN General Assembly, the Arab League, the World Bank and IMF and, today, the Islamic Conference Summit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today announced that it is reopening over 30 Iraqi embassies around the world.

Shia religious festivals that were all but banned, aren't.

For the first time in 35 years, in Karbala thousands of Shiites celebrate the pilgrimage of the 12th Imam.

The Coalition has completed over 13,000 reconstruction projects, large and small as part of (a) strategic plan for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Uday and Queasy are dead - and no longer feeding innocent Iraqis to his zoo lions, raping the young daughters of local leaders to force cooperation, torturing Iraq's soccer players for losing games...murdering critics.

Children aren't imprisoned or murdered when their parents disagree with the government.

Since President Bush declared an end to major combat on May 1...political opponents aren't imprisoned, tortured, executed, maimed, or are forced to watch their families die for disagreeing with Saddam.

Millions of longsuffering Iraqis no longer live in perpetual terror.

Saudis will hold municipal elections.

Qatar is reforming education to give more choices to parents.

Jordan is accelerating market economic reforms.

The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for the first time to an Iranian -- a Muslim woman who speaks out with courage for human rights, for democracy and for peace.

From Iraq To the U.S. In a Journey For Harmony
Musicians Can't Play And Ignore Politics
By Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 11, 2003; Page B05

The Iraqi musicians sat on stage yesterday morning at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, some in traditional Kurdish cummerbunds, some in dark-blue jeans and black leather jackets, and one woman in a gold-sequined blazer and a shimmering multicolored dress.

Behind them were years of isolation, repression and war under Saddam Hussein. Ahead of them was uncertainty in U.S.-administered Iraq.

The group of about 60 members of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra said they didn't want politics to overshadow their music during their visit to Washington. They wanted "to forget about the bombs," said viola player Munther Jamil Hafidh, 72, who helped found the orchestra in 1959.

Washington Post
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