Iraqi Professors Demand Rights - 11.10.2008

VIDEO - Iraq, Baghdad – University professors are considered by many to be the leaders of Iraqi society. The professor was experiencing many dangers, such as death threats, car bombs, and gangs. Despite all these conditions many professors continued going everyday to their universities, transferring education, culture, and inspiration to their students. During the time of the previous regime Regime time suffered under strict budgets and some stopped teaching and began taking jobs such as taxi drivers, shop keepers, or others.

After the invasion the salaries given to university professors were increased, but many felt they were not increased enough to match their efforts. Further, the problem of transportation, the heat in the summer, and the lack of security, forced professors to expend even more money than usual. With the help of some NGOs and the assistance of some professors the Iraqi government created the “University Service Law.” The main purpose of this new law is to support the professors financially and provide them what they deserve as university professor.

The first issue the law fixed, was to increase the compensation university professors receive. The raises ranged between 250 thousand Iraqi Dinar ($200) and 100 thousand Iraqi Dinar (90$) each month. Some professors found these incremental raises to be a joke when compared to the work they do while others believe it to be a good step toward developing the educational system in Iraq.

Amar Al-Ha’arya, a professor at Baghdad University told Alive in Baghdad, “The new law is good and bad at the same time. It’s good because it can show us a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s bad because our salaries are still not enough to make us creative.” The cost of life in Iraq in general is quite expensive compared to the university professors’ income.

Alive in Baghdad brings interviews with some professors commenting on the new law its impact, as well as other issues facing professors today. If you appreciate the insightful content, which you won’t find anywhere else, please consider becoming a paying subscriber, or making a donation to Alive in Baghdad. You can also purchase Alive in Baghdad T-shirts and DVDs to spread the word.

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