Iraqi Kurdish leaders spar over form of future administration

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, September 30, 2012 Top Kurdish leaders are in disagreement over what type of administration their semi-independent Kurdish region should have in the future, according to a high-ranking Kurdish official. The official, Mahmoud Othman, said both Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi President and Massoud Barzani, the head of the Kurdish region, think differently(…)

A world war is raging in Syria

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, September 29, 2012 The peaceful struggle for freedom in Syria has turnd into full-scale war. This has become a big headline and there is no one who could ever challenge it or hide it  including the regime in Syria itself. Alongside this war, battles by intelligence agencies, weapons traders, battles launched(…)

$125 million for 182 school buildings in four Iraqi provinces

By Khaula al-Aukaili Azzaman, September 27, 2012 The Ministry of Education has allocated  $125 million for the construction of 182 schools in four Iraq provinces. An Iraqi firm   is constructing the schools to meet demand for the rising student population and ease congestion in current schools. The state-run al-Simoud Steel Enterprise is building the schools.(…)

Iraqi Kurdish region to produce 1 million barrels of oil in 2015

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, September 26, 2012 The future of Iraq’s oil sector has never been as rosy as it is now. Predictions for oil production and exports are promising and the country is on its way to turn into world’s number one exporter. A few years ago, the Iraqi Kurdish region was barren as(…)

UNESCO to ‘save’ Iraq’s leaning minaret

By Sami Elias Azzaman, September 25, 2012 The U.N.’s cultural agency, UNESCO, has agreed to repair Iraq’s tilting minaret known as al-Hadba, an official in the Province of Nineveh said. The minaret, one of Iraq’s major attractions, is situated in the northern city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province. Built more than 800 years(…)

Iraq refurbishes Ur in hope of Papal visit

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, September 24, 2012 Iraq is tidying up the remains of the ancient city of Ur in hope of a proposed visit by Pope Benedict XVI. The Antiquities Inspectorate in the Province of Dhi Qar of which Naisiyra is the capital says it has started restoration activities in Ur. Ur, the metropolitan(…)

Five-year plan to eradicate poverty in Iraq

Azzaman, September 23, 2012 Iraq has drawn a five-year development plan to eradicate poverty, diversify economic resources, and lessen reliance on oil exports as the major source of income, a statement by the Ministry of Planning said. The plan will be launched in 2013 and the country is expected to invest up to $275 billion(…)

Iraqi exiles in Syria fear for their lives but are afraid to return home

By Zeena Sami Azzaman,  September 22, 2012 Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria are in danger but cannot return for fear of being questions and imprisoned, according to a legislator who just ended a fact-finding mission to Syria. Hassan Alawi said he met many Iraqi exiles willing to escape violence in Syria but(…)

Iraqi pupils to receive grants and uniforms

By Adel Kadhem Azzama, September 20, 2012 The government says it is working on a new program to lure parents to send their children to school. This year up to five million pupils joined primary schools across the country but officials say more needs to be done to have all children covered by education and(…)

More international airlines arrange direct flights to Iraqi airports

By Fareed Hassan Azzaman, September 19, 2012 More foreign airlines are flying directly to Iraqi airports, an indication the country is slowly returning to normalcy and quiet after years of violence. Major airlines have scheduled flights to Baghdad now and some have added other major Iraqi cities to their destinations. The busiest Iraqi airports are(…)

Scores of artifacts stolen from museum in southern Iraq

By Basem Hussein Azzaman, September 18, 2012 Burglars broke into the Nebuchadnezzar Museum in the southern city of Hilla, removing 33 pieces, an Antiquities Department official said. The official, refusing to be named, said the burglars chose the finest artifacts in the museum, which houses artifacts recovered from ancient Babylon, situated a few kilometers north(…)

Iraq has world’s largest sulfur reserves

By Khaula al-Aukaili Azzaman, September 17, 2012 Iraq has the world’s largest sulfur reserves estimated at 600 million tons, a statement by the Mishraq State Sulfur Mine said. Iraqi sulfur riches were extensively developed in the decades before the U.N. imposed sanctions on the country in the aftermath of the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Exports(…)

Pope’s Lebanon visit: It is historic but too late

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, September 15, 2012 The visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Lebanon is historic and bridges what can be described as a deadly vacuum.  But it has come too late in its timing after the suffering and grievances of Christian denominations in Iraq, the heart of the bleeding East. Here we are(…)

Cement firm’s output surges but there are no buyers

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, September 15, 2012 An Iraqi cement plant has stockpiles of nearly $50 million worth of cement but can find no buyers in Iraq. The Southern Cement Factory says its warehouses are full and it may halt production due to lack of interest in its output. The factory is self-reliant and is(…)

Iraq may expel U.S. oil majors cooperating with Kurds

By Zeena Sami Azzaman, September 12, 2012 Iraq is considering the expulsion of U.S. oil firms refusing to suspend their activities in its Kurdish region, Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahristani has been reported as saying. Local newspapers said Shahristani, who leads the current rise of the country as a major oil exporter(…)

The day which is more important than September 11

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, September 11, 2011 For 11 years the September 11 anniversary has had great symbolic impact influence on the United States. The rest of the world has cared much less. But the question is for how long will the U.S. be occupied with this anniversary? Is it in Americans’ interest to keep(…)

No date set for Pope’s Iraq visit

By Khaula al- Ukaili Azzaman, September 10, 2012 No date has been set for a possible visit by Pope Benedict XVI to Iraq, a government official said. Bahaa al-Araji of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said the pope, who is visiting Lebanon on Friday, had 40 other stations to tour before deciding whether he(…)

Arabs in Iraq’s Kirkuk call for ‘justice’ in employment

By Marwan al-Ani Azzaman, September 9, 2012 Arabs in the disputed Province of Kirkuk say they are being discriminated against as they get fewer jobs than other ethnic components of the population. There are three major ethnic minorities battling for control of the Province of which the oil-rich city of Kirkuk is the capital. But(…)

Kurdish oil exhibition suffers from poor attendance

Azzaman, September 8, 2012 A fair meant to draw attention to the oil riches of the Iraqi Kurdish region has failed to attract international attention, according to organizers and Iraqi oil officials. The fair, held in Arbil early this month only drew 50 firms while a similar exhibition to be held in Basra in the(…)

Iraqis to receive share of surplus oil money

By Zeean Sami Azzaman, September 6, 2012 Each Iraqi family is expected to get around $500 by the end of the year as part of a government plan to dole out surplus oil revenues, according to Iraqi parliament’s financial commission. Najeeba Najeeb, a commission’s member, said the sum which each Iraqi family will be entitled(…)