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Ninety Minutes of Respite in Iraq

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Chris Vallance | 20:28 UK time, Monday, 30 July 2007

Tonight on Pods and Blogs we'll be leading with an item on Iraq. There's much to talk about: a troubling report into the humanitarian situation, claims that corruption is rife and reports of millions displaced by the conflict. But this week we'll begin with an event that allowed many Iraqis a brief respite from their daily struggle to survive, the Iraqi football team's victory in the Asian Cup final. Our guest, who lives in Baghdad and blogs as Neurotic Iraqi Wife, wrote about the victory in a post that powerfully contrasts the joy of celebration with the misery of conflict. Here are a couple of extracts, you can read all of the post The War of the Playgrounds here :

As our team scored its goal, we all started jumping up and down. Each minute of the last ten minutes to me felt like an hour. I just wanted the referee to end the game. And wowwwwww, no, wowwww does not explain the scenes after that. No, it really doesn’t describe those Iraqi guys with me. They all got up from their chairs screaming, shouting, dancing, singing. It was amazing. I cried, I cried for it was extremely emotional [....]

Everytime I take a break and then come back to my workstation, I find more and more emails of articles and Iraqi football songs from my coworkers. You can feel it in the air. Even at a meeting earlier this morning with the General’s presence he praised the team and congratulated all the Iraqis. It was nice to see everyone enjoying the moment. Everyone, without any exceptions. In a war torn country filled with rivers of blood and streets of charred flesh, it was as if God was smiling on us again


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