Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Perspective: "My land has been invaded by families"

Hassan Bayat is a 71-year-old farmer from the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.

"For the past three months my land has been invaded by families who've set up camp in its most productive areas. I inherited this land from my grandfather who was killed by Saddam Hussein's regime during an uprising in the 1990s. For 10 years now I have been cultivating rice and planting date trees and a few vegetables for our own consumption but now I've had to stop because of those people living here.

"My sheep have started to disappear; so far nine have gone. I'm not sure if they're taking them but the important thing is that before these people came we didn't get incidents like that. I need this income to survive and now without a place to plant and with my sheep being stolen, I'm afraid that soon I'll have to start looking for help, as these people are doing now.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet