RealNews

Bound to Iraq, Kurds eye options

Violence, including a truck bombing in Kirkuk last week, is making Kurds increasingly wary about being part of Iraq. For all the framed bucolic scenes and portraits of stern patriarchs, what dominates Abdulkader Shkak’s main-street office in this bustling southern capital of Kurdish Iraq are larger-than-life photos of fluffy yellow chicks. Selling chicks – and the fans and feeders that accompany them – is what Mr. Shkak does for a living. And by all accounts, business is booming. “Before the war we sold 25,000 chicks a day, but now it’s something closer to 50,000,” says Shkak. “People have more money.” In Iraqi Kurdistan, the northern third of the country that was virtually independent of Saddam Hussein’s rule for the past 12 years, there are no bombed-out remains of the war like those that scar Baghdad. Instead, signs of an economic uptick abound. And America, which safeguarded the Kurds’ autonomy from the dictator with a no-fly zone, is widely seen more as a liberator than an occupier. Full Story

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