Posted on 12 May 2008 by

Tomatoes Offer Hope in Iraq

By Michelle Fabio

The Arab Times has reported that farmers are finally able to get back into their fields in Iraq–great news for tomato lovers as well as the country as a whole.

The return to farming signifies that Iraq, particularly in the Sunni Arab rural patch about 15 mile south of Baghdad, is on its way up after the devastation of war.

“It’s the first time in three years I am able to work in my lands,” said Ammar Wadi, a 30-year-old vegetable and dairy farmer on the banks of the Tigris.

Wadi talked about the difficulties of farming under Al-Qaeda rule when frequent power cuts precluded pumping water and avoiding gunfire in the fields was an ordinary occurrence. Indeed, the last crops that Wadi planted in 2005 simply withered away without water.

Now, though, farmers have a new worry–the possibility that bombs and booby-traps still lie below the rubble in the fields. United States forces estimate that it will take months to clear them all out.

Until then, however, tomato farmers like Wadi and 28-year-old Ali Mohammed Khalaf will have to literally watch their steps while tending to their plants, but the fact that they’re back in the fields at all is a good sign.

Source: Iraq: After the bombs, the tomatoes

3 Responses to “Tomatoes Offer Hope in Iraq”

  1. deb Says:

    Wonderful news, finally.

  2. Nancy Bond Says:

    Who knew that the humble tomato could offer such hope in such hopeless times? Great post.

  3. michelle Says:

    Deb and Nancy, I’m glad you appreciated the little glimmer of hope as well.

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