Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
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IRAQ: Kerosene blues

February 2, 2008 |  8:04 am

The government is supposed to provide families with a monthly ration of 200 liters of kerosene for about $17. But because of widespread corruption, we are lucky to receive it once a year.

Instead, we have to hunt on the street for black market sellers to fill our jerry cans with fuel. In one month, a family could spend $300 on heating oil alone at a time when you are lucky to earn that much in salary per month.

Oil_2_2

People wonder why electricity and fuel supplies were better in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein. Some think it’s because of corruption, and others believe it is a conspiracy now by the government and the Americans to make people exhausted. People don’t know anymore what to believe.

— An Iraqi staff writer in Baghdad

Photo: Fuel shortages have spurred a lively black market for heating oil in Baghdad. Credit: LA Times

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