Sunday, February 24, 2008

Questions from Kelly Martin, Collinsville IL

Kelly Martin from Collinsville high school sent these questions via email for Firas, Ahmed and Alaa (whose friends in Damascus call him David).

Kelly: Do many people have their own computers, or are many internet cafes?
Firas: From my perspective not too many Iraqis have PCs here in Syria, the majority of Iraqis can't afford to buy PCs, and however, Iraqi people are eager to learn about PCs and how to benefit from it especially from the internet!
The internet for the Iraqis become their only window to the outside world, they consider this service as the only way to communicate with their friends, relatives, beloved, parents….etc, who live in Iraq and other countries, the availability of internet cafes are good in some areas but the service are monitored by an admin in the cafĂ©, and a lot of facilities are blocked including the voice chat and web cam in most of the cafes in Damascus, the reasons for this are unknown to me.

Kelly: What do you spend your days doing?
Ahmed: I spent most of my days reading E-books and self education myself, communicating with my friends via internet is daily activity.

Kelly: I'm sorry to hear that your Iraq credentials are holding you back from continuing your studies. Do you believe that you will be able to receive them eventually and resume your formal education?
David: In regard to my school papers, I can't go to the area I used to live in because I and my family are threatened to be killed if we go back. And I am very sad about this. Years are passing away. My peers are in their last year in high school and I am still in my tenth grade. I can't finish my studies because of those threats. I can't wait to pursue my study for it is my ambition.

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