Monday, March 16, 2009

Iraqis Getting Stronger

The sanctions imposed on Iraq after Saddam's invasion of Kuwait were devastating in many ways. The economic and political conditions during the 90s led to malnutrition among poor Iraqis. I wonder how long people expected Iraqis to live under sanctions, which had no effect other than to make Saddam's grip on power stronger. Thankfully those sanctions ended after Saddam's murderous regime was toppled, and Iraqis were finally free.

Iraq's recent provincial elections proved that Iraqis are free. Iraq's future is bright, despite the best efforts of "the resistance" to destroy it. The article below is an example of how determined some Iraqis are to improve their lives.

March 10, 2009

Baghdad’s Bodybuilder

For Sattar Attiya the American invasion of Iraq helped his bodybuilding career in an unexpected way. The chaos and open borders meant he could get proteins and nutritional supplements which were not available under Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Five years later Sattar Attiya became world champion in the 65kg category (just over 143 pounds) of the International Federation of Body Building and Fitness world championships held in Bahrain on November 2008.

Born in 1980 in one of the poor Shiite neighborhoods of southern Baghdad, Sattar began training in 1997, in a city whose many weightlifting gymnasiums bear crudely-drawn portraits of the country’s bodybuilding idol: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sattar has won Iraqi, Arab and Asian competitions but was unable to participate in many international championships before the 2003 war because Iraq was suspended under the international sanctions imposed on his country.

A father of two, he is responsible for three families; his own, his parents’ and that of his younger brother, who all live in a small home with two bedrooms and one hallway.


No comments :