Thursday, May 11, 2006

Salam Pax Posting Again & the Ameryiah district.

For anyone who hasn't noticed, Salam Pax is posting again. Salam is an excellent just-the-facts-ma'am witness to the goings on in Baghdad and the government. If you haven't done so before, while you're there, check out his overview of the oil production in Iraq last February.

Yet, Salam's post on the 8th is a little confusing to me.

The District of Ameryiah (west of Baghdad) has entered some sort of parallel universe. It has been living this one for a while but from what I had heard yesterday it has officially left the galaxy we know and entered a galaxy ruled by an alien race called Sunni Fundamentalists .

There have been killings of barbers who shave beards for a while there. Shops were bombed because they sell un-Islamic clothing and Shia shop owners slaughtered on the streets.The latest news coming from this far and distant galaxy is that a school deep in that dark and cold world have told Shia kids not to come to school anymore. The purity of Sunni land shouldn’t be tainted by those dirty Shia coming to their schools.

Parents who got the not-so-subtle hint and decided to move out of the district were also in the same not so subtle way informed that they were not allowed actually take anything with them. No trucks with a load that looked like a house move was allowed to get out of the district and the drivers were killed. The houses of those dirty Shia were legitimate loot for the Sunni Jihadists who are working hard to insure the purity of the district.

What is confusing to me is this west Baghdad Ameryiah suburb. I confess, I'm not familiar with it although he is not the only one to reference it. I am familiar with the west Baghdad district of Adhamiya (or alternately Adhamiyah, Aadhamiyah, or Aadhamiya). For the last two years, this district has had a longer name when mentioned on CNN or the New York Times. They always called it "Adhamiya, an insurgent stronghold". Does anyone know for certain if Ameryiah and Adhamiya are or are not the same?

If they are the same then Salam offers yet another window into that messed up district as Zeyad has reported on here here here and here, and Iraq The Model on the 9th and in April. BaghdadTreasure here.


Thank you to Fayrouz for clarifying for me that Ameryiah and Adhamiya are two separate districts. Salam Pax clarified matters even more with a Google kmz file whose contents I've posted below. Salam Pax says:

Al-Ameryiah is not al-Adhamyiah (A’zamiya or whatever the english spelling is) and Google earth has all the markings wrong.

The placemarks [in the following graphic] show you al-Ameryiah. West of Baghdad on the road to Falluja and very close to the airport. Part of the problem is that many of the people living in that district have close relations to people further west (Falluja/AbuGharib/even Ramadi). Adhamyiah/A’zamyiah is a much older district and has a long history. It is very symbolic of the way we used to see Baghdad. Adhhamyia (Sunni) is linked to Kazimya (very Shia) with a bridge and people have lived beside each other for generations and generations. Do you remember the bridge that collapsed last year and killed thousands? That’s the one lining the two districts and in a rare return to form the Sunnis of Adhamyia were more helpful than the authorities at the time.

And incidently what is marked by Google Earth as Adhamyiah is actually Sadr City and what is marked as Kazimyiah is so far out of Baghdad proper it is probably Abu Ghraib. Hope this clears things, if not then confuse even further

Thanks again, guys!


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