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    Fallujans Search For School Books Under Rubble Islam Online February 13, 2005 http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-02/13/article02.shtml ... A file
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2005
      Fallujans Search For School Books Under Rubble
      Islam Online
      February 13, 2005

      A file photo of a US soldier having lunch over school debris in

      FALLUJAH, February 13 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Three
      months after the western Iraqi city of Fallujah was pounded to
      rubble by US warplanes, teachers and schoolchildren are
      unremittingly gearing up for the resumption of classes.

      Bullet-scarred blackboards, dog-eared, half-burnt textbooks, and
      volunteers will do in a city that became a ghost down in the broad
      sense of the word, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday,
      February 13.

      "All the furniture has been destroyed, most of the supplies, books
      and stationery as well," said headmaster Shalal Saddah Haraj, giving
      a tour of the school's only structure still standing in the middle
      of a field of rubble and mangled metal.

      "There is not one single window on this building," he lamented.

      The education ministry announced that teaching should resume on
      February 5, but many of the schools have been destroyed in the
      November US-led offensive [
      http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2004-11/08/article09.shtml ]
      and thousands of residents have yet to return to the devastated city.

      "When my family and I came back to Fallujah, we found our house
      burnt, the houses around it and the school destroyed," said Hadil
      Khaled, a nine-year-old girl.

      "I have been moved to another school, but all the books there were
      stolen. How am I going to study?"

      A meager $100 for each family has been pledged by interim Prime
      Minister Iyad Allawi in the aftermath of the US raid.

      Distraught Fallujans rejected government cash, saying no money can
      make up for the loss of loved ones and destruction of their homes.

      Teachers Missing

      Few schoolchildren have shown up so far and many teachers are also
      still missing.

      "Most of my teachers are not back. I don't know where they are, I
      don't even know if they are still alive," said Liqaa Shaker, the
      headmistress of the Aisha school as she was sitting in her crumbling

      "I've had their salaries with me for months, but they haven't
      collected them," she added.

      Most of the 250,000-strong population of Fallujah fled the city
      before the launch on November 8 of what was the largest military
      offensive in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion-turned-occupation.

      After staying with relatives or being encamped in Baghdad and
      neighboring villages, some families have started trickling back into
      the city, often to find their homes have been leveled or looted.

      Shaker lamented that teaching would have to resume with less than
      half of the staff and virtually no equipment.

      "I don't have enough books for my own students, but now three other
      schools are being merged into mine because the others were

      Teacher Maysun Hawas will have to write around the bullet holes
      dotting her blackboard.

      "To catch up on the curriculum, we will have to study through the
      summer, when other provinces will have finished the school year. But
      for the moment we have no electricity and water," [
      http://islamonline.net/English/News/2004-12/22/article01.shtml ]
      Hawas told AFP.

      Volunteers and officials were busy shoveling bricks into a
      wheelbarrow in what used to be the Dhat Al-Salasil school's storage

      "Be careful, don't come here, the roof could collapse," said an
      exhausted municipal employee.

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