Iraq

A feeling of revolution

Question: Ms. Zeinab Jabbar, what is your feeling on Election Day?

Answer: For the first time, we have an opportunity to give our opinion in all justice and equality and without pressures. We all have the same desire to elect people who represent the real sovereignty and build a new Iraq, and Iraq of justice, stability, without oppression, away from confessionalism and nepotism where all the citizens will be equal. I hope all Iraqis hopes will be fulfilled through these elections.

Q: Ms. Alaa Rabih, what is your feeling on elections?

A: My feeling is a feeling of nationalism and revolution. For the first time, we feel secure and stable, we will have a new constitution and live in a peaceful Iraq.

Q: Mr. Ahmad Salman, what is your feeling on Election Day?

A: A good feeling, a feeling of a revolution happening.

Q: Ms. Batoul what is your feeling on Election Day?

A: This is a celebration. I hope for justice, equality and security and that democratic operation ends without any loss.

More reports and reaction from Friends of Democracy.

Update: This from Reuters:

Some came on crutches, others walked for miles then struggled to read the ballot, but across Iraq, millions turned out to vote Sunday, defying insurgents who threatened a bloodbath.

Suicide bombs and mortars killed at least 27 people, but voters still came out in force for the first multi-party poll in 50 years. In some places they cheered with joy at their first chance to cast a free vote, in others they shared chocolates.

Even in Falluja, the Sunni city west of Baghdad that was a militant stronghold until a U.S. assault in November, a steady stream of people turned out, confounding expectations. Lines of veiled women clutching their papers waited to vote.

“We want to be like other Iraqis, we don’t want to always be in opposition,” said Ahmed Jassim, smiling after he voted.

In Baquba, a rebellious city northeast of Baghdad, spirited crowds clapped and cheered at one voting station. In Mosul, scene of some of the worst insurgent attacks in recent months, U.S. and local officials said turnout was surprisingly high.

……Samir Hassan, 32, who lost his leg in a car bomb blast in October, was determined to vote. “I would have crawled here if I had to. I don’t want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me. Today I am voting for peace,” he said, leaning on his metal crutches, determination in his reddened eyes.

In Sadr City, a poor Shi’ite neighborhood of northeast Baghdad, thick lines of voters turned out, women in black abaya robes in one line, men in another.

……Baghdad’s mayor was overcome with emotion by the turnout of voters at City Hall, where he said thousands were celebrating.

“I cannot describe what I am seeing. It is incredible. This is a vote for the future, for the children, for the rule of law, for humanity, for love,” Alaa al-Tamimi told Reuters.

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