Baghdad university is operational but only just. We have long conversation with the temporary Dean. The old Dean was a Ba'athist and a new one has yet to be appointed. The college resources are pitifully inadequate. There are few working computers many of the classrooms have no furniture and there are few books. The college bus service has (relied upon by poor students) has ceased to exist, many of the buses burned or stolen by looters. Student accomidation relied upon by students living outside Baghdad has been occupied by American Soldiers. The Dean has written to the American administration about all these problems, he has yet to recieve any reply to his letters. Some female students approach us as we are leaving they say that they dont feel safe on the campus, it is too big and there are not enough guards.
This visit was particularly poingnant for Abdulla our freind and guide. He was a student union activist on this campus 26 years ago when he was kidnapped and tortured by Baathists. He has lived in Europe ever since. This is his first visit home.