Archive | May 9, 2017

Gay Teens Make up 92 percent of HIV Cases in Their Age Group*

Gay Teens Make up 92 percent of HIV Cases in Their Age Group*

By Peter LaBarbera

More than 9 in 10 new HIV cases among young men and boys ages 13 to 24 in the U.S. occur among homosexuals and bisexuals, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The April 25 CDC report, “HIV Among Gay and Bisexual Men,” offers stark evidence of the extreme health risks associated with male homosexual sex, in particular receptive anal sex. Below are some of its findings:

— Gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 accounted for an estimated 92% of new HIV diagnoses among all men in their age group and 27 percent of new diagnoses among all gay and bisexual men;

— Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men made up an estimated 2% of the population, but 55% of people living with HIV in the United States in 2013;

— From 2005 to 2014, HIV diagnoses decreased in the United States by 19% overall but increased 6% among all gay and bisexual men;

— 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime, including 1 in 2 black gay and bisexual men, 1 in 4 Hispanic gay and bisexual men, and 1 in 11 white gay and bisexual men;

— Nearly 1 in 7 gay and bisexual men living with HIV are unaware they have it;

— Anal sex is the riskiest type of sex for getting or transmitting HIV. Receptive anal sex is 13 times as risky for acquiring HIV as insertive anal sex.

Can’t make sodomy ‘safe’

Sobering facts like these urgently need to reach teenage boys taking sex-ed classes in schools across the country, said Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Paediatricians (ACPeds), but too often politically correct teachers and sex-ed curricula downplay risks linked to homosexuality.

“The CDC reports that men who have sex with men (MSM) make up only 2% of the population, but gay and bisexual men aged 13 to 24 account for an estimated 92% of new HIV diagnoses among all men in their age group. This is shocking. An HIV epidemic is raging among young MSM and no one knows about it — least of all those most at risk: LGBT youth,” Dr. Cretella told LifeSiteNews.

“These statistics are proof that ‘comprehensive sex education’ aimed at promoting condoms among youth has not worked,” she said. “Even when used perfectly correctly, condoms and lubricants cannot make anal sex — an inherently traumatic act — safe. Our children deserve to know the truth. Their health and very lives depend upon it.”

AcPeds, “a national organization of pediatricians and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the health and well-being of children,” was formed in 2002 to provide an alternative to liberal, pro-LGBTQ medical associations like the American Academy of Paediatrics.

Texas pro-family education activist Donna Garner agreed. “Students need to be apprised of the huge risks that follow their choice to participate in LGBT sexual activities; and if schools offer sex education courses, they need to state clearly the medical, psychological, and emotional dangers of choosing the LGBT lifestyle.”

Reckless sex continues

The CDC report states, “Most gay and bisexual men acquire HIV through having anal sex with an HIV-positive person without using a condom or without taking daily medicine to prevent HIV called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or without their partner taking medicine to treat HIV called antiretroviral therapy (ART).”

Nevertheless, despite years of such warnings as to the dangers of condomless anal sex, pornography featuring “barebacking” — slang for anal sex without a condom — has proliferated among “gay” men. Many homosexual men do not like using condoms.

Homosexual and bisexual men “are also at increased risk for other STDs, like syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia,” according to the CDC report.

Minorities are faring worse at avoiding sexual diseases than white homosexual men, the report states. From 2010 to 2014, new HIV diagnoses increased less than 1% among all gay and bisexual men overall. However, while they declined 6% among white gay and bisexual men, they “increased 13% among Hispanic/Latino gay and bisexual men.”

The report states, “At the end of 2013, 687,800 gay and bisexual men were living with HIV. Of those, 15% were unaware of their infection.”


Related Topics:

Bayer and U.S. Govt. Knowingly Gave HIV to Thousands of Children*

Surprise: STD Rates among U.S. Homosexuals ‘alarming,’*

Italian Patients Infected With HIV and other Viruses via Blood Transfusion*

Cuba Has Officially Eradicated HIV Transmission to Babies*

A Herbal HIV-AIDS Treatment that Works!

Doctor Challenges the Myth Behind AIDS-HIV

17 Venezuela Opposition Parties Accept Government Invitation to Discuss Constituent Process*

17 Venezuela Opposition Parties Accept Government Invitation to Discuss Constituent Process*

Elias Jaua, recently appointed head of the commission on the constituent assembly | Photo: AVN

Jaua expressed disappointment at MUD’s refusal to participate in the dialogues and called on their leaders to “think” in the name of “peace.”

Seventeen Venezuelan opposition parties met with the government to discuss the national constituent assembly invoked by President Nicolas Maduro one week ago, although right-wing parties in the MUD coalition are still refusing to sit with the government.

The president of the committee created by Maduro to oversee the implementation of the constituent assembly process, Elías Jaua, thanked the groups for accepting the invitation and highlighted that this was the first time that the government could open dialogue with opposition parties that do not belong to the Democratic Unity Roundtable, known by its Spanish initials as MUD.

“What matters here is not that we reach an agreement, nor that we change anyone’s mind, but that we listen and enrich the debate,” he said.

Segundo Melendez of the Movement to Socialism said that the party would continue participating “in all the spaces we can be heard.”

The MUD coalition said Sunday it would not participate in the national constituent assembly, calling the process a “fraud.”

“(The process) is not constituent, we could hardly go to an absolutely fraudulent process, we Venezuelans will not be part of a fraud,” former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said.

In a letter addressed to Jaua, the MUD argued that the constituent assembly should be invoked via a popular referendum, not by the government.

President Maduro invoked article 347 of the Bolivarian Constitution, which allows for the convening of a national constituent assembly with the purpose of “transforming the state,” adding that the process would facilitate a dialogue with the opposition and broad sectors of society with the goal of easing the ongoing political tensions.

Despite previously calling for a constituent assembly, the opposition has rejected the call and set off a fresh wave of protests which have led to the deaths of some three dozen people in just over a month.

Jaua expressed disappointment at the refusal of MUD politicians to participate in the dialogues and called on their leaders to “think” in the name of “peace.”

“So they could sit here and talk, among Venezuelans as the sisters and brothers that we are — we have deep differences but we must leave to our daughters and sons a peaceful Venezuela, and the only way is dialogue.”

The doors of Miraflores will remain open for all the parties that wish to understand why Maduro took the initiative of creating a constituent assembly, Jaua added.

The MUD’s position against the constituent assembly represents a radical shift since 2013 when 55 opposition leaders signed a joint statement demanding a constituent assembly in order “to change a regime that has lost legitimacy.”

The opposition parties who accepted the invitation to dialogue included Red Flag, Young Party, Citizenship Movement, Mopivene Movement, Republican Democracy, Republican Movement, Labor Power, Civilian Resistance, Renewable Democracy, Ecological Movement and the Stone Party.


Related Topics:

Maduro Condemns Opposition-Led Violence as Venezuela Death Toll Nears 40

Venezuela’s Opposition Activists Confess Being Paid to Promote Violent Protests*

U.S. Cries ‘Power Grab’ Following Venezuela Supreme Court Ruling*

Venezuela Maintains High Human Development Despite U.S. Engineered Economic Crisis*

Evo Morales Defends Venezuela against ‘Treacherous’ OAS Head*

World Bank to Reduce Venezuela Payout in Exxon Case*

Maduro Accuses U.S. Of Taking over Venezuela’s Oil*

Syrian Drones Spot Hundreds of U.S., Jordanian Armoured Vehicles at the Border*

Syrian Drones Spot Hundreds of U.S., Jordanian Armoured Vehicles at the Border*

By Chris Tomson

The U.S. and Jordanian militaries may be prepping a massive invasion of Syria, intelligence reports gathered from surveillance drones suggest.

Damascus is reportedly on high alert after some 400 American and Jordanian military vehicles were located at a Jordanian military base near the Syrian Desert border earlier today.

More pictures of the drone surveillance here:

The foreign convoys may launch an incursion to aid allied Free Syrian Army (FSA) proxies based around the Al-Tanf border crossing.

In 2017 alone, FSA satellite forces have entered Sweida and Deir ez- Zor while also coming dangerously near Palmyra and Damascus, areas under Syrian Arab Army (SAA) control.

In response to the looming invasion, the SAA has begun a large-scale offensive along the Damascus-Baghdad highway in a bid to dislodge FSA rebels from the Al-Tanf border crossing are link up with friendly Iraqi border guards.

The photos validate previous reports by an Al-Masdar News military source suggesting a major Jordanian and U.S. buildup at the Syrian border.

UPDATE: The military base is located east of Az-Zarqa, 43 km away from the Syrian border. The tanks are supposedly Jordanian M60 types.


Related Topics:

U.S. Dismissive of International Agreement Banning Aircraft Over Syrian Safe Zones*

Syria, and Why Your Patriotism is Misguided*

Desperate Cabal Use UFO to Attack Caught Over Syria, Countless Structures Destroyed*

The Occult Reasoning behind the Cabal’s Battle for Syria*

Cheney, Rothschild, Murdoch Violate International Law By Drilling for Oil in Syria*

Rothschild Demands Western Nations Invade Syria*

German Soldier ‘posed as Syrian Asylum-seeker to Carry out Terror Attack and Blame it on Refugees’*

Trump Authorizes the Pentagon to Manage Troops on the Ground in Iraq and Syria*

Israeli Warplanes Missile Attack on Syrian Army in Quneitra*

Eyewitnesses on Recent Massacre in Rashidin, Syria*

Goldman Sachs Financial Tricks to Prop Up “The Economy is Great!” Claim, Fund Syrian War*

Libellous Attack by Mainstream Journalists Angered by SWEDHR Denounce of Unethical anti-Syria Propaganda*

Trump Wastes over $94mn in Taxpayer’s Money on Ineffective Syrian Airstrikes*

Israeli Submarine Set-up for Syrian Gas Attacks*

Chicago Protest: #HandsOffSyria!

Syria Shoots Down 34 of 59 Cruise Missiles, Russia to Upgrade System*


The Shift – The Age of Heart*

The ShiftThe Age of Heart*

By Lance Schuttler

Recently, The Mind Unleashed interviewed Carl Johan Calleman, one of the world’s foremost experts on the Mayan calendar, to discuss with him the significance of a new cycle that begins on May 24th, 2017.

What is your background on the Mayan calendar, for those that don’t know your work? 

My background is in the hard sciences and my PhD is in physical biology and I have lectured at some of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the world. Nonetheless, in 1993 the calling became very strong and I decided to devote myself full time to elucidating the true meaning of the Mayan calendar system in such a way that it became understandable for modern people. I have written six books based on the framework of the Mayan calendar, which have been translated to a total of fourteen languages. I have also worked with Mayan elders to help them bring their message out to the world.

Carl Johan Calleman, Ph.D.


What was the significance of October 28th, 2011? 

October 28, was a day when all the nine waves influencing our biology and especially mind shifted and created a new interference pattern (see image below). The importance of this shift had been predicted in the Tortuguero Monument no 6, which said that Bolon Yokte Kuh, the Mayan god of the nine levels, would appear in his full regalia.

Translated to more modern language this means that for the first time in the history of the universe (including humanity) all waves (the full regalia) were activated and running in parallel. Before March 9, 2011 the Ninth Wave creating unity consciousness had not been activated and it was only after this shift point that all waves became accessible for us to create resonance with. (The ancient Maya talked about such a wave as the Plumed Serpent, an energy bringing civilization). Each wave creates a different kind of filter for the human mind (see below) and so depending on what wave we are in resonance we will perceive the world differently.

We will then in turn project this mind and create an external reality consistent with the perceptions of our mind. If we download a mind of duality we will project this onto the world and create conflicts, but if we download a mind of unity we will create a world of peace. What the Maya calendar ultimately describes and the reason it is prophetic are the time lines of these shifting frames of mind. The Mayan calendar system is quite complex and a very fascinating subject that I encourage people to study. Nonetheless, from the perspective of creating the future of humanity it is really enough to follow the Ninth Wave and be able to discern its effects on our individual lives.

What was the significance of December 21st, 2012? 

None at all. It was a miscalculation by the archaeologists that some new age researchers who had not looked into the matter deeply came to embrace. It was very unfortunate that the Mayan calendar was popularized as some significant that would take place in a singular day. This is not how the Mayan calendar works. Instead it describes shifting waves with wavelengths of different lengths sometimes bringing change over very long time periods.

What makes May 24th, 2017 so special? 

In principle, it is not more special than any other beginnings of a 36 wave period of the Ninth Wave. (see May 24, is the first day of the 64th DAY in the Ninth Wave. However, it may be regarded as the beginning of a sustained effort to facilitate for people to create resonance with the Ninth Wave. This event will be followed by events on June 29, August 4, and so on. It is not to be looked upon as a singular event. Yet, it can be argued that the chaos in the world has come to a point where it becomes a necessity to create resonance on a larger collective scale with the wave that generates unity consciousness. 

  1. Did the “Age of Heart” begin at the beginning of the 9th wave or is it beginning on May 24th?

Our universe, and we ourselves are created by the combined effects of Nine Waves of creation. Hence, there is no change that takes place across the board at any particular shift points in time. The effects on our heart depends on what waves we have created resonance with and this comes don to what kind of intentions we have. Most people today still resonate with the 6th 7th and 8th wave, none of which creates a fully open heart. However, a minority of people have started to develop a resonance with the ninth wave and over time as they are guided by this they will gain a new perception of reality beyond separation. No event on any single date will change humanity to the Age of Heart, but the sustained intention to manifest the destiny of humanity through resonance with the Ninth Wave will create such a Golden Age. 

  1. The San Bushmen of the Kalahari are in direct contact with you and other leaders in the Mayan calendar community, like Sean Caulfield, and are creating a ceremony to initiate this new cycle for humanity. Can you tell us a bit about these people as well as ceremony that will be taking place? 

The San are representatives of what arguably is the oldest existing culture of our planet who have suffered severe persecution over the last hundred years. They live in the Kalahari Desert (the southern part of Africa) and may be looked upon as a shamanic collective, which through there trance dance enter the spirit world where they communicate with God and all the animal spirits. It may be the only culture on our planet that still looks upon such a state of consciousness as the default, that which is real. On the particular day May 24, when a new wave period in the ninth wave begins, they will create such a dance. The event has been called Ignite the One Heart Fire, pointing towards the unity that is the destiny of humanity. [You can read more here about the event that has been posted on Facebook.]

  1. For people who aren’t able to attend the event in person (in Cape Town, South Africa) what might people do to participate on their own that day?

The important thing is that people through their own experiences become aware of the existence of the Ninth Wave and for this to happen they will need to follow the ninth wave for a number of wave periods to see how its ups and down affect their lives. The Bushmen are setting a tone, but others can organize events or simply light a candle to mark that it is the beginning of a new DAY in the Ninth Wave. This is not a day that people should expect everything to change automatically. It is more of a commitment to participate in the transformative process brought by the Ninth Wave over years to come. [The Bushmen have also invited and asked all indigenous groups to participate in this ceremony in ways each group sees fit. Please spread the word accordingly. Again, the event where more information is posted is on Facebook here at this link. ]

  1. You’ve just stated that there are other events planned as the cycles continue to converge. Where can people find out more information about these dates?

For the shift days in the Ninth Wave I recommend http://www.xzone

Carl Calleman’s new book is called The 9 Waves of Creation: Quantum Physics, Holographic Evolution and the Destiny of Humanity and his website is


Related Topics:

Panic Grips Self-Inflicted U.S. NSA Shuts-down as Russia as all Clinton Phone-calls*

Inuit Elders Tell NASA the Earth’s Axis has Shifted*

The Sun’s Polar Shift has Begun

Sun’s Magnetic Field = Shift in Human Behavior*

Freaky Weather, Climate Change, Pole Shift, or Signs of a New Era!?

A Universal Shift in Reality!

Electro-Smog and the Shift of Ages

Is the Sun and Earth Synchronizing?*

New Solar Phenomenon Rich in Helium-3*

Earth Shift and Shift of the Ages

The Aftermath of the Ninth Circle Disruptions and Arrests of April 30*

The Aftermath of the Ninth Circle Disruptions and Arrests of April 30*

ITCCS Special Communique of May 5, 2017


All of our special action teams have reported in. This Communique is a compilation of their separate reports, excluding information that must be kept confidential for now in the interest of the safety of children or witnesses, or impending legal action.

  1. The nineteen cult members arrested by our teams and local police in Zwolle Holland, Dijon France and Lucerne Switzerland are presently in custody in police facilities in those cities. We do not know if the detained have been formally charged by local prosecutors yet. However, the police recovered considerable evidence of cult activity at the arrest sites, including Satanic regalia, blood-marked torture devices and children’s clothing, and in the case of the Zwolle site even the physical remains of dead and mutilated children held in cold room containers.


  1. Our teams in these three towns have retained their own record of this evidence, including the photographs and recorded statements of the cult members. Some of them have positively identified more senior members of the Ninth Circle cult, including Catholic Cardinals and European Union politicians and military leaders. One of the arrested men, who claims to be a secondary level leader of the cult, has agreed that for certain benefits he will provide detailed evidence against the cult including by naming those who are heading its organization.


  1. The eight children who were liberated and saved by our teams in these three towns have either been returned to their families of origin, if they were kidnapped from them, or held under protection in independent safe houses until they can be relocated with safe and caring families. Three of the children were immigrants from Romania or Tunisia, and five were native to France and Holland. None of them were older than six years old. They are all still in a state of shock and recovery after having been starved and beaten, and confined in small padlocked cages that were recovered in our raids.



  1. The teams in the other cities, save Washington DC and Montreal and Vancouver Canada, have had nothing else to report besides the general fact that the cult sites they had targeted were heavily protected by paramilitary personnel. However, our sources tell us that their ritual killings were relocated or suspended as a result of the announced disruptions. These other cities were Rome, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels and Geneva. The suspected Ninth Circle ritual at the Opus Dei centre in Tara, Ireland was also suspended and no activity was detected there.


  1. Three of our action teams, in Vancouver and Montreal Canada and Washington DC, were halted and arrested by plain clothed security forces who refused to show any identification. All of our team members were released the next day except for one individual in Vancouver who remains incommunicado. We assume the cult killings in these cities – in a sub-basement crypt at the Vancouver Club, in a sub-basement hall at Marie Reine du Monde Cathedral in Montreal and within the interior of the St. John’s Episcopal Church near the White House – proceeded as scheduled.


  1. The day after these raids our Executive received a back-channel communication from a party claiming to represent “an element” within the Roman Catholic Curia, the so-called College of Cardinals. This party carried a message requesting a meeting between “influential officials” at the Vatican and the ITCCS leadership. We have stated to this messenger that any such meeting must occur outside Italy and be subject to monitoring and recording in the presence of our security staff and legal counsel. We are awaiting a reply.


  1. One of our sources close to the Ninth Circle leadership has indicated that the Circle is moving its dual headquarters from the Club Lorraine in Brussels and a private chateau in Belgium to an undisclosed location in North America. This shift may explain the rapid shut down of our North American teams. We have also learned that Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, the senior Roman Catholic official in Canada who was appointed to that position by the criminally convicted Pope Benedict / Joseph Ratzinger, was present during March of this year at secret high level coven gatherings of the Ninth Circle in Brussels and Rome. Both Lacroix and Ratzinger were reported to be active participants in a Ninth Circle ritual killing of a young boy on February 22, 2014 at the San Lorenzo Jesuit Church in Rome along with Pope Francis, Jorge Bergoglio, and Denis Lebel, a federal cabinet minister in the Canadian government of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (see – note that the videos connected to this report were banned from the internet within days of their posting). This suggests that the relocated Ninth Circle headquarters may be near to Montreal or Ottawa, Canada, both of which have had a long history of Satanic ritual killings and military MKULTRA/mind control programs closely tied to the Ninth Circle cult.


  1. In response to our actions, police and judges associated with the Ninth Circle have escalated their attacks on our organization and clinical counselors allied with us who have diagnosed and publicly named Satanic Ritual crimes. Three of these counselors (in Canada, the USA and England) are now suddenly facing professional discipline and possible criminal charges, along with the usual public smear campaigns. But of related and even greater concern is that our top Field Secretaries have been targeted for elimination by the Ninth Circle. Here are the details:


  1. Our Ninth Circle source reports a “private” discussion of the top Ninth Circle leaders that occurred on May 2 in Rome. The details were passed on by a disenchanted Catholic priest who is placed closely to a senior Cardinal and Ninth Circle member. At this private meeting it was stated that the highest priority for the Circle had to be “eliminating” once and for all the operational leaders of the ITCCS, namely the three Field Secretaries for North America, Europe and Australia. The latter include Kevin Annett, “John Street” and the Australian secretary. Our source was unable to discover whether the Vatican’s normal channel for assassinations – the espionage agency known as the Holy Alliance – would be handling these killings or whether they would go to contracted “local assets” from their partner the Mafia Ndrangheta. Regardless, since of our Field Secretaries Mr. “Street” and Kevin Annett have been especially public and visible leaders of our campaigns, their safety is of the highest importance. We have directed them and the Australian Field Secretary to go underground for now and to follow the normal protocols of those who are in protective custody.


  1. These expected counter-attacks are in fact a sign that the Ninth Circle and its Vatican/corporate backers are beginning to panic and are resorting to fearful self-defensiveness. We expect more cracks to appear in the ranks of their cult and for more defectors and informants to emerge. We are optimistic that this murderous three century old Jesuit cult is in collapse, which means that our efforts must intensify.


  1. We urge all people of conscience to join us, receive common law Sheriff training, and mobilize your communities to arrest the Catholic clergy and others who are funding and aiding the Ninth Circle. Follow our updates at and every Sunday at 3 pm pacific, 6 pm eastern and 11 pm GMT on Radio Free Kanata at .



Related Topics:

Disruption of the Ninth Circle Cult’s Sacrificial Rituals in April*

Nicole Kidman’s Father Silenced by Ninth Circle Satanic Cult*

A Canadian Cabinet Minister and the Ninth Circle Cult*

Trump Campaign Chair Charged with Paedophilia and Sex Trafficking*

3000 Elite Paedophiles Arrested – Media Silent*

Int’l Banking Whistleblower Reveals High Level Paedophilia and Child Sacrifices*

The Desecration of Childhood

Protecting Elite Paedophiles

Children in Scotland Murdered in Paedophile Snuff Movies*

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

Life returns to Hammar Marshes, Iraq*

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, thousands of Iraqis returned to the wetlands hoping to resume their old way of life

The Hammar Marshlands in the town of Chibayish, 350 km south of Baghdad, are a central part of Iraqi lives (Photo courtesy of Ali al-Ghuraiffi)

By Suadad al-Salhy

“These are our lands. Who would dare to come and work here without our permission?” said Sajad Hussein as he steered his small black wooden boat along a waterway between dense forests of reeds and papyrus plants that grow through the marshes in southern Iraq.

The 27-year-old, dressed in brown ragged sports clothes, is too young to remember the Hammar Marshes before they were drained by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the 1990s. After the Shia-led southern uprising against his rule in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, Saddam wanted to prevent rebels from using them as hide-outs.

Wetlands once full of life

One of the world’s most important wetlands, the marshlands used to be a source of fresh water, and home to wide range of fish, rare birds, reptiles and animals. They once covered more than 22,000 square kilometres, but Saddam’s campaign to flush out the marshes forced thousands of families to move elsewhere as their traditional livelihoods were destroyed.

Families enjoy time on the banks of the marshlands (MEE/Suadad al-Sahly)


“My family had to leave the marshes after we lost all our livestock due to the lack of water,” said Hussein, then added sarcastically,

“I do not remember what happened at that time, but I still cannot imagine how you used to live inside the water and suddenly you cannot find water to drink.”

After Saddam was toppled from power in a 2003 U.S.-led invasion, locals tore down the dams and canals built under his orders, allowing waters from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to flow back to the marshes.

Other efforts to revive the marshes and ensure their protection have been under way, with the backing of local authorities, national and international NGOs. Yet so far, no more than 10,000 square kilometres have been submerged, local officials told Middle East Eye.

Last year, UNESCO listed Iraq’s southern marshes, also known as al-Ahwar, as a world heritage site, describing them as “unique,” and “one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, in an extremely hot and arid environment”. East and West Hammar are part of the four wetland marsh areas listed by UNESCO.

No more fish

Hussein and his family are among thousands of people who have returned to the area following Saddam’s fall, hoping to resume their old way of life on the marshes. But since leaving school, Hussein said he had been jumping from one temporary job to another.

The marshlands once covered more than 22,000 square kilometres (MEE/Suadad al-Sahly)


“There are not many jobs here. Few people have governmental jobs, women and the old men are taking care of the buffaloes and other cattle, and the rest are hanging around most of the time,” said Hussein while trying to change the direction of his boat by planting a long pole into the water.

“I have worked as a fisherman for a while, but now there are not so many fish. For what we are earning, it’s a waste of time.”

The scarcity of fish has been caused by the high levels of salinity in the south and a drop in water levels in both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, due to the proliferation of dams and irrigation schemes in Turkey and Syria. This also made the water undrinkable.

Last year, local authorities had to replenish fish stocks and introduce other organisms to sustain the aquatic life of the marshes, local officials and fishermen told MEE.

Tourist attraction

In lieu of fish, Hussein has turned to tourism in search of a steady income. Despite the ongoing government offensive to retrieve Mosul from Islamic State group militants and suicide bombings recently taking place in Baghdad, the southern provinces of Iraq – including Dhi Qar where the marshes lie – are considered safe and stable areas that have rarely witnessed attacks.

More than 3,000 people visit the marshlands each week (Photo courtesy of Ali al-Ghuraiffi)


According to Badie’a al-Khayoon, the mayor of Chibayish town in Dhi Qar province, the marshes’ UNESCO status is a draw for both local and international visitors, with more than 3,000 people coming to the area each week. The locals usually come from neighbouring cities and regions like Baghdad and the Kurdistan region, as the trip is relatively cheap and safe.

Visitors from the U.K. and U.S. are also interested in the marshes. Last month, the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad visited the marshlands with a group of U.S. officials and investors.

“Great visit to Iraqi marshes at Chibayish, Dhi Qar the #RealGreenZone has great potential for tourism,” Douglas Silliman, the ambassador, said on his Twitter account on 9 April.

Lined up with another seven men on the bank, Hussein waits for a group of tourists mainly from Baghdad, offering trips around the marshes. They converted their wooden boats into water taxis of various sizes, which are powered by a petrol engine and furnished with old coloured carpets and cushions for comfort.

“We are getting 25,000 to 30,000 dinars ($20-25) every tour. Sometimes the tourists are generous, sometimes they’re not, but in general we are getting a good daily income,” Dhafir Mohammed, a boat owner, told MEE.

“Some days, we get more than 100,000 dinars (about $80).”

Taking a 30-minute tour with Hussein is to enter a tranquil world in which the water becomes a mirror of the perfect blue sky and the line between the two disappears on the horizon.

Water buffalo are a frequent site on the marshlands (Photo courtesy of Ali al-Ghuraiffi)


Occasionally a buffalo appears or a water snake swims away, startled by the sound of the engine.

Several small islands covered by reeds and papyrus float here and there, one of them occupied by a family eating a simple lunch of grilled fish, bread and yoghurt.

Local investments

Yet despite the marshes’ ecological importance and UNESCO status, residents and local officials complain that investment in the area has been lacking.

“The government, until this moment, has not allocated any money to build even simple tourism facilities,” said al-Khayoon.

“So we set up our own plan [to attract] investments.”

The proposed plan is being funded by Iraqi investors and is made up of more than 10 projects including a tourism village, playgrounds, cafes, restaurants, a river taxi service and a water park. Some have already been approved by the local government and contracted to Iraqi companies. According to Yahiya al-Nassiry, the governor of Dhi Qar province, the projects are expected to be complete within three years.

But the construction of these project has been met with opposition from some disgruntled residents.

Iraqis make use of local resources, such as straw, to build shelter around the marshlands (Photo courtesy of Ali al-Ghuraiffi)


“Absolutely, there will be a problem. These lands are under the control of several tribes… and these tribes should be satisfied,” said Sheikh Hassan Sabri, leader of the al-Hadadien tribe, which controls most of the marshlands in Chibayish.

“They [the investors] should sit with these tribes (which occupy the lands) to compensate them and provide jobs for their men,” he added.

Nassiry told MEE that officials were aware of the challenges and ready to deal with them, adding that the local government had recently resolved similar complaints from another tribe.

“We either compensate the tribes by giving them land elsewhere to satisfy them, or ask them to be a part of the project, so they can benefit from it. If not, we will follow the legal direction,” he explained.

Most of these lands are legally owned by the government, but the tribes took control of them decades ago. They are either covered by water or lie on the bank of the marshes, with no inhabitants.

“People here suffered a lot after the drainage of the marshes. They lost their money, their homes, their cattle and were forced to leave their lands. It’s time to compensate them,” said Sheikh Sabri.

On his part, Hussein said that many of the residents welcomed outside investments and projects that would draw more tourists to the area, provided that the profits were reinvested in further developing their communities.

“If they [the investors] want to invest here, they should pay us and pledge to provide opportunities for our people,” he said in a firm voice.


Related Topics:

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Egypt Court Quashes Life Sentence against Brotherhood Leader*

Egypt Court Quashes Life Sentence against Brotherhood Leader*

High court overturns life sentence handed down in retrial of Mohamed Badie for ‘planning violent attacks’ on Monday

Mohamed Badie raises his hands from behind the defendant’s cage following his first conviction in 2015 (AFP)


Egypt’s high court on Tuesday overturned a life sentence against the Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide Mohamed Badie only a day after he had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for “planning violent attacks” during a retrial on Monday.

Badie was part of a group of 37 people accused of conspiring to stir unrest during protests that followed the July 2013 military-led removal of Egypt’s former president, Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood.

The court had condemned Badie to a life term along with Mahmoud Ghozlan, a Brotherhood spokesman, and Hossam Abubakr, a member of its guidance bureau, while 13 defendants were sentenced to five years in jail.

The court on Monday acquitted 21 others, including Gehad Haddad, an international spokesman for the Brotherhood said.

The retrial and appeal came after Egypt’s court of cassation scrapped a 2015 ruling under which Badie and 13 others were condemned to death, and 34 defendants given life terms.

Badie is being prosecuted in more than 35 trials, according to his lawyers. He received three death sentences in other cases but those rulings have also been scrapped.

The court of cassation has cancelled scores of death sentences against Morsi supporters including against the deposed president himself.


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