Iraq is an Asian country. While LIRNEasia is unable at this time to work in Iraq, our hearts are with the people of Iraq as they use ICTs to cope with the crazy murderousness of their world.
A excerpt from today’s New York Times story:
“Your call cannot be completed,” it says, “because the subscriber has been bombed or kidnapped.”
Cellphones have long been considered status symbols in developing countries, Iraq included. But in an environment where hanging out is potentially life threatening, cellphones are also a window into dreams and terrors, the macabre local sense of humor and Iraqis’ resilience amid the swells of violence.
The business here is booming. According to figures published last month by the State Department, there are now 7.1 million cellphone subscribers in Iraq, up from 1.4 million two years ago. In an economy where jobs can be as scarce as rain, billboards for phones are among the only advertisements updated regularly in the capital.