Mar 28, 2011

Iraqi Kurdistan..“The market has nearly stopped; instead of buying and selling we are talking about politics.”

Khalid Sulaiman
I asked a Youngman in downtown Kalar, who is working in real estate aspect, and said: “Did the demonstrations in Sulaimanieh city affect your business? In response, he said “The market has nearly stopped; instead of buying and selling we are talking about politics.”
I asked another man, who is working in the Rizgary cattle market and is making his and his family’s leaving in that way, and said: “How many animals you bought and sold during the Nawroz Feast? In response, he has also talked about the last year and said “last year before the Nawroz Feast, I bought and sold more than 20 animals including sheep, goat, and bull, but this year the work has stopped as if there were no Nawroz.”
These small stories and other stories, which we will mention, raise big questions about the daily life of people and the family economy in one hand, and the effects of the demonstrations on the small businesses on the other hand.
Albeit what is most considered in these businesses is the ceremonies, the seasons, and the environment of any place which have its own properties. In a place like Sulaimani and in this month of Nawroz the daily economy of people includes the business of the Taxi, restaurant and the hotels. A short conversation with the taxi drivers is enough to tell you that their work during this Nawroz was not only insufficient, but lower than what is required to be. On March 23 I opened this subject with a taxi driver and told him that I am a journalist and want to know how his work is going on? His response showed frustration, since he could not take his children to a picnic during Nowruz. Here, I will retell his words: “Dear brother the two days before the last Nawroz I worked and filled my pockets with money, therefore, I did not need to work during Nawroz and I took my children to a picnic, but this year I could not get that money and I was obliged to work during Nawroz Feast. In deed this year’s work was very bad.”
Many media channels did not talk about this phenomenon in a good way, and it is not far that they to consider this as an act against the demonstrations. Although these stories in the first place are circulating in the circle of “small business”, but the effects of the demonstrations on these works should be mentioned, since capitals and investment do not appear only in the housing sector and the daily economy is one of the main basis of investment.
Faisal Ali, a Kurdish economist and member of Kurdistan Economic Forum, about the small business says “The small business has a key role in the country’s big economy. It can provide good work opportunities in the cities and villages, even in the neighborhoods and the streets, especially for those people who their income is limited.”
On the other hand Faisal Ali indicates that the small business makes the work owners to make inventions. He also inquires that what the KRG, the civil society organizations and the chamber of commerce have done to promote this aspect in the Kurdistan region?
Faisal Ali brings an example of selling yoghurt in the Springs of Kurdistan Region and says many people in the country’s villages and cities are making this business. He also says that there are tens and hundreds of other works which need promotion. He also points out that many giant companies like the Japanese (Toyota) seek “family business” in making many small tools.
In today’s Kurdistan it is said that because the Kurdistan did not have giant industrial investment and the capitals have been accumulated in building the residency units, the demonstrations have no effects on the Kurdistan region’s economy. But according to all those above mentioned stories, the economic theories are based upon the family and daily economy. Big losses have been inflicted to the small business owners during this year’s Nawruz, thus they talk about the last year.
It should be said during the Kurdish governance the small business has not been promoted and it has been neglected. The duty of the KRG sixth cabinet is to once more revive this aspect in the 2011 budget.

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