Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The wild Otter of Iraq


Back in the seventies West Germany was engaged with a single sourced of ‘endangered-specious’ fur trading from the Middle East; and that was Iraq!

The Otter of Iraq (locally is called the waterdog) that lived and still lives in the southern part of the country - Al Ahwar – Hwor Al Hammar (marshland), whence the esoteric story of the prophet Ibraheem (Abraham) is originated, carries one curse on its back and that is its luscious, soft and warm skin.

The Otter (Eurasian) - with unusual huge body, well-formed hexagon snout and gray-brownish fur, lives in secluded communities and rears its playful babies on reeds. He/she dates back to the Babylonian era. Alexander’s senior juntas wore its fur after they invaded the city 300 years before Caesar. In more recent history Sheik Ghazal of Arabstan wore it and the fur was also sent as gifts to ancient British dignitaries.

Some say the Otter had migrated north from the Arabstan region (modern day Iran) while others refute the same by attributing it as an introduced specious brought by the Persian Empire when Qourash (Emperor of Persia) sacked Babel 500 years before the consummation of Antonio and Cleopatra.

30 years ago a few Baghdad merchants approached West Germany’s fur traders and exhibited a rare fur that begot instant approval by the industry. Which prompted the commencement of the Otter fur trade with ex-western block (W. Germany). Since then the Otter began a different journey in life and most were born and reared in captivity awaiting their sudden slaughter.

The trade gained momentum and the returns of profits were enormous. The trend caught attention of the deceased Saddam’s cartel and eventually the trade operation went through change of hands. Permissions to trade with the Otter fur were cancelled and the authority confiscated (Eminent domain!) the rearing farms. It was Mr. Arshad Yaseen, Saddam’s sister’s husband that had had the ‘luxury’ to take over the entire Otter fur trade with West Germany.

Mr. Yaseen had enlarged the farms and received generous government support to run the operation. Bear in mind this entire change of laws and bureaucratic adjustments was just to cater for an Otter skin sold to the west!

After his humiliated defeat in the Kuwait adventure Saddam diverted two thirds of the marshland in 1991 and used pesticide to kill the vegetations so he could only flush off the members of the southern uprising that found refuge in the marshland. The remaining wild Otters were the first victims and many had to adapt by abruptly migrating to different levels of waters but tens of them were fatally trapped in poisonous and dried lands.

Just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003 most of the Otters farms were gone and the wild Otter of Iraq has never fully recovered from its tattering destiny, even though the marshland was re-submerged in 2004.

Recently a southerner government official is contemplating to revive this industry. This industry is sick, vile and ugly. It is malicious and inhuman. It is just as sick as using animal bombs to combat our current invaders.

Some may say that in this messy Iraq with daily scores of killings of people who would give an eye-blink about some Otter being slaughtered? They’re damn right. This is mankind’s mess and killings; so let’s keep the other specious out of it.

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