Monday, July 19, 2004

Good News Roundup

The Australian blogger Arthur Chrenkoff runs a regular round-up of the good news from Iraq, scoured from various media and official sources. You might have seen one or two of the stories, amid the reports of gloom and carnage. But to see them all stacked together in one place is an enlightening, and uplifting, experience.

Today, the Wall Street Journal got wise to that, and printed a Chrenkoff good news roundup (on its editorial page, of course, even though these are all news reports).

My favorite? It's hard to pick a favorite off this menu. But I like this one:

Biology professor Safaa Al-Hamdani wasn't expecting an avalanche of books when he asked colleagues at Jacksonville State University to help his alma mater in Baghdad restock its libraries. But donations have been pouring in from around the country. "I never thought it would get this big," Al-Hamdani said Friday.
It all began when JSU professors Bill Hug, Kelly Gregg and others joined the effort, collecting spare books off professors' shelves to ship to Baghdad University, which has been drained by decades of brutal dictatorship, war, and international sanctions.

A story about the book drive last month in The Anniston Star was picked up by other media outlets, and books started arriving from universities all over the country.

While we support and cheer on Iraqi academics, let us also remember the risks that those brave Iraqis who want to rebuild their country face every day. A new study has found that around 250 university professors have been killed since April 2003.

A long time ago, I came this close to taking a job offer to work for The Anniston Star, buying a motorcycle, and moving to eastern Alabama. I thought it was a great little paper then. I think so all the more now, after reading this.