Young Iraqi detainees are going to school, reports The Times of London.
Ammar winds up a ten-minute harangue against Saddam Hussein with questions to his students. â€œHow many of you had relatives executed?â€ asks the 33-year-old history teacher. Eight put up their hands. How many lost relatives in the Iran-Iraq war? Twelve hands rise. How many think Saddam was a bad man? All 24 students assent.
All the students are children from 11 to 17 held in the Camp Cropper detention centre near Baghdad airport on charges ranging from “acting as lookouts for kidnappers to planting bombs and shooting soldiers.” The curriculum includes reading, writing and rejecting Baathism.
The school has only been open a month, but General Nevin and the teachers say that it is working already. They say that the childrenâ€™s hatred and anger is dissipating; that Sunnis and Shia teenagers are beginning to mix, that they no longer chant the names of Osama bin Laden or Moqtada al-Sadr at prayer or hurl abuse at their teachers.
There’s nothing like prison camp to make school look good.