Wednesday, 27 November 2013

GINS/Consumerism Connections: Specific Post

I’ve been reading The Flying Carpet of Small Miracles by Hala Jaber. The novel revolves around a journalist covering the 2003 Baghdad war. At the time of the war Iraq was lead by the dictator Saddam Hussein. It can be assumed that he cared more for the land that was his country than the people who resided there. This left the people to resort to theft, murder, etc. during the war in order to meet their most basic needs because the dictator was not providing for his people. While the demand was high the supply was low. 

“Not the least of people’s worries was money.There was little work to be had, but hunkering down at home was hard with power cuts for up to twenty four hours a day, and many couples could barely afford to feed their children, let alone fuel a generator for air-conditioning.” pg. 141.
“Ali compensated his two young boys for their confinement with sackloads of toys, video games, and DVD’s. I asked whether he ever worried about spoiling them. “But Hala,” he said. “They have nothing else, poor things. We need to make up for the way they’re having to live.” What of all those families who could not afford such luxuries? I wondered.” pg. 141
Once the war ended and the dictator was overthrown the values of the people changed substantially. They went from being concerned only about survival to enjoying the luxuries of life including cars and more money. An employee of the government, Sa’ad al-Shimary, commented:
“Before 2003, Ba’ath Party was everywhere. It was hard to work in such an environment. I feared they might write a report against me, as they always did, if we tried to criticize their work for any reason. I feared I might go to work and not return home. Now my salary is enough for me and my family. I have no fear in the ministry. My life has changed for the better; I have more money, and I have a new car.”
Values certainly changed when physiological needs are met.