Wednesday, November 14, 2007

HW 34: What's Important to Riverbend

The role of gold in family savings in Iraq has changed since the beginning of the war. According to Riverbend who wrote Baghdad Burning, “Gold is a part of our culture and the role it plays in “family savings” has increased since 1990 when the Iraqi Dinar (which was $3) began fluctuating crazily. People began converting their money to gold-earrings, bracelets, necklaces-because the value of gold didn’t change. People pulled their money out of banks before the war, and bought gold instead” (100). What Riverbend is trying to stress is that gold is an important part of Iraq’s culture and now in these times of stress trying to hold onto their wealth in gold has been extremely hard.
Date palms are important to Iraqi people because they use them for so many different things. For example Riverbend points out, “Dates are also used to produce “dibiss,” a dark, smooth, date syrup. This dibiss is eaten in some areas with rice, and in others it is used as syrup with bread and butter. Often it is used as a main source of sugar in Iraqi sweets” (104). They are not only useful in material ways but the Iraqi people have taken to them as something they can be proud of and they stand for what the Iraqis believe in.

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