It's dinner time.
Yesterday before going to bed, I soaked some kidney beans, you know kidney beans? They kind of look like kidneys, are dark red and sometimes you find them in chili con carne.
I am not much of a meat eater myself, so chili con carne was not on the menu. Just a simple Tuna salad with kidney beans, tomatoes, maybe a couple of boiled potatoes and a few olives. I suppose you can call it a variation of a "salade Niçoise." So that will be my dinner tonight - a tuna with kidney beans salad topped with an olive oil and lemon juice dressing and a piece of bread.
I can't guarantee organic food here, but this is as close as one can get. Sounds healthy doesn't it ?
So I poured the kidney beans into a pot, added some fresh salted water and left them to boil till tender. Meanwhile, I thought I ought to read a few articles as am behind in all the stuff I've bookmarked for later...
And here I am browsing through, article after article...and I come across that.
"Kidney for bread in oil rich Iraq"
" I couldn’t see my children crying for food and I can not get them even bread, Ali Hassnawi, a 34-year-old Baghdad resident, told IslamOnline.net.
One day a friend of mine told me he had sold his kidney and I decided to do the same, he recalled. I got $1,500 dollars for it, two months later my wife got a better payment for hers. She got $3,000 because the man who bought it was nearly dying. Abject poverty in oil-rich Iraq has driven many like Hassnawi and his wife to a growing organs black market, where kidney is the most sought-after.
Prices vary between $500 to $5,000 dollars depending on and urgent the kidney is needed...
Sellers can easily be spotted by relatives of patient at the main gates of hospitals or nearby coffee shops. Usually a person who works inside the hospital brokers the deal and gets a 10 percent commission. More than 90 percent of donors since 2003 are from the suburbs of Baghdad and other main cities of Iraq..."
A doctor adds
" We have reached a catastrophic situation in Iraq where poor Iraqis sell their organs to survive, says a renal surgeon at Karama Hospital, requesting anonymity for security reasons. In one side we are happy to know that we are saving lives, however, it is hard to know that it is for money and not for love of fellow humans, he added. I was once forced to refuse to operate on a kid after I found out that the donor, a 12-years-old child, was being forced by his father who had sold his son’s kidney for $4,000 dollars. Local police have reported discovering many dead bodies lacking kidney or corneas. Investigations have shown that a mafia is working with help from some doctors who take out such organs from recently killed civilians...
Such organs are taken out from Iraq for neighboring countries where they are sold for huge sums of money. A World Health Organization (WHO) official in Iraq pressed for punishing those marketing organs. But he admitted that a country like Iraq, which suffers a so serious security situation, can not possibly control such an issue."
Abu Ahmed a recent buyer explains
" They wanted to sell and I wanted to save my life. It was a good bargain and both of us left hospital with something to survive, a new kidney for me and money to feed his children."
During the sanction years it used to be oil for food, now it's organic kidney for food in oil rich Iraq.
I suddenly feel terribly queasy. Forget about my dinner of kidney beans, olive oil dressing and bread...
Let's talk about yours. What healthy organic dinner are you having tonight, in your thriving and wonderful democracies ?
Painting : Iraqi artist, Qutaiba Sheikh Nouri.