Friday, August 22, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 22 Aug 2008

From MNF-I, Kindergarten school in Ghazaliyah reopens after refurbishments.

BAGHDAD – Following months of refurbishments, the Al Yasmeen Kindergarten School in the northwest Baghdad neighborhood of Ghazaliyah reopened during a ceremony Aug. 17.

The school was previously closed due to extensive damage throughout the facility.

“A year ago, I could not even enter this school. There was a lot of damage and nothing worked,” said Mrs. Naneey of the Al Yasmeen Kindergarten School. “Now we have a brand new school.”

“The refurbishments included such things as trash removal, a fresh coat of paint for the classrooms and the building, refurbished bathrooms, new carpet, a playground and equipment for the gymnasium,” said Capt. Joseph Sincere, with 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Multi-National Division – Baghdad.

There was also extensive damage to the roof as well as missing or broken windows that needed to be replaced, said Sincere. New water tanks were also installed as well as new furniture for the administrative offices.

“I felt good about this project, in particular, because it is the only kindergarten in our [area of operations],” said Sincere. “Being able to offer these young children a good start at an education is important to me.”

The schools headmistress, Affef Auilt Kren Adbalg, said she remembers the days when the school had neither power nor water.

“We could not run a school,” Adbalg said.

“I am very happy with the work that has been done,” said Maj. Hussein, Iraqi Army commander with the 4th Battalion, 22nd Brigade, 6th IA Division. “I want everyone to know that the Iraqi Government is very concerned about the future of this generation.”

The squadron will continue to work with the Government of Iraq in opening additional schools in the Ghazaliyah area.

“Since the beginning of our squadron’s operations in this area, there have been complete refurbishments of five schools,” Sincere said. “We also have five ongoing projects and eight that are being planned.”