Dewayne Hendricks: [Dewayne-Net] In Iraq, Amateur Radio's Voice is Muted

Mike O'Dell mo at
Tue Jan 15 13:14:00 CST 2008

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MessageName: (Message 1)
From:    dewayne at (Dewayne Hendricks)
Date:    Tue, 15 Jan 2008 06:32:53 -0800
To:      Dewayne-Net Technology List <xyzzy at>

Subject: [Dewayne-Net] In Iraq, Amateur Radio's Voice is Muted

[Note:  This item comes from reader Jack Unger.  DLH]

From: Jack Unger <junger at>
Date: January 14, 2008 10:47:30 PM PST
To: Dewayne Hendricks <dewayne at>
Subject: In Iraq, Amateur Radio's Voice is Muted

In Iraq, amateur radio's voice is muted

Under Hussein, there was little freedom to 'ham.' Though the situation =20=

has improved, enthusiasts face suspicion from officials who fear =20
insurgent activity.
By Ann M. Simmons
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

January 14, 2008

BAGHDAD =97 Whenever he gets a spare moment away from his electronics =20=

repair shop, Abdul Karim Hadi sneaks off to what he calls the "radio =20
shack" in the corner of his bedroom, flips a switch and escapes to the =20=

outside world.

Hadi could use the Internet or a cellphone to connect with friends =20
near and far, but his choice is decidedly more retro.

"With ham radio, you can meet people around the world," said Hadi, 48, =20=

who has been "hamming" since 1978. "It's also a hobby you can do on =20
your own. And once you have your own equipment, it's free."

More important, at a time when most movie theaters and nightclubs are =20=

closed because of security concerns, "hamming" is a form of =20
entertainment that can be pursued at home.

That wasn't always the case. Under Saddam Hussein's rule, ham radio =20
enthusiasts had to report to government-sanctioned clubs, where =20
minders listened in on their conversations. Since the dictator's =20
ouster, they have faced suspicion from both U.S. troops and the Iraqi =20=

government that their transmissions are a tool of the insurgency.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, fewer than 50 of 150 or so ham =20
radio enthusiasts who operated primarily in Baghdad have returned to =20
their stations, Hadi said. He is among a small group of people who are =20=

trying to revive interest in the hobby and keep it alive....


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