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Intellectuals criticize government's decision to cancel Saddam April 9 holiday

Gulan Media April 7, 2012 News
Intellectuals criticize government's decision to cancel Saddam April 9 holiday
A number of writers and intellectuals have criticized the Iraqi government's decision to cancel the April 9 holiday celebrating the fall of Saddam Hussein, while the parliamentary culture committee said the decision aims to reduce the number of public holidays in the country.
Writer and researcher Sabah Mohsen Kazim said: "There's no doubt that the toppling of Saddam's regime is the biggest joy that our people lived, after waiting for decades.

"Humanity didn't witness similar brutality and cruelty of that of the former regime with its tyranny, so the end of its rule and the liberation of Iraq from its dictatorship should be celebrated.

"The Iraqis celebrate this official holiday to renew [their] joy about the departure of the tyrant regime and there's no justification for the cancellation of the holiday."

Journalist and writer Ibrahim Obeid said: "The Iraqi government made a mistake when it cancelled this official holiday. We were surprised at the decision and the government was supposed to cancel some old religious occasions that confused the work of the state and its institutions.

"On April 9 Iraq regained its freedom despite all the challenges and the security dilemma it witnessed over the past years."

The chairman of the culture and information committee in the Iraqi Council of Representatives Ali al-Shallah said the Iraqi government's decision was made to reduce the number of holidays and events.

"Iraqis can celebrate while they're not on holiday and we're heading seriously to build the country."

The secretariat of Iraq's Council of Ministers announced in a press statement that Monday will not be an official holiday in state institutions.

The Iraqi interim government, headed by Ibrahim al-Jaafari, decided in 2006 to celebrate the fall of Saddam Hussein on April 9 as a public holiday for all of the institutions of the Iraqi state based on the first decision taken by the Governing Council on July 13, 2003. But the Iraqi Council of Ministers decided in 2007 to cancel the official holiday.