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Act Three of Five

Jul 31, 2020
YesterdayTom Ricks said Iraq was a Shakespearean tragedy of five acts, and we’re only in act three. I thought of that when I read this.
Inside the low-slung, brown stucco building that is the al Rashad psychiatric teaching hospital in a Baghdad neighborhood of the same name, employees wonder what will happen next.
Already they’ve seen an administrator resign after his son was kidnapped. In December, the hospital’s director was gunned down. Then, 10 days ago, U.S. troops arrested the acting director on the suspicion that he supplied female mental patients to insurgents to become suicide bombers.
A siege mentality has set in among the eight doctors and nearly 20 staff members at the hospital, which treats about 1,200 mental patients and is one of only two institutions of its kind in Iraq. They no longer allow their patients to leave the hospital grounds for fear of how they’ll be treated outside. They won’t give their names to a reporter for fear that they’ll be targeted next.
"I’ve got friends who come to my clinic, and they say, ‘Why are you doing this?’" one doctor lamented. "My friends and even doctors tell me this, so what about ordinary people?
Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannona is a highly experienced journalist with over 9 years of expertise in news writing, investigative reporting, and political analysis. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and has contributed to reputable publications focusing on global affairs, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Hajra's authoritative voice and trustworthy reporting reflect her commitment to delivering insightful news content. Beyond journalism, she enjoys exploring new cultures through travel and pursuing outdoor photography
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