Amateur Radio in Iraq is on hold…..

Posted: January 29, 2014 in Uncategorized
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I first became interested in Amateur Radio in Iraq in 2009. My friend Dr. Jerry Griffin-K6MD told me about his experiences operating from Mosul as YI9MD.
 
I set about to obtain an Iraqi license with the assistance of the Iraqi Amateur Radio Society. At the time, the US was heavily involved in military action within Iraq and it was not too difficult to obtain an Iraqi Amateur license as YI9PSE. Later in 2010, we operated from Irbil, Iraq as YI9PSE. We made friends with several local Iraqi amateurs. We were very happy to donate radio and computer logging equipment. Our YI9PSE team hoped to return to Iraq within five years to visit our friends and operate radio again. I still retain the license for that purpose.
 
Sadly, much has changed in Iraq for the local Iraqi amateurs. Sectarian division has taken over all aspects of the Government and the various ministries. Our friends that were once active are now living in fear and unable to or too fearful to continue their hobby. Antennas are seen as a cause for great suspicion. Any Iraqi amateur that has ever worked an Israeli has experienced threats of death to his entire family. Some have left the country due to rising sectarian violence.
 
The situation in Baghdad is extremely dangerous. Suicide and car bombings in public places take place each day. Mere survival has replaced amateur radio in Iraq.
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Comments
  1. Thank you for posting this update. On Oct.25/11, I had a QSO with an Iraqi station: YI1UNH, Haythem, via Echolink. At the time I thought it was interesting, but didn’t give it a lot of attention. As I have an audio copy of that QSO, I am thinking that I will post it on Youtube, because it is an historic event. During my conversation with Haythem, he advised that he is listed on http://www.qrz.com, however I see he’s nolonger listed. He also gave me the website: http://www.yi9pse.com, which I see is no longer functional but which led me to this article. From time to time, I continue to check the Echolink directory for any Iraqi listings, and in 2014, I made contact with station YI1RZ, Razi. It turned out that he was from Baghdad, but living in a refugee camp in Turkey. I see that he is still active on Echolink up to today, Oct.25, 2015.

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