Loud songs and political debates

Long queues of motorists for state gasoline: nuisance to residents of Kirkuk neighborhood

Kirkuk, July 2022: A two-kilometer-long queue of vehicles in front of Andalus public petrol station, leading to the alleys near Al-Ikhwan square at Rahimawa neighborhood. KirkukNow

By KirkukNow in Kirkuk

The sounds of loud songs and heated discussions made by drivers of vehicles queuing at night at a public petrol station, resonate as far as one of Kirkuk's neighborhoods.

Some drivers spend hours waiting for the sound of the hits by Aziz Waissi, a popular Kurdish singer, and others listen to sad songs of the Turkmen singer Khaled Kirkuki. Others play recordings of the Holy Qur’an.

"I woke up to the voice of Quran reciter Walid Ibrahim, at 3:20 am. I couldn't hold myself. I got out of the house and said to the driver, my dear, you are in the middle of the houses, please lower the voice of the recorder or close the car windows and listen to him yourself, but he said it seems that you don't like hearing the voice of the Qur'an," said Mariwan Taher.

Mariwan's house is located in one of the alleys of Al-Ikhwan square at Rahimawa neighborhood in the center of the city of Kirkuk.

The gas queue in front of the Andalus station extends towards Al-Ikhwan square at Rahimawa neighborhood and often reaches inside the alleys near it, where the queue sometimes extends to about two kilometers.

(KirkukNow) reporter who followed the topic on the ground says that the discussions of motorists’ touch on political issues and daily problems. Sometimes their discussions end with the formation of the new Iraqi government and finding solutions to the problems of governance in Iraq.

My doorstep has become the headquarters of UNAMI

"My doorstep has become the headquarters of UNAMI - the United Nations’ Assistance Mission for Iraq - where they discuss all the problems and seek to solve them. Three or four drivers always stand in front of my house and discuss loudly the issue of forming the new Iraqi government, then they address the gasoline crisis and treat it as well,” Ako Farhad, who lives in an alley near Al-Ikhwan square, expressed his suffering.

Some drivers who are not interested in politics stay in their vehicles and play songs, most of them like to listen to the voice of Aziz Waissi or Khaled Kirkuki.

“Although they are standing a few meters away in front of my house, they raise the voice of the recorder, one of them plays a song by Khaled Kirkuki and the other is a song by Aziz Wessi. What I am talking about does not happen during the daytime, but at around two or three in the morning,” says Majed Ahmed, who lives in an alley close to the Al-Ikhwan square.

Majed told (KirkukNow) that they are afraid whenever a gasoline crisis occurs in Kirkuk, because at that time they realize that the long queue of cars will reach their area, pointing out that they repeatedly reprimanded the drivers for their behavior, but to no avail.

Andalus station is open around the clock and distributes government-subsidized gasoline at a price of 450 Iraqi dinars IQD (USD0.3) with fuel cards, and it is constantly crowded.

We can't clean our doorstep because of those vehicles

"We can't clean our doorstep because of those vehicles, we are tired of this situation," says Najat Anwar, a woman who lives near the Andalus station.

There are 27 government gas stations that distribute government gasoline at 450 dinars according to coupons, three of which distribute government gasoline at the commercial price of 1,000 dinars per liter without coupons alike the 68 private gas stations in Kirkuk.

Gas stations in the city center are open until 12 pm, three gas stations are open 24 hours and gasoline will be distributed in the districts until 8 pm.

Kirkuk Governorate (its population is estimated at more than 1.7 million people), is supplied daily with 1.5 million liters of gasoline per day.

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