Some of you are undoubtably wondering what happened to Alive in Baghdad, why we suddenly stopped producing videos after a slowing down of production/distribution starting at the beginning of 2009. We can now tell you that among several factors, our Bureau Chief Omar Abdullah, who was coordinating the project from his residence in Syria has been in hiding for the last months, a final straw that lead to the collapse of production. Our previous translators each moved on to other positions just as Omar's issues were coming to a head. Without translators we have been unable to continue producing regular content, as the footage is edited from our office in Philadelphia. We are still working on moving forward with Alive in Baghdad and are dedicated to continuing the project. We have recognized over the last months that the project needs to change, we need to be providing news and information in other ways, as well as our regular video series. If you haven't seen Alive in Afghanistan or Alive in Gaza yet, please check them out, what we are working on will be something of a hybrid between these various projects.
Omar is getting settled into his new life in Sweden and should be back to work helping coordinate the project soon. We are working on integrating mapping tools, as well as preparing for the 2010 Iraqi elections coming up in January, hoping to implement similar tools as we utilized in Afghanistan's recent election.
In other news two other Alive in Baghdad correspondents, Hayder and Basheer were resettled in the United States last Spring. Other correspondents are still in Baghdad, preparing to get back to work. We are pursuing some larger funding opportunities for Small World News, and would appreciate any input from our viewers on funding opportunities you might suggest.