The Yellow Unripe Dates!
Regarding the rumours raised about the unripe dates seen at the site of the arrest of Saddam (please see my article; The Unripe Dates, 17 Dec 2002), some reporters have visited Al Door area and met the farmers. Asharq Al Awsat newspaper tried to enter the site where Saddam was arrested but prevented from going inside by an American patrol. They then want to the neighbouring farms. The farmers affirmed that plenty of yellow dates exist now and will remain so until the end of March. They explained that the lack of fertilisation hampered the process of ripening by which the dates converted from hard yellow to a brown soft. The unfertilised dates called (Shees) or unripe dates. It will remain yellow for long time until the end of March. This was the case in the tree near Saddam's hiding place. It was like many other trees ignored (not been fertilised) due to the war. The usual process of fertilisation in Iraq carried out manually by taking the seeds dust from the males and put it in the flowers of the females. This process carried out individually from one tree to another by one person or more. The farmers added that the members of the previous regime ignored their farms due to the war so remained unfertilised.