If Yahoo News keeps this up, they may just put Iowahawk and The Onion out of a job. Anyway, here's the bad news from Jay Price and Qasim Zein:
NAJAF, Iraq — At what's believed to be the world's largest cemetery, where Shiite Muslims aspire to be buried and millions already have been, business isn't good.
A drop in violence around Iraq has cut burials in the huge Wadi al Salam cemetery here by at least one-third in the past six months, and that's cut the pay of thousands of workers who make their living digging graves, washing corpses or selling burial shrouds.
Few people have a better sense of the death rate in Iraq .
"I always think of the increasing and decreasing of the dead," said Sameer Shaaban, 23, one of more than 100 workers who specialize in ceremonially washing the corpses. "People want more and more money, and I am one of them, but most of the workers in this field don't talk frankly, because they wish for more coffins, to earn more and more." ...
Now it would be unfair to hold this piece to the standards of serious journalism; it's more of a human-interest story - a slice-of-death piece, as it were. In any event, this article was the product of a number of high-calibre journalistic minds, as the footnote informs us:
Price reports for The (Raleigh) News & Observer . Zein is a McClatchy special correspondent. McClatchy special correspondents Janab Hussein , Hussein Kadhim and Sahar Issa contributed to this story.
I'm guessing that Price, Zein, and their illustrious colleagues at McClatchy detected a kindred spirit here: "People want more and more money, and I am one of them, but most of the workers in this field don't talk frankly, because they wish for more coffins, to earn more and more."
Yes indeedy. Or as another source puts it:
"Certainly, when the number of dead increases I feel happy, like all workers in the graveyard," said Basim Hameed , 30, a body washer. "This happiness comes from the increase in the amount of money we have."
Zein and Price must have felt right at home.