Iraq Poll: Field Interviewer Notes

Field work for the ABC News/USA Today/BBC/ARD poll in Iraq was conducted by 103 Iraqi interviewers who traveled to 458 sampling points across the country. While many completed their assignments uneventfully, others witnessed incidents of violence, including bombings, shootings and a mass kidnapping.

Some of their field notes follow.

Feb. 25, 2007 Province: Ninevah

When I went to this specific region for the survey I have noticed that there was a mourning ceremony, and I think that it was the last day for it. It was by coincidence that my work took me to this house. When I asked to do the questionnaire with one member of the family, they asked me about the reasons behind my visit and selection for their house. I told them that their house was selected according to the random rules of the survey and I told them that we have a project about the opinions of citizens concerning the general situations in the country. The process of the interview was very difficult with them, and I learned that their son had been an officer in the former Iraqi army and that he was killed by an armed militia. They don't know the reasons behind killing him and they said that this is the destiny of former Army officers because they receive threats and are killed.

Feb. 25, 2007 Province: Wasit

I went to the assigned region to conduct interviews, and during the field work the supervisor was taking pictures when suddenly we realized a police patrol in the region was following us. When they reached us, they started asking us about our work and whose side we are working for, then they took us to the police station. The supervisor is a member in the local council and has many good relations, so he was able to deal with the situation and solved the problem. He convinced them that our work is for the benefit of the public and aims to share opinions of the people. He told them we are working for a formal company and it is permitted by the Iraqi government. After showing the papers of the company we were able to leave the police station without any problems and return back home safely.

Feb. 25, 2007 Province: Najaf

I went with the supervisor to the sampling point where we should perform our survey, and when we tried to take pictures of the location before starting our work, a police patrol approached us. They took us to the police station and they started asking us about the reasons behind taking pictures and what we were doing. We told them that we are conducting a survey of citizens in order to find their opinions about the general situation in Iraq. They asked us to show them the documents of the company, and all our papers were in order so we were able to leave the police station safely.

Feb. 26, 2007 Province: Diyala

Two bombs exploded in front of the public market and destroyed it, then dead bodies spread everywhere in front of us in a very awful way.

Feb. 26, 2007 Province: Baghdad

I saw national guard forces catching some young people and they beat them violently and put guns to their heads and took them to an unknown place.

Feb. 27, 2007 Province: Anbar

The Americans have broken into houses in search of armed individuals as they claim and they violated the sanctity of those homes and arrested tens of young men in the U.S. base (nearby).

Feb. 27, 2007 Province: Baghdad

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