Basra -

Amidst a changing climate, under the blazing sun and freezing cold, the postman performs his work regularly and brings joy to the faces of families waiting for news of their families and relatives in the countries of the diaspora in various parts of the world, where paper letters still have a very social impact.

Technological development, social media applications, and transport companies for the private sector pose a challenge that may end this profession completely, to become a heritage profession cherished by societies, since the postman is “an employee who distributes letters and postal parcels of all kinds to the addressees according to the addresses written on them, wearing an official uniform and approved by the operator denotes his character".

Postman Iyad Abdullah Muhammad Al-Azzawi (58 years) has 27 years of experience in the Al-Ashar Communications and Postal Department in Basra Governorate (southern Iraq).

Al-Azzawi says of one of the difficult situations he experienced, "On a cold winter day, I received a letter from Britain to a citizen of Basra, who owns a real estate office in Basra. When I went to his office to give him the mail, he welcomed me, but with a somewhat vague sign, and I put a question mark on it. ".

Al-Azzawi while sorting messages before they are distributed (Al-Jazeera)

Al-Azzawi adds, "The recipient of the letter told me: If it includes compensation for my car that was run over by British armored vehicles, I will honor you. If it is not, I will give you a mug of water and say goodbye to you. With a glass of water, he signed for me the receipt for the letter. I learned to do good for free."

The postman profession taught Al-Azzawi hard work and love for people;

It is a profession deeply embedded in his heart throughout his 27 years of work.

Despite all the circumstances and difficulties, he sanctifies the profession and considers it a trust that has accompanied him throughout those years.

Juweed: The postman's work has declined at the present time, and has become an old profession due to the development of means of communication (Al-Jazeera)

heading to extinction

Social heritage researcher Nawal Juweed says, "The postman's work has declined at the present time, and has become one of the old professions due to the development and speed of the means of communication. A small village; we know the news and communicate with loved ones, moment by moment."

"Paper letters and writing them are a pleasure that we miss now, as we used to write words and paint the paper and spray it with perfume to reach the loved ones in a beautiful way, despite waiting for the message to arrive, and the answer is the eagerness and feelings that we are missing now."

Al-Azzawi says that his interaction with the people of the city is the key to the success of his work. He adds, "Many people of Basra help me and greet me wherever I go, and through them I made my way to success.

The postman represents civilization and heritage.

His wanderings among people and his presentation of positive messages from his life experience that delight everyone who sits with him and take a souvenir photo with him;

As he represents the past with messages of love and peace, verbal and paper, and a smile rises on his face despite his difficult life circumstances.

Al-Azzawi delivers the mail to the director of Al-Omran Institute for Training and Development in Basra (Al-Jazeera)

a lot of hardships

Al-Azzawi did not succumb to technological development;

His work is part of a social heritage and a cultural identity, and he says, "During my work as a postman, I faced many difficulties, the first of which was the government's lack of interest in this heritage."

He points out that the postman is the safety valve for the Ministry of Communications and Post, because he works diligently and faithfully, but - unfortunately - he did not enjoy his stolen rights, and is subject to deliberate neglect - at times - by the government, but he continues with this profession for his love for it and for his love for his community being the oldest courier mail in Iraq.

And about the most difficult situation he went through and caused him a chronic illness, Al-Azzawi says that one day, dust storms filled the roads while he was walking on his way to achieving his goal to deliver one of the postal messages to its owners, speeding on his bicycle, “but the sandstorm prevented that, and this coincided With an accident run over by one of the loose dogs, which made him bark at me, and I ran away from the severity of the situation, but the harm included us, and after this painful situation I became diabetic.”

Bullying is sometimes faced by some because of the development and presence of the Internet;

Some people make fun of the postman, and they throw hurtful bullying words on his ears, but he receives them with a smile, and his beautiful riding and elegant bike change the view of some, and the postman remains from the heritage.

Al-Azzawi says, "One of the funny situations that occurred to me during my work while I was heading to a private company to deliver mailing envelopes, I came across a lunatic who approached me and kidnapped one of the mailing envelopes and fled, and I only took it back from him in exchange for juices and a fast food. But the situation was very stressful for me. Because the law punishes with imprisonment for 7 years if one of the postal envelopes is lost.

The postman profession is characterized by social, human and official relations due to the frequent communication with the community directly. Al-Azzawi says, "Sometimes, circumstances reach us that do not have a clear address or carry wrong phone numbers, so I have to communicate with the sender to identify the recipient, but sometimes it is difficult Knowing the sender's address because of an error in the phone number, and sometimes it may take more than 4 months to reach the author of the message.

Keywords: postman iyad abdullah muhammad al-azzawi, postman, work, families, relatives, faces, letter, diaspora, countries, parts, challenge, bullying, eagerness, al-azzawi, ridicule