The countdown is still on for those back home in Baghdad, Basra and Fallujah: 10 days until Iraqis receive control of their government from the U.S.-led coalition.

While their countrymen are waiting for the transfer, Iraqis living in Columbus have mixed feelings of how the new government will benefit their homeland.

“I am optimistic,” said Ayser Hamoudi. Mrs. Hamoudi, a Shiite Muslim, and her husband, Ala Hamoudi, a Sunni Muslim, are physicians who own a family practice in Grandview Heights.

Mrs. Hamoudi said she is concerned whether the government will survive because the new prime minister, Iyad Allawi, is a former member of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, which has a violent past. Allawi, a leading Shiite, had a falling out with Saddam and Iraqi secret police wounded him during an 1978 assassination attempt in London, where he was studying medicine..


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