Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, is often touted as an island of safety and prosperity within a country still in upheaval.

But ordinary Kurds tend to disagree. They suffer at the hands of a cruel combination of high unemployment and high inflation. Many do not believe that they are living in a "new" Iraq.

Newspaper editors, university professors and members of the Kurdish civil society have blamed the deteriorating situation on a culture of corruption in the region.

They say the culture is propagated by Kurdistan's two ruling families, the Barazanis and the Talabanis.

Barham Saleh, the newly appointed prime minister, has promised to give the place a fresh start, but when citizens cannot even rely on their water and electricity supplies, can he turn things around?

Inside Iraq host Jassim Al-Azzawi is joined by Mohammad Ihsan, a representative of the Kurdistan Regional Government, and Kamal Majid, a professor emeritus at the University of Cardiff.

This episode of Inside Iraq airs from Friday, January 29, 2010 at the following times GMT: Friday: 1730, 2230; Saturday: 0300, 0830; Sunday: 0600, 1230; Monday: 0130.

Source: Al Jazeera