Friday, 27 April 2007

'Wake up!!! you are in Iraq...'

It was one of our rare minutes of happiness, which are hardly to be captured in this war-plagued country, as me and my elder brother S. were in our routine visit yesterday night to our widow aunt who lives next door. Her house is our sole place where we can gather everyday during the night to have chitchat and forget something from our daily sufferings.

As we were waiting our Turkish coffee to be brought by our cousin Z., pictures of S.'s wedding party were being circulated in the living room, giving us time to go away from our reality and have fun with our gossip.

Suddenly, this atmosphere was dashed by a huge explosion which brought us back to our reality as if someone wanted to tell us "wake up!!! you are in Iraq where happiness knows no place."

My aunt F. pounded her cheeks unconsciously and jumped from the sofa she was sitting in and her son-in-law O. rushed to the garden and grabbed his mentally handicapped 4-year old son. "Where are M. and Y.," my shocked cousin Z. asked us about her two sons as she emerged from the kitchen.

Then we found that pale M. still in the living room as she was sitting cross-legged at the sofa corner and Y. was playing with other kids at one of the neighbor's house. We all relieved when we realized that no one of us was hurt.

We were afraid to go out and check, but instead every one of us grabbed his phone and check with anyone he knows in the neighborhood to find out what was it.

"I told you many times that they would attack our neighborhood one day as people stream for shopping at sunset," O. told us as he was clutching his son to his chest and trying to check on his brother who has a mini market in the neighborhood.

After like 15 minutes, we realized that a mortar round slammed into a house just meters behind ours, but thanks to be for God none was hurt as it was empty.

As we went out to check if anyone was hurt, we found that the mortar shell caused a hole of about one meter in diameter as metal shrapnel were scattered in the street. Angry residents were cursing those who were behind it regardless to their affiliations.

Mortar rounds have become one of the militant groups' main weapons but most of the time these shells miss their targets and claim the lives of innocents.Some times we can hear the 'whoosh' of these shells and then follow by an explosion.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

In one of Baghdad's clinic lab...

It could be one of Baghdad's unique places where sectarianism is not dominated and where all the country's differences and problems are vanished.A place where the question about your sect is not needed.

Scores of engaged couples were crammed in this tiny clinic lab in one of Baghdad's secular neighborhoods to do their blood test, an important step before they get married.The test covers sexually transmitted diseases (HIV and syphilis) besides determine the blood group of the two.

The huge generator, which is set outside the lab, have made the AC waves going smoothly over the heads of the couples who occupied the metal chairs inside the nearly 3X5 meters reception room.Smiles lit on their faces as they were whispering to each others as their relatives were looking at them proudly.
Some of the girls were in veils and abayas, a traditional women robe which covers the body from the head to toe, while others in western-style cloths.

Me and my fiancee N. joined them two days ago when we arrived at about 10:15 a.m. and left at about 11:30 of that sunny morning when we had our test.At the beginning we couldn't find place to site and that we stood with others until a woman left her chair which was occupied by my fiancee.
Two hours later, I came back and collected the test results which found us clean from these diseases.
It was my first time to go out with my fiance since we engaged Jan. 17 despite the fact that she lives in a house just behind ours because there are no more choices for couples to go out in this war-plagued county.
Instead, we do call each other for like three hours a day, exchanging text messages and paying visits to each others houses from time to time.
As I grow up in a secular, technocrat and middle-class Shiite family, I'm not used to pay great attention to the names of Iraq's components: "Sunnis, Shiites, Turkomen, Kurds or Christians," before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
Of course we were use them but not in that way which portrays a fight or dispute between these sects or who is the majority and who is the minority and that the final say in ruling the country has to be for the majority.
While my fiancée's family also a secular Sunni one, I found it very easy to ask for the hands without any problems.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Adhamiyah wall...

As if the Iraqi government and the Americans are not satisfied enough with the thousands of concert barriers and hundreds of thousands of wires suffocating Baghdad and its residents. And as if they have not quenched their thirst yet from dividing the residents of this city, who lived in peace for decades, into Sunnis and Shiites killing each other.

Now, both of them are intending to build a wall to surround the Sunni district of Adhamiyah in northern Baghdad to "protect Sunnis from Shiites who are coming in and hitting Sunnis, and prevent Sunnis to across the street for retaliation."

Now, they are trying by force to divide Baghdad neighborhoods by sects, as they've failed to do so since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 when they said that Shiites, who were oppressed by Sunnis during Saddam Hussein's era, are the majority with about 60 percent while Sunnis only a minority with about 20 percent.

And unfortunately, uneducated people of both sects have followed this American idea and have destroyed their coexistence.

What we can say except of hailing the democracy and freedom which were brought to us by our "liberators."

I think there is no need to dwell more on the wall project as the attached is the tender which was issued by the U.S. forces.