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.
"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.