Iraqis Are Us
I daily follow the events of the war on Iraq closely, reading news and commentary articles on it. I also research and look for information when I think something is not fully explained. Some would say I am obsessive over such world events in even more than one "hot" spot. I confess. . . .I am a political and news junkie!
We are always having our perceptions distorted in the news and the political chatter. After a while the war begin to take on the reality of a movie. It is an endless stream of horrific events, military campaigns, overwhelming statistics and personal attacks and bickering among those for and against the war and the policy to continue the war.
BUT, WARS AND REAL AND INVOLVE REAL PEOPLE ! Sadly our understanding does or can't cope with this reality. It is even easier to lose sight of war as a war against people when those people are different from us . They seem exotic and even less human that us (if we were really honest with ourselves)
IRAQIS ARE US! We need to always remind ourselves of this. To keep my empathy level up I have tried to learn about Iraq, and Islam and their history and the passion people have for both.
More significantly I have tried to regularly read blogs written by Iraqis who are living their lives in a war zone.
In particular, I have been reading the blog of young teenage girl on Mosul who has kept a blog, Days of My Life, for several years. Sunshine, (as she calls herself) is middle class girl from an extended family, most of whom have stayed in Iraq even thought though may have been able to flee the country.
Her mother, (called Mama) also writes a blog revealingly called Emotions. (aptly named as she suffers under the emotional stress of her life) She is a dentist. To live as this family does require courage and struggle to just get by and try to live a normal life.
I mention all this because they have been having a very difficult time in Mosul, where there is currently much military action. I find myself unable to find the words of support to offer as a comment on their blogs. Those of you who are the "victims "of my comments on your blog must have noticed I seldom am never at a loss for a comment whether it be supportive, humourous, witty or educative. But I have tried to write something to these fellow bloggers and am at a loss for words at this time. if I were there i would just want to physically embrace them in their pain, saying nothing.. At a distance, words seem trite.
I invite you to read of their current travails. First, the blog entry of Mama
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Please God give us solace
I ‘d been through tough situations again , my husband had to leave his job because of terrorists’ threatening .He lost his 5 years of ministration .This is the second time he lose his job and years of ministration ,previously he lost 15 years ,he feel devastated, he will have no retiring rights .His chance to find new job is almost impossible. That made our life stressed ,made him nervous , and made our future mistful.Our friends and dearest neighbors lost their only son during car explosion in the middle of the market, he was the sweetest guy I ‘d ever knew. He had charming smile ,loving shy look . He had a big heart full of love and a caring personality. he is the first one who taught Sunshine and I how to use the internet.Seeing his father, who is a doctor ,in such an overwhelming situation breaks my heart, his mom, sister and grandmother weep and no words can make them feel well again ,makes me feel miserable ,helpless and distressed. seeing Sunshine going through such a painful event is very saddened too. In addition to the pain of losing him and sharing the deep pain of his family ,I suffer from the fear of losing one of my children in such a horrifying way.Please pray for ‘V’,may Allah bless his soul and give his family ,friends and all those who adore him the solace…….Mama
And now the same events in the words of 16 year old Sunshine
HiI couldn’t write a post I was really busy with my exams, and homework, I finished my book manuscript and Luke edited it for me, I’ll send it to uncle and he’ll contact my friends who said they can help me by finding a publisher.*****************************************It has been the hardest two week in my life.First we were threatened by terrorists who wanted to kill my dad, I spent the whole nights thinking, and crying, I was in shock, and terrified.I couldn’t study anything, I couldn’t concentrate and I did horrible in all of my exams, I am expecting low marks, during the classed I kept wondering with tears in my eyes, what will happen next? Will they Kill my dad? Kidnap one of my family members? Why ? we’re not rich, don’t belong to any political party, very simple family, and never harmed anyone, what do those terrorists want? Money? Or they just want to terrify us?..On Friday morning, my mom told me that dad was asking her to take care of the kids, and his parents, I went to my room, opened my book to study but I burst into tears, and cried for long time until I was unable to open my eyes, and my book page was completely wet. I throw the book away, and kept blaming myself and cry for not doing my best to fix my relationship with dad, I was telling myself, what have I done? If something bad happens to dad, I won’t forgive myself ever, part of me was ordering me to go to my dad, apologize and make sure he forgives me for every time I was adversarial to him, for every word I said and made him upset, for every night I slept without wishing him a good night, but I couldn’t, I was tight, I don’t know why..I suffered from horrible headache and insomnia, I want my dad to see me publishing my first book, graduating from the best collage, being successful person in my life, and more important I want to be so nice to him and make him forget everything, every disparity we had, & every time we argued, I hope he’ll forget those memories.. and be proud of the girl he raised, although he tells me he’s proud but I want to make him even more prouder..Dad wasn’t prefect with me, he’s out of temper and not optimistic, we have very different personalities that’s why we argue a lot.. but I know he loves me more than anyone else, and want the best for me, he’d do anything to make sure I have the best life ever, it is just that we look at the same thing and see it in different way, we have different perspectives . we love each other , but for some reasons, our relationship became badI want my dad to remain safe, and I’ll accept him in the way he’s.. and I wouldn’t replace him with any father in the whole planet ..My dad doesn’t know how did I feel in the last 2 weeks, how did I spend my time, or how sorry I was, he doesn’t know how terrified I felt from the idea or losing him, I was really worried, and I realized how much I love him, but I don’t have the courage to tell him..I’ll give 200% of my energy to fix our relationship, I know my friend R would do anything to bring her father back to life, or even spend one more day with her daddy, remember the good days together, and apologies for every time she acted selfishly or bothered her father, she was devastated when she lost him , she wore black clothes for a whole year, locked herself in her room, and I was really worried that she may loose her mind or become more depressed . until now her eyes fill with tears each time she remember him, I feel her pain, and know how much does she miss her dad..**********************************today as soon as I reached home, my mom’ face was pale, she looked terrified, she told me that a big explosion near my relative’s office occurred, thank god they are alive, in the afternoon my parents decided to visit them, I didn’t have exam so I went with them, my mom called her friend who has a clinic near the explosion, & mama kept saying ““ NOO, WHAT ARE YOU SAYING? OH NO OH NO “ , she ended that call and said “ Dr. S said that V was killed in that explosion, Dr. S’s clinic damages were 75%, but she wished it was damaged 100% and didn’t lose “V” .V is the sweetest guy, and the best neighbor, he was the first one who taught me how to use internet, he’s about 37 years old, very shy, very polite, loved by everyone, he’d never hurt anyone, or anything not even an ant, his sister “X” is my best friend, and the whole family is lovely, they don’t have relatives in Iraq, they lost them in their emigration from Armenia to Iraq, and they don’t have anyone to share their good and bad events with but their friends and neighbors..V is truly remarkable person, his dad is a professor, and whatever I say I can’t sympathize him, he surely doesn’t deserve to die because of a extremist, crazy person who exploded a car in the middle of a local market, I can’t say anything but may god bless his soul , and give his family, neighbors and friends patience to get through this unexpected and tragic event.“X” sent me a message saying “ I lost my brother, my brother died” it’s devastating, there isn’t any family in Iraq who hasn’t been threatened, or lost a son, father, daughter, or a friend, there isn’t any family that didn’t see the house they live in damaged, we are all hurt, but we’ll continue praying to see a light at the end of this dark tunnel. In this week three big explosions happened near my school and the roads were blocked, and we hear explosions the whole time..I don’t cry easily, but I spent those two weeks crying most of the time, I am depressed, terrified, sad, and in this moment I have no hope..I heard in news that the violent will increase in Mosul..Sunshine
Why ?????? ....
What do you say to people who lives are lived under such conditions of threat and suffering? No child should have to grow up under such conditions and no parent should have to wonder if their percious children will be killed in the street just trying to go to school or the market.
I hope those of you who have taken the time to read this far and these these little slices of the Reality of war will be reminded that IRAQIS ARE US.