Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Sunday January 18, 2004

Good morning… a morning of explosions… in Baghdad, what's good about it?

These mysterious explosions are meaningless in that they only result in human loss and pain… I
don't know what idiot finds them useful and carries them out- and what did they say to him to
convince him? I don't understand. Maybe there's another language in the world with a vocabulary composed
of killing and blood and innocent victims… I don't understand it- am I stupid? What is the use?
And what use is all the chaos to the poor people?


The emails I get are amazing… from different places around the world… from India, Italy, France,
Holland, Norway, and different states like New York, Massachusetts [Boston], California, Michigan
and other places you'll excuse me for forgetting- my memory is crowded with names.

All the emails I get are full of warmth and understanding for our situation. They even say the
blog about our everyday lives is similar to their own family life, and their memories are like my
own! These letters make me so happy! They make me laugh joyfully as my eyes drown in tears… I always
thought it would take hundreds of years for us to meet and understand each other but I'm finding
that we are all simple humans who have more in common than we have differences- in spite of the
distances, the different settings, and religions. It makes me wonder why our governments aren't like
us, but more like space aliens that have come from a far place with no warm feelings or
appreciation for one another's past and present. I'll never know the answer!


Let's get back to Baghdad- I'll tell you about the situation we still live daily. The electricity
is better, but it might be worse again when I blog tomorrow or the day after- nobody knows. The
lines in front of the gas stations are fewer… until further notice. The dollar is improving,
especially after the scandal of the airplane loaded with 20 billion new Iraqi Dinars in Beirut Airport.
By the way, who is going to investigate this scandal and punish the bad guys? In the past, during
Saddam's days, the Western media specialized in publicizing Saddam's scandals- well, today, who is
going to care about us?? And who do we complain to? Only God.

The retirement wages have been 'postponed', as have the wages of the former army… there are no
employment opportunities in the country… and no projects by foreign companies… so what is there?

There are explosions… and raids upon homes… and detentions made out of fear of mischief-makers and
weapons arsenals. I want to stop for a moment at the raids upon homes. These usually occur at
night, and are often the result of an Iraqi's tip-off to American forces about his neighbor or
relative or someone who means nothing to him and they pay the informer money (a reward for his good
work). A couple of days ago, I heard a story with all the elaborate details, about one of these raids.
The wife says: they blew up the main wooden door with a small bomb. The woman and her son ran to
hide under the staircase in terror. The troops went to the kitchen where the woman's husband was
located, tied him up, put a bag over his head and took him away in the middle of the night.

After 5 days of terror and waiting, they dropped him off in the dead of night on a street near his
house. He returned eagerly in fear and silence to his family. He said that after the removed the
bag from his head, they interrogated him, asking his for his name, his job and other normal things,
and then they let him go.

His wife was crying and saying, "We're leaving… I won't stay here anymore!" And I'm wondering- who
will defend us when we complain? Who will believe us? Who will uphold our rights and our dignity
while we are under the occupation of a country that boasts it is a country of freedom? Can't a door
be knocked during the day and the questions asked with a little less hostility and injury? Without
breaking down doors and putting bags over heads… which the victims keep to prove to themselves and
to us that it wasn't just a nightmare, but reality. And what a reality….

[Translated by River Bend,]

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