Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Saturday, August 7th, 2004 Good evening…When I am late in writing, I feel guilty, thinking that someone is waiting for fresh news from Iraq…And I wish all news would be happy and good…for those here and there.Baghdad is still hot these days, but then it is August, and the old Folklore saying says about it:The first ten (days) melts the nail in the door, the second ten reduces the grapes and increases the dates, and the third ten opens a door to winter….Well, what I'm really interested in are the last ten that would bring with it the breezes of winter… I am dying in longing to meet it, after the torture of the heat all summer long......At least by then we should no longer care whether the electricity comes or goes…. ****************** Last week was full, as usual, with unhappy events…but there were some tiny, happy events, sort of on the personal side, or perhaps they were connected to the general conditions.The most important sad events were the bombings against the Iraqi Churches, in Baghdad and Mousel… I don't know, but it is as if the criminals are laughing at us and saying to the Iraqis: No one is excluded from the anger, murder, and destruction…the churches that were targeted were in poor, populist neighborhoods, crowded with innocent, civilian residents… as if there is a theory that (they) keep applying to the Iraqis, kill them, or cast them away outside of Iraq…And today, settling up scores with Al-Mahdi Army and Al-Sader, and the departure of Al-Systani to London, huh.., a shameful story, which shows a collusion with the occupation forces, as he leaves Iraq so Al-Sader and his supporters would be eliminated without turning to Al-Systani to calm down the situation, as was done each time for months.Yes, there are still some files that need to clarified and closed, and the Fallujah and Al-Sader files are still under operations… in these operations the coalition forces collaborates with the Iraqi government, the police and the army. And we watch, and listen to the news from ground and satellite channels. No body knows exactly if it was a battle about posts, or a personal advantage, or an honest national advantage? All cards are mixed up; we no longer know a truth from a lie.********************We bought a DVD of Michel Moore's Documentary film (Fahrenheit 9/11), I hardly got a copy with difficulty, every day I went to the shop and asked, the salesman would tell me that all available copies were finished. I was amazed because I thought the Iraqis haven't heard about it yet…I felt glad that they are buying and watching it, a healthy sign. I love for Iraqis to open their eyes upon every thing a new…to see, hear, and understand what goes on in the near-far world... enough for them were the years of darkness and ignorance they lived in during the Saddam era. Now they are subjected to a serious overcastting in vision. There are those who want to attract their attention to a certain direction, and distract their attention from others, and I pray to God that the eyes, ears, and hearts of the Iraqis would remain alert, and open to understand what goes on around them, and wouldn’t go back to the prior condition of slumber. Perhaps some of those who want to re-make the new Iraq want to use the same methods of Saddam Hussein in intimidating and terrorizing us, so they could pass up and implement what is best for their interests…without respect to the people's interest, future, or national independence.***************For me, the (Fahrenheit) film didn't come up with a new viewpoint, for through this site, I get hundreds of letters monthly, and read the different viewpoints of American citizens, and this film came to prove that the American society today is divided among itself: between a supporter of the war and the Bush policy, and an opponent to both… and the letters say what the film didn't…the letters say that they would choose Kerry not because he is better than Bush, for he didn't represent a clear, convincing program, but because they got tired of Bush and his aggressive tide of dealing in the foreign policy, for he hits, bombs, and destroys, thinking he is protecting America and its people, and in truth he is creating new enemies for America, who wish for a chance to hit back with the same aggression and cruelty. This means spreading the spirit of revenge among humans and nations as a dialogue language, instead of the language of peace and respect, which is a language that creates friends, and keeps the balance of the state from collapsing, reducing the psychological pressures on people, the constant feelings of fear and terror, the continual departure of their sons and daughters to join in wars that do not end…Afghanistan, then Iraq, then Iran on the way, then perhaps Korea….and, to what end???? The road of wars, hostility, and hatred has no end……and the American people see that they are paying the price of this clumsy policy, the results are not always fascinating, as the Bush government is trying to convince them. Iraq did not live happy days during the war or afterwards, did not reap beautiful fruits from this war, and even its causes became a subject of suspicion and discussion… it did not give happiness to the Iraqi people, nor to the Americans, nothing but destruction, killings, and lies, and more lies to cover up the previous lies, and so on….months and years go by, and here we are, waiting for signs of well-being, and see nothing but bombings, violence, and score-settling, and endless excuses to clarify the delay of the process of re-building Iraq? The Fallujah file isn't closed yet, the violence is still the dialogue language, and here's another file opened, that of the fighting against Al-Sader and his supporters… If I were a prime Minister, and loved my people, I would have said to all factions: please be seated to a dialogue table…we want what is good to Iraq and the Iraqis, we want to build Iraq all over again…lets hear what you have to say, let us try and talk together… but the on-coming American thinks in an aggressive way, in Bush's way, strike your foe and do not talk to him….How are we to build a free, democratic country, while we hit the opponents and destroy them, instead of listening to them??? Is it wise to accuse them of being enemies and criminals before talking with them, and listening to their political speech?? Even an accused has the right to defend himself in front of the judge… but the Iraqi Resistance's image was distorted, and many acts of destruction and violence were attached to it, in order to give a reason for eliminating it. And the people…where are the people?? Aren't they supposed to decide their destiny?? Aren't they who decide whom they want, and whom they don’t want??What is happening now in Iraq is a very painful thing; the people are far away from the decision, America, unaccompanied, is putting the government under pressure, to carry on some program, that serves the interests of some factions, inside and out. Then, after the end of the blood, killings, and destruction series, they will wash their hands, open the doors, and tell the Iraqi people, smiling: Please come in, its time now for the democracy game, the field is clean, as WE want it to be........... So…this is how things happen, that who watches and understands, would almost be killed by grief, but he should hold on to patience, and the belief in GOD…for all goes by HIS will, not that of Mr. Bush's.************************And going back to the (Fahrenheit) film… It has asked some questions about the mysterious relation between the Taliban, Saudi Arabia, and the Bush administrations, senior and junior. About the oil and construction companies, and the September blasting, the removal of Bin-Laden's relatives to Saudi Arabia safely, and secretly. The events that didn't contain one single Iraqi defendant, how did it turn against the miserable Iraqis, and led to a war against them, making them pay for a crime committed by another….where is the justice in all this?How did they convince the Americans that their enemies are these unjustly-treated, and sanctioned people, deprived of their rights for tens of years? Toppling the regime didn't take long…but the daily torture of the Iraqis isn't finished yet, since the downfall of Baghdad, till now…Where is the aspect of success in this war??Yes, I cried for the scenes of Iraqis wailing and crying in the days of air raids in Iraq, and no one showed them any mercy and stopped the torture…as if the whole world colluded against us, either supporting Bush, or fearing him…then the pictures of Iraqis, at night in their houses, and the occupation forces raiding houses, the son lying on the floor, hands bound, the mother sitting on the stairs, crying in the dark, asking: what did my son do? Shame on you, he is a third-year collage student….How many beautiful things were broken, ripped apart by this war???Our lives, relations, our whole outlook to the world has collapsed, but the happiness with which Bush promised us didn't come, the happiness by which he justified the war, so he could bring freedom and welfare to the Iraqis…Is he really concerned with us?? Did he ever read the diaries of our pains and torture? Did he apologize for what he brought of chaos and destruction into our lives?…. I don't think so… he didn't , and he never will….he gives adulations only to the American who pays taxes, then sends his children to join in killing us, and destroying our lives…under the slogan of (A Beautiful, Free Iraq)….It is we who live like this every day…and the American here protects himself in every possible way, so he could get back home safely, healthy, and happy, meeting the press, TV. Networks and Internet, speaking about his sacrifices here for the Iraqis.Yes…thank you…we see the other side of the picture…away from the media and publicity…the true face of which we write in our diaries…..***************** At the end of the film there was some mention of the contracts signed with American Companies, in fantastic numbers, to implement projects in Iraq…then sub-contracting them to Iraqi contractors with humble fees… The film didn't come up with any made-up story, all that he mentioned here was true…we thank Michel More and his truthful, transparent spirit, with which he dealt with the film's atmosphere, from beginning to end. I thank him, and thank the beautiful face of America, which supported More in bringing this film to light. It had humanity and fairness in dealing with the Iraqi human-being. Not only the American is worthy of being mourned by mother and friends, the Iraqi also deserves to find someone to cry upon him, for he is a human, with a past, memories, a father and a mother, a family, relatives and friends…. Who grief for the news of his death…cry for him, and feel angry at those who started this accursed war.**************** Now…I shall move away from the sad stories. Last Thursday, I was invited to attend a meeting of a new Iraqi women society…by the name of (The Iraqi Business Women Society). It was at the Iraqi Hunting Club Hall, an old, beautiful club, bearing the scent of happy days when the halls used to be filled by Iraqi families, gathering for dinner, Bingo playing, and the noise and laughter of children, especially in summer nights. Then there are the beautiful tennis courts, the open swimming pool for children, and the closed swimming pool for adults…tidy, beautiful gardens, containing all colors of flowers….I do not think such customs are left these days…the security situation does not permit.I went to the meeting, the hall was filled with women, there were cameras, and lights… the Chairwoman said the society was established some months ago, now it will be called off, then re-established, by adding new members, and electing a new administrative council…A good percentage of members were engineers, doctors, attorneys, municipality council members, free lance career women, and entrepreneurs. I don't know what put in my head the idea of nominating myself for the membership of an administrative council… I asked the Chairwoman if I could nominate my self? She said: Yes, in a short while we will announce the names of the nominees, writing them on a board, and each will stand up on the dais, and speak about herself, so the other members would know her. I liked the idea…they wrote my name with the other nominees on a white board in front of the dais…the nominated women each stood up to talk about her degrees, her experience, and her ambition to work in the society, what she would like to present… I looked at them, one by one…some were very nice, and very convincing, because they were founder members, they had some things to say from previous experience, some were new, having a nice spirit of ambition to share and work, while others were as if they are begging strongly: Please choose me or I'll die…ha, ha, ha…yes, I laughed, saluting their friendly, fighting spirit, that wants to join in taking decisions….And when it was my turn to talk…I stood up, laughed, and said that one minute wasn't enough to talk…but I'll make it short... I talked about my graduation from the collage of engineering, my work, my life outside Iraq, and my new job in Baghdad, and my address. I heard some approving cries.I said I wanted to contribute in order to help Iraqi women…I want no personal advantages, and will not run after any… I will not fight to attend a conference outside Iraq, or visit some country; for I spent my life traveling…I only want to help Iraqi women.They distributed voting papers, stamped by the society's stamp, by the presence of a woman delegate of the Ministry of Planning, a woman legal register, and the representative of the Women's societies in Iraq. Those were an observation committee, to ensure the voting legitimacy. We wrote the names, there were nine names needed… all the time I was thinking, praying to GOD to successd, if there was any good that I could present to people through this society, or to lose, if it were merely a silly, worthless procedure… all the time I was thinking that I was an adventurer… for I only knew three women in the hall, and I couldn't guarantee their votes…but I was betting on my personality, my speech, and their trust in what they heard me say…. Then came the happy surprise that made me laugh a lot….I won by a third of the votes, and became a member of the administrative council of the society…By God I was dealing with the subject in a spirit of mirth, a curiosity to join, and adventure… but today I find my self a little worried, for this is a responsibility, which deserves interest, time, and dedication…Tomorrow is our first meeting…I wish for things to move in a good way, for this society to be a starting point to help Iraqi women in making a better future…I will try contacting some Arabic and Foreign Societies for consultation and listening to suggestions from those who have experience…I hope we will get the chance of arranging training courses, to promote the work and thinking of the working, producing women, especially those responsible for supporting families…and I hope we could produce development programs, in languages and computer skills for collage graduate women, to provide them with better job opportunities by adding new capabilities. Many new ideas will come with time…I wish God would be with us, as long as the intention is true to serving people….****************************I have learned something nice from the Americans…from those I meet, or those who send e-mails… (Do not just sit and complain )…I always hear this sentence. From friends or foes… yes, this is a frustrating situation…and I intend to try the adventure, and participate, regardless of the danger in participation these days, in these conditions…But I keep my eyes on to God…I say, In The Name of God…He will save me, He will support and encourage me, with all those I love, those who love me…I take the first step…in the thousand miles path… asking success from God.To assist in helping the Iraqi women, building a better life, a better future. In spite of all the devastation all around us…we shall not give up hope of a more beautiful tomorrow….******************** Translated by May / Baghdad.

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