Thursday, September 09, 2004

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Good evening….
News from Baghdad varies…some days are quiet, and some burn from morning till night….We are tired and sick of these absurdities, and we hope those responsible for them would get tired, and sick as well, so they would stop committing them…who burns, and who extinguishes…we do not know. The weather is still hot…especially at noon, and as the streets are almost empty during that time, the thieves commit most of their crimes at noon time…kidnapping men, women, and children, or robbing cars. I wish to see an end to all this madness…. We all wish that in Iraq, the tired, exhausted country, exhausted from wars, and the catastrophes after the wars. These catastrophes are more painful than the war itself… we all remember the days of war, and say: Oh, we would they be back…we used to hide in our houses, with our front doors locked, fearing not the thieves, murderers, and gangs, but only a stray missile or shell. But now, the fears are countless….. Fears for our lives, our houses, and our belongings. If safety and security were sold in markets…we would have run and bought them, by any price….whatever price. For life without security is a silly experience, tasteless and without a scent, I do not suppose anyone would want to live it….
When I went to Lebanon, at the beginning of my life, after graduation and marriage, I used to work for Humanitarian Organizations, to re-establish life in devastated villages, destroyed during the civil-war, then I went to live in the Capital, Beirut, working in an Engineering Office for Construction Design.
The Lebanese are a High-Class people, their manners are more like Europeans than Arabs… they have a large percentage of Christians…
But during the war, they turned into monsters, eating each other…You could hardly believe that the gentleman, soft, polite Lebanese, would kill and slay his brothers and countrymen??? The Christians erect road blocks, killing the Palestinians who pass by their territories, excepting the Lebanese, and the Lebanese Christian Parties bomb areas of Beirut that house other national Lebanese parties and Palestinian Parties and organizations…and those who are here bomb those who are there. Then the Syrian forces, which are barricaded in the mountains, bomb these and those…
Then Israel came along, invaded Lebanon, entered Beirut, and executed massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps, killing innocent civilians in operations that put to shame all humanity….They cry for what Hitler did to them…then commit the most ugly acts against Palestinians, where is their conscience???
If I was once the victim of an unjust criminal…would I seize some chance to express my malice against another victim???
How do these people think??? What is their difference from Hitler???
The same strategy in evil thinking against the Other, …how shameful….
The world is heading towards falling from a cliff….this is what I keep repeating, morning and night, after hearing the shameful world news every day….
A massacre took place in a school in southern Russia a few days ago, the victims were hundreds of school children and their parents….
Those who fight are always two: a Fool and a Criminal, this is the equation. The victims perish because of the mistakes of each, and each blames the other….. the parents of the children who died cry, and blame the Russian Government's mismanagement of the incident, the Government is angry, and wouldn't welcome criticism… and the terrorists tell them they lost their children because of the Russian Government's aggressiveness against them in Chechnya….
You do not know who is right and who is wrong…but you surely shake your head, convinced that there were some innocent victims who paid for the mistakes of the Fool and the Criminal…
Do not be mad at me…for I imagined that we, the Iraqi people, fell in the same trap, victims between Bush and Saddam…
They are both stubborn, clinging to their opinions, and both think themselves on the right side…and we are the ones who paid, and still pay, the price of crimes and follies we did not join in…exactly like the children of the Russian school….
The world lost the meanings of principles and mercy….the world is moving downhill, day after day…. And they use the names of Religions as a cover for their crimes and foolishness….
Islam, Christianity, and Judaism are innocent of these crimes….
GOD is one…the prophets are brothers, and people are the children of GOD, all are sisters and brothers….
But Earth is burning like hell…and we here are in the heart of hell…feeling the burns of fire every day….as if it outstretches to engulf different parts in the world….then burns law, only to blaze again in another area….
All this is because of the foolishness of Man, his evil, greed, and selfishness….
But I do believe that GOD's mercy will be delivered one day, and peace will prevail on earth…..
Going back to Lebanon once more… The ethics of people change during war, as if they are another people…some savage people. In Beirut, the streets are busy, there are no traffic policemen, or traffic lights. Taxi drivers fight with each other, call each other names irritably, and may get out of their cars to argue, then one of them might open the boot of his car and take out the jack lever, and hit the other with it… the street would close because of the fight, shouts and curses would rise high.
War has negative psychological effects on people, it raises aggressive feelings in them. That's what I think… so the street would be full of violence and tension…..
I remember when I used to go back home at noon…I used to feel afraid that a trapped car would explode in my face, and I become a victim, along with the rest of the daily victims. How many friends and companions died there, for a reason like this, or another??? I might not remember their numbers, but I still remember their faces, their names, talks, and laughters….
How much pain and sadness war leaves behind….and how big a fool is that who thinks it could be ( a magical key to mankind's problems….), it is rather the (key to humanity's destruction…..).
I would sometimes be surprised by a concentrated random bombing against western Beirut, while I was going back home at lunch time. I wouldn't know where Azzam is, we had no phone, no relatives I could rush to, I would hide in building entrances. Then the bombing would stop, and I come out onto the street, I run along the curbs, a twenty – years old young woman, wearing my jeans, for I had no other. I came here to help the weak and those in need, and I did not regret this….but the panic was unbearable… I endured it all, because I was a believer of the cause I came for, and for which I left my country, my people, and all my future behind my back….and came to Lebanon…
Today I smile as I think; could I really leave Iraq while living this painful reality?? Could I ever give up my principles, my love for helping people, and sacrifices???
I will tell you truthfully, that my sufferings in Beirut were a lot less than they are here…
What breaks me here is neither war, nor bombings and fear… what breaks my spirit and frustrates me is this desolation in consciences and spirits, I can no longer trust anyone… I try to convince myself not to feel sad if I discovered one more traitor, so I wouldn't be disconcerted and hate Iraqis, for if I hate them, then I would have lost my faith in them, and in myself, and there would be no use my staying here…
Yesterday I was disappointed, and cried a lot… I discovered that the driver I employed is lying to me, taking an overcharged commission for everything I send him to buy for me… so I fired him… I could not tell him in the face that he is a thief, even though I had the evidence, I was ashamed, fearing I would hurt his feelings, and I spent the whole afternoon feeling distressed and disappointed, as if my husband has cheated me with another woman….
Oh, how I hate disloyalty, I find it one of the ugliest evils… and how much it displeases the GOD??
But who cares anymore about GOD, and what pleases or displeases HIM???
All thieves are talking about religion, presenting themselves as faithful, while acting exactly the opposite… I can't tell whether they are weak against the evil intentions inside them?? Or do they deliberately mean to use lies and treachery???? I do not know….
After 15 crushing years of civil war in Lebanon, peace has prevailed, and all parties stopped fighting, so, did they realize their aims?? Or did they get tired and decided to stop, and sit down to listen to the voice of logic…..
How many hands used to fight in Lebanon???
The Lebanese, Palestinians, and Syrians, Saddam Hussein used to finance a faction, and perhaps Libya was financing another, Saudi Arabia and Iran may have had parties to support, then there was Israel, America, France, and perhaps some other countries who may have slipped my mind…. That is why the war lasted for 15 years.
And I wonder: how many years the war and battles in Iraq will last??? How many hands are outstretching and fighting here???
America and Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, Saddam's group,…., and who else???
Strange, astonishing formations GOD only knows who brought here, who financed them, and what their goals are…. Organizations in the name of People, and others in the name of GOD and Islam. They kill innocent people in the name of Islam, and Islam is innocent of them… they disfigured Religions, making them look ugly and hateful, while Religions are innocent of these acts… They killed the poor, innocent, Nepalese workers, saying this is in the name of Islam, which Islam is that?? Who gave them such a warrant, those criminal scum. People in Nepal revolted; they burned the Mosque in their capital, and burned the Saudi and Qatari Airlines Offices, what was the guilt of these people?? Whoever committed this terrible crime, planned for such a problem to occur…may GOD curse them all, until the Day of Judgment….
I pray to GOD to expose these dicey organizations, so we could all know who stands behind them. Who stands behind the enemies of Humanity…… for whoever destroys the beautiful relations between humans, and spreads hatred and malice between them is a sinful criminal…may GOD's anger be upon him, till the Day of Judgment.
Lebanon now is like a paradise…. The city center was rebuilt, and the beautiful hotels… in my time, they were skeletons of buildings and a ghost town, in a city center torn by snipers bullets and fighters, with hearts full of darkness and hate…. Now, Lebanon is very beautiful, Raid went there two years ago, and brought back the photos to me, I was happy and surprised, and wished for Iraq today to have peace, and become a beautiful paradise, like Lebanon…
When will dreams come true?? I do not know, but Faith and Patience will become our daily bread and butter, so we could endure this situation.
I wish to talk again about the Women Society…we still gather weekly, to discuss matters, and we are still trying to realize the projects…this weekend we have an important meeting with an American lady… I hope it will be fruitful, and good. Even though I have a little sulking inside, for I do not like asking for finance from American Institutions. If they were Europeans, I would have felt them more humane, especially from countries that took no part in the war against us, like France and Germany… and I fear that these American Societies help us as a kind of advertisement for themselves… Well, GOD knows what's inside people's hearts…… I shall tell you what will happen, in my next article, by the Will of GOD.
As for the news of my darling Majid, these are my good news, which makes me forget all the pains of my day, and week…. Majid arrived in Canada, his school is in Vancouver, and it is a college before University, he will study there for two years, by GOD's Will. He called me when he arrived there, he was refreshed, and amazed: Mama, (he said), the city is very beautiful; the school is excellent, and stately. Then he sent me messages by E-Mail, gave me the phone number of their living quarters, and his room number. All the letters are merry and beautiful; he says he misses Mama a lot… I wrote back: the house and all Baghdad is gloomy without you.
He was full of fun, filling the house with his mirthful soul; I used to feel my heart laughing joyfully with him. And now that he is far away, my heart fills with happiness again as I read his e-mail messages, and I almost forget the bleakness of Baghdad, and her daily sorrows.
I told him to send me photos of the school, the city, the streets, and trees… so I could feel as if I am with you. He promised to send them soon…
This morning, he asked for the Iraqi Flag, and the Traditional Iraqi clothes (a white men's gown " Dishdasha", a men's head cover " Hatta", a head cover's bound "a'kaal" ) to wear in the school's party, as each student will wear his national costume…the school has students from most world countries. I bought every thing for him, and Azzam will send them tomorrow by the express mail, by GOD's Will.
A part of my heart is there, with Majid….and it is the happy part of my sad heart. I pray daily for him, so GOD would save him in his travel, and grant him success in all his works. Amen.
I have some new friends from the American city of Seattle… they sent me photos of their city, the streets, woods, lakes, and mountains… and the photo of their golden dog…his looks tell he is smart, and naughty. I kept staring at the photos all day at work, and smile… as if my soul moved into another place, far, beautiful, and safe… I thought to my self: Do these people live on the same globe we live on??? Why do we see its ugly face, while they see its beautiful face?? Is the Human who lives there, the same as who lives here??
I mean, if I were to go there, I think I would become another Faiza in a while, different from the one you know… I shall become merrier, happier, full of self confidence, and full of hope in tomorrow, and what it shall bring of good news…
But now, I am burned, like others here, by the fire of pain and patience… and I do not wish, I never wish to trade places with anyone whom I like and respect…. I do not wish them misery at all… the kind of misery that we live in. my heart does not endure seeing other people's pain……. But he can endure mine, and those are enough for him.
I think pain is useful sometimes, to purify souls and consciences, from sins. And I always remember the Holy Quranic Verse, where GOD swears by the human soul : in meaning- (A soul, and who created the soul, then gave it its good and bad. those who did right will win, and those who did evil will lose).
For souls have a dark, evil side, and a bright, beautiful one… so, congratulations to those with the good, bright, beautiful souls, who want goodness to people, and act good, regardless of differences of religion, race, or country… for we are all brothers in humanity…. And we all have the same feelings of love, happiness, sadness, and fear.
The gang that kidnapped the French journalists said at the beginning that they worked towards defending Islam, and the Veil in France, and all Muslims in Iraq, the Arab and Islamic worlds rose against it, sending verbal messages demanding the release of the hostages. And today we hear they want a $ 5 million dollars ransom for their release. Where did Islam and the Veil go?? All lies and false is revealed, masks fell down. And today they kidnapped two Italian girls from an Italian Organization, and with them a PhD Iraqi Engineer, who is our friend, and one of the best mannered and righteous people in serving Iraqis. They worked in hospital and school repairs since 1993, well before the war, they are a humanitarian organization, who has no connection to politics, or to the Italian Government. This is daily embittering…..
I pray to GOD to keep them safe, and bring them back safely to all those who love them. I pray to GOD to put down His vengeance upon all the wicked who made life here very ugly. They kidnap those who perform good deeds here, and hurt them, while the wicked criminals are free and loose, raking havoc on earth. The equation here is upside down. Completely upside down. And all those who joined in raging this silly, ugly war, or encouraged it, share the responsibility of the calamities and pains that are happening here. And they will all be questioned on the Day of Judgment, for what sins they have committed against the innocents, all the innocents who died, or were kidnapped, or tasted fear, pain, and torture here.
And the show still goes on.
Translated by May \ Baghdad.

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