Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Good morning..
this is the last part of my war diaries (2003)
you can read it from begining since 18/3/003 on the link of family war diaries.
wish you have time to read it.
thank you ..

Tuesday, June 10th, 2003
The connections are back with some of the Communication Centers, so I was able to call my sisters, and feel reassured about them.
Our affairs changed very much from what it used to be before the war. We always get back home before the Sunset Prayer Call…that is, before it gets dark, because the incidents of killing and thieving increase with darkness. With sunset, we close the main gate, and when the bill rings, Raid goes out to the garden, carrying a Kalashnikov, and behind him would be Azzam, and Khalid, and Majid…
And the visitor would turn out to be one of the neighbors, or a family whose car had ran out of petrol, so we take pity upon them and help them, and we fall to laughing, mocking the irony of the way we look, as if we were living in a jungle without security. The feelings of security and trust fell away from among the people, and no one knows from where calamity would strike.
I look at the (Al-Muwajahaa Newspaper: Confrontation), edited by a group of young men, Majid among them. It carries various articles….. There is an Article about the Society of Free Prisoners, who was trying to locate the missing Political Prisoners, and there is a continuous, daily wailing to look for mass graves, and the secret tunnels and underground prisons. We all feel sad; we all call the curse of GOD upon the unjust people.
Another Article talks about some Palestinian families who were thrown out of their houses, and are now living in tents in a sports club, while the Iraqi Red Crescent is trying to help them humaniterily, they are about 240 families. I do not know the reason of such a frantic hostility, for these are not the Iraqis manners…
Some of these families traveled to Jordan, as they had Jordanian passports. But the others who had Palestinian- Iraqi traveling documents, no one received them, or recognized them, or issued a visa for them… I don't know what is the guilt these people committed, and why were they cornered suddenly…there is some ambiguity in this story.
In another article in the newspaper, there is a part of an interview of the American press with Ramesfeild, in Washington, D.C., as he comments on what is happening in Iraq: "It is chaos, and freedom is chaos, they are free even to make mistakes and commit crimes, and act wrongful deeds…."
I don't know how these people think??? Do they live like this in America?? People killing, looting, and committing all sins, is this really The Freedom??
There is also an article about a theatre group of Iraqi young men and women, who entered Al-Rashid Theatre, that was destroyed by the bombing, and among the debris, performed a spontaneous play, called " They passed through here"……..meaning the forces of invasion and destruction. The audience consisted of some journalists, and the friends and relatives of the actors.
The actors wondered, while on a broken theatre: What exactly is freedom?
The play said that Iraq survived war, yet war is not over yet, what is over is only one face of it, the face of bombs and missiles. Now it is time for the war of the spirit, and as the winner in the bombs war is the more technologically advanced, so the winner of the spirit war shall be the most loving….
Still there was one more article, which frightened me the most, and I didn't believe it, and I felt afraid for Majid because of it, because he was the one who made the interviews, with a group of Jordanian and Palestinian University students who study in Iraqi Universities, whose houses were raided, they were detained with severe cruelty, some of them in their night clothes, and they were taken to the prisoners of war detention camp in Um-Qaser. Some of them were released after two weeks of panic, insults, and silly questions like: Where is Saddam Hussein? Or, describe your self to us, then they laugh at them, and jeer…
I could not believe…. But Majid swears they are truthful, that they shall leave Iraq immediately, abandoning their studies, while the rest of their colleagues are still detained, their fate unknown…some of them were students who are members of old Palestinian Organizations, like Fateh, or the Public Front.
Who informed about them, and where did the lists of their names and addresses come from??
A very fishy story, and one that raises suspicions… and then, what is the benefit of the American army in all these matters? Or perhaps the Mosad are here, and these are their duties…
I don't know, everything is possible…and maybe the days shall carry answers with them.
Most of the newspapers issued after the war, clap for the occupation forces, publish news about following Saddam and his aids, and Bin Laden… about huge projects that will soon retrieve life back to the Iraqis, and we are all awaiting impatiently the re-building of Iraq.
Thursday, June 12th, 2003
Strong explosions at the Airport Street… at 4p.m., then at 10 p.m....
The daily comments of people are: What is the use of these explosions? And if American soldiers were killed in it… that will not change the policy of the American administration, so as to pull out their troops…
Even if half of the American army was killed here…they will send replacements. So, the matter for them is worth their sacrifices, for the sake of their interests. But, what shall we gain??
Nothing but pain, chaos, and the lack of security….
I don't know… I find my self frustrated, and at a loss to what is happening.
Friday, June 13th, 2003 - Monday, June 30th, 2003
Various events…
First: A new car arrived, a Mercedes that Azzam bought from U.A.E... Baghdad is filling with new cars, from all models and brands. As if people were repressed, and now, their dreams has come true… but traffic jams are increasing in Baghdad…the subject needs a serious study, for this chaos is full of foolishness, and poor planning….
We received new merchandise for the shop. This is the first time after the war, but the expenses of the transportation and insurance are very high, that we will be forced to raise the prices of filters, and other items, and we shall explain the reasons to all the customers…so they wouldn't get mad…
The generator got burned up, and we bought a new, bigger one, to endure working most of the daily hours, as there seems to be no apparent improvements in the electricity conditions.
I took a new Computer course at the institute…
But a strange thing occurred… we were amazed, all the family opened their mouths, then stared into each other's eyes, unbelieving…
We had an engineer working in the shop with us as a partner since we opened up, a Christian; he is very polite and honest. A lot of the administrative transactions were carried out by him, so we gave him a lot of authorities to ease the work… the shop rent contract was in his name, so was the membership card of the Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, and the Importation License… there was an amount of high trust between us, he received a high salary, and a yearly percentage of sales profits.
We saw nothing of him after the war….we thought his house was far away so he couldn't get to work… and as the telephones were cut, there were no communications.
He sent a letter two days ago, by some messenger, saying he wanted the shops, for they belong to him, and he was threatening to use legal methods if we do not go and negotiate with him.
We found this a surrealistic story…..
There was no written agreement between us saying this property belongs to us… and he could rob us, and destroy the whole family…
We remained in bewilderment, for this was the last thing to expect…. This war revealed the vileness in some people's souls, and made it a legal right… our world turned into a jungle, each possessing the opportunity to ravish another…would not hesitate…
What is happening in the world???
I don't get it.
July 1st. – July 5th. , 2003
Negotiations with engineer Nabeel to solve the problem, and condescend the rent contracts and Chamber of Commerce card in our favor… I do not know how he changed his name, but I think Raid had a major role in the matter… Raid always respected him, and used to call him 'Uncle Nabeel'… we visited him often in his house, my sons love his, play with them, and pamper them, because they are much younger than our boys… after that silly message, Raid was so angry, and felt sad because of this shameful conduct, then, by chance, he met Engineer Nabeel at some friend's door, Raid shouted in his face: If you wouldn't give up the contracts, I shall come to your house with my friends, and show you how to reconsider…and I want to come to an understanding with you in front of your wife and children…
It seemed that those words frightened him, and made him give up… Azzam and I refused the idea of threatening him, because we don't want to be scum, like him… but the method of Raid worked…
The man came begging, asked for an amount of money, signed a quitting paper, then withdrew from our lives…
But the blow was severe on us…
Trust in others makes people happy, and gives reassurance, but today we feel a great bitterness, and fear of what will happen latter…
We have to look for another engineer, to join us in carrying the loads of the job, and its problem…where shall we find him in these hard conditions???
The trust is no more, between people….
Monday, July 7th., 2003
We were surprised to find the locks of the shop broken, in the morning; there was an unsuccessful attempt to break into the shop at night… I was much annoyed… nothing like this happened, since we opened up in 1998. I remained tense all morning…and sent someone to buy me new locks…
I felt things were getting much worse by the lack of security, and the absence of a state, the police force, and an army…
Two days ago, a shop nearby us was robbed; it used to sell Satellite Systems… it was found in the morning swept clean of everything. And here are the thieves trying their luck with our shop…
Tuesday, July 8 th., 2003
At about 11 a.m. , in the shop… a relative of Azzam's came to ask for him…it seemed he quarreled with the owner of the building about the new rents, who asked him to evacuate the store building they usually hire from him… I didn't exactly understand what happened, but I saw the building owner come into the shop, and start beating Azzam's relative, so the other employees pushed him outside the shop…into the street. I saw him get mad, he carried a wooden chair and started smashing all the shop windows.…the whole glass front became fragments, the shelves fell to the floor, the filters on them were broken, and I heard the curses and filthy words…you are Palestinians, curse your fathers, and curse Saddam who brought you to Iraq…
Oh, my God, this was the first time ever I heard such malicious talk from an Iraqi against an Arab living in Iraq…there is someone behind nourishing this poisonous speech.
This is a new speech, which we never heard here before…
I watched the whole act coldly, never moving from my seat…I said to my self, he might hit me, or call me names, and filthy words which I wouldn't endure, so I preferred to remain silent.
I called by Intercom, between the shop and our office where Azzam works, and told him quietly: Come quickly to the shop, I have a problem; there is a mad man who attacked us and broke the front window….. In a few moments Azzam came…. The sight of the shop was amazing, as if a hurricane had passed through… the goods were upside down, and things were broken… every thing was clean, tidy, and beautiful a few minutes ago….
Azzam went out, and returned shortly with a few Humvees, and some American soldiers, they looked around, asked a few questions, then apologized that this wasn't their concern, there is a new police station at Yarmouk, go and file a complaint there…that's what they said, then left…
Azzam went out to the police station…
Many customers came along, and they stood and contemplated the sad sight of the shop, they inquired, then sympathized…
I used to tell them: This is the heritage that Saddam Hussein left for us… but today, I do not think that Saddam Hussein alone was the reason, this war, the fall of the state, the absence of authority, all these revealed out the hidden, ugly faces of some people… faces full of evil and hatred, to others, and probably to themselves…. Perhaps evil can prevail and spread in the air, like smoke….
The Iraqi police car came with Azzam, I felt happy, rose up from my seat, and stood looking at them walking on the sidewalk… they brought the aggressor, his head bowed, his hands behind his back…he stood in front of me… I was going to explode in anger. I told him: You do not have the dignity of men; you are a man without honor. Didn't you feel ashamed; didn't you say this is my neighbor, a woman?? How did you allow your self to enter my shop and smash it like a raging bull?? Where did you learn these manners??
I wished I could have spat in his face, but my manners wouldn't let me.
The police car took him away…where he signed an apology paper, and vowed to repair the damages at his cost….
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, July 9-11th., 2003
I didn't go to work… my temper was upset… imagining that animal every now and then, attacking the shop, and breaking it…
Feeling the loss of security is a fearful thing….. It assailed me, giving me a severe distress, and deep silence.
What is happening to us??? Chaos is raking our lives, shattering our unity… we became like strangers, each afraid of the other's betrayal….
Sunday, July 13 th., 2003
The first meeting of the Governing Council.
People are divided…some are optimistic, finding these people the core to establish a new Iraqi state… the others consider them without any legitimacy, as Premer, the civil Governor, appointed them…by the presence of the occupying forces…
I don't know who of us is right…
The coming days will show us more, clearing the picture.
Thursday, July 17 th , 2003
We employed anew person, and we have a new project he shall be responsible for… today he informed me that his car was stolen from the garage yesterday, inside of which there were 10 water purifying systems, for hospitals.
An unconvincing story, suspicions point to the new employee, but we have no evidence.
What is happening to us, mishaps never seem to stop…as if a curse has struck us all…
Tuesday, July 22 nd , 2003
An historic day… a house in Mousel was bombed, in it there were Uday, Qusay and his son…
All three were killed…
Wednesday, Thursday, July 23 nd – 24 th , 2003
Their pictures are all over the newspapers…. I can't believe, no one does… what a terrible end. They say every one's end resembles his own life… yes; their end was cruel and ugly…like their lives.
Who shall learn the lesson? I see people like fools, eating up each other…not caring for the lessons before their eyes.
Friday, July 25 th, 2003
Azzam came from Amman, by land… his face was pale… he said their car was stopped by an armed group, and they robbed his wallet, watch, and wedding ring.
We remained in amazement…what is happening to us??
No one has an explanation….
The occupation forces are filling the streets…but they are useless… why are they here?? What are they doing???
********************************** Sunday, July 27 th, 2003
I read a subtitle on the satellite channels…the assassination of Dr. Muhammad Al-Rawi, in his clinic, in front of his wife and patients, in the evening.
What insolence, what a waste to Iraq.
He was an intelligent, brilliant mind, and a leading character….
He was chairman of the Doctor's Union, the head Dean of Baghdad University….and before all that; he was a close friend of my three, doctor brothers, since their school days… my late mother, GOD bless her soul, used to love him a lot, treating him like one of her own boys...
My heart was wrung in sadness for him, for his wife and three boys. I couldn't go to the funeral… all my brothers and sisters went. I don't know….I preferred to stay away, and be content with my sadness, without seeing his wife and children… for that will increase my pains…and I am ready for no more…
I only went to condole my brother, for he was his childhood friend… I found him pale and broken…I cried, felling the weakness and injustice…but all of us are helpless… there are some new, unknown enemies…surrounding us, destroying our lives… while we are stunned….
August, 1st., 2003
Khalid finished his University exams, and went to work with an Italian, non-governmental Organization, (A Bridge to…..), with Simona Torrita…we all love her, and treat her like one of the family. Raid works with (Civic) organization, doing a count for the Iraqi dead and wounded civilians, they almost finished the task, and he is preparing to establish an Iraqi, non-governmental organization, ( I'IMAR – Renovation), to rebuild the Iraqi civic society, in Baghdad and the southern provinces.
Majid works in the Al-Muwajahaa Newspaper- (Confrontation), and with Raid.
Azzam is always busy working, and traveling…
And I hide at home, after work…reading the Holy Quran, and various books, away from the world, the people, and the daily disaster news.
**********************************Saturday, August 2 nd., 2003
Uday, Qusay and his son, Mustapha, were buried in Tikreet…
The sight was painful, and cruel…but these are the ways of the world… who learns???
Thursday, August 7 th., 2003
A dark, sad day…the disastrous exploding of the Jordanian Embassy… a trapped car was standing in front of it. The dead and wounded are Iraqi civilians…who gets the benefits of such criminal acts???
No one knows….
My youngest sister and her daughters traveled to Amman, fearful of threats… her husband is in Amman…he went for medical treatment, but didn't come back.
I was sad by the separation…but her safety is more important…I will have to be patient…
Tuesday, August 19 th., 2003
The exploding of Al-Qanat Hotel, the United Nations Headquarters, another disaster…and another dark, sad day….
The death of De Melio under the debris…along with 23 people, and another 100 wounded. The dead and wounded are a mixture of Arabs and Foreigners. We cried for them all… putting our hands over our open mouths, in panic and amazement…
What is happening to us?? Where did those criminals come from??? Iraq became the field of confrontations, killings and destruction?? And we are dreaming of building a new country…. What is happening here??? Who is tearing apart our dreams, and making fun of us??
Thursday, August 21 st., 2003
I sit at home after I get back from work, lonely, afraid, and depressed. I have a feeling that the times of joy are finished in our lives…that sorrows and mishaps are falling over us…
Saddam Hussein fell…we thought that evil was eliminated from the world…. But today we see greater evils….
What is happening?? Where are we going to??
Friday, August 29 th., 2003
The exploding of a trapped car in Najaf, and the killing of Ayyatullah Baqir Al-Hakeem…the Shia'at leader… hundreds of Iraqis dead and wounded.
Oh, my God…our live is turning into a nightmare…
September, 2003
We went to Amman… Raid, Salam, and Simona in one car. Khalid, Majid, and I in another.
Amman, quietness, security, and another world….but it’s a world in which I smell forbidding, and estrangement.
I miss Baghdad….and can not forget her…
The boys go out with their friends…and I remain in the apartment, sitting on a chair in the glass balcony…staring at the city streets and buildings, day and evening….
How lovely is the security and quiet….. I wish them to Iraq, and the people of Iraq…
I do feel a deep forbidding, and miss Baghdad…
October, 2003 – till the end of the year…
Raid works with ( I'IMAR) organization…
Khalid and Majid are at school and University…
The rhythm of life is worrying, scary, and gloomy…security dwindles day by day... trapped cars, explosions, and continuous assassinations…. The governing council has no authority to improve the conditions.
The coalition forces roam the streets night and day, but no improvements came to our lives. Things are moving to the worst…. And GOD only knows where we are heading….
Translated by May/ Baghdad.

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