Saturday, May 01, 2004

HI: this is mom's translations, both done by mohammed from egypt.

Friday 30/4
Today is the weekend. The day I spend locked up at home. Yet it's better
than going out in the unsafe streets, even if we died out of boredom.
Thursdays- before the war- were best days of the week. We would go out and
have dinner at a restaurant. The whole family would go and sometimes we had
guest too. We would come back home late laughing and talking about the time
we had and the way people acted that night. We would talk about the
restaurant, was it good ? clean, good service and affordable prices- or bad
and decide if we would go there again.
I remember one time we were having dinner at a fast food place. A family
with kids came in. Then their kids broke the cups on the table. The poor
waiter came to clean the mess but the kids stepped on his fingers while they
were standing on the table dancing like little monsters.
The parents were so stupid; they had a crying baby and 2 kids on the table
laughing and yelling.
The restaurant was turned into hell.
People started staring at that family and mumble, while Azzam and I burst
out laughing.
It seems its their first time in a restaurant and they don't know how to
handle things.
We finished our meal as quickly as possible and brought some sandwiches for
the boys. All the way back home we were laughing after the headache that
family gave us. They just ruined the night for everyone.
Before the war we would go to nice restaurants by the river; light
reflecting on the surface of the water, a cold chill in the air, teens
hiring boats while laughing and shouting, families sitting to big tables and
ordering their choice of dinner; grilled meat or grilled fish the Iraqi way,
streets filled with Iraqi folk music so we know that there's a wedding and
we watch the newly weds' car decorated with flower and following them the
family and friends' cars singing and chanting?
They were beautiful days?
We had a happy corner in our lives despite Saddam's hell.
He hurt anyone who would get close to his throne or even look at it.
But there was this small corner of security Iraqi families carries on in it
its daily life.
This corner is now disappearing.
Sadness and depression are overwhelming.
Restaurants are deserted, and celebrations and wedding parties aren't held
All we do is talk about war, Bombs and bombardment day and night.
It?s the daily boring talk.
We hope that happiness would come to our lives again. We wish that we leave
our homes safely and return safely.
They seem like distant impossible wishes.
There's more fighting in Falloja.
Yesterday was so tiring. I left work feeling tired and wishing I could close
my eyes and then open it and find myself sitting to the lunch table with
Azzam and the boys.
I left the shop at 1:45?. I was a little bit late because there were
customers who came from distant area and I was too shy to ask them to leave
before they are done.
Usually it took, in the old days, 15 minutes to get from work to home
through the airport road.
If I went through another road that goes through residential areas it takes
10 minutes more.
But yesterday was different.
The airport road was closed?. I was confused and searched for another exit
but the traffic jam kept pushing me into roads I know nothing about. Roads I
never used and districts I don't even know their name. Every now and then
I'd stop and ask: where am I? How do I get there?
People stopped and pointed? Some had reasonable answers and others would
sink me deeper into the maze? I kept looking at my watch?. I was late and I
got distressed and confused.
After many failings I discovered that I was back to where I started 15
minutes ago.
I felt so stressed out and thought of leaving the car at a safe place and
taking a taxi home?
But we're in the middle of traffic jam? Where is the taxi? What will it do?
Does it have wings?
It won't do much better than me.
Finally I reached a familiar street. I stopped near a small grocery store,
and there was an old man standing there? I opened the window and asked him
how I get to my place.
He approached me smiling and said in a tender voice as if he was my father:
Don't worry my daughter, calm down and listen to me?.He was talking and
pointing and I was listening and I was totally convinced of what he said.
Before I leave I turned and waved to him and he waved back smiling
encouragingly. It was a cloudy dusty day and the cars were moving fast and
nobody cares about other people or stops to listen to their questions.
I felt so lonely. That old man reminded me of my father and mother, may they
rest in peace.
Life is so hard without them. Even if I am old and have boys in their 20's,
there's still this little girl inside me who always misses them.
I was home after an hour in the maze.
I don't know the reason; maybe there was a bomb at the airport road.
Boring endless daily stories?.
I went to bed early because it was such a tiresome day. I was awaken by the
sound of a fighter jet that was flying too near like it was going to bomb a
near target. It kept circling around. I left the bed to drink some water.
Majid was awake and it was 1 AM. I asked him why that is. And he said that
he couldn't sleep because of the plane. I said maybe it was bombing Falluja
and it turns over Baghdad to return to them. I felt sad and wished that this
hard time is over soon.
We all want peace and we don't know who wants this fighting to go on like
this shattering our lives and dreams.
In the morning we herd near explosion and sporadic gunshots. I don't know
what's happening. We stayed at home and didn't leave to anywhere. I miss
visiting my sisters, friends, and relatives. I miss having tea with them,
laughing, and talking about our kids, husbands, dresses, models, hair dyes,
hair dressers, and all other trivia.
I miss shopping and buying new clothes and shoes. I'm not in the mood for
that and where I'm going to wear it? There are no visits or occasions. I
have enough work outfits.
My memory is infected with vicious viruses.
I was an example of perfect memory. The boys would always laugh and ask me
how could you mama remember all these tiny details??
At the shop I used to astonish the customers when I'd remember for instance
a customer who visited the shop months ago. And they'd say: Masha Allah Um
Raed! How can u remember!
But now the customer enters the shop smiling and asks me: so what happened?
And I'd stand there staring at him like an idiot and ask him: pardon me, who
are you?
He'd say: Allah Akbar Um Raed! What's wrong with you! I was here yesterday
and I said I'd come tomorrow.
I laugh and feel ashamed. Sorry, I forgot. He'd say: no problem, we are all
dizzy now.
That's true. We are all dizzy. Poor Iraqi people Struck by Saddam Hussien
then by the occupation and the explosions, the tanks and the helicopters.
I keep wondering: is there really people who live quietly and peacefully,
laughing and joking, and going out to clubs and picnics?
God! I can hardly believe it?. I feel we hit the rock bottom and only God
knows when we will climb out?
Its 9 PM now?
I hear the rain?.
Lightening is lighting up dark streets?.
Rain is washing everything?
Trees and pavements and houses?.
I hope it washes people's hearts from evil and spite.
And so peace would reign over the world?
The whole world?

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