Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Sunday May,9.
Good Morning.

Today is Mother's Day in some countries of the world. I wish all of them a beautiful day with their families, and flowers and small presents, beautiful things to bring happiness to the hearts of mothers.

And I hope peace and tranquility return to our lives like everybody else on these beautiful occassions, so we can feel their taste. The taste of things which appear superfluous in this climate of war. Life itself appears superfluous, boring, sad.
I remember when we used to live in Amman. The children were little in primary school. They used to compete with each other to buy presents for Mama for Mother's Day. I still keep some of them. A small flower vase from Khaled. A book from Raed. A colored card that Raed wrote inside, "Happy Mothers Day, Mama, my darling.

Everytime I see it I smile and tears come to my eyes. Majid made a card for me and drew colored flowers, when he was in kindergarten, and wrote "Mama," in his own handwriting. With love, respect and beautiful words for one's heart to be filled with joy, and to feel that her message in life has borne fruit, that a new generation has come into being, giving new wonderous and deeper meanings of life
Everybody looks the same...Regardless of where they are on this earth....Everybody is good and bad...beautiful and ugly, rich and poor.....smart and stupid - and the stupid think only their own are good....and all others are bad, undeserving of life
I remember the verse from the Qur'an :( We created you from one soul)…..
. I mean, everybody has the same feelings, regardless of different languages and colors and nationalities. feeling joy and sadness and anger, knowing what is good and what is bad...what is beautiful and what is ugly.
Everybody has hopes & dreams....Everybody sees and hears...and intellect....to think and understand...all has good and evil desires. Humility and satisfaction...or arrogance and rudeness
I don't want to talk about our life without giving details....that would make the picture clearer...when we were little....my brothers and i, we were successful at school, we were poor.

My father used to tell us to cling to learning....and that will make us the rulers of people...even kings submit to the learned...we used to laugh, and didn't understand. we only belived him...and respected his opinion...Years past and we graduated from universities....The first, a dentist, was in the top 10 of this class, and so went to the US to complete his studies...specialization in children's dental development...And worked as a lecturer in university...and has a clinic in the evenings.

The second graduated as a doctor and went to the UK to study Neorologist specialization, and returned to be a lecturer in university, and has a clinic in the afternoons. The third, myself, I graduated from Engineering and married, and travelled, working in neighboring Arabic countries, as an engineering consultant, for civil building design.
The fourth graduated as a doctor and specialized in surgery, and like the rest, teaches at university and has a clinic. The fifth graduated as a doctor, with a specalization in gynacology. She works in the mornings at a government clinic, and in the evenings at a private clinic. The sixth graduated as an irrigation engineer, and worked for the government in her specializing for many years before quitting. The seventh graduated in pharmacy, and worked at the government's Samarra medicines center, and then quit. She has a pharmacy. The eighth is a mechanical engineer and works as mentenance engineer in a medicinal gas factories, and is now the head of engineering.

Is our family unique?

I don't think so. This is the case for many Iraqi families. Education was free. And we took our opportunities, in many cases, justly. Just like in any other place on earth.
We all married of our own choice. Nobody forced their opinion on us. Most of the spouses were study colleagues, just like our generation. Our relations to our families is steady and usual. We meet for special occassions and there is love between us....The rich helps the poor. The one with an important position helps the one needing assistance....This is how years of our lives past.
Even from the wars we learnt things to help us in life. And despite Saddam Hussein and his harsh rule over Iraqis, they were not stupid or lazy....
During the Iranian war, doctors developed their skills for difficult operations...They used to go to conferences with academic study papers explaining how the treated difficult cases, like broken teeth or plastic surgery after war wounds, or nerve diseases, and how to treat them. I remember my brothers and their colleagues participating in medical conferences and presenting such difficult papers...explaining and presenting and putting forward suggestions for treatment....
Iraqi engineers worked on how to build and take what benefited them from war, like bridges and army buildings, weapons creation, they made new things. It wasn't something in their lives before that time.

Housewives and female employees in the country...learnt how to be leaders, when there was no men....carrying responsibility. Mothers, despite their husbands and sons being gone, participating in the war....But life passes quickly....These are all pictures of our lives before the 1990s. Study, work, marriage,.
After the Kuwait war, and then the sanctions. Who lead the cry for sanctions? Who insisted on them? Why? Everybody knew that Saddam Hussein, his family, his followers, these were the last people to be hurt by sanctions...The Iraqi people were the only victims. From 1991 to 2003, until Saddam Hussein fell. How were the Iraqis? Intellectuals, professionals, migrated...to build the cultures of others...in Europe, America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Iraqi women suffered how they suffered. From tiny incomes, from need. Families sold all they had just to stay alive....The dreams of youth for a beautiful, steady life were destroyed...graduating from universities and unable to find work....most wishing to be Saddam's bodyguards or in his secret service....and our values were lost....Love became rare...and so did marriage. Even family relations scattered.

Brothers became distant, and they lost mercy to each other....families separated...millions traveled, and lost their connections....and the Iraqi employee became a prime example of corruption....after they were the example of an honorable, honest worker. Iraqis became torn between a glorious past...and a destroyed present....Iraqis turned away from all principles...and the beautiful values of life tumbled before their eyes.
Saddam Hussein used to enjoy prestige and money...and his sons spreading corruption on earth. Most people are weak and ignorant....running after power....clapping, perhaps they will be thrown some crumbs.

After 2003, it was the war on Iraq, completing the picture.
What remained of wealthy Iraqis migrated. And professionals. And doctors and engineers and academics and head managers were assassinated....Like who ever were plotting was looking far ahead into the future. To say that Iraq has nothing....and in that way justify keeping foreign forces on its land....and Iraqis in exile fearing return....And the Occupation forces attracted a new Iraqi leadership....But Iraqis are seeing things with eyes wide open. They think ...they debate...they argue...they reject....And Iraqis remain alive, they will not die.
Thank God.
Yesterday I was angry over an Iraqi blogger woman who lives in America. She has a website and writes on it. She pictured us. Like idiots, without dreams, wishes, without experience in life....she pictures us failed things born just to hate others. And the truth is quite the opposite. We are people that have dynamic minds...and dreams, successes, experience. But there are people who want to deny all this. And want to show us as backwards and aggressive.
After the Soviet Union fell and the principle enemy of America was no more. There appeared a focus on Islam as the main enemy. And Bin Laden appeared, a man created by the CIA, to destroy Russia, to get that country out of Afghanistan. Bin Laden doesn't represent Muslims or their heritage or their values.
We are Muslims...we like goodness. We forgive evil, and are patient when inflicted. That's what our religion teaches us. Tolerance, affection. We don't like harshness. And in our daily lives we don't hear of crimes, crimes against women and children, except rarely. Our societies have values, we still have them. We don't have degenerate things in our society, like AIDS and drugs....and relations outside marriage and children without parents - all of this on the pretext of freedom!

When we hear of things, our mouths open in surprise...and we are shocked. And we hope that these things remain distant from our houses and our lives. But there are those who want to change us for the worst. And show us like barbarians. Without mercy. Without hearts. We are the new enemy...We deserve to be treated badly....That's what the Western media does.

We are innocent...we are afraid of news of explosions that target our men and women and children...then they say: Look at what Muslims give the world!

I want to know who funds these criminal organizations.

Is it not the same people who funded Ben Laden and made him a nightmare, destroying our lives? And the lives of others? And Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? And other names. We don't even know if they are true, or only live in the dreams of imagination.

They have spread the culture of fear. And violence. And have made ugly the picture of Islam. The same fingers all over the world...killing and blowing up and destroying....and making war. In Iraq and Jordan and Saudi Arabia and before that, the Twin Towers in New York. The same fingers kill and others are their victims, innocent, in every city of the world.
We are confused, looking for the accused.
The real criminals laugh and hide
We have become enemies of each other...And every one of us is innocent
This is how the world is today
But we can't stop dreaming of a better tomorrow

[translated by Diaa Hadid, Dubai]

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