Monday, June 21, 2004

Dearest Aunt Faiza,

I read your blog every morning when I get to work. In a way you become the voice of all of my aunts who might live a mere 10 minutes away from you in Baghdad. In a way, you've become an aunt I have for so long, longed to listen to her so wise words. Those words of wisdom that are irreplaceable, and resonant of strong cultural values. Thank you for making time out of your busy day to educate the world about the importance of life, especially the struggle in time of war.

I was born and raised in the old country, and moved to America about 12 years ago, one year after the Gulf War. I went through the Iraq-Iran and the Gulf War. But, this is a very different, personal kind of war. I cannot even begin to imagine the daily hardships of ordinary Iraqis. I must have literally over 500 members of my close family living in Iraq. The pictures they send us over the internet are happy normal ones. I think they are merely covering their daily struggle of staying in the spirit. But, here I am living in this "great free world" wanting to just go back to my home and live the pain of my Iraqi brothers and sisters.

You spoke of a man 2 days ago who was shot being close to the Americans, and then your experiences with them and what would have happened to you. My father's cousin was shot seven times in the head last week in Baghdad at a check point. He was in a hurry and must have not heard them asking him to stop. They shot him at such a close range, they severed his head from his body. Just a note.....he was a 56 year old doctor hurrying to the hospital to save the life of those hurt in a bombing earlier in the day.

I am not sure people in America know the meaning of our culture; the culture of the Sumerians, Assyrians, and the Chaldeans. I don't think they will ever understand that the root of their ancestors might very well be connected to the land of old Mesopotamia. I mean up to three years ago, so-called "educated" college students were still asking me where Iraq was located. One student asked me if Iraq was in South America! Let me tell you, the education system in this country has no meaning. People here don't even study geography and are not even forced to study World History. They can instead choose to study American History only. I wan to know what anyone can learn from the rest of the world if all they read about is the American Civil War. Here I am, waiting impatiently to begin my Masters in International Relations in the U.S. and all I wonder about is, "Will I ever be as educated as an Iraqi my age?" I think the answer is clear! I don't think so! I have lived almost half of my life outside! My daily struggle has been educating people what our culture is all about. Why we think the way we do. Why the American kind of freedom does not intrigue us for a moment! I don't care who you are in Iraq and what your religion is; everyone thinks the same way. Everyone is in this struggle to keep the tradition, the values, the civilization of our ancestors alive!

I don't understand why anyone would want to have this so-called American freedom. Let me tell you what freedom means in the US and I will be very frank. It means that you can move out at the age of 18 from your parents' home and you will never have to speak to them ever again if you don't want to. It means you can say and do whatever your want to anyone without many consequences! It means you have the right to have sex at the age of 12, get pregnant, have a baby; live with someone you are not married to...all legally! it means you can do drugs and get a slap on the wrist! It means that you never have to work a day and have as many children as you want, because the government will pay for everything! It also means that you can be as ignorant as you want because the government likes you that way. They don't want you to know other people, so you don't have to really think for yourself and have your own opinion! Therefore, it will be much easier on the mind to send your 18-year-old troops abroad and commit mass murder on civilians legally! It means that you become such a superior human beyond the rest of the world because your government says so, and therefore the government becomes the "God" of all nations! Now, is this all the freedom Iraqis want? I PRAY TO GOD IT WILL NEVER BE!

Now that I have taken this out of my chest, I feel much better. But just a note to anyone reading this at all. I must say that there are millions of Americans who are highly educated and they see the wrong in their American system and hate this idea of war, which closely resembles what they went through during Vietnam. The US consists of diverse people and almost half of those people do not the support the "effort" with Iraq.

Dearest mother....would you please explain to your friend Lori in America that most of Iraqis all highly educated and can read and write and that we don't live in the dark ages. And those people who bomb Iraq in "our name" are playing their own game and are looking out for their own interest in a very vulnerable Iraq.

I apologize for the long note, but if you have gotten to this point in my email, I thank you very much for listening! Thank you for posting those photos.

On a different note, what happened to Salam and Raed? Your son has not posted for a while, and there is no sign of life to Salam! I hope they are well. I have read all of Salam's blog, which I learned about back in March and moved on to Raed's and yours. Their politics is right on the dot.


well thank you my dear Reem..
I want Americans to raed your letter and understand your feeling as arabic christian girl living in their society, and making a comparison between their values and ours..
you are christian..and they are also...let them know that it`s a matter of different cultures, not different religions.
yes I know that Americans think the freedom and happiness is coming for Iraqis with the occupation troops and their western values...
don`t worry about Iraq and Iraqis..
as I wrote in my last Arabic blog...they can`t change our values and`s a matter of genetic from our old great-grarndparent...


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