Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Wednesday, November 17th, 2004
Good morning…
The weather is cloudy in Baghdad today, and there are some cold breezes that have the scent of winter in it, coming through the window from the garden.
We are in the new house… I suppose I was cut away from the outside world for ten days, until the matters of the new house, and the electricity, settled down, so I could write again, and keep in touch with my e-mail, and the Internet again…
They were backbreaking days, full of work, and continuous labor, in a race against time…since the 7th. Of November, my sister-in law and her children traveled, and gave me the house keys. Then a team of workers entered the house, with their supervisor, to repaint the walls…then another team to clean the kitchen and bathrooms. Then a group to repair and maintain the electric connections all over the house, another group for the sanitary fittings, and a carpenter to maintain and varnish the main wooden door, and the wood railing of the main stairs at the center of the house. This whole process lasted for three days, with my supervision and notes, and with the supervision of Azzam, and following up my notes.
These days took me back to when I was a supervising engineer, responsible for work sites, in Beirut and Amman. The supervising engineer should always have a piercing eye, an eye that criticizes and discovers the mistake quickly, so as to correct it right away, by the same worker…
I could always visualize the sentence as being: Bless your hand, but look here, there is a mistake…
I do not like to thwart the worker, or undermine his efforts and abilities, but I would like to help him develop the work, and improve its quality. He too shall gain from the criticism, and develop himself.
And I usually get back home very tired in the afternoon, with my feet swollen, and hurting me very much… and I would ask Khalid to massage them for me. I used to go to the old house to continue loading the various articles in boxes. The guest room articles, then the kitchen, then Khalid’s room, then Majid’s, and Raid’s, then the living room, the library, and my bedroom, then some miscellaneous stuff from the store, then carpets, heaters, electrical appliances for the kitchen, and …endless details.
To cut a long story short, it destroyed me…. Huh…
And now, as I sit in the new house, I smile, and thank GOD, that HE supported me in finishing the job, and sent me a lot of people who helped me to get it done.
Every experience in life has some labor in it, and carries some fun, and we learn new things from it… we move along in life, but we never stop learning, and never lose the joy of discovering new things, which is a joy missed by so many people, people who see that they are tired from life, and in their hearts, the wish to see things, and discover new faces, has been extinguished…
I do not like to be one of them…I think I shall be like a dead person if I became like them, for only a dead person does not give or take… his relation with life has stopped… and there are so many people in our life… who do not give or take…what is their difference from the dead???
And during the second stage of our moving into the new house, after the stage of repairing and cleaning, the events in Fallujah started again…
The city was surrounded for weeks, and we knew that the results of the American elections will decide the next step. And of course, after Bush won a second nomination term, the signal came to start the military operation in Fallujah.
During these days Baghdad burned again with explosions and trapped cars, most city roads were closed, especially the highways, for they formed the passageways of the military forces’ convoys, and as there were a lot of operations against them, so, the highways were closed. So the traffic jams heads towards the inner city streets, and the congestion becomes horrible, the car crawls like a turtle for hours, until it finally reaches the place of destination, breathlessly.
During the happy days, I would have sent a truckload of furniture from our old house to the new, that is, from the Airport area, to Al-Mansure district…in less than 30 minutes in the normal conditions, for the going trip, and the same for the return trip. But these days, each trip takes two hours…I would remain tense at home, waiting, and praying to GOD that the truck, and the workers would go and return safely. The streets were blocked, and you can never know where the explosions would get you…there is a madness escalating…
One day I drove by the Airport road, crossed the Ame’eriya Bridge to buy some vegetables for the house, I was tired after a long day of supervision with the workers, and I passed by the shop in the morning to follow up on the engineers there, and to ask whether there were any problems while I was gone? Thank GOD everything was moving in order…
I stopped by the vegetable shop, and it was around 3 p.m …the street was full of people going back home after work, or college students on their way home. A big explosion blasted nearby, shaking the area, people ran…we all wondered; what happened?
Then, a cloud of white smoke appeared, then its color changed to black in front of us, on the Airport road, where we have just passed five minutes ago… people said it was a trapped car that was parked on the side of the road, its driver inside it, that blew up when the military convoy passed beside it…of course the Airport road was closed immediately…and the cars that were in it looked for a way out, and GOD only Knows when will they get back home, and what trip around Baghdad they will have to make until they get there….
Electricity was cut off these days in most Baghdad areas…we started to notice that whenever there are some events and confrontations against the occupation forces, electricity gets worst, and water is cut-off for long hours from residential districts.
Is it a coincident? Or is it a mass-punishment??
We all wonder…and no one has the answer.
Fallujah is a flame with fighting, and inside Baghdad there are new fighting fronts…
In Al-Doora, south of Baghdad, in Ghazaliyya, in the districts around the Airport, and in Abu-Ghareeb…
Actually, the clashes occur on the outskirts of Baghdad, where the highways are, that form the daily passageways of the military convoys.
When I was in our old house, I used to hear the noises of the military vehicles moving along the Airport road all night long, till morning… and the helicopters would buzz, flying very low over the houses, as the windows vibrate, and shake. And during the days of confrontations in Fallujah, the intensity of helicopter and tank’s movements increased in an unbearable way. The night has no silence in it…and sleep is restless and troubled… I would wake up in the morning with a headache, and an upset mood for lack of sleep, and I would pray to GOD to end these conditions as soon as possible.
Then I would notice in the morning that the planes are carrying the Red Cross sign…are they carrying wounded members of the American Army??
The affairs of the Women Society that my friends and I established is moving quietly, and very slowly…
It was registered at the Planning Ministry, then we had an agreement with an Architect (Female, of course), to design a logo and identification card for the society, then we started designing a web site on the Internet…and the specialized bureau is still working on the design. We contacted a good range of university graduate women, mostly engineers, then doctors, and lawyers. Some of them own a commercial business, like a painting atelier, or a tailoring workshop, an engineering bureau, a sales shop…and so on… and we agreed that activities are halted now…the security conditions are bad, and the projects lack financing. It would be better to move by the beginning of next year, and start our activities…by the Will of GOD, things would have been improved by then…
I sent some medicines to the hospital in Fallujah, and to a small medical center that treats people for free, before the entry of the American forces into Fallujah. My colleague in the society said; ask them for a receipt stating that we have donated something to them… I said to her; that I feel ashamed of such actions, as if I am using it as an advertisement…this is a personal donation from me…next year, when the society has a budget and financing, we shall join in the civic society with activities, and we shall write them down on our website.
And after the events in Fallujah, and its people’s migration to Baghdad, to their relatives, in the mosques, or in old shelters, I sent Khalid with some provisions to the families: rice, sugar, cooking oil, and such… I told him; we shall see them after the feast, whether they went back home, but if they remained, and needed some blankets or other help, we shall send all we could.
The pain in me is severe, sadness for these families and their children, what wrong they did, to become homeless, paying for the foolishness of others?
I cannot concentrate on writing now… there is a foolish young cat I brought from our old house with us… now she sits on the computer table, stretching out her paws to my fingers whenever I moved to type a word… I yelled at her, she ran away, and now stands on the chair beside me, fighting with her tail, turning round and round herself like a crazy thing. I think she is happy…happier than humans. Isn’t that a shame?
GOD gave the Humans the Brains, distinguishing them from other creatures, but look what foolish deeds the humans commit… wars, fighting, destruction, and devastating…
Cats and dogs are happy, and humans are not…
GOD must be Laughing upon us from heaven…Ashamed of our acts, as if saying: Is This What I Asked You To Do, When I Made You The Masters On Earth?
What Kind Of Fools You Are???
The cat scratched me, then ran away, then scratches the sofa, goes to sniff around the furniture, looks at herself in the mirror, climbs the stairs, moving around the second floor, sniffing every thing, then goes back to the kitchen to lick her milk saucer, and when I pass in front of her, she fluffs her tail, and charge at me, playing with me, as if trying to scare me… now she fluffs her tail, and attacks a nylon sack on the floor…
By GOD I envy her her cheery mood, and her mind, empty of worries, sadness, and preoccupations.
I wish I were a cat…HA,ha,ha.
This world is tiring, and is no longer understandable…there is no more dialogue between people…
And there are no more references to dialogue…
What is right, and what is wrong??
What is moral, and what is immoral?
What is ethical, and what is unethical??
I don’t know…
Cards are all mixed up…people are in constant conflicts…as if it is a never-ending eddy.
The elections are drawing near…
A group of Independent Nationalist Iraqis called me, saying they want women participation. Their list held 270 names, and they had to have 90 women among them… we included your name in the list, and want you to join in the elections, and you are asked to help us, to call your friends and encourage them to join in nominating to the elections…
The winning lists shall be the nucleus of the new Iraqi National Council…and one of its duties it shall be, to formalize the New Iraqi Constitution, then some of them perhaps shall be Ministers, forming the new Government.
Today, I had a headache, and was very frustrated…
I called all the friends that I know, and informed them the idea, explaining in detail…but not one of them said; yes, nor agreed. Not One. And before I moved to this house, I called a new group whom I knew through the women society, or outside of it…but had the same answer…We are afraid…
I told them: Who shall manufacture the new Iraq?? Who shall form its new Constitution??
Why would you leave the field empty, to be occupied, perhaps, by those unfaithful to Iraq?
Why are you being negative, hiding in your houses?
I believe that GOD Holds our destiny in His Hand… we shall not live or die by our own will. Every thing happens by His Will.
Why are you being cowards??
But everyone laughs, and apologizes…..
I put down the telephone today, feeling tired, and frustrated…
As if I was asking for the impossible…and no one could give it to me…
People are clashing, and hating each other, and everyone thinks himself right…
Some see in the new Iraqi Army and Police Force the nucleus of a new Iraqi State, giving hope of independence, and the departure of the occupation forces from Iraq, while others see them as the dirty, traitorous faces who deserve to die by trapped cars.
Some see in the coming elections a nucleus of a new Iraqi state, and the eviction of the occupation, spending his efforts to participate, and give, while others see it as a dirty conspiracy, a collaboration with the occupation, to keep it here, and issue threats and death against those who want to take part in the elections, candidates or voters.
Some see in Fallujah a jihad, its characters heroes, and some see them as a bunch of thieves and murderers.
Some see in the Shia’at Referencing Council the wisdom and calmness in dealing with the occupation forces, waiting for the right time to evict them, and some others see in the Shia’a a group in collision with the occupation, who deserve to die…
Some see the Sunis as lone, striving fighters against occupation, while some see them as fools, wanting to re-establish their single-handed manegment of rule, or destroy the country, in the pretext of refusing occupation…
This is the reality of the matter here… the scene has various images, and each faction sticks to an image of these, fighting for it, thinking himself on the right side.
All right, we all agree on disliking the occupation…we all want to build a new Iraq… but how?
And here comes the differences, and the innovations…..then the follies.
Ramadan has ended, the feast came,…and I found it sad and petty, with no flavor of joy in it.
We did not go to the market, we did not buy new clothes, as was the custom. We received guests in the feast, we served juice and chocolate pieces…and each family had a tour in the house, and issued their admiration, and their remarks, that used to satisfy me, and make me smile: It is a nice house, so near to your work, let the blessing be upon you.
Thank GOD… in spite of all the sorrows and daily disasters, there are still some tiny, happy events in our lives…
And after the feast, by the end of the events in Fallujah, and with the improvement of the electricity supply, I had a chance to sit down and read my e-mail…
There are a lot of letters from America, their writers apologizing for what their government did in Fallujah. Apologizing because they couldn’t, in spite of all their efforts, to let the Bush Administration fall, and Kerry win…
I wrote back, telling them not to feel sorry…for all goes by the will of GOD, not by the will of Bush…
And as the Holy Quran quotes: (You Might Hate Something, And In It There Might Be So Much Good…).
Perhaps the added injustice in the world shall unite people who love the good deeds, gather them, and give them strength to stand up against evil… regardless of their belonging, their nationalities, and religion…for, as I always say: God is one, and all those created are his children, we are all brothers and sisters…. We all love peace to prevail upon Earth, and its Nations.
And GOD Says in the Holy Quran: (And Earth Shall Be Inherited By My Honest Worshipers…), and that means; there are some evil people who shall perish, and Earth will remain for those who are good, who love peace, and goodness.
Thursday, November 18th, 2004
Good morning…
The space satellite channels are still broadcasting the pictures of the fighting in Fallujah one week before, and the transgressions committed by the American soldiers, which were recorded by a reporter of an American news station, who was accompanying them, by entering a Mosque, and killing a wounded man who was lying on the floor. Huh…
How many more transgressions were committed by American soldiers, when there were no reporters with them?
I saw a film that was broadcasted, showing an American soldier standing on a tall residential building’s balcony, shooting at the building right in front of him…randomly, at residential flats, and commercial shops…and all of these were swallowed by fire.
Oh, yes, it seems like a clear depurating operation, depurating from everything, and for everything.
Who is the fool who expected high ethics to be implemented in this war? Is it a game, and that who breaches its rules, shall be punished??
Of course not…war is a game without rules or ethics…and let the foolish go to hell.
The foolish who do not calculate the consequences, nor take the responsibility for the civilian casualties who will fall, exactly as Saddam Hussein did to us. He challenged America, but he had only a long tongue, petty weapons and technology, and a weak, broken army. Then he invigilated it to enter Iraq, and destroy it…then he cried, and all the fools around him made to cry with him.
This is what happened during the Kuwait war, then the last war, 2003.
And the question is: If you do not have the ability to confront, fight, and bear, why did you put your people and yourself in this embroilment, in a frustrating, loosing war, and thus bringing an occupation force that is stepping upon our heads, and humiliating us??
Whom shall we blame?? You, or them??
And will whomever we complain to, listen??
Is the occupier supposed to be sweet, and nice??
Yes, an occupier means injustice, cruelty, and devastation… if I want to confront him, I should pull myself together, and work to make the subject of confrontation, or Jihad, a collective decision. Not to be taken by a small faction hiding among people…and when people run, they will be cornered alone, and liquidated…
This is not how the Jihad should be…
It must be collective, and the mass should protect it…people should protect it…so it would be hard to eliminate.
If the Jihad was by factions financed from abroad, or from God only Knows where, then it shall remain an alien form, that could be eliminated quickly, and be done with.
Does the nation need more follies, and more disappointments??
Haven’t we learned yet how to confront our enemy?? How to act wisely, and rationally? Didn’t we have enough crying and wailing, for Palestine, and its people??
Disappointments and letdowns, what did we learn?? Did we change our speech, and our thoughts to the better?? To a path more clear, and more inveterate??
Shall we keep on dragging our people to disasters, and disasters, so that more victims would fall, then more crying, wailing, tears, and pain?
When shall we learn from our mistakes?? When shall we make our enemy fear us, and respect us?
In the Holy Quran there is a great verse, we all know, and we all recite: (GOD Would Not Change People, Unless They Change Themselves…). Meaning, that GOD Lents the helping hand to change, after He sees the wish and the will by the people to change themselves to the better…
All the Arabs need to go over their history, study their experiences and mistakes, and to learn from them, so as not to repeat them. They need to re-shape their lives and thoughts a new… in a way stronger, and smarter in facing the world…in addressing the world. A way from the chaos, wailing, and walloping.
Al-Jazeera station nourishes this dumb tide…the one that cries and wallops on the face… and who is Al-Jazeera station?? Where is its “location”??
It is the last friend to the Arabs….so, when will the fools open their eyes…and not let anyone lead them, and exploit them??
Yes, my heart is sad and angry for what happened in Fallujah…
But, all my life, I am used to flogging myself if I pass by a failure in an experience… in order to correct my mistakes, and get a benefit out of that experience, not to repeat the same mistake again…
Why would I put the blame on my enemy? Why would I put the blame on the occupation force, for using forbidden gasses and bombs?? Huh… what did we expect of them, to bomb Fallujah with orange fruits??
Why would I challenge them in the first place, if I didn’t have the ability to defend, and confront? Why would I permit them to destroy the whole town, with its streets, houses, commercial buildings, schools, and mosques?? Why would I displace its residents to shelters in Baghdad, or to skeletons of houses, on the outskirts of towns and villages??
Did those who wanted to resist think of all this?? Did they make the calculations of loosing and gaining in this battle?? Is it a mass suicide?? I do not understand.
Why would I give the occupation the chance to crush me, and win?? Why wouldn’t I arrange my ranks in a calm way, by a long breathe…collecting the support of the people, and we all resist the occupation. This is something that requires the collective spirit…and long years of struggle.
Who are the masked people who stand on the roadsides in Doora, Abu Ghareeb, Al-Ghazaliyya, and the roads between Hadeetha and Fallujah, firing their weapons at the American helicopters…so the helicopters retaliate by a random hail of fire against the people in the streets??
Do we show it on the satellite channels, and cry, saying; look what crimes America is committing here??
I want to know, are these people fools, ignorant, adventurers, or striving fighters?? Or are they enemies to the Iraqis??
I understand nothing of what is happening. The cards are all mixed up, some say these are the workings of foreign intelligence, to destroy the Iraqis, and disfigure their struggle against the occupation….others say these are follies, and stupidity of some Iraqis, who think themselves making good deeds.
All of us do not want the occupation forces on the Iraqi land. Muslim or Christian, Kurds or Arabs, Sunni or Shia’at.
We all want an independent, free, democratic Iraq…
But the question is: How??
Do we explode trapped cars and kill them, killing innocent Iraqis with them? Do we explode the Iraqi Police stations, killing our own sons? Do we concentrate our presence in a town like Fallujah, making it a center of resistance, so the occupation forces would come to put it in siege, then bomb it, to destroy it? Then we run away to another town, and they would follow us…and so on??
So, the matter seems clear: There is that who decided to make Iraq a burning inferno, for an open period of time, without a limit. No reconstruction, no building, no projects, no new constitution, no new state, and no new Iraq, no life at all… under the slogan: Fight, fight, and fight…..until the occupation forces move out of here.
I do not know whether this is an Iraqi faction who loves Iraq, and want the best for it…or it is a foreign faction, who has other interests…
We all love Iraq…and want what is good for it. But we might vary in the way of expressing that love. Some think they want to build and reconstruct Iraq, so it would be strong, and able to drive the occupier from it. And others want to keep Iraq as a constant battleground. So: when will the occupier get out??
He will never get out… and that is exactly what he wants… an unsettled country, surrounded by disasters, limitless violence and fighting…and occupation forever.
Everywhere in the world, people agree, or disagree… but here, that who disagrees with you has the ability to kill you, without having to pay for it. Here, the expression of refusing your viewpoint is threats, and killing.
You either keep silent, letting the devastation and chaos to rake havoc in the country. Or you leave the country, so you would no longer see what bothers you, or upsets your mood, and as the epigram says: No eye to see, no heart to be sad…
But, I am still here…. My eyes see…and my heart feels sad for what is happening to Iraq. My eyes shed tears…my heart is sad… and I keep repeating to myself: GOD is enough a supporter to me, and He is the best of supporters.
I shall keep dreaming and wishing…..that some elections will take place, bringing new faces, more loving and loyal to Iraq, and to the Iraqis …someday… and we shall write a new constitution to the state of Iraq, satisfying the people, in it there would be rights for all, and in it there is respect to our identity, history, and religion.
And we shall build Iraq…by a new spirit, and a new vision. The country needs rebuilding, and so do the people.
People need a new, beautiful vision of life. A brave, honest vision, clean of lying and hypocrisy, in which we drowned all our lives… how beautiful life is without lies…without embellishments, and insincerity. It shall be clear and easy…and people would be clearer with each other. Without hatreds…or doubts, and misconception.
I wish every vicious, mean person would get out of Iraq, that who wants the bad for us…I wish Iraq would remain for its people, and those he loves here, whom he needs their help, in rebuilding their lives again.
I wish peace and welfare would prevail on Iraq, and the Iraqis….that the land of Iraq remains the land of wealth, fertility, and culture, and its people remain the people of generosity, and good morals.
May GOD bless them all….
Amen .........
Translated by May/ Baghdad.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Imagine you, with the bombs landing, glass breaking, friends and relatives scattered, perhaps killed, by MY people, sending me some of your strength. God no doubt has given you an infinite well of strength and compassion to share. Your sons show that so well. Majid talks of his first grade teacher (a woman - but our propaganda is telling us women can't go to school in Iraq - Ha!!) and the wonder of learning to read. Khalid writes of the true joy of summer being the ability to study more. Then tells us of his heartbreak at not being allowed to attend University of Iraq - because he is considered Palestinian? Raed continues his many humanitarian efforts, and makes us aware of the terrible toll this war is taking on the Iraqi people. We, among the youngest of Peoples on the globe, continue to destroy the very oldest civilization on the planet. No 'official' effort to understand, just more bombs and death.I sit here in my comfortable room, looking out at the wonderful San Francisco bay, and south, toward the airport. No bombs are falling; there is electricity 24/7; I can turn on the tap and get pure (well, relatively pure) water on demand. My family is well, and living where they want to live. I have so much and you have lost so much, and still you give more. Thank you again and again. No need to answer- you have much else to do. The letter you posted from Roberta in New Jersey expresses the feelings of so many of us. And it's still a mystery to most of us - here in the 'blue' states! - how so many Americans could have chosen so wrongly in the election. As you say, 'we,' the people of the world, who share the values of free expression and peace, and community - must somehow stay together, across borders and boundaries set up by political units from which we have no recourse, except in continuing to communicate and tell the truth as we see it to those who are not too close minded to hear it. Eventually, some of it has to seep into their brains!Continuing prayers for you all,

if you have the time, please take a look at www.informationclearinghouse.info and if you think they are acurrate in reporting the news, please post a link in your blog.

I think they are one of the best sources of information.

I think the blog "Today in Iraq" is good too, and now we have a man from Iraq posting stories on the comments section. He calls himself Not Anonymous. He lost eight family members in this war, including a wife and child.


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