from a family in baghdad visiting syria, jordan and lebanon

(excerpted) 

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 Iraq is boiling….

Peace be upon you….
Back to Iraq once more…
At this period, Iraq is going through hot developments, as if the boiling point of the situation is getting near the edge of going out of control, or, a true change might take place, a change that would satisfy the Iraqis…………..
The American and Iraqi administrations are currently facing a big indignation carried first by the Iraqi people, then the American people, against them. But definitely, the Iraqi’s anger is a lot deeper, because they live the daily agony and ruin for four years now, nonstop.  While the Iraqi people are one and united; on the screens of the Iraqi and Arabic satellite channels you see interviews with Iraqis living inside Iraq or in Syria, Jordan and Egypt; they all use the same expressions, they are all angry and indignant at this present government in Iraq, and at Bush and what he has done to Iraq and its people… and they all want to see stability and security in Iraq so they could go back to their homes……
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Last weeks, the American chief commander and the American ambassador in Iraq both presented their testimonies about the situation in Iraq in front of the Congress, and of course, as we predicted, they tried to patch up Bush’s problems in Iraq, presenting lying and forged testimonies to satisfy Bush and to save his face in front of the American people. But not in front of the Iraqi people; for we, as Iraqis living inside Iraq or outside, we know exactly what are the true stories in reality in the sad, torn, occupied Iraq……

The problem in Iraq has nothing to do with the number of American soldiers, never, ever…. The problem is- that the different Iraqi parties conflicting with each other about ruling must sit down with each other and reach a reasonable formula to control the country; the violence in the streets is an evidence that the Parties in the government and outside the government aren’t in agreement with each other, each Party has a militia they send onto the street to kill the Iraqis and increase the stress of the situation, to prove to their opponents they’re there, and capable of dominating the conditions at the Iraqi street….

The solution in Iraq is political only; if the politicians could agree upon major points to save the country from chaos and destruction, then calm and security would prevail. But alas; all that seems to be a far off dream since four years…

All the alliances broke down during the last weeks, especially this week, when the contradictions appeared clearly, as…

The Shia’at alliance started falling apart, the Sadr block and Al-Fadeela Party withdrew from the alliance, and Al-Da’awa Party- the Iraqi Branch is also threatening to withdraw, (these are the quarrels of the sectarian Parties among themselves). Al-Tawafuq block has also crumpled, and it is supposed to be a Sunnie block, but the Parties comprising it are in quarrel, the block is divided, each section carrying its own vision bout solving the problems of Iraq… the Parliament is divided upon itself, new political blocks are beginning to appear, opposing the major blocks of Al-Malikey’s government…

Not just Bush is in a dilemma; but whoever entered Iraq with him, and whoever took part in the political process is in an impasse now…..
I think it has become clear now that the only solution out of the crises in Iraq is a national unity government; no sectarianism, no failing religious Parties, and no nonsense 

….the only way he Bush can remain in Iraq is the existence of a weak government, fighting and conflicting Parties and militias, a street dominated by chaos and bloodshed, oil to be plundered by American companies, people starving and sinking in the darkness of poverty, ignorance, and diseases, the best of the experts, intellectuals and scientists have already run away outside the country to various exiles, or else they were killed and buried under the soil…Is this the Iraq Bush wants to keep alive? ………….

….I believe God will aid the Iraqis to victory, no matter how long it takes, they will prevail, exactly like what happened along the history of Iraq during British occupation; How much they ruined and divided the Iraqis? How many rebellions were raised against them? How many ministries and parliaments were changed, faces came and faces went away, but they all left and Iraq remained, along with history to tell the tales… and the American occupation will get out of Iraq, and history will write other stories…

For example,….Bush visited Iraq before the submission of the report and the testimonies, his plane landed in Anbar, he shook hands with the American military leaders there, he shook hands with Sheikh Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the head of what’s called- the Al-Anbar Awakening Tribal Council, as being the hero who cleaned Anbar from Al-Qai’da. ….Two or three days after the presenting of the testimonies about Iraq, a trapped car exploded at Abu Risha’s convoy and killed him, and that’s another calamity befalling Bush.

What has this ugly occupation done to Iraq and the Iraqis?
He ripped apart their unity, scattered their opinions, and made them the enemies of each other…
But I still bet upon the faithful, nationalist Iraqis, those who are not changed by the occupation’s enticements nor it’s threats…By the will of God they will be victorious, they will have the leadership of the country one day, lead Iraq onto the road of safety, and then security and peace will prevail on the land of the two rivers all over again ……… Then the Iraqis will come back from the countries of their scatter, back to their homes in Iraq, to build a new homeland, full of love, security, and peace…..
Amen…

Lebanon and Syria…..

Friday, September 14, 2007

May peace be upon you…

All the previous time I was busy with the Iraqi families here. And now the blessed month of Ramadan arrived, so I decided to take a break and a vacation, to stay at home for a few days because I am very exhausted, physically and mentally. I need to be by myself, without answering phones or opening the e-mail…

At such days, I long for my home in Baghdad, I long for beloved Baghdad, for Iraq and everything there. I do not think there is anything that makes the heart more sad than leaving the homeland, for the homeland means everything for someone who was forced to leave his home and his country, like me and most Iraqis who live scattered, and long for our jobs, our homes, our neighbors, relatives, friends, our memories, and everything there…

Here, I do not suffer from an illegal residency, or that I do not have a job opportunity or a family income, or that I am prohibited from traveling to the world because I carry a hated Iraqi passport. I suffer none of these things because my husband is Jordanian…

but the sadness in my heart is as big as mountains; for what about the Iraqis who do not have legal residency permits here, and so are their children; they live in constant panic that the Residency Police might come along and throw them at the boarder, even thought they all carry the white paper issued by the (UNHCR) United Nation’s Commissariat for Refugees. But they do not trust it, and do not believe it forms an adequate roof of protection for them. Also they are not allowed to work, and that white paper from the Commissariat doesn’t grant them the right to work. And so, the Residency Police are permitted to deport any of the Iraqis they might find working while without a legal residency permit, whether he was a doctor or a construction worker….

Well then; how will they manage to live?

Most of them have lost touch with their kin inside Iraq, who stopped sending them aid, because those inside have enough misery and hell to suffer; the lack of job opportunities, the rising prices of food and fuels, the bad services- water supply, electricity and health services. And this means the family must endure to supply and buy clean drinking water manufactured by private companies, and electricity supply from private generators to cover up some reasonable hours, because the hours in which they see the national electric supply are very limited and not enough, and of course this costs the prices of fuels or a subscription in the big neighborhood generator. Also the gasoline isn’t always easy to find in the state petrol stations, sometimes there is a shortage and a long queue which compels people to buy it from the black market merchants, regardless of its higher price. And this also goes for the other fuels like cooking gas and kerosene, especially at winter time… and if a family member got ill or was hit with shrapnel or bullets from the daily clashes; then this would be another catastrophe added to the family there; the state hospitals are drawing their last breaths because of the bad services, the immigration of doctors, the scarcity of medicines or leaking it to the black market, because of the administrational corruption spreading through the government systems. A lot of calamities that the poor Iraqi citizen has no control upon, and he is faced with two options without a third: either to be silent and patient, or to gather up his scattered wreckage and look for an exile in Syria or Jordan or Egypt or Sweden…but this, of course, has also become a far off dream, because almost everyone closed their doors at the faces of the Iraqis now

These are the conditions of the Iraqis, inside or in exiles, even those who own a house, a reasonable income and a legal residency permit, like me, are unhappy and dissatisfied, seeing their only happiness in returning back home, finding their happiness in seeing all the occupation soldiers, the mercenaries, the thieves and the killers leave Iraq never to return….

When will that day come?
I do not exactly know, for that knowledge is only with God, but that day will come, sooner or later….it will come… and we all await that day eagerly, and will not relinquish this dream, nor that hope…. For how tight life would be without the vastness of hope…
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A few weeks ago, I was in a mission to buy some school requirements for a number of Iraqi families’ children here, then, on that same day, it happened that I was busy and confused at the stationery store, so I didn’t notice that my handbag was open. Then, I sat down to catch my breath in that same store and noticed that my wallet and the camera were missing from the bag. What a unhappy moment that was!  I stared unbelievingly; somebody snatched the wallet thinking it was full of money, but actually it was full of my ID cards; the social statues card, the driving license, the bank cards, the Engineering Union card, the health insurance card, the public library card, and some discount cards in some shops where I am usually a customer……….
I fell in an indescribable state of depression. I finished buying the requirements then went back home, feeling as if someone hit me on the head with a heavy club… I informed the Police, then waited a few days for them to call me, but no one called…
At that time exactly, I decided to travel with my sons for a vacation in Syria and Lebanon, hoping this would lessen my feelings of annoyance and defeat. And when I get back, I shall start the process of reissuing my lost cards and IDs…
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I lived in Lebanon during the first years of my graduation from university and marriage. I went there with my husband to work as a volunteer to reconstruct the Palestinian refugee camps during the civil war… I worked with engineering firms and humanitarian organizations to build hospitals and reconnect the water and electricity supplies to the camps which were subjected to bombardment and the ruin that befell the infrastructure and influenced the lives of poor civilians…

I was young, my experience in life still tender, but my goal and convictions were clear. I refused to be employed by the Iraqi state authorities like all the newly graduated usually do. I saw that a human’s mission in this life is bigger than thinking selfishly about himself, his house, his car and family only. Sacrificing for the sake of others is a noble mission deserving for a person to hold on to for a part or all of his life. And this depends upon his subjective abilities and personal decisions…

now, when I see my son Raed refusing to work as an architect in architectural private bureaus whether in the Middle East or in America where he lives, to see him committed to humanitarian work to save Iraq from its dilemma, I smile and say- how can I blame him or tell him to quit this job: because it is tiring, frustrating, and you are still at the beginning of the road…

He won’t hear me, for sure, for this was what I myself did when the elders advised me then. My convictions didn’t budge, they don’t now, in spite of all that I suffered and paid for, during those two years in Lebanon. I do not regret it at all…

Thank God the passage of years didn’t change me, I didn’t turn into an opportunist or a thwarted negative, as I regrettably see a lot of people around me, afflicted by these attributes with time, and were defeated inwardly before frankly announcing their official defeat….

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I went with my sons Khalid and Majed to Beirut and Syria within a tourist group, I mean by bus. The journey in a bus was tiring; the muscles of my back cramped and my feet swelled because of the narrow seat. Beside me was a woman I didn’t know… sitting uncomfortably for long hours made me very tired.

We passed by the Jordanian-Syrian border, then into Syria, crossing it to the Syrian-Lebanese border, then into Lebanon, at last…We went to the summer resorts in Alee’e, Naba Al-Safa, Bait Al-Deen Palace, past Shtoora. The scenery was very, very beautiful, the nature there all green mountains and sloping roofs, as if we were in Switzerland. The weather was very nice, praise God…We went back to Beirut, checked in a hotel at Al-Hamra area. We went to Al-Rousha Rock, walked along the corniche, drank fresh juice, and saw vendors selling broad beans, and corn.

I remembered everything as it was when I was living in Beirut during the civil war, and here I come back to visit it after about thirty years, but things aren’t better than they used to be; the city lives as if on a volcano that will erupt any minute, divided into zones bearing slogans and photos supporting Hizb Allah, Hassan Nasra’lla and those with him, while other zones hold slogans and photos supporting Al-Hareeri, denouncing Syria and whoever is in alliance with her…

in downtown Beirut there are tents of the opposition against the government, and the militias of the Lebanese Parties who oppose the government…. There are some old neighborhoods, sad, neglected, to which the hand of cleaning and development didn’t reach, perhaps since the days of the civil war, while you can see other neighborhoods where fancy hotels, luxurious commercial and residential buildings rise high, as if there are two different worlds living in one small city, too small to contain such big contradictions…The country is small and weak, and cannot endure the conflicts of its neighbors inside its borders- not only the neighbors, but a mighty force like America becoming a major and evident player in Lebanon, moving in to re-arrange the Lebanese house according to his own interests…

A sad thing… Lebanon is an amazing model of a multi-polar, multi-leadership sectarian country: the Muslims here are Sunnies and Shia’ats, the Christians are Maronites and others, and there are also the leaders of Al-Druze sect, several conflicting Christian Parties, and many conflicting militias… the government lives in a state of fixed sectarian partnership; the president must be a Christian, the prime minister a Sunnie Muslim, the head of Parliament a Shia’at Muslim, and the parliament members divided between Sunnies, Shia’ats and Druze and others….

The occupation introduced this ugly allotment into Iraq since 2003, meaning- the aim is to build a weak, torn state in Iraq, like the Lebanese model, maintaining a conflict inside, while the neighbors extend in their fingers, arming one faction against another…

My sadness increased, chasing away any mood to enjoy a vacation. I wished there was a button to turn off memories, so I can forget the painful memories of what happened to Iraq, enjoy the vacation, laugh, and clap to the silly songs the stupid bus driver is playing so loudly, which only increased my crumpled mood…….
This is Lebanon as it has been for long decades; a model of a small, weak, skinny country, shaken by the winds and the interests of interior and exterior powers…some say: all this happened to Lebanon because it is Israel’s neighbor, that it should remain weak and disordered politically and financially so it wouldn’t form any threat to Israel, which always had stability, and the financial and military support of the western countries, contrary to the Arab countries neighboring to Israel, as they were always weakened and destroyed militarily and financially so they would remain like this, forming no danger… Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan are all besieged- financially and politically, and Syria is the most threatened now, because she refuses to hold negotiations with Israel, for Syria is accused of being a terrorist country, or supporting terrorism… In the past, Iraq used to form a threat to Israel, and now it is invaded, occupied, destroyed and shredded, so as to become an example to other countries in the region; this would be the fate of all who dare to challenge America and Israel, meaning- this is a lesson for Syria and Iran, for example, yours shall be a fate like Iraq, if you don’t sign peace agreements with Israel….How I hate politics and those who work with it? as if it is the dirtiest profession in the world, because it destroys people and countries alike…. And the reason – the “critical interests” of a small ruling faction of thieves here and there……….May their eyes go blind……..
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Things in Lebanon are very expensive; their currency is the Lira, each 1500 Lira equals $1, just like the poor, crumbled Iraqi Dinnar… I mean, the civil war ended approximately since 1990, but the Lebanese currency remained weak like this? despite the investments, the tourism and the hotels? This is really a strange thing……….
I liked visiting the Ji’eeta Cave, very beautiful; a cave tens of thousands of years old, where drops of water accumulated with dissolved lime stones to create strange and beautiful statues no artist can accomplish, praise God! I was also happy in that visit as I met a lot of Iraqi people there. I was distracted between stopping there to say: hello, I am also an Iraqi who ran away from hell, like you, my heart sad, and I want to go back to Iraq, like you!  Or to smile and remain silent, like a stranger….I don’t know why the feeling of estrangement from one’s country is a sad feeling that breaks a human’s heart…
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We went to Syria… oh, God, how much fresh fruits there are, and how delicious they look? And nuts, like nutmeg, almonds, raisins, pistachios and cashews? And chocolates, nougat, baklava, and dried fruits? Syria is the land of boons, praise God!

At the beginning we went to Lathiqiya, oh God, how beautiful, the sea was wonderful, the weather very nice, and the air refreshingly cool… Beirut was hot and humid…. We went out of Lathiqiya by bus to the regions of northern Syria, near the Turkish border, oh God, how beautiful the scenery there was? As if in paradise? Green, planted mountains without a bald patch, and beautiful houses living safely at the edges of mountains or at the valley’s belly…We bought laurel soap from there, locally manufactured, very mild, some for skin and some for hair………then two days later we went to Damascus…

I love Damascus, even though it is an old city, but she reminds me of Baghdad at the days of the embargo; no new buildings, and not much private investments, but they have internet and mobile phones… Souk Al-Hamediyah is very famous; a crowded popular market, full of all nice goods, most of which are local Syrian products. That’s why I respect the Syrian people so much… when I am in Lebanon and Jordan I see everything is imported, and this is something boring; there is no identity of the country, only a few hand crafted items in shops for tourists, a few carpets or pottery ……… but in Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, you see and smell an old, deep-rooted civilization, one you love and feel eager to get to know…

Al-Hamediyah Market and the streets around it are crowded with pedestrians, and you know they are Iraqis from the map of Iraq they wear in chains, hanging down on their chests. The whole street is full of Iraqis; young men and women, mothers, fathers, and kids! Their voices and accents are clear and distinct.
How many millions ran away from Iraq to the neighbors? ………………

In Syria, most of the products in the markets are local-made; men’s and women’s house dresses, under wear and night gowns, veils, bed sheets, bedcovers and table covers, woodworks inlaid with shells, very beautiful copper products, leather bags and purses, sweets, and dried fruits- local products that are classy, clean, and the prices aren’t high…

Prices in Syria are very low compared to Lebanon and Jordan nearby…… here, you see something very familiar: the State Company of Pottery Products, the State Company of Wool and Carpets Products,…. These are state owned companies, they remind me of Iraq and its public sector organizations before the war…. But Bush and the globalization he wants to export seek to establish the private sector and the privatization policy, and eliminate the public sector, meaning- the government establishments would close their doors while the private sector’s would open theirs, prices would go up, and a specific class of merchants in the country would benefit, the state would be weak and cannot interfere to protect the consumer’s rights, especially the poor ones……….. that’s why Syria is now hated by Bush; for she owns a little nationality and identity, and these should be crushed; it is now the age of globalization, of markets opened onto merchants and big companies, and let the national industries be destroyed and perish, let its owners go hungry when facing the competition of the cheap goods, imported from China, for instance….
When we got back to Amman, the news said that the Israeli military planes flew over Lathiqiya area and bombarded a military post there…
I felt sorry because I do not wish the ruin and destruction that America caused for Iraq to befall Syria…. I prayed for Syria that God would keep his blessings of security and stability upon them… that God would spare them the evil of the sly people who destroyed Iraq… Amen…….. I do not wish what befell Iraq to happen to others, for whatever the reason is, war is a stupid and evil choice… look at us; what have we reaped out of this war upon Iraq, after more than four years? And to whoever asks me- do you think it was worth the sacrifices that were made?
I say- NO…

Enough of the blood that was shed; who justifies shedding blood? Who justifies killing the innocent, demolishing houses, and destroying cities?  Whoever believes in God, and has an atom of mercy in his heart for humans, would not accept the option of waging a war……….. the ugliest thing humans could commit against each other……There are no noble justifications whatsoever for killing people and shedding their blood at this age ………….. but it is just for the mean interests of a hard-hearted faction of thieves, whose eyes are never satisfied of this world, and whose souls and hearts are sick….
May their eyes go blind, once more……
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One response to “from a family in baghdad visiting syria, jordan and lebanon

  1. Pingback: Lebanon » Blog Archives » shaytan666, 966, MA

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