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Sunday, March 30, 2008

City Lights!

The picture above shows the city lights of Baghdad..Before the war of 2003

Till Further Notice...

The clashes still going on..

Streets are not safe at all, most stores, shops and vital facilities are closed. Baghdad is paralized..

The man in charge of Baghdad Security Plan is kidnapped.

the Militia of Jaish al_mahdi ( Al-mahdi army ) still fighting the government. Both armed and media. Over 150 people got killed according to news agencies.

We still hear bomings here, gun shuts there, mortar shells there.. I have just heared something, I'm not what is it, now im hearing a hellicopter flying around.
Yestrday the voices was so close to my place.
Some bomings alongside the (Army Water Canal) near my home..

The situation is blazing in many Iraqie cities.. A curfew imposed in some Iraqi cities for three for more than three days.

According to he news, American Army intervened.

And Baghdad! :

Since we had to leave work early last thursday and we are in a complete paralize. I have never left the house since. the Curfew imposed in baghdad on Thursday evening and supposed to end Sunday at 5:00 am. But the situation still out of control which forced the government to extend it ( Till Further Notice )

Till Further Notice!!!!


That is the way it is! That's the way it always has been. Your life is paralized...Until further notice! As if they say put your life on hold, till further notice. Any chance to live, any chance to progress or do something isn't allowed. Any chance you may have to build yourself has to be halted for the moment. Anything necessary in your life too! Every dream....
But why the surprise? It has always been like that. It doesn't need a curfew to stop the life, it is already stopped! All you have to do is follow the rules! Each group has its rules trying to impose them and all one has to do is follow them regardless of what he thinks. Live life according to what everyone is saying and ignore your own will. Walk like a zombiee while everyone else tells you what to do and which direction you have to go. Who they are, what they want? No one knows.

In Iraq, there are people eat by day. It means they provide for each day they work, I wonder what they are doing now? We here suffer shortage in many stuff, as well as water.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

So Close to Death..AGAIN!!!

Iraq is blazing...

So many clashes in southern parts and Baghdad

Clashes between militias, bloody clashes, very bloody... Most of them in Basra, south Iraq

Militias, mostly shi'it, clashed.. They have unkown disputes but mostly for the elections of municiple Assymbley.. Mostly for power...

Bombings everywhere, mortars and random shooting. This has been going on for few days. Curfew in some cities and semi-paralize in Baghdad..I wasn't able to go to work yesterday. We had no electricity for two days due to the damage in the power station, some say it is done on purpuse.

And now, power but no water at all...
Bombing everytime and place. I can hear the whistle of the mortar before it hits, launches form unknown place and lands to unknown place..

Today I decided to go to work , in spite of everything. And so I did. The voices of mortars and bomings did not stop! They were so load and near!! windows shake...
Then we had to leave work early. And while we were waiting outside in the garage for other co-workers, we heard many bombings, we saw smoke from some directions.

Then, on our way, passing a street near by, we heard mortar bombings, close ones. Suddenly, two of them were very load that women started screaming! I tried to calm them down, But as The driver turend the car, I saw the smoke, few yards away from the car! I enhaled very deeply and was scared to death!!! women freaked out! Well, me too! But I tried to stay as calm as I could. I kept conforting them, but I was so shoked!!
We had to turn back and pass were the mortars hit because the other road is even more dangerous.
Even after I returned home, I was so blank! It took me a while to recover from the shoke...
Still, I can hear the bombings and te voices of mortars.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bombing! .... Exclusive!!!

This story happened to one of my co-workers in her way to work.
That day I have just arrived to work when another co-worker came to me saying that our co-worker ( Zeena) that's her name, survived a blast..
So I rushed to her office to check on her...
I saw her in a shoke and crying!!
So she told me the whole story and agreed to publish it on my blog and here it is:

Zeena: Like every work day, we wait for our ride to work near Al-Sakhra restaurant, then the bus came and we got in it. As usual, we were chatting, joking, laughing as usual. Suddenly! there was an enormous explusion. I cannot describe the feeling! As if thet you have died, went to the sky, not in this world anymore!
SHOCK!! enormous shock!
I wanted to take a look at the others to see if they are hurt or not, then what made me more scared, began a gun shots, random ones.
I look at the others, I see wondering frightened faces! what made me more terrified, cellphones started ringing and ringing...
I wanted to see the car! looked at my body to see if I'm injured or not, one peace or not. After I was sure I'm ok I looked at the window, i saw cracks, and then! I saw a whole right above my head! I have realised that there was a bullet passed right above my head!! Then I lost control, broke down and started crying, friends stood by me comforting me. I saw a friend of mine with her hair full of broken glasses and she was trying to get them off.

Then I asked Zeena to describe her feelings at the exact moment, she said:
When someone feels he is about to die, his life flashes in front of him, at the same moment, the feeling that I'm going to die and maybe there are people angry at me or I have caused them some inconvenience at anyway. I felt that I was poor but I have no problem with that, and I forgive! I also felt that I need people, even people the last expected to need. I felt so week.
I felt I need my parents' love, I would not see them anymore, nor my relatives.
All in this tiny split second moment.
The place where the explusion took place is very crowded, people gather there to have a transportation taking them to work.. And people already work there...
So i bet there were a lot of victims.

That was the story of Zeena she experienced that day, she is one of thousands Iraqies been through this...

This story told to me by Zeena immidiately after she got to work after the explusion
and published upon her request, it took place in the morning of March 12, 2008
I left her with a great shock and crying...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Unusual Evening

Yesterday, I spent the evening as usual, woke up from a short nap, had a cup of green tea and start my work I took from work, or do my own work, writing, organizing or others, while cheking my messeges, reply some and talk to friends online. I spend about two hours doing that. So it is my evening routine of almost everyday, and usualy quiet.

But yestrday evening was not quite!

I was doing what I do always while talking to a close friend. I hear a hellicopter flying nearby, but since five years ago that voice is quite familiar, nothing unusual about a hellicopter or an aircraft flying nearby or close. Until, that hellicopter started firing!!!

The voice was so scary, as if a rifle but way louder. Took few pauses and resumed.

Dad was screaming at us calling us from the rooms to hide at the corridor where there are no windows..

So I did, I stayed there reluctantly, I had tons of things to do!

But the fire resumed, it was so scary..

Though I must be used to it by now, as I have been exposed to such thing huge part of my life, but I don't know why I was in shock after the fire ceazed.

It took my memory to the days of the war....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another Painting


Here is the other painting Hisham gave to Hanan, as he promised her...

The story of Hisham reminds me of a story of one of my friend, her husband and his brother got assassined.. She is so young and has a three month old daughter. I remember the day we went to his funeral in his house. My friend with her baby in her lap, crying and saying: " My daughter became an orphan, befor she gets the chance to say the word ' daddy'!"

That was really devastating!!!!

Now I see my friend at work, dressed in black, holding that girl of one and a half year old now, smiles innocently, doesn't have any idea what is the word ' daddy ' means!!! and she never will!

Other story, parents got killed in front of their two children. I heard that those poor children still in shoke, they are injured but healable, how about the wound of the heart???? when will it heal???

How many children?? How many families??? WHY????? Ok I will stop writing because there are no words express or left to say..

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Iraqi Child...Exclusive



This peace is a real story happened to one of my friends, so she wrote an essay about it and wanted me to post it eclusively on my blog for the whole world to know the story of beautiful and intellegent Iraqi child his name is ( Hisham)
Now I will let her tell the story:

" I woke up in that beautiful sunny day, I had a strange feeling of ambition and struggle to build my future. I went to my college for trying to resume my studies. I had a lot of plans, non of them worked. But I didnt let that hold me down, it is spring now, no sorrow...

I have decided to visit a knidergarten nearby to inroll my nephew in it. While I was talking to the teacher, I have noticed paintings on the walls with very very beautiful colors, painted by the hands of the children, those one day will grow up and build the goals of the country. The paintings of a child express his personality and what he might be in the future, and what is his feelings in life, painting expresses the personality of the individual by colors and ideas.

While I was looking at those paintings with these wonderful colors, a certain one cought my attention, beautiful colors but a strange color is not approperiate for a child of three of four years old. which is black. I said to the teacher that who painted this must be very sad! she said yes. I asked her to show me the kid. So she did. I went to his classroom and there he was, an innocent soul, sitting all alone away form his friend. I asked "who painted this!!" a child said: " that's me, Hisham" . I whispered asking the teacher:" why he is so sad?" , " his dad got murdered!" she said..

How sad I am for him, I tried to change the atmosphere to more cheerful, I made the children laugh. I went to Hisham, I gave him papers, said to him " if you like to paintin black do it! but only once. Paint to me with the joyful colors, because we are in spring!!!" and so he did.
This is the story of Hisham, what he has done to be deprived form his father at this young age! This way! what is his fault to paint his life in black? At this age! This life is strange! How many children faced that? no answer.."

Hanan
March 9, 2008

Note: the picture above is the painting of Hisham with black colors, I will be posting another one soon...
This piece is written by my friend Hanan, translated and published upon her request.
Translated and revised be me.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Iraq Women

As we all know, these days celebrations are everywhere for woman's day, most the world is celebrating, so as Iraq.
Today we celebrated in my work place. The least I can describe the celebration is saying it was awsome!

We celebrated Iraqi women and women of oil industry, those, according to the minister, showed an extraordenary courage to carry out their duties specially in places filled with violence and terror, such as oil fields and other oil locations...
The minister gave a speech, which inspired me to write a poem greeting all Iraqi women, you will see it at the end of this post
Then awards is given by the minister to women of martyrs' families, the women with extraordenary achievement, including two of my close and role model friends.
Then two of famous Iraqi poets recited an awsome poems for Iraqi women. Then from the Iraqi heritage, a siger and a lute player gave a very traditional and beautiful Iraqi singing, they singer put a ( cedara) on his head, which is an old traditional Iraq head cover shaped as a triangle.

The best part is, an Iraqi play. Written and directed by one of the Iraqi theater pioneers which is a woman, her name is Dr. Awatif Na'eem. That woman is a genious! The story of the play was so moving and inspiring. About a judge facing the political changes. The moral lesson of that play was the ualuables does not belong to the owner, they belong to the one who realizes their value and protects them..

I was so impressed by the efforts of the writer and director, and all the workers. They did their best and more!

Due to the social, safety and other reasons, I rarely attend those intellectual events as plays or movies. Last time I went to a movie was ten years ago with my family in a tribunal honoring the French actor Alain Delon. So today I was so happy I got the chance to see how creative, talented and bright my people are. I regard you warmly Dr. Awatif, and all bright and talented Iraqi women who proved that no soward can scare you or hold you back, in spite of all what you have gone through...
You are stronger than mountains!!!!

here is the poem, to all Iraqi women:

Unlimited giving stream..
To you I rise, and beem..
For you have gone through a lot..
A lot you have endured..
For your wounds, never found a redeem..
Stood still, never cracked..
never let go a scream..
Loss after loss..
Disaster after another..
Year after year..
Here you are, standing still..
Your head up high...
Competed and defeated, mountains' will..
Your soul, forces of darkness, tried to kill..
Never could, never will..
But you shone and shone..
For know and forever..
Stood still..
Standing with your head up high..
Always seem..
A giving stream...

Written by me today during the celebration on the honor of women in oil industry...
For all Iraqi women, I am proud of you!!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

War...


Another picture of the war of 2003. Attack on one of Saddam's palaces.
I have lived it day by day, I did not leave town.
I also spent few days sleeping over at my uncle's place which is in one of the most dangerous areas of baghdad, countable kelometers from Baghdad Airport ( Saddam airport formally).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lightening System ( LALA )!!!



Before the invention of electricity, people used for lightening a certain lamp works on oil or kerosene, in Iraq we call it ( Lala) ( picture above), step by step, after the invention of electricity this lamp vanished. Sometimes its used as a decoration. But not in my country :)

Though I was a little girl, I remeber in the late 80's power cuts from time to time for short periods during the Iraqi-Iran war, but barely noticable.

But since Gulf War started in 1991, at the exact day, Dawn January 17, 1991, the power went off, power stasions hit by airstrikes. We stayed the whole war days and few weeks after using the (lala) to lighten the house..

Power kept cutting till it settled down partially the years after. the ( Lala) is a common device in every Iraqi house.

Then, the war of 2003 came, we had power the whole war till the last days. This times Power stations had not been hit, but news collided, people said American aircrafts threw some magnatic field on them, others said Saddam turned them off to revenge from people who gave up on him , or for him to escape in the dark...... God knows what is the truth....

The thing is, since that day, power hasn't settled down at all.. It kept cutting and cutting, even for long hours, sometimes 20 hours a day!

We came up with solutions, one of them at a part of every bloke, people installed a fair size generators, supply specified amount of power for the whole block for countable hours (with a price). which is an experience succeded in many Iraqi governorates before and after the war.

But at the time the generator is off, poeple either start their own home generators or lit a ............. Lala :)

In the past, some families named their daughters ( Lala) which metaphors : " the light of the house" or " the one that lightens the house" or " brightens the house or the place" or " that lightens the life"

And Here is some ( Lalas) (picture above above )

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Lights....


Al-Tahreer Square.
One of the significant squares in baghdad...
Before the war..

Monday, March 3, 2008

....... Morning!

As I always start a week day morning, I was getting ready for work. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. had breakfast. The radio was on with songs of the famous Arabic singer ( Fairooz ), Playing the songs of this singer in the morning is a very common thing in every Arabic radio station inside and outside the Arabic world.
So I was finishing my morning (rituals!) by facing my mirror of the dresser and doing the final touches, I heard a very loud and close bang, shook the windows of my room and the curtains shook for seconds. Luckily I wasn't near this time. In few minutes, I heard sirens of scuad cars, army and ambulances.
In the bus taking us to work, everyone was talking about it. One of them was severly in shook, her eyes were full open and the tension was pretty obvious, the others were comforting her. She said that the door of her apartment violently and widely opened due to the strength of the bombing...It turned out that it happened in a crossroad not far away from my place..
At work, after greeting her saying " good morning" she answered saying " the number of bombs in this morning is unbelieveable" .. Few minutes later I have heard people talking about several bombings happened in different areas of Baghdad, also some main roads are closed......Only this morning.......

Sunday, March 2, 2008