Thursday, November 10, 2005

My Day!!

Today,
At morning I received a message from an old friend who left Iraq in the first weeks of the occupation. The message did not give me the pleasure should I have. Day after day I am discovering that my ongoing agony is not deep in my heart but deep in my soul and memory. I felt her tears through the computer," I do not know if we are going to see each other in Baghdad again. I am suffering from a fatal disease. Please stay safe and remember our old days."
Did her sickness surprise me? I do not think so… the real Iraqi takes his heart and memory while living the country... How much the heart could bear the ongoing pain in Iraq?
Frankly I did not remember her before... I tried after reading her mail to recall her face; yet I failed. Barely I could remember my face before the occupation; how could I recall the others!! I am afraid of my mirror; one day all the forgotten faces will jump from it's behind. Then I will meet eyes looking to nowhere. Exactly like the last time I saw them; they were living Iraq to nowhere; even those who were lucky in getting asylum are not living but surviving; like us in Iraq.
I chose to stay in Iraq waiting to see the smile of the palm trees again; once upon a time!!
Before noon, I left my hose with a "dissolved" friend. He was a journalist in Al-Jumhuriya Daily which was dissolved when Bremer ordered dissolving the ministry of information in May 03 leaving about 20 000 families without works. I accompanied him to the ministry of culture where locates "the committee of the information". The committee is trying to find alternative work places for the dissolved former workers and journalists who continued asking for a solution since June 03; the committee was established three months ago. This only one example how the problems are being solved very quickly in Iraq!!!
The ministry of culture occupies the building of the Iraqi Fashion House. The ministry's own building was looted and burnt. Thousands of pieces of the Iraqi modern art were looted from the building before burning it in April 03; since then we are hearing about the reconstruction!! However; the building of the Iraqi Fashion House was one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. As soon as we interned the reception hall when hundreds were waiting; a wave of bad smell attacked us… this building which was always the symbol of the Iraqi beauty once became very dirty.
To find an alternative work place; the dissolved should sign a document answering two questions," had you ever been a member of Ba'th Party? Had you ever been an agent of the intelligence offices?"
The scene was painful. Hundreds served Iraq more than 30 years are waiting to find an alternative place to retire then to have monthly salaries. Hundreds of journalists will lose their posts; the editor will be an accountant for example because those journalists lost their posts when the dissolving decree was issued! My friend gave me the last issue of "Dijla" the cultural monthly published by the ministry of culture. The last issue appeared two days ago with an important interview with Dr. Enad Ghazwan. The writer did not mention that Ghazwan passed away 13 months ago!! When I told a translator whom I know and had an article in the same issue that Ghazwan died almost a year ago; she refused to believe!!!
However; my friend received his salary and we were back. I was driving with fear. Many police patrols and check points in the streets; always there are Americans hammers patrolling; what would be happened if a car bomb comes?
My fear made me ask my self, "Those students, workers, drivers and shoppers who are insisting on leaving their houses to their works are very brave or much despaired?"
The street gives more pain. Iraq, one of the wealthiest countries of the world, became a place of beggars, homeless people and millions under poverty line. WHY? I have no answer; at least now. An old man, about 70 years old, wearing a clean Dishdash, traditional Arabic cloth, with one broken arm was selling cigarettes. He was walking through the crowded street asking the drivers to buy his cigarettes. He was refusing any money without buying cigarettes.
In the news bulletins, no reports in detail about Operation Steel Curtain. Zarqawi threatened t begin Operation Revenge. Again, the civilian Iraqis will pay the high price: their blood.
After noon still affecting by the email of my friend; I decided to call an old friend Omer Juma, the Palestinian journalist who bean his career almost before 20 years of my birth date. Omer Juma was the correspondent of VOA in Iraq when the Kuwait issue began in August 1990. By chance he was in Kuwait when Bush Senior announced crying that the Iraqi forces killed the babies to steal the incubators. He went to the hospital and discovered the lies. He sent his report against Bush announcement to VOA. The report was aired once with in hours Juma was expelled. After the war he published an excellent book about the American and Western Media in Gulf war. After the war he left Iraq to settle in Amman. When the truth was disclosed about the fake incubators story, Juma went to the States to sue VOA. He began his case in 1997 but gained nothing.
I dialed his number in Amman; his wife answered with a weak voice. "May I speak with Omer?" I asked. "No; he is not here." She said. "What is the suitable time to call him please?" I asked again. "Omer passed away in July 04". "Sorry for that" I told her. What could I say more? Omer loved Iraq very much; sometimes he was Iraqi more than the Iraqis themselves. He lived in Iraq for 20 years. Before coming to Iraq, he, like the other Palestinians, he went from country to another in Europe and Middle East. I could not forget his tears that I felt in his voice when I called him after Baghdad was occupied.
Omer Juma passed away, may ALLAH ALMIGHTY bless his soul. Always I ask myself how the Arabs did not die when Baghdad was occupied. They did not die. They do not care.
At night, the US military reported, "some Iraqi civilians were killed in Husayba when a US jet attacked a house used by the insurgents last Monday, not realizing noncombatants were also inside the house".
The Iraqi minister of defense and to the government spokesman confirmed, "We will never change our policy against those who are giving the insurgents shelters". Although a marine statement quoted a local Iraqi as saying the insurants forced their way into the house; killing two and then locked the other members of the family in a room...
"Some Iraqis", what a phrase used in the US military report. No numbers; no excuse. "SOME".
Note: the Iraqi Terrorism Act was approved to be an active Act. My blog, I mean what I am writing, is an act of terrorism because I am asking the others to be realize the situation in Iraq!!