Daily Life in Iraq

From the blog A Star From Mosul.

Just whining
Friday, October 26, 2007

Breathing slowly.. In and out..that’s what I have to do to keep myself from crying, and stay alive.
I’m more depressed than I’ve ever been in the last year I think.
It’s weird. I thought going to college would be all I need.


Most of the lecturers this year are very educated, mostly professors with PhDs. I feel stupid. Is it possible that I have forgot so much of what I’ve studied before, or is it that my brain needs to be reactivated? I am so not used to keeping silent and having no answers..

Our classroom is in the 2nd floor, we have to go up 44 steps to get to it, down 44 steps to see people, we’re so isolated.. We do this more than 3 times a day, my legs are killing me now.


I’m sick of talking about the bad situation.. I just hate the mornings, there’s always shooting and many explosions. I always have doubt that I’ll not make it to college, the roads are rarely open.

I’m so very very depressed.. I almost cry everytime people ask me why I look so sad. I can’t even see the full half of the glass I used to cling to.

My cousin drove me home the other day.. I used to go to college with dad, and my friend’s father would drive us home. Now, and since my friend has failed and is still waiting for the first-graders to start college, I have a problem going home when it’s not at the same time mom finishes her work.
When my cousin drives me, I feel the need to keep talking, I just hate the silence. But because of my deep depression, and to keep myself from crying, I didn’t talk much this time.. I concentrated on the road, something I rarely do (I still haven’t learned the way to my school, I can’t get my brain to concentrate on roads at all). I couldn’t believe all the wreckage on the way.. Building after building, destoyed, burnt.. Black signs announcing deaths.. Smoke from a new explosion. We had to stop few times to clear the road for the police or the Americans.
I asked my cousin about a destroyed building I haven’t seen before, he said it was months ago.. I was shocked; I didn’t ask about the ones that followed.

I had to look for a car to drive me to and fro college daily, I finally found one, and a classmate with a nearby house is coming with me.. Yesterday was the first day he was supposed to come and drive me to the university.
I woke up at 6:40, he was supposed to come at about 7:30 when the roads to the university aren’t very crowded. I got dressed and had my breakfast and decided to go online till it’s time.. There was an explosion, then shooting. I left the computer.
Dad went out and checked, the driver will have to use another road to get to our house, the street was blocked.
I went outside waiting, it was time and they weren’t there.. Helicopters were hovering above the house..
I called my classmate many times but the signal was very weak. When it finally rang she picked up and told me there were Americans searching the cars and she has to hang up.. At 7:45 she called saying they can’t reach the house. Dad drove me to college, we had to drive over about 4 pavements, going through wreckage and severely damaged roads.
I arrived to college at time.. my classmate about 20 minutes later, another classmate in the same neighborhood arrived 2 hours later.
I spent the rest of the day sighing, and the road back hearing all the bad stories of death and killings I could stand to hear from my classmate.


That’s not what I call home.. We’re really strangers in our country.. oh well, excuse me, I don’t think “our” should be used anymore.. I’m not sure whose country it is, but it’s not mine for sure.


A classmate’s brother was injured with a shrapnel and died on the first day of Eid. She came to college wearing black. We gave her our condolences. She started crying, my friend started crying with her.. We would’ve all started crying if it wasn’t for that new lecturer who shouted at us for not going into the lab at time.. we all hate him now.
She’s the second classmate who lost her brother this year.


From An Arab Woman Blues.

A Family Tree.
Saturday, October 27, 2007

I have spent all day drawing up my family tree i.e my genealogical tree.

I tried assembling all the information together. Souvenirs, memories, faces, locations, names…some sort of a mental compendium of an oral and visual history.

What I heard, whom I met, what was said about who, who married who, where did they come from, their origins, their sect, their religion, where they ended up, their life stories…

I tried to go as far back as I can, gathering all these little pieces and sat down and sketched the family tree, starting with my great grandparents -both maternal and paternal.

It was not easy…

Some of them are already gone for good. Some I never really bothered to find out more about, some I took for granted, some were too distant physically and some emotionally out of reach, and some were a taboo subject…

I spent hours remembering names and faces…They were difficult, painful hours…

My immediate family was just a branch of this tree amongst many other branches but we were all attached to the same trunk. We all belonged to the same trunk.

I got tired after a while and stopped this exercise…But I was curious as to why I had started it in the first place. Why this sudden need to delve into my own personal roots…

I have no clear answers.

Maybe because I have been feeling like a leaf that has fallen, amongst many other leaves, kind of scattered “pêle-mêle.”

Maybe because winds blew us away, apart from one another, sometimes ripping whole branches to the ground…

Maybe it my own feeble attempt to hang on to something solid…like an imaginary tree when my own grounds are so shaky, almost non existent.

So I sketch trees instead, family trees…

I remember a long time ago, I lived through an earthquake, everything shook and not knowing what to do, I held on to some wall only to feel the wall wobble and crack…

It is the same now. Everything around me feels like this wall – wobbly, cracked…Fractured.

I console myself with the thought that I, at least, have the memory of a Tree. Something to give me strength, verticality, and a sense of belonging even if it is on some fictional, imaginary level…

I have serious doubts that the increasing number of Iraqi orphans can console themselves with that same thought.

A friend who is closely associated with an International Organization, told me that the unofficial figure for Iraqi orphans is 5 million. I have no way of verifying this figure but it does not surprise me.

Who will remind these orphans of their family tree? Who will tell them stories about their parents, grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives…

Who will feed them? Who will nurse them? Who will hold them? Who will teach them how to draw trees? Who will recount their origins to them?

Thousands are growing up in the streets, in the garbage dumps, sleeping in packs, in some corner, in some rubbly building, in some orphanage, abused, neglected, traumatized for life…

And if they ever make it to adulthood, that is if they do not commit suicide before or fry their brains in drugs or end up incarcerated in some prison for petty theft…or get caught in some pedophile ring, or see their life story written in some brothel at the hands of some perverted adult… What will they tell you?

What Tree will they sketch ?

Do you ever think of them ? Do they ever cross your mind ? Or are you just sadistically pleased with your great Iraqi production ?

I really have to say it – You are a VILE lot. Every single one of you. And that includes you too, impotent, treacherous Arab shits. And that includes you too perverted, sly Iranians you and your supporters. And that includes you too, sectarian heinous, repulsive Iraqis.

There are also hundreds of other Iraqi children rotting away in local prisons, under the pretext of helping the “insurgents.”

Prisons run by the sectarian militias from Iran. Militias, that you, anti-war, another category of shits, support.
Militias run by the bastard driller Muqtada al Sadr and the Al Hakeem clan and the Maliki puppet whom you welcomed with flowers in Washington D.C.

And you wonder why I call you VILE? And you wonder why I call you a DISGRACE?

An article appeared yesterday, and it states that these child prisoners show signs of severe torture. Read on.

“The five children showed signs of torture all over their bodies. Three had marks of cigarettes burns over their legs and one couldn’t speak as the shock sessions affected his conversation…” (full article here)

It is believed that there are about 220 child prisoners in Iraqi governmental run prisons. I say bullshit to that. Multiply this number by 3 at least, if not more.

It is also common to witness an armed militia man walking into some hospital with some sick child prisoner (sometimes not older than 12) and the doctors have to treat and ask no questions whatsoever. Some of these children are diagnosed with STD.

Would you like to see your own children in a similar state ?

So you have the orphans, the child prisoners and you also have another category, the traumatized for life, beyond help category.

Take this one for instance;

“Salah Hashimy, 14, has lost his parents, sisters and many friends since the US-led invasion in 2003; finally there was no one to look after him. He lacks education, love and support, a combination that, according to doctors, caused his mental health problems. My memory is very weak but I cannot forget when I saw my sister being raped by militants until she died,” Hashimy said.” (full article here)

And we all know, all of us Iraqis know, who does the “professional” raping in Baghdad.
None but the sectarian militias from Iran and IN PARTICULAR Jaysh Al-Mahdi of your “patriotic” Muqtada al Sadr. And they are ALL “rogue elements.”
And this is a FACT.
Congratulations to you, anti-war shits, supporters of Genocide.

So tell me, o’civilized ones, how will these children draw a Family Tree?

What will they say ? Our family tree was bombed, raped, tortured, murdered, imprisoned, broken, exiled in the name of Democracy ?

Or will they just stare at you and point their fingers at your eyes ?

Or having lost it all, will they later join the Resistance, and clean us from your filth…and find a sense of belonging ?

Only then, will they be able not only to create a NEW Family Tree, but also draw One…replacing the one you viciously and violently uprooted them from.
The one you robbed them from ever experiencing.
The one you never allowed them to feel or…remember.


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