Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Bad Mood

I will not make a comment on your comments, It seems as we will go into an infinite loop to me. You believe in your news and I believe in what I see and live through. Any way this is my point of view and I respect all your points of views. but please some of you should write with a little respect with no need to use rude words.
To John from NZ I agree with Abu khaleel completely, he is a very good writer. Thank you for giving me his address.
if any one of you is interested, this is the address to his blog:

I had a terrible day yesterday, one of my husband’s best friends was sick and yesterday discovered he had cancer in second stage, he is only 29 years and his wife is pregnant with their first child. A main problem is in medication, you can’t be sure to have your full doze in our hospitals, today there is a medication but tomorrow may be not, beside most of the good doctors left Iraq. he is thinking of leaving Iraq for therapy, he had only Jordan to go to, since only Jordan accept Iraqis without visa and most of our doctors are working their now. He is trying to go to London, his uncle is living there but he is not sure if they will give him visa or not, and if they give him they will not give his wife and he will have to travel alone.
I was so worried about him, I did not sleep even for a minute, thinking about him and his wife and the coming child, can he make it? or not. I was thinking if he get his cancer because of the weapons used or not? is it the cause of his illness or something else. I heard many new weapons have been used in this war for the first time, maybe we are the experimental fields for those weapons.
After Desert Storm, cancer increased very much in Iraq especially in the south because most of the battles were in the south. now things are more complicated, we have been in a battle for more than a year and I wonder how much chances we have to stay alive? we have many chances to die but how many to stay alive?
I remember after the second gulf war, we did not buy some vegetables that was planted in the south for a while, there were rumors that those vegetables were subjected to radioactive materials that came from the weapons used in the Gulf war, we were not sure, but we did not buy them, now if we did not buy vegetables we will not be able to eat anything.
I hope this war will stop to bring us sorrows, and side effects. We want to have little fun for a change. And don’t tell me to be patient, I’ve been patient for the last 24 years and I don’t know if I or my beloved family will make it till freedom or die before it. I have a very bad mood but I want to write, this makes me feel a little relaxed and just like I’m speaking with someone (may be hundreds!) and open my heart to you.
Thank you for listening.

Friday, November 26, 2004


hello friends, I become too lazy for writing posts, sometimes I want to write but I don’t know what to write. I don’t want to make all my posts the same complaining about our bad lives that we are living.

I still have the flue, for more than a week, actually I became much better two days ago, and I went to take a bath but as usual the electricity went off and I could not use the hair dryer, I tried to operate our generator so I went outside with my hair wet, but it didn’t work. and I think I have the flue again, this time stronger than before. The bad news: my husband now has the flue too.

To all my friends who sent me emails: thank you very much for your support and prayers. I should send you replies, but I’m too lazy, and for those who asked me questions before, sorry If I missed anyone from you, I received many emails and I might forget to answer some, so please don’t hesitate to remind me if I forget and I will be honored to answer them all.

Some of you asked me how do I connect to the internet? I have three ways. the first one through phone line at home, I use internet prepaid cards. the second way, my husband have a direct internet connection in his office so sometimes I write a post and he posts for me and checks my emails, the third way, internet cafés, which are many, and I usually go there only when I have to make research for something and when I have to use the internet for a long time.

For the last comment I had from Sherif, well Sherif, I wrote many posts expressing my opinions about this war and you can check them. But the thing I did not write about is my point of view a bout Fallujah and I’m going to answer you in this post.

I think Fallujah needed a campaign similar to this long time before the terrorists and gangs strengthened themselves and made large cells and killed many innocent people. Maybe if they did it before they might have made it less bloody with less casualties and without destructing the whole city and driving away thousands of people from their homes and forced them to live in tents without source of heat in this cold weather. As I heard from people living in Fallujah, they had enough from those terrorists , but they could not do any thing against them because the terrorists would kill them with their families. I heard that some of the terrorists forced many families to have them at their homes and I heard that many of those families were killed during some attacks by the US forces. And that’s why the people of Fallujah want to put an end to it. Many of Saddam’s loyalists ran away to Fallujah and stayed there after Baghdad’s fall and I think they made some connections with other groups and co-operated with them. especially Saddam’s inelegance, because as I know most of them ran away to Falluja and I became surprised when I heard (during the war) that they escaped there, but now I understand why. One of the kidnapped people whom I know from far away said that they took him to Fallujah after kidnapping and he said the kidnappers were so organized even they were working in offices and had a lot of documents put all on CDs, and had lot’s of names in their lists to be checked, but they released him after paying a very large amount of money and he was lucky for not being killed. The only thing I did not understand is that the US army surrounded the city for long time but they did not check who left the city and made many of those terrorists escape to other cities like Mosul.

When I review the sequence of actions that the US army follows in solving problems, I found it similar to Saddam’s. Destroying all that come in front of them, act strongly without mercy, like killing that wounded person in the mosque!, random arrests, destroying houses if they suspect that there are some fighters in them. Maybe Saddam’s policy was right, and this is the only way that works with us. In the end only the innocent people pay and suffer hard. My prayers to those innocent people who had been killed or became homeless, my heart and mind with them. It is so hard when you don’t know if you will be back and if you do, you might find yourself and your family without home to live in or a place to stay. I know the government promised to compromise them, but they did not say how much they will pay them and when? Money doesn’t replace the losses of the memories you had in that place or that corner nor replace the losses of your beloved ones.

I wish we were avoided this violence from the beginning, and again I blame the Americans for the mistakes they have made after Baghdad’s fall. They could have simply minimized this blood shed from the beginning if they had acted wisely.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

No News

They say that 'no news is good news'. Maybe not here in Iraq. I haven't written anything new because all the news is the same, I mean all bad news still the same, so I have to make copies of my older posts instead of re-writing them again:).

As for my latest news, my sister returned back to her house after she left it for two days, this is not good news because they had a very bad night yesterday and she left the house again. I called her today in our relatives house. She said a rocket fell in the garden of their neighbor but it did not explode, they tried to go for the police or NG (national guard) so they can take it away before it explodes but they did not find any. They spent hours trying to reach anyone of them but they could not, and when they found one, they could not reach to them because of the high security walls they have. So their neighbor left his house and my sister with her children left theirs too. If you are going to ask me why they did not go to the US army, I'm going to answer you before you asked me: My sister told me that you can't find them just like that in the streets, and if you do find them, they are moving fast in their vehicles with guns pointed at your head.
Moreover, at my sister's house they don't have electriscity for the last four days because the street's electrical transformer was hit and the maintenance people refused to come and fixe it because it is unsafe as they told them.
As some of the comments I received calmed me because some Kurdish army went to help to settle the situation in Mosul. I don't know how to write it to you, because I myself don't understand it at all. People of Mosul don't like the peshmiraga (the Kurdish army) at all and all the news I heard from our relatives, were very astonished from our government because they brought some Kurdish army instead of the NG. And I think they just dropped wood on fire. And as I heard form people from Mosul the problem started when some insurgents attacked a Kurdistan party's building in mosul and killed three of it's guards.

As for my personal news, well the last few days my daughter had a flue with high fever, this is bad news, so I had to take care of her, and now she is recovering, this is good news, but I have the flue now, again it’s bad news, But the good news is that my husband is still ok so I'm making use of this and am asking him to prepare orange juice or hot coco to me or my daughter, wash the dishes, etc….LOL. I'm sure he will try to get the flue so he can get revenge.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What happened to my sister?

As I told you before, my sister is living in Mosul and her house is near a police station and there were fighting close to their house. The first day of Eid was the worse to them because the insurgents were in their street hitting the American army on the opposite direction and my sister’s house was in the middle. Both sides were hitting each other but nobody of them thought a bout the houses in the middle. She said they woke up on a sound of very loud explosions so they ran down quickly without even wearing their slippers. they sat in a small room that has few windows. She said they did not move from the chairs till 6 pm at that day and they could not even go the kitchen to bring anything to eat till 6 pm. My sister has a 6 month old son, she couldn’t prepare soap for him as usual, only milk and a meal of ready serials, that he refused to eat , and he was crying because he wants his soup.
Me and my family were very worried about her and her family, I even did not concentrate with the guests we had. Finally she called at night and said they have silence, but they will leave the house in the morning if it’s safe.
today she called and said there was a tank in their street and they let them leave the house. She went with her 3 children to her husband’s uncle house which is the nearest to their house and they couldn’t go further. Her husband returned to their house to stay with his parents and his grand mother since she is a very old woman and have something similar to comma and can’t be moved. My mother called him to check if they are still OK, He said two rockets fell near them, the first one only two houses away and the second one fell on the house opposite to theirs. Thank God nobody was hurt in any of the houses just of course the houses were damaged.

My daughter is very happy in Eid. She likes the presents that have been given to her by us and grannies and she is wearing new clothes and have candies. I envy her because she doesn’t have to worry about anything that is happening now. I hope I can return and be like her and not thinking about anything. This Eid very few people came to visit us, nobody living far away came to visit us, only the people near our house and near our district. there is a problem of fuel as I told you in my last post and this affects the usage of cars. I know a person who, the day before Eid, stood in a line of a gas station for 12 hours till he got fuel to his car!!!!!!!!!!!!!! he stood from 4 am till a bout 4 pm. The price of the Fuel in the black market is more than 50 times than if you take it from a gas station. Our car is full, so we have no problem, but still, we did not go far away, only to see my parents in Eid, who lives in the other side of the river.
I’m finishing this post on the third day of Eid, we still have no plans, My husband’s friends usually visit us, but We don’t know if they will this Eid or not. They will call if they will not. I prepared many kinds of pastries and I Don’t know what to do with them. Do you want some?.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Eid traditions in Iraq.

We will celebrate Eid Al-Futur either on Saturday or Sunday, that depends on whether the moon will be seen on Friday or not.
Eid is the calibration of ending Ramadan. It lasts for three days. in this post I’m going to talk a bout the preparation before it and what we usually do in Eid.
Well, before it, we usually buy new clothes especially for children. Every parents start to buy new clothes, shoes, etc... for their children. So it is very busy in the markets now a days. Women start to prepare KULAIJA which is something every house in Iraq should have in Eid. KULAIJA is kind of dough filled with either dates or
nuts with sugar. it is very delicious and is usually served in Eid with tea or juice. Also women start to prepare other kinds of pastry to serve to the guests. Children await Eid Eagerly, because the parents usually give them presents and candies, also the close relatives usually gives money to children (we call it EIDIYA) so the children can do what ever they want with their money.
As for my daughter we took her to the markets and bought her some clothes and the accessories but we are still thinking what shall we buy her as a present. she have many toys and I’m still wondering what shall we buy her. We bought her many candies with toys inside them. The problem is that we bough the clothes two weeks ago thinking that the weather will be cold on Eid, but the weather is still hot!!
Now let’s get back to the EID itself. We usually spend the first day of Eid in my husbands family house were his brother and sisters gather with their families, It’s very crowdie because they are a big family and with so many children you will sure have a headache. At afternoon many relatives come to see my father in law because he is the oldest in the family (he is 83 years old). Usually the younger one come and visit the older of the same family and friends. In our traditions we should visit all our relatives and friends in Eid and whish them a happy Eid.
We usually spend the second day of Eid in my parents house and visit my uncles.
One the third day of Eid we either visit some friends or we welcome them in our house. We sometimes receive more than 30 people in the same day, so they are tiring days for us.

I will end this topic quicly because I want to tell you about a very Important subject that had been neglected in many news stations.
Mousle had been almost fallen in the hand of armed insurgents. there is NO presence for police or the national Guard, and not even the American army. My sister lives there. The police station near them has been taken and burned. She said that there are many fighters carrying RPG and other weapons in their street and no one could do anything. My sister in law lives in Mosul too. She said we see many armed fighters but no one there to stop them. there are battles from time to time but it seems that the fighters are handling the situation not the government.
The house of Mosul governor was also burned. Some lootings happened in some places there too.
My sister was terrified to death, she said the fighters are shooting some rockets near her house and she was afraid that the American will shoot them and her house and she did not know what to do.

I’m not feeling well and I was very depressed the last couple of days. I did not have the spirit of Eid which usually makes us feel happy and waiting for it to come. I hardly went to the markets, I just went there for the sake of my daughter.
The electricity is very bad since the last few days till now. We have two hours of electricity for every 10 hours break, We don’t know why, the consumption is very little because the weather is very good, but there is no one to tell us why. Our generator is not working, the inverter is not working too and finally our local generator is working but the owner could not operate it more than 3 or 4 consecutive hours and then give it a rest for few hours. There is a problem with the Fuel too, and I think It will be a problem for the local generator too. My husband took our generator to a service center and the inverter too, I hope we will have them soon.
We also did not have water yesterday for more than 12 hours. We now have a curfew starting at 10pm till 4am. I’m really afraid from the unknown, and this makes me really nervous and depressed in the same time, I even took some valume the last few days because I think I will have a nervous break down soon. I think we deserve to live a better life than this, but I don’t know how? I just want to live a day without hearing bombs or shots, without hearing some people being killed or kidnapped, without being afraid form the future of ours and my daughter’s, is that too much to ask?
sorry for being so depressed, but this is the only way for me to express my feelings, and you are the only persons that gives me hope for the future, and your words make me stand this.
HAPPY Eid to you all, and may peace come to all around the world.

PS the national TV announced that the first day of EID will be on Sunday.

Friday, November 05, 2004

What have been changed?

In this post I’m going to answer John from NZ about his questions that I had received in one of his comments. his questions were:

For you and your husband and child, presumably a typical young Iraqi family, in the 18 months since the invasion:
What has become better in your lives, what benefits have you gained?
What has not been affected much?
And what has become worse, or what have you lost?
This would be a useful summary for those of us who can only get the "big" news.

Well, If you compare the good things we have with the bad things we had before, we don’t have that much. We have freedom of course, but I think we are not ready for the freedom we have, and the only people who are benefiting form it are the terrorists and radicals. Many of the Iraqis I know who hated Saddam before, are now wishing that he is back, and they said he is the only man who can handle the situation. For me, I still don’t and I can’t imagine myself under his control again. I don’t know what the use of freedom if I can’t use it?

the salaries are increased for the people working in the governmental offices, they are still very little if you compare them with the countries around us. But at least they can live with no need to beg! the normal salary before the invasion was about 15000 ID which is about 7$ !!!!! now the same person is having about 150000 which his is about know 100$! It is still nothing if you compare it with the expenses. the expenses of a 3 person family is about 300$ without rental cost, which is about min. 200$ per month. Most Iraqis can’t make savings for the future or for emergencies. In the seventies and before, their salaries were much better they used to have salaries between 700-1000 $ a month and that’s why I said it before and repeated now, our parents have the chance to make for their future while we are not. the expenses in the same period were very cheap and their salaries were so high.
I think most of you will ask how we used to live with salaries like that? most of the people don’t depend on what they are paid from the government, some of them work in trading others might work as taxi drivers using their private cars, and some took bribes in their work which are so many in governmental offices. you can’t get any legal paper from any office without being asked to pay money otherwise you can’t get it. The situation is still the same now. For example, I’m trying now to get my graduation certificate from my college, at first they wanted a copy of my passport (don’t ask me what is the relation because I don’t know?) so I made a new passport and I gave them a copy, later they asked me to return back after 9 months!!!!!! I don’t know if they want money or not, I’m trying to have information a bout them before I start to do anything, I’m going to ask the help of a professor in order to help to take my BSc degree certificate.
For other people who are working with private companies, they are paid much better , but still as I said nobody could save much for the future.

What has not been affected much?
In general, public services like hospitals and police services are still as bad as they were. The carelessness of the people who are working in the governmental offices is still the same.

And what has become worse, or what have you lost?
SECURITY, SECURITY and SECURITY, because without it we don’t have freedom at all. now I’m not able to walk alone in the street even with my daughter because I might be kidnapped or else. I used to do the shopping before now I can’t without my husband. I am even afraid to take the garbage outdoors alone. My husband is afraid of driving our car alone because he is afraid from armed robbery and he might be killed, so he is using a taxi instead of it. Before we had no problem with that and we get outside late as much as we wanted without fearing of getting killed or kidnapped now we have to be careful about every step we make.
For me I lost freedom before the invasion and after it. before I was not able to leave Iraq because the government refused to give me a passport and even if I can, no country will give me visa because I’m Iraqi. today not much have changed, I have a passport but no one agrees to give a visa to Iraqis because we might be terrorists.
we become more tension and depressed, I even don’t know how much I will stand that pressure that I have now, I wish I can leave Iraq now and this idea makes me nervous because I did not have this idea during Saddam’s regime.

PS: I know that G.W. Bush had succeeded in the elections. many people asked me about whom I prefer. forgive me for not answering your questions because I don’t know who will be best for us. I know Bush had made enough to us and done a lot of unforgivable mistakes but I don’t know Kerry that much, and I was afraid if he won he might take the Us troops out and leave us in this chaos, he will do the best for his country not ours and he is against this war from the beginning.

Another subject:
Thank you all for sharing your feelings and stories with your children, some of them made my eyes full of tears, they mean a lot to me, thank you again.
about Johnny’s story I’m really happy that your daughter is fine. This reminded me when my daughter became very sick last year, she had sever bladder infection and her kidneys were filled with sand and she needed to enter the children hospital for treatment, there were swelling all over her body (she was allergic to one of the medicines). her doctor said it is impossible to make her enter the hospital because she would have another diseases, we have only two hospitals for children in Baghdad, we don’t have private children hospital and they put every two kids in one bed, so you can imagine how it looks like. So her doctor suggested to watch her carefully at house, he taught us to give her the medicine through her veins (I don’t know the name in English) and we had to watch her for 24 hrs. for three days. I was very afraid because I have to be responsible for her while she should be in the care of hospital. during her illness she had a diarrhea, her doctor said because of the large amount of antibiotic she had taken, so I had to clean her in bed because she could not move because of the needle that were put in her hand with the tubes in it. at that period there were curfew and we couldn’t call her doctor if anything bad happened. I almost reach to a point were I was going to faint from tiredness and tension. My husband learned to give her the injections because I couldn’t do anything that may hurt her, he became very tension but we had to.
since that day till now we have to watch her carefully and make her a urinal test every month to make sure that her she had no infection and she had to drink as much water as she can, and this is a big problem for us that we should convinced her to drink when she doesn’t want to.
I talked too much in this post, in my next post I’m going to talk about our traditions in Eid (the three celebration days after Ramadan).