Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Thank you my friends

Thank you my friends for comforting me and giving me hope again. your comments and emails calm me a lot. It’s the hardest time I had in all my life. I have many things to think about, and my problem is that I think a lot and I want everything to run as scheduled. This is my main problem, I think a lot , sometimes I hope to be cool for a short period, but this is me. My husband always says, I can’t imagine you not thinking of a coming problem in your head.
Today my husband received his visa, and he will leave soon, I was so confused and I had mixed emotions. My mother in law cried as soon as she heard that he will leave soon, I cried with her and my husband tried to calm us.
Till now I can’t accept the idea of leaving for a long time, and I can’t stand it without my husband, I feel so weak without him, he gives me the power in everything.
About the generator, I can’t operate it, because I have to pull a long string very hard and fast and it’s too hard for me and I have a problem with my right shoulder because of it.
Anyway you will read many posts from me, when my husband is away, I will not have anything to do at the beginning till he will have his residency and start with my papers which is another problem I think about a lot, what if they do not allow me to enter Dubai?

I wonder what you want to know about me and my family? I will prepare a post to post it when I will leave Iraq.
Today we bought a few books, we have very few choices with books they are either political or religious ones. For me I don’t like any of them. But today we found a book shop in a second floor of a building without a show room, but it was great, it contains many good books and they have a catalogue of their books, I wonder how many people know about it? the prices of books are rather high in Iraq, that’s why very few people are reading books now. These books will help me to kill the time when I will sit alone. I’m not going to read them now.
PS. I will try to write some emails when I can, so please forgive me for not responding. I feel so glad when I read them.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

A consequential decision

You might have noticed that I did not write anything valuable for the last couple of weeks. I’m going through a very hard time, it makes me unwilling to write or do anything. Today I decided to write maybe you will make me feel better.
My husband has a work opportunity in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and the last couple of weeks we had to take the decision whether we should accept it or not. After deep thinking from both of us we decided that he will accept it. and that means we will leave to Dubai. I still can’t believe it, I have always dreamed of traveling outside of Iraq but not for a long time, this time I don’t know for how long. My husband said till things in Iraq start to get better. But what if things never start to get better?
I tried to put a list of negative and positive things and here they are:
The positive things:
He has a great job that he likes, a good opportunity to take his PhD from there, Which I really want him to take.
I will see the world, And I might have the chance to work and put my daughter in a good school, without the fear of being killed or kidnapped for both of us.
If things start to get better in Iraq, we will return back and have good chance to find a good work again. and if things become worse than before, we took the right step from the beginning by having the chance to rebuild our future again.

The Negative things:
I will leave my parents alone, which is something that I don’t know how I will handle. I cry every time I imagine myself leaving them alone in these terrible conditions. They have only me for them since my sister lives in Mosul. I blame myself for leaving them but at the same time I have to think about the future of my daughter too. they encourage us to leave, but I know from their deepest heart they wish we will stay. I also will lose all my friends here and of course IRAQ. My eyes are full of tears now.

I will lose all the nice memories in my house, I love my house and I can’t take anything with me. We will leave in an airplane. I still can’t imagine how I will close the house and move to the unknown.

These are not the only the bad things that bother me. There is another problem. Dubai refuse to give me a Visa because I’m an Iraqi that had never went to Dubai before the war. They will give my husband only because he had gone there several times and he has a work contract in Dubai. So he has to leave alone first and after he will have his residency he will take me as I’m his wife. This procedure might take too long and we don’t know how much it will take. some said it took about a month and a half some said more some said less. but we don’t know anyone who have made his residency after the war. (I meant for Iraqis). So we will take a chance. I don’t know How I will stand to stay alone without him. I depend completely on him in many things in the house, I can’t go alone, I can’t operate the generator alone, and so many problems we had that he used to take care for me.
I feel so depressed, We have never thought of leaving Iraq before, now we have to, we can’t stand living here any more. My husband was so depressed the for the last few months till now, he said he needs to make a change we all need to make a change, even our way of thinking needs to change.

He will leave next month, and I will wait for him here. you will be my only way to relieve myself and be connected with the outside world. And after leaving Iraq I will give you some information about me and my family.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. I hope you enjoyed it.
As for me, I bought a present for my husband, and I thought he forgot about it. He did not tell me anything in the morning and when he return from his work, my parents were visiting us, so he did not mention it. After they went, he went to his car and brought me a beautiful red flower with a teddy bear holding it, it took my heart. He said he forgot about it till he discover it when he was working at the internet with Google.
Anyway it is nice to have a day for love not for war.
Valentine is not very popular in Iraq, only few people celebrate it, and as I know only lovers during their engagement or friends in collage. For me and my husband we celebrate it every year, this is our 8th year together since we have started to celebrate it.
I have nothing to say now, So bye and happy valentine’s day again.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Life under Saddam

Many people asked me about life under Saddam. I’m going to talk about my life and my family’s and the ones I know from a neutral point of view. Anyway we had good days and bad days, not only bad days as many of you was thinking. everyone who did not get close to him or his family or his followers in anyway would not be hurt, this is a fact everyone knew. For me and my family we tried to get as far as possible even from his followers. this way we did not get hurt. As for the normal life, we had an almost normal life, we used to go out and stay late as long as we wanted. Security was very good, I can go alone and walk without fear of being kidnapped, Electricity was good, we never had a problem with water, We had few problems with Fuel but it was solved after few days and once the Goverment made coupons in order to solve the problem. Shops and resturant stayed open very late, female students at universities were free to wear what they like as long as it was decent, now many female students started wearing the hijab because they are afraid of being killed or beaten by religious groups. I summarized the positive things and now I’m going to talk about the negative things under Saddam’s life. Saddam made a big damage to the country that is not easy to be solved soon and it needs many years till things will start to become better. First of all there was a big corruption in all fields of government and that is caused by the low payment to the employees of the government. For example if you want to have any legal papers or a passport or else you have to pay illegally to the employees, otherwise you could not get what you wanted. local hospitals were so bad in all kind of services, the doctors payment was very low more than you can imagine, For example the salary of a professional doctor did not exceed 15 dollars a month!!! a teacher of school took about 2 $ a month. So if you were an employee you either take a bribe or work something else after work like a taxi driver or open your private work. As for the security, it was not bad, but between time to time some gangs start to rob cars, especially the government cars and smuggled them to the north of Iraq (Kurdistan) and to Iran, and then the police start to make campaigns to catch those criminals and put them in jail. But after few months when Saddam had his birthday he always give presents to those criminal by freeing them out of jail, so within few months we will have car robberies again. But still were much less than we have now, we used to go out with our car without fear of being killed, most of the robberies was without killing, I mean you might park your car and then you couldn’t find it, now they don’t rob cars in this way, they killed you or threaten you by putting a gun on your head and then take the car.
My parents were not letting me go to some clubs, that we knew some of Uday’s followers used to attend, they were afraid of annoyance from those people.
We were not able to talk against Saddam or his party in public, or in front of strangers, because we might be caught by his intelligence and we might be executed for this. So we have to be so careful when we want to talk, even in the phone we were afraid to talk in anything that comes near Saddam’s policy. another thing that Saddam encouraged in his last years of his power, is returning of the tribes after almost being limited in the country sides only. Everything allowed to be solve with tribes without the need to be solved in courts. in that way every person had to depend on the power of his tribe, even if he was the victim. For example if someone hit your car and was his fault, that doesn’t mean he will pay you to fix your car, you might pay for him to fix his car and give him extra money. So we did not have a law system at all, the strong stay strong. For me and my family, we always lived in the city, my father even did not know to which tribe we belonged, so we always have to be careful in everything, many of our friends are like this, once a person we know had a problem, and the other part of the problem wanted a tribal meeting, so he went to his friend (the person’s friend) and borrowed his tribe and solved the problem.

I don’t know what you will call our life under Saddam, a hell or better than now. For me removing him was a dream to me, I still have hope for the Future, till now things are worse than in the Saddam’s day in many ways, the possibility of being killed now is much more higher than in Saddam’s days. but I still dream for a better future for me and my daughter and family. I voted, yes, I’m happy to do it. but still I don’t know the result of this election whether will be better or worse to Iraq, I gave my voice to a secular party to prevent having a religious one, The future of Iraq is not certain yet, I’m still afraid of having a civil war between us.
PS thank you all for your encouraging words to me, I received many emails hence I can’t reply to all of them. thank you again.