Wednesday, August 31, 2005


The March of martyrs

Yesterday, when groups of people were marching towards the holy shrine of Al kadhim, preparing for the upcoming anniversary , everyone who saw them had a secret punch in there hearts and a low voice ,which they tried too push to the back of their heads that whispered : “ something is going to happen” .
So, to say that it was a surprise will not be accurate at all . Yet, the weapon was unexpected : “ Fear” .
An estimated million visitors marched today to commemorate the Death of -Imam Al kadhim- . There was a mortar attack around 8:30 or 9:00 this morning on the holy shrine . The flow of people did not slow or lessen. It carried on as expected . But each and every one of those millions was thinking and fearing an attack of some kind . So all they needed was a shout uttered on the “ A’ima bridge” to cause a stampede. Some jumped into the river Tigris , others were crashed under terrified feet ,the rest fell off the bridge when a railing collapsed due the pressure of scrambling people . Reports are estimating 640 deaths and it is expected to rise. The images coming out are very painful . Reports of about 50 people being poisoned are confirmed now after initially being denied . My friend phoned this morning at about 11:30 she told me that casualties are being brought to the hospital in pick up trucks, she said - they have suffocated perhaps from the crowd, not the usual wounds- . The reports from the bridge had not come out yet. Later I was not able to get through to her and I understood the whole story from the news .
People are blaming the government for the lack of experience in controlling the crowds in such events , officials are accusing each other and demanding each other’s resign .
The people as usual are dealing with the crisis better than the officials, the anniversary went on and visitors kept going to their destination , after all the shrine of Imam AL Kadhim is the place where muslim go to sink their sorrows and seek justice and comfort, for he is the Imam "Guardian" of the opressed and the unfortunate.


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