Sunday, September 18, 2005


The bleeding goes on , no one to stop it . More assassinations taking a more random pattern . In Al Ameria today to stores were flattened to ground by an explosion . Bodies are being found on daily basis is various parts of the country . A lot of these assassinations are carried out by men in uniforms . They come pretending they have orders to search a place or arrest someone, and families are slaughtered thus . When incidents like these are reported no one can confirm anything . Rumors blame various parties starting from foreign secret agencies and militias to ordinary killers.
A high ranking official was killed in Al Iskanderia in the south , the assassins came in official cars, armed, in uniforms and entered his very well protected house , shout him with tens of his guards .This is an example that can be explained he is an official , but how can the killing of workers or students be explained in Areas like Al Doura , locals think it is to drive as much people out of the area as possible .

Poetry and Blood

When you are cooped up in a house or an office you don’t really imagine what is going on if the events are relatively far from your location , you are unable to assess the devastation right away .
That day “Wednesday the 14th” , I thought that the tragic blast in AL Kadhumia would be the share of the day . Later that morning we heard that something was going on in AL Ghazalia and al Shulaa too . I left office after half an hour cause I had to go to the other side of the town to finish some business there , What a day to pick! but , no one knew what laid ahead . I finished at about 12:30 and was stuck in a taxi for more than three hours just to cross from Al Risafa to Al Karkh .
The Taxi driver was an old man: Grey hair, gray beard and moustache and a gray shirt . I told him my destination , he paused for a moment then said “ I think I can , hop in “ He asked me if I had heard where the last explosion was :
- You mean Al Kadhimia explosion?
- No, that was early this morning , there were more….
- I am not sure . before we said more we heard another explosion that shook the car.
- I think that would be in Alawi Al Hilla the driver said . The police ordered everyone to stay in their cars and kill the engines immediately . No one was allowed even to walk . We obeyed helplessly .
The old driver was very kind and patient. I was afraid that he would start analyzing and reviewing the current political situations , or he would start reciting all the conspiracy theories he knew using the time we have . I was really not in the mood for that : what is there to analyze? we are being exterminated , we are the last of the Mohicans . 200 civilians / day is too much even for China’s population . If he starts I said to myself “ I’ll certainly cry my head off”.
The old man turned towards me and asked with a smile :
- Do you know that song ? .
- Sorry ?
I realized he was referring to the loud song playing from the radio in the neighboring car .
- Yes I’ve heard it before ,I said
- It is a song from my time not yours , the words are so beautiful don’t you agree?
- Yes…. I listened with the old man , it was a song from the late sixties or early seventies I wasn’t sure . The hoarse masculine voice sang along :

Your image dozes in my eyes from the days of youth till this instant
Your reflection was my guest as I slept and as I awoke
I sprinkled the days of my life on your path,
thinking your love would last
I never ever thought that your infatuation,
was that of one night and one day

- Splendid, the old man went on …- the police men were shooting in the air and the sounds of ambulances sirens raged, a thud or two were heard from where we were- …you know, I heard one of these new things they call songs it went “ I’ll play on you if you’ll play on me “ rubbish , absurd , Do they actually pay them to sing such stuff ? Do you know Muthafar Al Nawab ?
- Yes , I’ve heard about him lately , I mean after the war I started seeing his books everywhere , My Dad recognized him when they showed him on TV the other day .
- He is a great poet . The Baathies hated him and banned his poems. They even banned his love poems , they saw a political message in everything he wrote . Yeh , you wouldn’t find “ The train and Hammad” in any school book .
- Is it good I haven’t read it ?
- It starts : Oh train wail sadly if Hammad passes by … he uses an old name for train ( Rale ) there is a story behind it you know .
I don’t know how genuine the story is but it is strong. The old man told me that the poet was traveling by train. He sees a young woman crying so he sits next to her and asks her if he can help . She tells him her story , She had been in love with a boy from her village since she was a little girl , they grow up and their love grows with them .When he proposes her family doesn’t approve , so they decide to run away together and get married . After a while he misses his mother and tells his wife that he will go to visit her secretly. The young woman had a strange feeling but eventually lets him go for one day , three days pass by without a sign of him, so she decides to go and look for him herself .The poet goes with her in case she needs anything. When they get off the train and enter the village they see that there is a funeral : Hammad’s funeral. Her brothers killed him. She dies shortly after him . So : Oh train wail sadly if Hammad passes by …
A few hours later I got to a relative’s house in Al Risafa . I doubled the old man’s fee for all the trouble he went through , but he refused inflexibly .
Only when I returned home I realized what God had saved us from . The next day the first thing I did was search the internet for the poems of the famous poet of the sixties, the sixties : the time when life was reasonable and when young people’s greatest concern was to love and be loved in return .


Blogger cile said...

beautiful. thanks for tellling.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Don Cox said... love and be loved without being murdered by crazy relatives. I think the madness that makes people build car bombs is the very same madness that leads to "honour" killings. If you asked these people why they are killing, it would be "the Americans humiliated us" or some such crap. Being humiliated or embarassed or having your sister marry without your permission is NOT a ground for murdering people.

3:31 AM  
Anonymous The Iraqi Roulette said...

I agree totaly , that is what I meant exactly.Violence or killing an inocent human being has no justification what so ever. And that is what the tragic poem is all about. Thank you for understanding.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Zeyad said...

I can't find your email address. Please email me as soon as you can.


7:54 AM  
Blogger Pebble said...

That was a very emotional post...
And very good.
Thanks for sharing.

7:08 PM  

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