Saturday, April 22, 2006


The last 10 days were very distressing and exhausting for me . A very close friend of mine in the office phoned me one afternoon saying that her cousin was abducted on his way back home , right in their neighborhood, he was beaten up to half death and dragged away in front of his friend -who was with him in the car-. The family received a phone call where the kidnappers professionally succeeded in intimidating them , saying things like : We are coming for you next , go collect your son from the morgue , keep a close eye on your grandson .. and so on …. A day passed, then they called again demanding seventy thousand US dollars . The man is a pharmacist, so he is not that rich, his father told them that his son has a car , 10 thousand dollars and a pharmacy . He implored them not to harm his son and told them ,that they may take the car, the shop and the house, he told them that his daughter in law will move and they may take the whole house . Of course this may seem a bit ridiculous, but it happened in many cases , that kidnappers actually accepted houses and cars in exchange for their hostages ( in Iraq that is of course). They called after a couple of hours saying, that they changed their minds, cause it is too much trouble and they are going to kill the 40 year old pharmacist who is also a father of a 13 year old boy, who has not been eating for 3 days now ,being so attached to his dad. After begging, crying and beseeching the old father accepted his fate and told them that he is going to make the funeral arrangements for his unfortunate son , and thanked them for being so evil.
That was one situation, the other one; is that I am under a lot of pressure at work , cause we are really sitting on pins and needles at the office , with all this new witch hunting on anyone who is working going on, even the newspaper boy has disappeared after receiving a threat apparently. We do not know how to get in touch with him, cause he lives in a war zone as it is (Al Sader city) , so we are just praying for his safety .
Also, Al Adhamia was on the brink of major military operations. We were calling our relatives their every hour .They were telling us the most disturbing things . Street fights and shouts for help were heard in the ancient lanes of that area .

I always try to understand the motives and explanations for all actions that I encounter in life , even when crimes are committed. I try to understand what stands behind them . Our psychology professor back in college days used to repeat time after time ( No criminal is born with a dagger in his hand ) .There is always an explanation, not necessary a convincing one from our point of view , but at least try to understand why it is so convincing from the criminal’s point of view . i.e, try to understand the logic of a criminal.
But till this moment I fail to understand the motivations of government members meeting endlessly with trays of oranges , apples and bananas in front of them ( every and each time ) choosing not to see the Spanish inquisition campaigns all around them .What does it mean that they just will not yield in spite of torrents of innocent blood in the streets on daily basis , unless naturaly they are told from Overseas to do so ? .

When I read blogs of people , who have lost hope completely in Iraq, it makes me cry , it is easy , or rather affordable if you are abroad to lose hope, but if you are here in the spot, to lose hope is simply an exorbitant price . It means death , just lie down and die, literally .
Here you are sitting in the midst of debris, being waken up every night by gunshots and explosions, fearing the night visitors that may take you and drill a hole in your skull just for kicks , each and every day hearing of people you used to know being killed or kidnapped , waiting for your turn . …And yet we still choose to wake up every morning , and after thanking God for still being alive and having our breakfast , we drag our feet to our jobs, facing thousand of possibilities , and if we return home safely we lock and bolt our doors carefully, and we sit writing about it all , letting others know that we actually had a life before all this started , and that we still have views , meaning our brains still refuse to give in .
It could happen to anyone anywhere in the world if it happened to us .
That leads me to an attempt to philosophize blogging as an act . For some I guess it is a path to fame . Inspired by others who have actually succeeded , you start blogging in hope of becoming some sort of a celebrity . Others, especially in other places than Iraq try to become more real through blogging , cause may be by being real to others you'll become more real to yourself . In other cases mine included , blogging is some sort of a message in a bottle, to get others to know that you were actually here, on this Island, after the wreck of your ship you survived, you are still here , and in spite of having little hope of anyone coming along to save you , all the same you sat and wrote your message in the bottle and hurled it in the sea ( the internet) so that THEY would know.


Blogger cile said...

i happened to stand alomg the shore.
roulette, you have an amazing way of observing. glad to read this, and to pick up exactly these bottles.
go strong. and the bests of luck!

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thoughtful and well-expressed

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Friend in Chicago said...

first time reading your blog or any for that matter. Your words have touched me; you have a great ability to verbalize things others would never be able to put into words. My family lives in Baghdad and Samarra and while I live in the U.S., my heart is in Iraq and with all of you there. When I hear the bubbling voice of my 16-year old cousin in the midst of all the violence that surrounds her, I am in complete awe. your words in regards to the hope that the Iraqi people must carry, helped me to understand her need to be optomistic. you all are great people with amazing hearts that refuse to be hardeded and I only wish that more people could share in that trait. Please continue on, my thoughts are with you friend.

8:59 PM  

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