Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Abu S.. came back to the office last week . He looked a lot thinner and he limped noticeably, as if he just doesn’t care any more .
I came to know the hard way, through the many deaths I’ve witnessed in my life, that comforting a believer is way more easier than comforting someone who does not believe. With a believer it is just the usual “ it is the will of God ... the deceased is in a much better place now! “ . While, with an unbeliever you have to find explanations for the tragedy , which are usually rather more confusing than comforting . Abu S .. is an ardent believer, which "should" mean that half his battle is already won.
For the first day he did not stay for the whole day, he had things to do, his little newly orphaned grandchildren - there are three of them- wanted to stay with him ,while their newly widowed mother was staying at her parents house .
He told us, that his son was killed with his best friend in his shop that afternoon . Witnesses told him, that armed men came out of their cars and headed straight to the shops , one of the shops was S.. green grocery shop , the witnesses told the unfortunate father that S.. jumped as soon as the hit men came, in front of his friend , maybe in a pathetic, thoughtless last moment attempt to prevent them from killing his friend … anyway they were both killed with 7 other shopkeepers . S.. was a Sunni, his lifetime friend was a Shii.

Abu S.. is going on with his daily chores as usual, insisting on bringing us coffee , turning on and off the generator, filling it with fuel whenever empty and tidying up . I caught him once or twice , when going to get some water from the kitchen fridge , wiping his tears while washing the cups .
I hear you pal , I’ve been there before , I know how it feels . You think that mountains will suddenly tumble with the weight of your loss , rivers will stop flowing and the sun will stop rising , yet, you find that the show is still amazingly going on. You look at the streets and you just want to shout out loud : “ What!!! Are you people still going to work? where the hell are you driving your cars to ? , Is the TV still showing the usual stuff ? hasn’t the world heard the news ? don’t you all know who I have just lost ? .
Oh , how I hear you ... you sweet sweet old man .

I once read a short story by Anton Chekov , it was called “Misery” . The hero was a poor cabby, who had just lost his son . He spends the whole snowy miserable Moscow night trying in vain to get through to his unfeeling customers, and tell them about his loss, Yet, no one gave a damn . So, at the end of the story he sits feeding his horse and actually starts telling the horse all about his loss.


What is happening in Lebanon is too painful to watch even for an Iraqi . Qana is a disgrace, a tarnish on the forehead of humanity, and all it claimes to have achieved in centuries . How could anyone allow something like that to happen ? . If “let’s say just for argument's sake” the world thought that the destruction that happened in Iraq was justified by the fact that Saddam was the monster camping behind a hill just waiting to launch them MDWs , then, what has Lebanon done to deserve all this destruction? . Lebanon is the only democratic country in the whole region. Once I was discussing an idea with someone , I was saying that what happened to us could happen anywhere , he disagreed with me and said, that it is impossible that the civilized world would permit such a thing , cause we -he said- gave the world an excuse to beat the hell out of us , since our policies were despicable in every way, we just left no options for any good doer .
What about Lebanon then? Is it right to ravage a democratic country such as Lebanon like that ? destroy and kill everything that is moving . Sure there were reasons, there will always be .
But , a world , that sees a building which has been freshly destroyed and sees disabled children's corpses being pulled out from the rubble , yet does nothing , is the depiction of hell as we know it . In other words; the Holocaust , London Blitz , the mass graves in the Ukraine, Poland and Russia, Hiroshima, Uganda and Baghdad meant nothing to the human race so far.

I am reading Gibran’s “ Broken Wings ‘ now , although I have read it before , I am repeating it cause the description of Beirut in it is sublime . Beirut is actually a living being in the book , a character parallel to the main characters; young Gibran and his lost love Salma. Here is a excerpt :
“ In the spring of that wonderful year , I was in Beirut . The gardens were full of Nisan flowers and the earth was carpeted with green grass , all like a secret of earth revealed to Heaven . The orange trees and apple trees , looking like houris or brides sent by nature to inspire poets and excite the imagination , were wearing white garments of perfumed blossoms. Spring is beautiful everywhere , but it is most beautiful in Lebanon . It is a spirit that roams round the earth but hovers over Lebanon, conversing with kings and prophets , singing with the rivers the songs of Solomon , and repeating with the Holy Cedars of Lebanon the memory of ancient glory . Beirut, free from the mud of winter and the dust of summer , is like a bride in the spring or like a mermaid sitting by the side of a brook drying her smooth skin in the rays of the sun".


Blogger Fayrouz said...


I'm glad you posted an update about Abu S.

From my experience with death, losing a loved one leaves a big scar even if you're a believer. It's one of these things that we can't accept easily.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Please convey my condolences to Abu S.. from the Netherlands

12:54 PM  
Anonymous The Iraqi Roulette said...

Thank you so much for your words and concern.

I absolutely will tell him , he is such a harmless and kind soul. That is why you being in the Netherlands feel and sympathize with him.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous N said...

I am truely sorry for your friends loss. Also for the many lost in Lebanon. But from my point of view, regarding the tragedy in Qana, only Hez'b allah is to blame.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Gilgamish said...

iraqi roulette,

send my condolences to abu S, wala i love this old man, he makes me Iraq even more, probably remind me of what is good in iraq.

And thanx for khalil Gibran's excerpt, beautiful :)

7:17 PM  
Anonymous The Iraqi Roulette said...

Thanx for your feelings, as I said there will always be someone to blame , but that does not change the outcome, the innocent are the ones to pay as usual..

Abu S.. does actually represent the good Iraq , the Iraq that I pray we will never lose.

8:57 AM  
Blogger cile said...

hope you are well?
take care

3:01 AM  
Anonymous The Iraqi Roulette said...

Hi , I hope you are fine . Thanx a lot for stoping by , I'm fine thanx
and I'll tell you all about it ;)

6:33 AM  

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