madly in love with Iraq

25.11.06

For better and for worse

Ali Flayih was from J’bala, a small village in between Baghdad and Hilla.

I have never heard of this village before, but staff in Al-Yarmouk Hospital in Baghdad knows Dr Flayih and J’bala very well. If a patient of the hospital says he is from J’bala, then he must have been referred by Dr Flayih.

He was a determined young man who fought hard to achieve his degree in medicine. His high grades enabled him to further his studies and become a qualified surgeon.

A shy man from a very reserved background and yet full of wit and enthusiasm.
When asked about his future wife, he insisted then on choosing a very white woman whose family were registered as Baghdadis in the 1957 census. As it was a must if you want to buy a property in Baghdad under Saddam’s reign.

He ended up marrying a brunette doctor from Najaf!

For years he travelled back and forth from his small village to Al-Yarmouk hospital in Baghdad. As security deteriorated, he decided to transfer to Hilla medical school for a teaching position in the morning, and practice in his clinic in the village as usual in the evening. He lived all his life in a mixed community and was lately upset because Wahabis were creeping into the area and accusing his people of being infidels. How could they? he said. Who are they to judge us? How dare they disturb our peaceful village?

The pride and joy of J’bala was killed last week on his way to work leaving two children and a devastated young wife.

A post that was meant to be a tribute to him and to all our invaluable academics and professionals whom we are loosing daily by death or desertion again sounds so futile compared to the recent massacres.

I’ve passed feeling upset, anger is my only sentiment. I feel as if I am facing someone I am madly in love with who went literally mad and uncontrollable. I want to slap him and wake him up or else sedate him to prevent his evil.

I don’t usually dream, but lately dreams are eating me up. Flashes from the past haunt me day and night.
If I was with my family, I would have established a survival instinct, but being very far all I do is worry about all Iraq. I worry about the trees as much as I worry about the young and old.

Our struggle is making everybody happy but us. We insist on looking for enemies rather than friends, and I wish we are identifying the right ones.

Is there a method behind this madness? I don’t believe there is, and if I am wrong, it is definitely not our method.

Look at Lebanon; they are turning to the Americans for help. Is there a limit to this stupidity?
America who authorised a war just few months back, and kept silent watching them bombed and their country falling apart, let alone fuelling the war with their arms.

Why doesn’t America put more effort to find a solution for the Palestinians?
They want to protect democracy in Lebanon, oh yes, a democracy that encourages hate and fragmentation. Look at us for heaven’s sake.

Unfortunately they are winning and their mission impossible has been achieved far much better than Tom Cruise.

One day they will leave and we will be left with a history of violence and wounds which are very hard to heal, and yet we will still be together.

Like a catholic marriage, no way out….

It is for better and for worse.

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