madly in love with Iraq


The sound of silence

“Happy women’s day” I said it over the phone to the few friends I have left in Baghdad.

F’s cheerful laugh echoed back as usual “I don’t believe you phoned just to say that, darling take me off your greetings list, I am in hibernation.”

“Have you lost hope completely?” I asked.

“I don’t know, but hope means expecting something to happen and get frustrated if it doesn’t. I am really fed up with this game, I prefer to get along with the idea that this situation will last forever and I have to live it as it comes. This is my new philosophy.”

Sensing her good mood I said “What about love? Are you still madly in love with him?” Another cracking laugh pierced my ear “Of course I am, and worse than ever! My heart actually still throbs when I hear his keys opening the front door."

She went on "Tell you what, in spite of all; I feel lucky I managed to fall in love. Look at this generation not only there is no way for them to live a normal life, but somebody is poisoning their brains and killing their future dreams. A programme on a so-called secular and liberal channel broadcasted last week, was implying that love is safer if it comes after marriage for young women! And pressed at least three times that men were born with the ability to love more than one!”

A, my other friend’s answer to my greetings was “You know what; all I dream of is silence. No bombs, no shooting, no sirens, no generators, no news and even no calls for prayer. I reached a point where I wish I could strangle my children just to shut them up."
"The day of silence would be my day, if I managed to live till it comes.”

S, a divorcee with two small children is still working because she has to. She still drives as well, “It is really tough, but I prefer it to sitting at home. My only problem is the guilt. If I got killed my children would have no one.”
“Do you remember how anti-men I used to be in the good old days? Now I am not. We are equals at last. Bombs and mortars do not discriminate, so probably they deserve a men’s day as well”.

The last call I made was to another A, the only one deeply involved in politics!
That is if women’s’ associations and orphanages are considered politics!
Actually I phoned in reply to her greeting e-mail which made me feel bad for not taking the initiative.

Her drained voice reflected her worries and defeat, but as soon as she recognised my voice she said “It is tough but we will get there. We have to compromise, bend and twist just to keep things going. There are constant clashes, and the hope to work as a team looks far fetched.
To be frank and direct, religion is our big obstacle; every little issue has to be channelled through its narrow tubes.”

“Is there any hope for women?” I asked.
There was a moment of silence then she said “Maybe when we manage to convince the nation that we are better. At least women are mothers first and there is no way they would allow these killings. You cannot imagine a woman running a militia can you?”

I laughed and said “I miss Baghdad” and her immediate reply was “Me too”.


  • 'women are better, they don't run militias and they don't accept killing'

    Hala, I'm a man but I agree with that , women proved that they're even less sectarian and narrow minded than men, at least they don't want to go on in this death cycle.

    I disagree that religion is our obstacle, seteriarism is the the ral obstacle, and it has nothing to do with religion, your friend is mistaken about that.
    You shouldn't blame religion for the mistakes of peopel, being sunni or shiite doesn't have anything with being muslim.
    I know many athiest and agnostics who are sectarian and claim for the rights of their sectors.
    Being narrow minded doesn't mean being religious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:42 am  

  • تبرىء الكلمات في القلوب

    ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
    الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

    سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
    على النفوس والشيطان
    قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
    خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
    على القلوب البريئة
    كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

    كيف تنام عيون الايمان
    وسرير الأمل
    تفترشه ملاءة القنوط الشاحب
    وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
    تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
    وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

    وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
    ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
    و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
    حتى يصل الاعتقاد
    بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

    تحدث الحكيم
    بصوته الخفيض وقال
    أن للشيطان أتباع
    يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
    وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
    يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

    مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
    بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
    اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
    تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
    لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

    سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
    ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
    بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
    وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
    ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
    مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
    حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
    بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
    على شواطىء العزم الالهي.

    [أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

    By Anonymous Through Grace Peace, at 10:10 pm  

  • !!

    By Blogger nadia n, at 9:44 pm  

  • nadia
    Very intersting and crazy indeed!

    By Blogger hala_s, at 3:27 pm  

  • Reading your friends comments looks like I'm listening to the echo of my voice.
    "Is there any hope?"
    Keep dreaming. zir3oh w makhadhar

    By Blogger chikitita, at 8:19 pm  

  • As salaam alaikum.

    I surfed in to remind you about jumah prayer today. If you can't make it to your local masjid come by my blog for my 2 pence in a khutbah series:

    Be well.

    Wa salaama,

    nuh ibn

    By Blogger nuh ibn zbigniew gondek, at 4:01 pm  

  • Don't we all Hala...Don't we all miss Baghdad!...My only wish is that I may get to visit my city and hopefully when it is no longer in ruins before my dying day...and at times and despite the fact that I'm not at all old...seems like a remote, undoable dream...

    By Blogger ZZ, at 9:30 pm  

  • " is safer if it comes after marriage for young women! And pressed at least three times that men were born with the ability to love more than one!”


    "women are better, they don't run militias and they don't accept killing"
    AND believe it or not, they are much MUCH better looking than men.

    take care Hala, sorry i'm late here. way late.

    By Blogger aNarki-13, at 3:36 am  

  • Hello,
    I hope you are having a pleasant day so far. I thought you might be interested in a new site. is a new web site dedicated to collecting open letters from the Iraqi people to the American people. We accept and post all letters. We would love to have your participation.
    With peace,

    By Anonymous josh, at 4:19 pm  

  • May you one day have Baghdad returned to you in peace. And may your children one day see the beauty that lies beneath.

    I created a peaceflash for my Iraqi family that I would like to share.

    Sending you warm smiles of peace

    By Blogger deborah, at 6:53 am  

  • hooray, your writings on theater and writing much missed!

    By Anonymous 網站設計, at 8:40 am  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home