madly in love with Iraq


Dear Baghdad

You’ve always been my title although I’ve never used your name as one.

Five years has passed, five years of you being torn apart and drained off.
We were told it is the dead line for you to turn into heaven and look what is happening all over the world because of you and what is hidden is far greater.

So are you finally taking vengeance?

Every morning we wake up to a new crisis.

Where shall I start? What happened to the promised stable oil prices? Where is the flourishing Global economy? Or maybe we should speak about the peaceful world that will live happily ever after?

“Five years! That is too long, stop being pessimists. We are free from fear now and we’ll make it up quickly, we have resources of all kinds; we will be an example to all.”

I was happy and hopeful and did not want then for anything to disturb the beautiful image I had started to paint and the happy endings I started to wish for. I wanted to forget that wars bring nothing but destruction and misery. I forgot that I’ve experienced two wars myself, I forgot that I left home because I couldn’t take another one which was looming in the air.

Iraq-Iran war slaughtered our boys. The first Gulf war destroyed our infra-structure and took more boys. The sanctions killed our children and turned us from a dignified nation to a corrupt and hungry one.

All the above was just a warm up and a preparation for the big event “The Liberation of 2003”. The aim was always there, once they set foot on this land it will be for good.

We lost nearly everything along the way. Many ordinary things have lost their meanings, we became without dreams and the days that have passed are more reassuring than the ones to come.

A lot of my friends think of me as a dreamer when I speak about Baghdad not only my friends even my own family back home. They all believe that I talk and talk but in reality I cannot live there again. I sometimes feel that it is my duty to dream for them and see matters brighter through my comfortable eyes.

I tried to forget about you Baghdad but you are like a curse you keep on controlling my life and many others. The people who hurt you are paying dearly and the people who were hurt because of you are paying even greater.

I met her a while ago, my friend’s sister; just arrived from Baghdad, an energetic, focused young woman. She jumps and shouts and laughs from the bottom of her heart and keeps on saying “I cannot control my adrenaline; it is so high I cannot even sleep.”

Her presence brought life to our monotonous routine and stimulated a lot of our inner yearnings and memories which we continue to suppress to get along with life.

I started to look forward to our meetings because of her. Everything about her even the looks screams that she is from Baghdad.

We chose to meet on that day; the fifth anniversary of operation shock and awe.
No one of us mentioned anything, we just sat there eating and looking at the deserted tower bridge through the restaurant windows in a freezing London night.
She was very quiet through out the evening, but smiled widely when any of us directed the talk to her.
When the time had come for us to leave and when we were all busy putting our coats on, she sat on the nearest bench and started to cry softly.

I fought my usually stubborn tears as I was trying to pull her up, but she just froze in there.

In few moments a flash back of my whole life materialised in front of me, and all our losses felt so small and irrelevant compared to the biggest one, the one that we all cry for.

I will say that all nations in the developed and modern world are better than us so no one would accuse me of bigotry. These countries can give you opportunities, pay you for your hard work, justify you when you have a legal problem and above all provide you with the right of living peacefully without fear. But does anyone of us feel secure? I can bet on my life that the answer is no.

The advanced world is a loveless one; it is a cold, ruthless and functions robotically.
Everything is beautiful and immaculate but at the same time lifeless.
Our miserable world had nothing to hold it together but love.
We survived the wars with it and fought tyranny with it.
If we assume that 30% of Iraq was Saddamists the other 70% supported each other through hell by sharing their sorrows and joys with love, a romantic love not a systematic one.

The war advocates say the hate in my country was a collateral damage but it is “The damage” and maybe it was our only weapon.

Love is our real loss; love is what my friend was crying for.