Monday, September 24, 2007

Baghdad Burning!

This blog "Baghdad Burning" is written by a girl is from inside Iraq and is a touching account of how the war has changed Iraq and it's people (Baghdad Burning). It would seem that post-occupation by America-led forces differences like being Shia or Sunni which didn't matter earlier were being used to blackmail and to kill. Excerpts:

"I remember Baghdad before the war - one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were - we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night."

And this when she and her parents were preparing to cross over into Syria as refugees, after bribing the border guards:

"It happened almost overnight. My aunt called with the exciting news that one of her neighbors was going to leave for Syria in 48 hours because their son was being threatened and they wanted another family on the road with them in another car- like gazelles in the jungle, it’s safer to travel in groups. It was a flurry of activity for two days. We checked to make sure everything we could possibly need was prepared and packed. We arranged for a distant cousin of my moms who was to stay in our house with his family to come the night before we left (we can’t leave the house empty because someone might take it)."

And this after she finally crosses over into Syria:

"The first minutes after passing the border were overwhelming. Overwhelming relief and overwhelming sadness… How is it that only a stretch of several kilometers and maybe twenty minutes, so firmly segregates life [Syria] from death [Iraq]? How is it that a border no one can see or touch stands between car bombs, militias, death squads [Iraq] and… peace, safety [Syria]? It’s difficult to believe- even now. I sit here and write this and wonder why I can’t hear the explosions [in Baghdad]."

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