Thursday, July 20, 2006


Goodbye My Boy

This summer, the trumpeted security plan of the new government was put in action.

Others it seemed had their own ‘insecurity’ plan. It was far more effective than the government’s. Some say that elements of the government and their allies were active participants in that other plan. The result was a chaotic, murderous situation that no news agency has the capability or the resources to convey to others living outside this hell-hole. On an average day nowadays, I alone learn about six murders that are not reported anywhere on any media.

The resulting popular mood was reflected in a depressing essay by Shalash al Iraqi that I translated in my previous post. That essay included a long hate-list of an average Iraqi. It later occurred to me that poor Shalash, being an unmarried man with no children, missed at least one important item: our children.

I cannot imagine a father or mother hating their children. But in our miserable existence, we come very close to that.

An average parent in present-day ‘free Iraq’ spends a good portion of the day and night worrying to death over his or her children going to school, going out with their friends, being a shade late in coming home or strolling to the neighborhood shop to buy crisps and coke. Their resentment of restrictions over their comings and goings is a constant, never-ending source of friction and battles. Their agony in their sleep soaking wet in their sweat during the long power cuts in the mercilessly hot summer nights of Baghdad is a dull pain of helplessness and fury in the heart.

Most of the time you are sick with worry over their safety and well-being. The knowledge that they are in constant danger consumes you. It eats you alive.

You then realize that it is your love for them that is killing you. You begin to hate that love.

My eldest boy went away 16 months ago. Six months later, it was my daughter. We were left with the little one, not yet 17.

This summer he started working on his all-important Baccalaureate exams (the equivalent of high school). All we wanted was for him to pass that hurdle. But that was not to be. All the many forces of darkness on the loose in Iraq today went into an orgy of killing and senseless violence. It was too much for us. I don’t know how many people can fathom the depth of agony of seeing a loved one in eminent danger and not being able to do a thing about it.

Now my little one too has gone away.

Goodbye my boy.

May the Goddesses of Safety, Happiness and Good Fortune blow gently in your sails.

I hope you forget all your agony and your lost childhood, leave the pain behind, make new dreams and forge ahead in a world of hope and achievement.

As for those responsible for your suffering, may those of them who believe in God taste His wrath in Hell for all eternity. May those of them without a conscience acquire one to torment them with their own deeds for as long as they live. May the rest of them taste the medicine they recklessly prescribed to others for as long as their hearts are sick.

Goodbye my boy! There is a new, fresh pain of loss in my heart . Yet I hope I won’t see you soon.

Now I can start loving you again.

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