'[T]he religion should gather us, not separate us, if the religion separate it’s people then I don’t want to belong to any, but I am sure this thing is made by the government, they want to see the Iraqis separated, but anyway it’s not going to happen.' I loved what he said and wrote it at once...well I celebrated Eid for 8 days, with the Sunnis, Shiites, and Christians....
Monday, January 7, 2008
Behind the cloud of the rhetoric surrounding terrorism, suicide bombers, Al Qaeda, and the imminent "democratization" of Iraq, lie the countless of mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, and grandparents trying to carry on despite this deadly chaos. For this reason, I'm going to explore this issue from the best vantage point there is: through the eyes of an Iraqi....
A few days ago, a good friend of mine had turned my attention to this blog--Days of My Life--and boy, was I ever grateful! Initially, I figured it was just another one of your average-run-of-the-mill-blogs that reads like a diary, or how-to-make-$$-manual, or marketing tool...you get the point.
So I click on the link and what I find almost brings me to tears:
Days of My Life--"Talk about daily life of a teenage girl in Iraq, and days of suffer and success. My nickname will be Sunshine...."
As I read Sunshine's profile, I am left with the sense that she is well beyond her years. At just 15 years-old, this Iraqi teen aspires to be an engineer or pharmacist. And despite living right smack in the centre of American-Iraqi crossfire, she describes how "optimism is my strategy always...."
Each of Sunshine's posts, seemingly unbeknownst to her, provide a powerful commentary on the trivial nature of war and religious segregation. While eerily reminiscent of the young Anne Frank, Sunshine's youthful idealism and candid fear dramatically collide with the values detonating the mortars right outside her window.
In "Excellent Eid (part 1)," this Iraqi teen documents her road trip to Baghdad, where relatives are hosting a celebration of Eid ul-Fitr. As American troops ubiquitously line the streets of her journey, Sunshine exclaims: "Thank god we didn’t sleep in the street, when the US vehicles drive we have to stop aside, or drive 100 meters away, slowly with the lights on, if we drive nearby they point with lazer on our car or shoot!"
Once Sunshine and her family finally arrive, she enthusiastically revels in her surroundings as a delicious feast awaits all of the loved ones sharing this special occasion. And throughout her entire story, Sunshine's bright introspection never ceases to amaze me. When speaking to a family friend (referred to as "A") about the fractured relations between the Shiites and Sunnis, the teen is taken by his powerful insights. She shares this valuable lesson with us all: