Saturday, February 25, 2006

"The world is a fine place and worth fighting for."

Being so far away from home, I undeniably feel somewhat disattached to the goings on in my birthplace. The feeling is one I have come accustomed to now, over the years, one I feel most Iraqi expatriates would relate to; a cocktail of emotions ranging from anger, to bitterness, to hopeplessness...you want to do something, you want to change it, but...you ultimately know theres nothing you can do...to the point where you feel what I feel now; numb, as if nothing fades you anymore.

This week has been a tough one for my country.One I prayed would not come around, though knew was an inevitability; like a ticking time bomb. I have read so many articles, watched so many news reports and debated the issues so much this week, that my mind and soul honestly feel drained to their limits.

To me, an Iraqi born in Iraq yet having lived in the West since the age of 3, its a strange feeling seeing these internal religious disputes. I was bought up to know that I was a muslim. Not Sunni.Not Shia.Just Muslim.Never did I encounter a situation where I would need to associate myself with either; I was taught I was Muslim and that was that.

No matter what differentiations I came across from many other Iraqis here in London over whether I was Sunni or Shia, I always thought, and moreso, knew that back home it was different; that to be asked the question would be an insult of extreme proportions.There was no differentiation; you were an Iraqi first and foremost.

I'm now left with the question, did the Exiled Iraqis who went back to Iraq Post-War (be it to rule, or whatever) bring their religiously seclusive ways with them, thereby causing inter-religious strife, or was this always a brewing problem waiting to boil over?

Eitherway, Iraq is in a sad, sad state of affairs. If, God forbid, it does descend into Civil War, I feel it would change the face of the Middle East as we know it.Not saying that this is an outright civil war now, though clearly enough, the wheels are in motion; should another such attack take place, then the outcome is obvious. The Lebanese Civil War last 15 years..how long will this last?

Talking to a friend a while back, discussing the 'Iraq Situation', she mentioned something, which stayed with me. She said, "There is still much tension in Iraq, because there are still so many unresolved issues. Jailing Saddam or killing his sons might be a solution to many albeit a short term solution, but the pain is still raw in the hearts of the previously trodden upon (be they Sunni, Kurd or Shia) for decades" In a way I agree with her...In order to move into the future, we must invariably deal with the past.

For me, theres no more a post I agreed with this week then that of Zeyad's Healing Iraq. His last paragraph was rather poignant, and one which hit me profoundly;

"What kind of nation are we? What kind of nation kills its intellectuals and academics, its doctors and healers, its women and children, its clerics and preachers? What kind of nation blows up churches and mosques, hotels and schools, funerals and weddings? We have left nothing sacred. Yet we have the insolence to accuse others of offending us, of vilifying us. I announce today that we have proved ourselves worthy of that vilification."

This post was bought to you with the help of Radiohead - Street Spirit and the colour grey.

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Long is the way And hard, that out of Hell leads up to light”.
-John Milton
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