Here are a pair of letters that serve to tie two people together; that are symbols of how many of us are becoming tied together; that hold a promise that we will soon admit to ourselves how very much we are all tied together.
====Wednesday, May 17, 2006 from Broolyn to Baghdad ==== My dear
It's been such a
long time since I've written to you. I think about you every day, for different
reasons. Sometimes, I think about you when I see someone riding a bicycle and
laughing. Sometimes, I think about you when someone mentions how important
teachers are. Sometimes, I think about you when I am feeling peaceful and
blessed by the love of my family and friends, and I wish that you might have
that same peaceful feeling.
It's spring here and
all the trees have turned green and the children play in the streets. Our grass
in the back yard grows too fast, so Bruce has to keep cutting it! This is a
lovely time of year here, and I remind myself to be in the moment and enjoy the
things around me--not a difficult task at all! My sister, who lives in Florida,
is coming for a visit tomorrow. We laugh a lot and talk a lot when we get
together--it's so nice to have her as a friend. It's a funny thing--we're very
different in a lot of ways. But she's a generous, funny, loving person and
that's all that matters to me. And she's going to be extra happy because she
just found out that her son and daughter-in-law are expecting their second
Mark and Jeremy are
both very busy with work. We'll see them this weekend when they come to visit
my sister. I know I've said this before but I feel so lucky that our sons live
in the same city as we do. We don't have regular times when we get together,
but we do see each other at least two or three times a month. One of the reasons
I hope everything works out with your visa and your trip here in September is
that you'll get to meet them. I know you'll all like each
Next week after my
sister leaves I'll start my next book. I have all the characters in my mind, and
have a pretty good idea of the plot, and I'm excited to start the work. Later,
it might feel like everything sounds clunky and nothing makes sense and I'll
never get it right and why did I ever think I could write a book. But right now
it's exciting. All those doubts eventually do go away, and the last two books
they only lasted a couple of hours instead of days or weeks, so I'm hoping
that's the way it will be this time, too.
I hope that you and
your family are well, and that you all stay safe.
==== Saturday, May 20, 2006 from Baghdad to Brooklyn ===
I miss your writing, I never let myself forget you, how are you? I hope every thing is
Life is boring here and what
makes it more boring is
the “silence and fear”…people are terrified to utter a word…most of them turned into prisoners at home…wishing tomorrow will be better.
I am fine…thinking a lot of the trip to you because every thing is slow
here in my country… I need to get the passport as soon as possible and they keep
delaying me for no reason….of course this the way with all people not only me!
They are talking about a new procedure that prevents any kind of
falsification….bla bla bla…I keep on waiting!
I am trying to look at every thing from the good bright side (if there
I am happy for having such warm feeling from you; yes …a good family is a
gift from God …I have a lot of sisters and I love them all, each one is
different than the other but they are connected in one…their love to each
other…one of them is very funny and very close to me, she has 3 children, 2 boys
and a daughter. Her youngest child (who usually wears his slippers wrongly)..
used to sit behind the out door looking from a tear (that was broken by the
American soldiers in one of their night raids) to see the
tanks and humvees…this child is amazing, he is crazy about cars(
While other sisters are also great, one of them is very smart…she has the
ability to know people from the first sight; the other two are so passionate and
helpful; and the other last two are having strong, wise, straight personality.
When they are gathered together all of them… they left nothing to talk
about….Can you imagine this…try not!!!
We have short Spring in Iraq but it is beautiful, I used to plant some
houseplants each Spring but I stopped doing this because each one I did care and
make it grow wonderfully, my relatives came and took it from the house (when I
am not there) saying that they cannot look after them the way I did!! I like
plants very much…jasmine, gardenia and daisy …the picture below is a flower from
our garden …it is for you.
You are amazing …your ability to draw your characters is great…go a head
This just came from N. She's still in Baghdad; still working with young people; still hopeful. Of course I have no way to know what is true and what is not, but it sounds so horribly real, and I have no reason to doubt it:
what has been written in one of the Iraqi news papers:
Violent Iraq Net, a net of
125 Iraqi organizations, published statistics about the last 4 months saying
that there were 5743 military operations happened in Iraq since the
beginning of this year.
Baghdad, Baquba and Anbar had the biggest part
of them. The operations included destroying mosques, family displacement,
kidnapping, threatening people and shooting at civilians. 95% of these
operations were registered against unknown.
study said that Baghdad, where 886 attacks took place, was the worst as far as
violence is concerned, then Baquba 597, Anbar 594, Kerkuk 261, Mosul 234, Salah
Addeen 182, Basra 149, the rest were distributed on different governorate:
Kerbala, Wassit and Najaf.
study said that violence was caused by the political parties' armed militias
first and because the borders were left open to different armed groups. The
study confirmed that these are the registered cases, and that the number should
be more than that .
Al-Hassnawi, the head of the Non Violent Iraq Net said the destiny of
25.195 thousands of the kidnapped Iraqis, is still unknown. Among the kidnapped are men: 12.237, women:
9.459 , and 355 children.Hassnawi added that there are 62.415 wounded men, women
and children, and that the displaced families in Baghdad alone are 6877 families after the Samarra explosions.