What does it mean to leave everything in your life behind except your wife and children?
After RAKA's brother was killed he was told that if he didn't leave he would be killed also. He managed to get to Jordan with his wife and children unharmed. They chose to leave everything they knew behind them in order to keep living.
The bond between good, caring teachers and their students is strong. The loss of contact with them is only one part of the pain of separation, but it is as real as any other. Here is RAKA's letter to his beloved students, written soon after he arrived in Jordan.
Dear Students, brothers and sisters,
I am sorry to have left you without saying good-bye. But such being our
lives: so fickle, so shadowy. You remember Macbeth's lines:
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
After the death of my brother, we thought it was
everything. There was a strong urge from my family and friends that I leave the
country. However, I was thinking of the good things that I have in Iraq: my
family, my friends, my teachers, my colleagues and last but not least my
students that I have always been thinking of as friends and brothers that are
in need for help, advice, guidance and a good word that would keep them on the
right path. In this regard, and thanks to modern technology, I would like to
tell you that I am not so far from you. Yes, I am abroad, but I am keeping a
close look at you and I follow up your news. I have always been willing to stay
among you, but there are bad people who do not like you to progress and
prosper. As such, I earnestly call upon you to tend a little bit to yourselves,
to see yourselves as students, real students who are worthy of success. I am
abroad today and I am so much pained by what I see around me, not out of envy,
but out of woe. I see the students in the Arab countries progressing and edging
their way in life confidently and proudly. I look back at you and feel a strong
sense of pity for what you are. Think of yourselves as translators and
interpreters who are going to contribute to the good of your country. Do not be
involved in material gain while forget your lessons and what you are. Money is
luring and work is tempting. This is a fact of life. Though, you have to reckon
that you are students, still young, and the whole future is ahead of you, just
wait and prepare yourselves for the good chances ahead.
You can make your life meaningful and, opposite to
Macbeth, worthy of living and signifying a lot. The chances you have are better
than ours are and the resources at your hands are more copious than what we
used to have when we were students, sometimes not able to find a dictionary.
With translation, there are so many opportunities and chances that are waiting
for you; but never be tempted by those dirty people, who are killing our folk
and destroying our home.
Pay due respect to each other and to those who are
there to help you: your teachers. Help each other, pray for the good of the
whole country, and never forget that Allah, the Prophet and the good men, both
dead and alive, are all watching us.
I am sure that the foam of the sea will never last
long, and that the waves of good hope will wash out the solid rocks of despair.
I wish you all the best and safe life…
Amman, 23, 04, 2007