This is a real story about am Iraqi family’s life in the horrible, bloody conditions of the occupation of Baghdad. It is about a mother and her 3 children.
The oldest daughter is about 20 years old, the boy is about 17 years old and the youngest daughter is about 13 years old. All of them are students. Their mother insists on their education and she never accepts low marks. She dreams of their bright future.
Their father is a simple man. He is a taxi driver (the most common, available, and dangerous job in Iraq) who was kidnapped just like the thousands Iraqi taxi drivers but he was lucky. They released him after 24 hours.
When I asked him about the kidnapers and the reason behind the kidnapping and he said, “They suspected me…they asked me to kill somebody and I told them NO, I prefer to be killed than killing somebody.”
“There were 2 young men with me in the basement. One of them
was executed before my eyes,” he continued, while he was looking at his hands.
“You can see the marks of the cuffs.” I looked at his hands and could see a
bracelet of dark blue bruises and scratches in the flesh of his wrists.
His voice and his look held the panic of that experience. He
said to me that whenever he walks in the streets he thinks he will be
kidnapped. The same happens when he talks to people. He can’t drive or be in
his car anymore. There is too much fear. He left his neighborhood thinking that
he will be safe and relieved, but even in the new neighborhood he is unable to
go out. He is afraid. So he cannot support his family any more.
These three children and their mother are in need of his
support. His wife is sick with high blood pressure and a nervous condition. His
three children need daily help with their school studies but he is unable to do
anything. Now people, friends, and parts of the wife’s family are supporting
all of them, sharing what they have with what is left of this family.
The eldest child, a daughter, lives now with her aunt. The son lives with his mother and father, and an uncle has volunteered to support his needs. The youngest is still with her mother and father.
This is an example of Iraqi family life today.
by Nesreen Sept 27 2007