It was a joy to hear once again from the Women of Peace in Baghdad. I'd really love to know who wrote those two letters (signed Dunya and Ali). I'd really like a chance to meet these 'Women of Peace' whose letters have taught us much about life in Baghdad under the occupation.
They are not journalists. Some of them are poor writers of English. All of them understand the effects of political violence in a way that I cannot. They live it.
Back in 2003 and 4 I kept telling myself, every three months or so, that I finally understood what life was like in Baghdad. And then I realized that I could never understand, never even want to fully understand, such an existence. I imagine that the fatique of being so sensitively and protectively alert drains vital energy and makes it harder to enjoy the simple pleasures that make life worth living...a walk in the late evening air, a stopping in the park, a trip to the store to buy a new sweater, a sweat cake, and that good kHbuz (the BIG round flat-bread--not thick!).
I imagine. I imagine these young people. They have little contact with each other these days. They rarely get to the internet these days. Somehow, one or another of them manages to send us a letter from time to time. We write back--usually in a flurry of warm responses (and the occasional war-minded email). We often wait weeks before an answer arrives.
What are they doing in the meantime? How do you wait until you get enough courage to walk to the internet cafe and send email to an American student? Do you think about it every day? It must be important to you or you wouldn't be taking the chance you take just by getting in touch with Americans...
Did you enjoy Eid? Was most of your family able to get together to end the fast? Are you all safe today?
My friends and I are still unable to change the direction of our government and get the troops to leave your country. We still work for this change, but we are not working much with the government. We are working to educate the people of the U.S. and let them see, in their hearts, that it is wrong for us not to do what we can to help the Iraqi people, and that the first step is to get our young soldiers out of your country.
We started this pain that your people are suffering and we have a deep responsibility to help you. Some of us are trying.