Hi, Women (and, shhhhhh, Men) of Peace,
It's only me. I've been thinking about you and Baghdad a lot these days. Today we spoke to a high school audience in Brooklyn and read some of your emails. I could not help but see you all sitting there; not in Baghdad, but in Brooklyn. When the students asked us questions i could only wish that you were there to answer them. We tried our best to let people know how you feel, how you live, and how you see the world around you.
It's almost five years since you started letting us hear your voices about life in Baghdad. The email was easy in the early days. I remember your first emails. There were not too many problems back then with electricity and internet servers and things like that.
I think you started writing before it was so dangerous to have any contact at all with Americans. How brave you are. You are so much older now in so many ways. I'm a little older, too, of course, and I've learned so much from you.
I am writing because I want to thank you. Shukran. Shukran jazeelan for all you have taught me. You have let me understand the heart of the great and peaceful nation that lives within the borders called Iraq.
I am posting this email because I want everyone to know that the Iraqi spirit is not broken, and that there are young people in Baghdad growing up, watching, and learning...intelligent people who can separate the lies from the truth. Compassionate people who know what the real meaning of 'occupation' is, and who will never forget.
I know there are those among you who will help lead Iraq to more peaceful tomorrows.
I am so honored to know you,