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The Father: Truth Teller, The Mother: Aya granny, Daughter 1: Najma, Daughter 2: HNK.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Welcome back neighbor

This post was written yesterday, but I couldn't publish it due to some Blogger problems..

Last Monday, at noon, we saw a strykers parking infront of our house, then we saw the soldiers rushing to the left of our house.. This was so strange. We didn't know where they were running to, we assumed that they went to the a company next to our house, but my cousin called from the company at once telling us that the Americans entered our neighbor's house (Which was my grandparents', few years ago). Mom started calling our neighbor (whose husband was in Baghdad) to see what's going on, or whether she needs us to come, our neighbor didn't pick up. We used to hear everything in my neighbor's house, we even had a door between the two houses but we built a wall there after my grandparents died. But, the house was strangely quiet. We started doubting that the soldiers went into her house at all. In a short time, all the neighbors stood at their doors, waiting for our neighbor to do something, or at least the soldiers, our neighbor's brother came and entered the house, that was when we heard some soldier yelling, and then we saw him coming out.. They were long 15 minutes, then we stared seeing the soldiers in our neighbor's garden. There were many of them.. The wall between our house and our neighbor's is low, we can see everything in their garden if we tried enough. A soldier was standing behind the wall just staring miserably at us (This was the most time I could put on a soldier's shoe, it was small enough for me.. He was a young boy, in a country he doesn't know, with no one who loves him, he wanted to go home A LOT, but he somehow couldn't.. I felt as if he wanted to trade places with me) our neighbor and her brother were talking to the soldiers and the translator was translating. In few minutes, the soldiers ran out of the house to their strykers and left.

Our neighbor and her brother disappeared in the house, mom and my neighbor went there on foot, I, HNK and our other neighbor walked there too.. As we got there, our neighbor was crying, I only heard her saying that "the soldiers are coming back on Wednesday to get him, it's his fault, he has a good heart and therefore gets in such troubles", I didn't get it and didn't feel it was appropriate to ask at that time.. We came home after calming her down, she didn't calm down but her mom came to stay with her.. Mom told us about the story at home.

The soldiers came and searched the house, they told her that they found weapons in her husband's warehouse, but he's left the warehouse for about a month, he couldn't pay the rent and so he left it. They came to arrest him, but since he's in Baghdad, they couldn't. They told her that they'll come back and take him on Wednesday, at 2AM.. He hasn't given her a phone number to call, and she had no idea when he'll be back.
Of course, we were so worried for her, sad as well, she has 3 children, the oldest is 6 years old. On Thursday, he called her and she told him that he should come. On Wednesday, he came to Mosul.

He came by taxi, and brought a friend who had good English with him. As soon as he arrived in Mosul, he went to the airport and surrendered to the soldiers with his friend, they told him that they didn't have his name anywhere in their lists and had no idea who came to arrest him. He insisted that they investigate more about it, they did and eventually gave him a card to show to the soldiers if they came to arrest him again. A woman who was at the reception gave him a phone number to give to the soldiers if they arrested him.

At about 5PM, I was studying upstairs in my room when I heard mom talking outside (from behind the wall) to our neighor, I knew something happened so I rushed downstairs to hear the news.. HNK told me that the Americans released our neighbor. Dad and other neighbors welcomed him at the door, the women started to do their famous thing (I have no idea what you call it. The women do it when there's a celebration usually, a wedding or something like this. It sounds like what the Indian Americans shout in their celebrations-- Kul-l-l-l-l-l-ish).. My heart started beating (As usual :)) and we all felt so happy for them. Nevertheless, we all expected the soldiers to come at night to take him, but they DIDN'T. He said they treated him very well at the airport :)
They came to his shop today, and sat quietly near him to ask some questions.. And then left.

We woke up in the morning to find out that my brother-in-law who started his journey to Baghdad at 1PM yesterday has not arrived yet to Baghdad.. We got worried again, and started thinking of what might happen. I went to school to tell my friend about my neighbor's news and my brother-in-law's news. Then proceeded to study, we had a math exam..We first had a Biology test, in which our loving teacher decided to make us a quiz (To raise our grades, she said), she did the opposite. I had all those thoughts and fear for my brother-in-law, and 5 minutes only to answer the really hard questions. I didn't do well, I did very bad in fact, but I didn't really care. Then we got the news that our math teacher decided to cancel the test (That was actually better, I wouldn't have done well without concentrating).. At the break, I sent mom an SMS to ask her about my brother-in-law and to tell her that we're still alive (There was a loud explosion), few moments after that, I got an SMS from her telling me that my brother-in-law (There really should be a shorter word for this) arrived at the hospital in Baghdad (He works and sleeps in the hospital, so he wasn't injured or something). He had to spend the night at Balad (80 km from Baghdad) since the car he took to Baghdad broke near Balad.

I came home at 1:15, hoping for no more HOT news.. Let me be bored. No more excitement please.

On Thursday as usual, I get stuck infront of the TV, as if I've never watched it before.. On Friday, I study a little then get stuck in front of the TV again.. On Saturday, mom will wake me up to study, I start studying and never finish before the family decides to go on a visit before the curfew starts. This happens every week, I get yelled at for my laziness every week. I'll try to finish my homework tomorrow! And try to read some extra Chemistry too..

You know about my attempt to speed-up (I keep discovering more words for this) and skip the 6th grade.. Well, my hopes have been shattering away lately. Our new Arabic teacher seems much worse than the one before, too young, with so many mistakes, and very limited knowledge. And my first mark in Arabic (The very first one, 86) made it impossible to get an average more than 95.. Nevertheless, I talked to uncle about it (Since I still have the opportunity to take a final exam which will be counted by itself and cancel the others) and decided to pray and ask God for guidance. I prayed the prayer I was supposed to pray, I asked God to make me do whatever is better for me. I didn't have any dreams that guided me to what I was supposed to do, not even a strong feeling (I'm supposed to keep trying till I get something.. I'll try to do it again today). But today, I was searching for signs. I think the way I did in Biology was a good sign from God (Do you want to take it easy and cancel the speeding-up? Or do you still want to speed-up and worry for every single mistake you're going to make from now till next year?), guess what I think I'll choose? I hate hesitation. I'll be giving up in PUBLIC.

"Real chance is the chance you take, not the one you merely imagine possible." Here's a quote for you. Who said it? I'll write a post about him next time Inshallah.

48 Comments:

Blogger Aunt Najma said...

Problems with commenting? Please let me know!

3/11/2005 12:55:00 PM

 
Blogger Aunt Najma said...

Okay, check this:
"Users are currently getting "Blog not found" errors when accessing comment pages. We are working on getting this resolved ASAP."

http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=791

But, why am I the only one who can comment?

3/11/2005 12:57:00 PM

 
Blogger submandave said...

OK, I'll try.
Glad to see an interaction with the local American troops that turned out positive being told. I'll admit I am biased, but if you think about it you'll probably see that your personal experiences with American soldiers are more positive than the horror stories you only hear about. Perhaps your personal experiences are a more accurate reflection of reality than the rumors and second-hand reports are?

3/11/2005 01:12:00 PM

 
Blogger alan said...

Hi Najma,
I'm curious about those weapons: what did your arrested neighbour say about those weapons found in his shop/ did somebody else put them there?

3/11/2005 01:47:00 PM

 
Blogger Ann said...

I got the "Blog not found" errors and thought that I had offended all of you. I'm so sorry if I said anything that upset you. It was not my intention at all. You have my upmost respect and apologies for any offenses. I have so much respect and appreciation for the blogsphere and those that take the time to contribute to it. Telling my family about the blog and how sad I was to be blocked and that I made you mad and had no way to say sorry - my husband surfed and saw your comments section and said "try again, maybe they were just blocking everybody."

I hope the soldiers find all the weapons of the terrorists and that Mosul can be safer. When the CNN flash came through about a suicide bomber at a funeral killing many, many people, I thought of you all and felt very sick inside.

Please keep blogging! The stories are difficult to listen to, but important for us to listen and understand. Stay safe!

3/11/2005 07:13:00 PM

 
Blogger praktike said...

I think the word you were looking for is "uulating."

3/11/2005 07:15:00 PM

 
Blogger John said...

Hi Najma

The Americans have been raiding homes throughout Iraq with a "helter skelter" type of mentality, wrong addresses, mistaken identities. Its a common tactic that military occupiers use to terrify the population and hope they will intimidate them to the point they will turn in the freedom fighters! The ones fighting against they tyranny of the occupier. In reality it has the opposite effect and polarizes the population in a common hatred and purpose to liberate their country from the oppressor!

I read a military (USA) Blog recently talking about his units raiding of homes in Mosul. They entered three during the course of one night to ransack homes and threaten the occupants. One father stood up with anger after they awoke his four children (all under eight), threatening him and his family, screaming "where are the guns"! The most startling and frightening aspect were the soldiers comments about how "he hated kids" and "how close" he came to shooting the father if "he hadn't calmed down". There was also an expression of gratification that he derived from putting peoples lives within the mercy of his self ordained power, it was like he was euphoric over his satanic sense of superiority and ill gotten authority! Its like "shit man I can do this stuff to doctors and you know shit man I never even finished high school"! I'm sure he imagines he's another Colby Buzzel! Najma, I know you and your family will perservere, they'll leave eventually!! Stay safe!!

And praktike, the word I was looking for to describe you and your comments was "moronic"!

3/11/2005 08:33:00 PM

 
Blogger strykeraunt said...

So John, I would be interested in reading this military blog you read. Would you mind sharing the link?

3/11/2005 10:48:00 PM

 
Blogger John said...

Srykeraunt, check out : thisisyourwar.blogspot.com,: (Late Night Guests) (episode) Cute Title: it is truly amazing stuff, if you go through the entire experience when he first lands in Baghdad and then follow the progression, through the home invasions, it'll give you a true insight into what the Iraqi people are up against on a day to day basis. Some quotes: " I really don't like kids much. I never have. I didn't even like kids when I was a kid!" (beautiful comment: definite sign of psychosis) and "Wrong fucking house....(and then walking out after putting guns to the head of the entire family he says)..man, I thought we might have to waste that guy (meaning the father), he was pretty pissed at first (meaning lucky he calmed down or else we would have shot him in cold blood),what do you think, just an aberration, another Colby Buzzel (Stryker Brigade) or just the face of americas liberation..what do you think strykeraunt, maybe its your nephew, what do you think Najma, TruthTeller, would you really feel comfortable if this boy broke down your door in the middle of the night, with his Freddy Kruger type of mentality??

3/12/2005 12:14:00 AM

 
Blogger Gryfen said...

Don't confuse gratification at putting peoples lives under your gun....

....with gratification that while they're under the gun, they can't kill your buddies.

There's no difference to the poor guy who's just been rolled out of bed, but a world of difference in the motive of the soldier.

At this distance it is very easy to twist comments to suit your own perspective. If this is the John from harassment on Najma's blog....you perspective has already been well established.

*Troll feeding complete*

3/12/2005 03:49:00 AM

 
Blogger Libby said...

Hi Najma

The quote........who said it?
Saddam Hussein.

Libby_in_Canada

3/12/2005 07:28:00 AM

 
Blogger Grant said...

Hello Najma
Wonderful story telling. I will be back daily. Praktike was very close to the name of the "joyous sound" made by women in celebration, but I believe the English word is nearer to ululating. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ululating .
Also, your irritation at having to repeat the word brother-in-law was charming. The solution is, after you've first used the noun "brother-in-law", follow with the name or the initials, and not write that long word again. Example: I saw my brother-in-law, EHG, park the car and then enter the house. EHG, after a short time, came out, saw me, and waved."
I have so many questions, but I'll be quiet and as I read you in the coming months, learn what you astoundingly courageous heros, who have finally taken your so important place on the world stage, have to teach us in the rest of the world. One World. Welcome.
Howler in USA

3/12/2005 09:38:00 AM

 
Blogger Rachel in London said...

Lots of people use BIL to stand for brother-in-law, and MIL for mother-in-law, etc.

3/12/2005 12:47:00 PM

 
Blogger strykeraunt said...

John, thank you for providing the link to the soldiers blog you were quoting from. No this blogger is not my nephew. Both of my soldier nephews are now back here in the states. However, I would be very proud if he were my nephew. This soldier writes with extremely vivid detail. Unfortunately, you and I don't read his blog under the same light. It appears that what he wrote was taken out of context when it was repeated by you here.

I encourage anyone who might believe what John is claiming in his comment, to go and read the blog for themselves.

3/12/2005 07:58:00 PM

 
Blogger Truth teller said...

John,
Thank you for providing the link to the soldiers blog you were quoting from.

strykeraunt
Thank you for encouraging us to go and read this blog.

It is normal for peoples to have different understnding for the same things. That is the way God created us.

3/12/2005 10:17:00 PM

 
Blogger Mad Canuck said...

Truth Teller:

You always have an eloquent way of explaining things, and I agree with your analysis here. I still find it interesting that people can interpret the same story so differently.

I read the same blog entry John mentioned, but my interpretation was very different from John's. I'd encourage anyone else reading this to read it for themselves before forming an opinion.

As to Najma's post, I think this is one of her best. The comment about the soldier staring miserably at her seems reflective of a lot of soldiers, including the blogger John was referring to.

Best regards to you and your family,
Shawn.

3/13/2005 03:58:00 PM

 
Blogger red2alpha said...

Truth Teller,

Ssalamu 'lekum

Thank you of acknowledging the fact that people see things diffrently and for your understanding.
I am the Soldier that John was writing about( hi, John) I wote the post and was on the raid. It was a mistake, accidents happen and I feel bad about that. I thought I made that pretty clear in my post. Nobody put guns to anybodies heads - again see my post - and there was never any yelling. But all of this is useless because I can never make people like John see the truth. Anytime you feel like comming to Iraq and experancing it for yourself, let me know, John. I'll pay your way and you can ride with me. And no, thats not a threat. and if you want to comment on my blog do it on my site.

I enjoy reading your side of life, Truth Teller. I'm trying to learn more about Iraq and it's people. Any books you can suggest?
Stay safe and thank you for your time.

red2alpha

3/15/2005 09:39:00 AM

 
Blogger red2alpha said...

Truth Teller,

Ssalamu 'lekum

Thank you of acknowledging the fact that people see things diffrently and for your understanding.
I am the Soldier that John was writing about( hi, John) I wote the post and was on the raid. It was a mistake, accidents happen and I feel bad about that. I thought I made that pretty clear in my post. Nobody put guns to anybodies heads - again see my post - and there was never any yelling. But all of this is useless because I can never make people like John see the truth. Anytime you feel like comming to Iraq and experancing it for yourself, let me know, John. I'll pay your way and you can ride with me. And no, thats not a threat. and if you want to comment on my blog do it on my site.

I enjoy reading your side of life, Truth Teller. I'm trying to learn more about Iraq and it's people. Any books you can suggest?
Stay safe and thank you for your time.

red2alpha

3/15/2005 09:39:00 AM

 
Blogger John said...

Yeah well red2, I reread your Late Night Guests, hoping that I might find something there that would possibly be worthy of giving you the benefit of some doubt, yet "you're I thought we might have to waste that guy" pretty much summed it all up for me! It appears to me to be like any home invasion, I'm sure there was no yelling or pointing of guns, just an apologetic, Gee we got the wrong house sort of response, but then its just as well the father calmed down and understood that the rousting of his family was for his own benefit! Lest he be wasted of course!

3/15/2005 03:03:00 PM

 
Blogger red2alpha said...

John, you have no idea what war is really like - how hard it is to seperate the good guys from the bad. And I don't have the time to tell you.

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I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

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Hi,

I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

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10/14/2005 12:11:00 PM

 
Blogger Couch Potato said...

Help me Dude, I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw Elvis in the supermarket yesterday.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new plasmatv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a plasma tv .

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And then he just walked out of the supermarket singing. . .

"You give me love and consolation,
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Strange day or what? :-)

10/14/2005 06:20:00 PM

 
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10/15/2005 04:45:00 AM

 
Blogger Couch Potato said...

Help me Dude, I think I'm lost.

I was searching for Elvis and somehow ended up in your blog, but you know I'm sure I saw him in a car lot yesterday, which is really strange because the last time I saw him was in the supermarket.

No honest really, he was right there in front of me, next to the steaks singing "Love me Tender".

He said to me (his lip was only slightly curled) "Boy, you need to get yourself a shiny, new lcd tv to go with that blue suede sofa of yours.

But Elvis said I, In the Ghetto nobody has a lcd tv .

Dude I'm All Shook Up said Elvis. I think I'll have me another cheeseburger.

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10/15/2005 10:41:00 AM

 
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12/28/2005 07:48:00 PM

 

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