Friday, April 09, 2004

The first candle.

It’s the day that brought me back to life. It’s the 9th of April and I’m free, and they will not steel my joy again and they will not silence me. A year ago at the same date, the thieves and criminals prevented me from celebrating my freedom in the open air, and today thieves, criminals and fanatics are doing the same, but they will not steal my happiness that is making my soul fly and dance with joy and they can’t stop this.

A year ago, words failed me as I met the 1st American soldier, and I still remember his name, “corporal, Adam” and all I could utter was “thank you!” how could I ever put my whole life in few words? How could I have thanked that soldier enough? How could I have told him what it meant to me to see him and his comrades-who brought me back to life- at last? Thank you Adam, Lieutenant Antonio, Captain Brian Curtis and all the coalition soldiers who I can’t remember their names, and those I never met.

It’s the 9th of April and I feel safe! And I don’t care what those ‘political experts’ on the newspapers and TV channels, say about the ‘occupation’, deteriorated security and ‘unemployment’. You can’t understand this, because you never experienced real fear this long. Let me tell you about it, as I’m one of those who passed Saddam’s filthy test of life.
The statue fell and with it, horror fell. You don’t know what it means to be scared to death most of your life, brothers and sisters. I knew that and I faced it during the reign of evil and darkness. I was afraid to talk, I wasn't allowed to think and I wasn't allowed to feel…I wasn't allowed to love.

How dare anyone imply to me how should I feel? And who they think they are, those who try to put words in my mouth? I’m alive and I’m free, and I have the right to say whatever I feel and chose the words I like. No one will tell me again what to say and what to feel.
Yes, it’s the 9th of April. I lit the 1st candle today to celebrate my 1st year, as a free man and no one will prevent me from celebrating. I, who the earth is no longer enough to contain my feelings, I who have wings now, and I don’t have to carry an ID…I’m Iraqi. I have the right to wander through my country southwards and northwards, without being stopped by someone to ask me who I am and where I’m going. I’m the son of the 9th of April.

Years ago, when I was a fugitive, a Ba’athist who’s a friend of my father and a relative said to me mockingly “how long are you going to live like this!? Get out of this ‘hole’ and turn yourself in to the authorities and do your military service.” I looked at him and I couldn’t say anything, but my soul screamed inside me, “The day when your tyrant becomes a defeated fugitive will come. He will search for a hole to hide in, and I will own Iraq then”. And here comes the dream true!

I’m the son of the 9th of April, tyrant’s clowns, and you have to fear me, you who betrayed me every minute and every day, and you want to chain me again???
You know why it’s impossible now? I was a slave and I never knew who I am…. and now I’m free! Thanks to all who dared to tell the truth and didn’t fear the consequences. And as for you, who saved me and my people, I can’t thank you enough. My voice goes feeble and my eyes swell with tears as I think of the Iraqis, Americans and all the coalition soldiers who gave their lives to free Iraq and make this world a better place. God bless their souls and all those who decided to fight to the end and never been discouraged, even in the toughest moments. I hope you can call me brother, because I’ll never fail you, as you never failed me.
This time, the 9th of April has come again and in what way! The powers of darkness and evil are trying to stifle my candle with their foul breaths but this time I'm alive and free and I will face them, and I will lit it again and again …and again.

By Mohammed.

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