I was taking a walk in the street with one of my friends when suddenly I heard a shout “Dr. Mohammed!” I turned back to see who it was and I found that it was one of the nursing staff who worked with me in Samawa and got transferred to Baghdad.
After greetings and asking about each other’s health he said “I was just thinking of you” why?, I asked.
“Do you still run that website?” he asked. I said “yeah”.
-Can you do me a favor?
-Do you know Abu Haider’s (Mr. Bremer) e-mail address?
-I want to send him a letter.
-To say thanks. Actually it’s not only me, it’s my mother Al-Hidjiyah; she made me promise her to send a letter to Mr. Bremer.
-Me too. I want to do that but unfortunately I don’t have his e-mail.
-Can you ask your American friends. Because I really feel bad that the man didn’t get the reward he deserves for his great efforts; we could at least make a party for him or a decent celebration. Did you listen to his farewell speech? it was incredible.
-Yes, it was and I’ll try to get his mail although I think it’s difficult but what did your mother exactly want to tell him?
-Well, Al-Hidjiya said “son, tell this man that Um Mushtaq says go with the blessings of Allah, you have suffered a lot for the sake of our country and we were not able to thank you in person and this makes us so sad” and she also said “although this is not right, because he is not Muslim but I have to say it and I don’t care what others may say”
My friend laughed as he said that.
I should mention that friend is a hard core communist who paradoxically bares strong admiration and gratitude and for America.
-How can she ask for Allah’s blessings for Bremer when she believes that it’s not right for a Muslim to ask so? I said with a smile.
-You know these old people with their old fashion minds but she said she loves him as if he were an Iraqi Muslim.
I said good bye to my friend and thought about what he said, and I thought about writing a letter to Mr. Bremer and I don’t know how to deliver it.
I don’t like to give much credit to an individual no matter who he is, as I believe it’s one of the reasons we’re so behind the others. People in the east generally get attached to individuals more than ideas and the fact that Iraqis support Al-Yawer and Allawi more than they support the government as a whole is just one example of this. However I find myself compelled to write about Mr. Bremer because this man was never given the credit he deserves. That of course includes all the good people who worked with him.
We miss you Sir and we know that it’s been difficult for you too. Your speech has touched the hearts of all the Iraqis I have met just as your efforts have contributed in drawing the outlines of the bright future of Iraq, the new free democratic Iraq and we will never forget you. You worked hard as if you were a true son of Iraq and in fact you’re one of Iraq’s sons, that’s how we look at you.
I never heard anyone talk badly about you, I heard people say a lot of bad things about GWB and the GC members but you were the most respected and loved political character among Iraqis and I can say I’m almost sure that if there was a poll about who’s the most popular person in Iraq, then you would’ve been the winner.
You maintained an equilibrium in a very intricate situation and at a very difficult time and I doubt that someone else would’ve been able to do that.
You’ve understood the mosaicism of the Iraqi people and the desires, fears and demands of each group and dealt with them in the wisest possible way.
You were working hard to convince one group and satisfy another one to guarantee the progress of the process and you faced one crisis after the other and an attack after the other but all that didn’t affect your morale, stamina and high level of professionalism.
You were keen on leading Iraq to the shores of peace despite the harsh environment, and most Iraqis recognize that you succeeded in your mission.
Sir, Iraq loved you just like you confirmed your love in your farewell speech. We were touched just as you were. You have taken a place in our hearts just as you said we’ve taken our places in your heart.
We will be waiting for you to return with your grandchild Sophya (as you promised in your speech) and we’ll share your will to teach her the history of Iraq and I’m sure that she’ll love Iraq as you do.
Yes, we’d like you to come back to your country, Iraq. And we’d love to have you share the moments of joy with us as you shared the moments of sadness.
We would like you to live the moment of victory with us as you lived the moment of hardships.
I was never surprised when none of the western media broadcasted your impressive speech because I doubt their interest in showing the world the nature of the relation between you and the people of Iraq. But I’d like to tell you this:
Iraq loves you just as you love her.
*These are the verses which Mr. Bremer used in his farewell speech. They are too difficult to translate (in fact they’re difficult to understand even for Arabs, as it’s an old verse with difficult vocabulary that’s no longer used in daily life) and I’ll post them in Arabic, but they generally say:
I’ve left my heart in the hands of God in Baghdad
I said good bye to him when I wished instead..
That I would say good bye to the days of my life.
أستودع الله في بغداد لي قمرا ..... بالكرخ من فلك الأزرار مطلعه
ودعته وبودي لو يودعني ..... صفو الزمان وأني لا أودعه
عاش العراق ..عاش العراق ..عاش العراق