Friday, May 19, 2006

On nothing in particular...

I think most of you noticed that ITM is getting updated with new entries less frequently compared to earlier times and there are plenty of reasons behind this reduced activity, some I'd like to share and others I prefer to keep for myself. I honestly do not know which is which so I'm going to let my fingers take the lead and type whatever they like to type, so, this is going to be rather a rambling post…

First of all we're having a hard time getting reliable electricity and internet access, as you could tell from Mohammed's latest post, thus we're getting fewer hours of online time and this of course is not enabling us to read enough material that is needed to know what's going on and connect events and news.
There's also our satellite TV receiver which died all of a sudden (maybe the news it was forced to show was the cause of death!).
I'm also not getting my newspapers regularly enough for a number of reasons, so we're technically not receiving enough material to be able to blog in the way we wish we were especially when it comes to things happening outside Baghdad.

More over, my car is giving me headaches with all the maintenance it's demanding from me, temperature is rising beyond 40 centigrade and soon will be well above 50 and my neighbor is complaining about the noise and smoke of my little backup generator, and, and, and …not to mention the big bangs that occasionally kick me out of bed denying my alarm clock its natural right.

Some might wonder how someone living in a place as eventful as Baghdad would face difficulty choosing a story to write about. Yes Baghdad is full of events, almost no day passes without breaking news or big stories about the government, the al-Qaeda, security, economy, etc, etc.
Of course most of headlines bring bad news and every once in a while we find some good news or potentially good news but regardless of that, they all can be considered as good raw material for blogging but the thing is that we're growing numb over news whether good or bad.

I very well realize that this numbness is dangerous but I can't help it, I'm surrounded by these news, events and incidents. I see them on TV, hear them on the radio, read them-and write about them-on the web and chat about them with friends, family and workmates and occasionally witness them first-hand. And this is leading me to the threshold where they stop to be interesting but I'm trying hard to keep a distance from this threshold or at least slow down its arrival and that's why I'm still writing till this moment.

On the other hand many of my friends, relatives or the people I know have either left Iraq or are planning to do so, actually instant messaging and emails have long ago become the only way I stay in touch with my friends.
"I'm going to take my family to Syria next month and will be staying there for a year or two until things calm down" or "I've been granted admission to a university in the UK" or "my uncle found a job for me in Egypt and I'm leaving next week"…
These are examples of what I get to hear from people I know and it's getting more and more frequent lately.
Not all people have the resources or the urgent need to leave Iraq; so they chose to be refugees inside Iraq; I have friends who left Baghdad and went to Najaf or Kurdistan seeking the nearest place where safety can be found.

One friend told me the other day that "Iraq is no longer a place for civilians like us, let politicians, militias and soldiers settle their accounts but I am leaving indefinitely". I don't know what to tell these people; I can't advise them to stay and risk their lives with all the violence happening around and I feel sorry they are leaving, sorry for them and for the country; it's never easy for them to leave the place where they were born and had lived their entire life to go start from zero in a place where they'll be total strangers and at it's not possible to build a country without people but at the same time, you can't help your country when you are dead or living in fear all the time.

This is the kind of dilemma unfortunately many Iraqis are facing these days and time is a very important factor here and Iraqi's are not sure whether it's on their side or on the enemy's…some people tell me they don't want to quit now that they endured so much and been through a lot. The other day I was with some friends at home and the subject eventually surfaced "let's just wait for another six months, I'm sure things will improve by then" one friend said and I nodded in agreement "I'm not willing to take the risk, what if I get killed or kidnapped tomorrow or next month!? I'm leaving Iraq to live somewhere else until I believe it's safe to return, we live only once guys!" and I nodded in agreement too.
Both opinions make a lot of sense and I could never say the first friend was a coward since he's still living through what I and the other friend are living through.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and so do many people but they wonder if the tunnel is going to collapse before we reach its end.

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