En stærk fortælling om en tragedie i menneskehedens historieInd i mellem læser jeg noget, der er så fuldendt og gribende stærkt, at det bare må deles og nå ud til så mange som muligt. Denne tekst har jeg fået lov at dele på Neuroland. Den er skrevet af en gammel studieveninde, som er født i Irak, hvorfra hun som barn måtte flygte med sin familie. Det er et højaktuelt vidnesbyrd om en tragedie i menneskehedens historie, som det er vigtigt at vi bliver ved at minde hinanden om - og stadig bevare håbet om, at mange sjæles viljer kan gøre den forskel, der stopper uhyrlighederne og lader et land og folk vokse frem igen. Selvom det kan synes uden for alle muligheders rækkevidde. Jeg husker så tydeligt d. 15 februar 2003. Jeg var meget gravid med min David, som var til sin første demonstration sammen med mig. Han fik uden tvivl hørt en masse den dag. Vi gik i et massivt menneskemylder i Københavns gader – med start fra den amerikanske ambassade på Østerbro. Der var en helt særlig stemning den dag blandt os, der vandrede gennem Københavns gader. Vi havde et stærkt håb om at kunne gøre en forskel. At massive protester fra folk over hele verden kunne påvirke historiens gang. Og det var ikke blot en lille del af vælgerne - det var også fra den store politiske midte, som ellers sjældent indfinder sig til protester over udenlandspoltiske initiativer. Jeg bliver rørt over din fortælling Rina. Den viser hvad krig og terror kan ødelægge - i mange generationer frem. Og dit stærke budskab om, at der kun er tilbage at sætte vores lid til menneskets fortsatte vilje til kærlighed og fællesskab. For som du så smukt formulerer det: You cannot undo love - it has soaked the ground beneath the layers of oil and there it will remain long after the intruders, the murderers and the robbers are gone. Læs hele teksten herunder Af Rina Løhr
This is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather. It was taken on their wedding day in Baghdad in the beginning of the 1950’s. It shows only a fragment of a moment in time, but it is one of my dearest belongings. It’s a reminder of something beautiful that could have flourished for generations to come, but never did. I look at my grandfather and I see the expectations and the pride in his eyes. In my grandmother’s eyes I sense the persistent strength of youth. She holds her head high as if wanting to contain the whole future on that one day. I gaze on their reflections and I wonder which faces they would have put on, had they known what the future would hold for their children and grandchildren.
As newly weds, my grandparents settled in one of the most busy streets in downtown Baghdad. They were muslims (please don't ask me if they were shiaa or sunni - honestly, I don’t know, cause back then no one really cared) and they lived door to door with christians and jews. On Sabbaths they would assist their jewish neighbors with their daily chores. And when my mother came to the world in the holy month of christmas, my grandmother lit a candle in the local church in an expression of gratitude. But, really, it wasn’t a big deal, that was how people lived. Above all they were Iraqis, then christians, jews or muslims.
As most parents do all over the world, my grandparents worked hard to provide a good life for their children. My grandfather worked long days in the Iraqi railway services while my grandmother maintained the home. Not only did my grandmother take care of her own three children, she was also my primary caretaker in the first three years of my life in times where my own parents were away from home for days due to their jobs at Iraqi Airways. Despite the war planes in the air and the stress, I picked up from the grown ups, my life at my grandparents’ place was sweet. I’d spend hours running around in the garden, chasing cats, not worrying too much about the world outside my protected sphere.
And then, all of a sudden, it was all gone.
With a suitcase of shattered dreams in one hand and me in the other hand, my parents fled the country. Had we stayed for one more week, my father would have been sent to the front lines to die in a war in which he didn’t believe. I still remember the long, heart wrenching evenings of exile in Syria where I could barely breath because of my longing for my grandmother’s soothing smile and my grandfather’s warm arms. How can you lose someone so dear to you from one moment to the next? My childish heart simply couldn’t comprehend. And even today, my grown up self still struggles to grasp it.
I look in my grandmother’s young eyes as if she’s an old friend I haven’t seen in years. The span of lived life between us makes me want to spare her the knowledge of how the years have treated us. But I’m contrary at heart. I have a war inside of me. So I find myself whispering to her that after her passing, Saddam’s war against Iran took her only son. He died alone in the trenches, his arms outstretched as if to reach out for a helping hand that wasn’t there. Maybe he was screaming out your name, I tell her. I take my grandfather’s hand and hold it firmly in mine and I tell him that years later, when his youngest daughter was murdered at the age of 42 in the new, “democratic” Iraq, people would say that she was lucky to escape the sufferings of the Iraqis. She was “lucky” to die, they said. Her murderer was never put on trial.
I tell them that their daughter and son left them seven grandchildren that have spent years and years in a living hell of hunger, war and terrorism. Lately, they have found themselves at the mercy of islamofascist barbarians that are wrecking havoc in the home of the garden of eden and the cradle of civilization.
They’ll ask me how things ended up like this and I’ll tell them about the curse that has befallen Iraq and its people. I’d give them the whole story. From the incompetent, power-crazed Arab leader that lead his country to disaster to the oil thirsty standard bearers of democracy who didn’t do any body counts. And about the recent time travelers from the middle ages who are taking out their pathetic, failed lives on people who have already been tormented for the past 30 years. And about the world leaders who didn’t give a damn when the islamofascists started butchering the ancient christian population along with other minorities. They reacted only when the oil fields were in danger of falling into the hands of the barbarians. Because this is how history unfolds it self over and over again. Money over people. Talk over action. Self interest over common interest. Always.
Knowing that they will not be able to completely understand it, I’ll explain to them how ruthless islamist killers have proclaimed a so called “islamic state” where the horror of beheadings, crucifixion of children and sexual enslavement of women reigns. They will look back in astonishment when I tell them that many of these filthy, mentally sick islamist terrorists have lived in Western societies where they have enjoyed all the benefits that come with the gift of freedom. But, eventually, they couldn’t handle being treated like civilized human beings, so they turned their backs on the West and decided to give something back to the Middle East. Their contribution was not compassion, knowledge or a higher state of consciousness. It was the shed of blood and the maul of human tissue. Because this is what they do best.
In regret and disgrace of the current hell their country has turned into, I try to assure my grandparents that I tried to stop the mess more than 10 years ago. With good people like Peter Kofod, Aviaja Marsilie, Nicola Weeks, Jaleh Tavakoli, Abdullah Domurcuk and millions of other people, I wandered the streets of Copenhagen, London and Paris to prevent a war that was on its way. For months we did what we could to change the course of history. I look for just a tiny glimpse of gratification in their gaze as I tell them that never before and never after did so many people walk the streets of the world with a common goal as we did that day on February 15th 2003. It was the largest protest in human history, they said. But little did it help.
On distant shores and in military bases in Germany, the Mediterranean and the US, young men and women prepared themselves for the war to come. At the time, I didn’t know them and I didn’t care about them, 'cause they were the oppressors. A few years later, I’d meet Tina Garnanez, Maricela Guzman, Jeff Key, Stephen Funk, Tim Goodrich and I’d learn about their hopes and dreams and about the unbearable moments they lived through far away from home. And about the things they did and will have to live with forever. I understood that they gave their best years to a war that was no more theirs than mine. I realized that we shared a common fate given the Middle Eastern dirt we had all tread. The Iraqi curse was theirs as much as it was mine. And I found myself dreaming of a parallel life in which Iraq had been allowed to profit from its underground resources. A Dubai-like Iraq. But not a shallow Iraq like the newly rich beduin state of Dubai. More an edgy version wrapped up in the art, love and poetry that is a big part of the Iraqi soul. There, in the imaginary haven in the back of my mind, we would meet by the shores of Tigris as normal human beings. Without the anger, the sorrow, the PTSD and the unanswered questions about a wasted youth.
And I would take them to your house, grandfather, and let you show them true Iraqi hospitality, right there in the warm evening breeze in your garden. And you would tell them anecdotes of times gone by, and when you’d go to bed that night, gazing at the stars from the rooftop, you’d cherish how this joyful connection with strangers made you feel that the world had gotten smaller. That after tonight, we were all closer connected.
And now this.
I bear a contradiction in my heart. A war is going on inside of me. I tell my grandparents that the war lead me to a man with a heart of gold. And that he is the father of my two beautiful sons, and that in their eyes I have found all the compassion and greatness of mankind. You should see them, when they watch me as I lean towards the jasmine tree outside our Mediterranean home. How they will take my hand as if to comfort me. Because they know. They know very well that the scent brings me back to your garden in Baghdad, grandmother, with its jasmine tree.
I trust no one but the people. No country, no leader, no religion, no company, no organization has ever put the interests of others before its own. This is one of life’s lessons.
I will rely on the people’s will only. I force myself to believe that, eventually, the Iraqis will join forces and kick the intruders out of their country. Because we have had enough. Enough. Enough hunger, enough killing, enough terror and enough exploitation, regardless of the face and race of the thieves and murderers.
They will try to make us and the rest of the world forget. They will shout and slaughter and do all kinds of inhuman acts to destroy our spirits. But we will never forget who we are. Because you cannot erase the look in my grandparents’ eyes. You cannot undo love - it has soaked the ground beneath the layers of oil and there it will remain long after the intruders, the murderers and the robbers are gone.
Please help us all remember by sharing your picture of the good Iraq as you remember it under the hashtag #WeRememberIraq
#no2isis, #stopisis, #WeAreN, #IAmN, #YoSoyNazareno #PrayForIraq