Tell Me a Secret: A letter to M

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A letter to M

I wrote this letter to my good friends M. and then thought i would share it with you, too. I hope lots of Iraqis get to read it.

" M. my dear, its been a long time since we talked.
I get that you are upset these days o 9a3da il ka2aba lissima [and so depressed, (Iraqi expression)]
:)

its alright.

You know, sometimes when i sit with mom she tells me stories.
you know how much i love stories and secrets:)

back at 1976 mom and dad graduated from engineering college in Baghdad, and told their families they are going in honeymoon to Basra but instead they volunteered to go rebuild Lebanon during the war.
they stayed in Lebanon for sometime. couple of years? not sure how long exactly, in extreme conditions of war and misery in a totally destructed town. It was bombed and then after the entire city was robbed. and when i say robbed i mean they stole even the wires from inside the walls in the buildings, the covers of the manholes in the streets, the marmar [marble] from the steps of daraj [stairs] in houses...everything.

because they were newly wedid couple, engineers and volunteers, they gave them three blankets i think, one to use as a curtain to cover the window. one to use as a blanket, and one to cover the door since there was no doors or windows, all were stolen too.

extreme life conditions. and they were very young. Just graduated from university.

mom and dad helped rebuilding that city. and in these conditions of war and civil war, she had to move around with bodyguards and a gun. when they were alone in their apartment in Lebanon, mom and dad (later when they got an apartment, bil bidaya chanat bas `3orfa [first they only had a room]) they were spending time shooting on the madkhana [chimney] of the near building from their balcony. they lived the life of fear that you live now, with missiles flying over their heads the entire time, and civil war killing people that survived the bullets.

now mom is a very very peaceful person, when i used to make her play chess with me when i was little, she would refuse to kill the jonood bil li3ba ["soldiers" of chess], she feels bad for them. hehehhe. that's how peaceful she is.

the moral of the story is, i know that inshalla 20 years from now, you will be sitting with your children, telling them about these hard days you are going through now. and they will admire your courage and respect the decisions you made.
show the courage and tolerant that will make you proud and make your children proud years later. just like i am proud of my mom now.
You will go through these rough days, and you are going to be just fine dear, i promise:) "

14 Comments:

Blogger akkadia said...

thank you Khalid.

the endurance of the human spirits shines though your words.

words are the shard of hope we hold onto in this house of charnel that is today’s bemoaned human condition of depravation. sheer capitalistic voracity and the blunders of human nature have shattered our windows of humanness that once let in the light of day, inshallah a new world, full of new ideas, new ways of thinking, being and loving will shoot through and illuminate the dark shades of war that hang heavy, ponderously and painfully over so many lives.

salaam

2/25/2007 07:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awwww...Khalid, I do not know why I was thinking of this post during Church today, but I thought it an unfair comparison for your friend. Your parents were young and it wasn't their city! Their family was not at risk! They could leave at any time! When they saw a bombed out building stripped of it's plumbing, it wasn't their grandfather's building, it wasn't where they had memories woven into their history.
The work your parents did was indeed wonderful, but it's so different to be helping someone else and choosing to put yourself in danger, then to have the danger thrust upon you, unable to escape and knowing everything you love and know is at risk of being destroyed.

Is your father still in Baghdad? I know many of your relatives are still in Iraq, but your parents have the peace of mind of knowing their sons are safe and out of Iraq.

I know your intention was to help your friend and to give her hope....but you yourself are out of Iraq. Your mother, your brothers, safe from the suicidal bombers and the trigger happy Americans...

See, as an American who has never experienced the horror that is war, I feel humbled and helpless to help those who's daily living is such an act of courage that my own small fears mock me.

I look to those who have survived the horror of war to teach and to lead. Yes, your mother's work in Lebanon is inspiring, but those who did not chose to be brave, but were brave anyhow, inspire me more:)

I hope your friend and her family survive and then, more importantly, find a way to thrive despite the scars war inflicts in the psyche.

Don't be such a stranger Khalid,
seb

3/04/2007 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

qwqwdqw

Bill Gates Urges Better Education, More Tech Visas Before Senate Panel

3/07/2007 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Through Grace Peace said...

تبرىء الكلمات في القلوب

ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
على النفوس والشيطان
قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
على القلوب البريئة
كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

كيف تنام عيون الايمان
وسرير الأمل
تفترشه ملاءة القنوط الشاحب
وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
حتى يصل الاعتقاد
بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

تحدث الحكيم
بصوته الخفيض وقال
أن للشيطان أتباع
يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
على شواطىء العزم الالهي.


[أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

3/11/2007 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

qwdqwq


Pentagon Transcripts Show Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Confesses to Sept. 11 Attacks

3/15/2007 02:58:00 AM  
Blogger M Zaouk SF said...

"...as an American who has never experienced the horror that is war, I feel humbled and helpless to help those who's daily living is such an act of courage..."
Yes, I can very, very much agree with that. Your letter to your friend was lovely. But as one who has read your Mother's writing extensively over the past 5 years, I have to demur a little bit with the other thought expressed. Faiza's courage in the face of all that has happened to her "lovely Baghdad," and family and friends, just began in Lebanon. She continues to speak truth to power and to express her powerful philosophy of love and truth in so many venues (Blog; International conferences; speaking tours; appearances before US Congress, etc., etc..) that I have come to view her as a force of nature! That she raised three such intelligent, compassionate, involved sons is another of her gifts to the future.
Best Regards,
Marian in SF

3/16/2007 07:29:00 AM  
Blogger Majed Jarrar said...

tooteh tooteh

3/16/2007 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger I.:.S.:. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4/23/2007 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger I.:.S.:. said...

inspiring, thank you, what can i say?

oh and anonymous link spam bot, do the transcripts mention all the different things they did to ksm to make him talk? like this maybe (for some reason overwhelmingly the most visited post on my blog?)

4/23/2007 12:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Enders, author of Baghdad Bulletin, is a New York based freelance journalist who has lived in Iraq for over 18 months in the last 4 years. On his latest trip, he reports on the growing refugee problem in Iraq and its effects on the rest of the region. To read more from David Enders, go to http://pulitzercenter.typepad.co...th_of_a_nation/
or visit the pulitzer center webiste at http://www.pulitzercenter.org/

7/20/2007 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger Bibi-Aisha said...

You are an amazing writer,whose words lightly tattoo indelible emotions on the heart. I think ur parents are the most selfless people i've heard about ever. Reaching out to others while sacrificing one own's comfort is an act few can lay claim to. I've read majed's blog and now yours. Mabrook on being an inspiring family

9/23/2007 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous aliraqia said...

nice story

11/14/2007 02:04:00 PM  
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