Free To Dream
If you've started reading the Iraqi blogs since Salam PAX started his war dairy, you probably read Gaith's blog too. Gaith stopped writing in his blog in August of 2003. BUT, he's back writing a biweekly column for The Guardian.
I'm so happy to see him writing again as I'm a big fan of Gaith. I read what has been published so far on The Guardian. The column I liked the most is titled "We wanted this war so desperately." He starts this column by saying:
Lying in bed, I was planning my suicide. I had only one dream in my life - to travel, to walk, to see different people and different cultures - and nothing seemed more impossible than this dream in the Iraq of our beloved leader, Saddam Hussein. I was the world's most underpaid architect, doing ugly work for ugly people who had money to build ugly houses. Dodging military service for almost six years meant that I had no documents in a country where you had to submit five different types of papers to get yourself a food ration. Apart from walking the old streets of Baghdad, getting drunk with my friend and reading, there was no way to free myself. I was trapped in this small room with no exit, not even a light at the end of the tunnel.
Then he takes us into a trip into his life after the collapse of Saddam's regime.
He ends this column by saying:
Do I regret the war, especially now that things seem to be moving towards chaos here? Not at all. I still think we are much better off than under Saddam. At least now we are free to dream.
We can dream. You read or feel these three words on Firas, Ays, the three brothers and other Iraqi blogs. You can feel the energy flowing when reading these blogs.
Under Saddam, we had no dreams. We only had nightmares of wars, which still haunt me even though I left Iraq 10 years ago.
After Saddam, everyone could dream. When you dream, you know you are alive. When you dream, every moment of life is worth a fortune.
Under Saddam, we had no tongues. We were silent ghosts. We couldn't trust the people around us including us, who live thousands of miles away from Iraq.
After Saddam, we have tongues. We have freedom of speech. We have scores of newspapers. We have more than 40 blogs that range from extreme left to extreme right.
Under Saddam, salaries were so little that many people had to sell their jewelry, furniture and any other item of value to bring food to the table. If you had a family member with a heart living outside Iraq, then you could count on them to send you money that would help with your living expenses.
After Saddam, most people are paid so well where they don't need to find an extra job to feed their families.
The only thing missing is security. That will improve when Iraqi police forces put Iraqis' lives before their clans ties.
Things get worse before they get better. I hope everyone can see the light at the end of the tunnel. These days, the road looks darker even for the most optimistic people in Iraq and America.
Let's pray for a better future for the Iraqis who could dream and live up to their dreams.
Arabic Word of The Post:
dream : حلم - / 'Hilm /
dreams : أحلام - / a'H-laam /