Saturday, January 29, 2005

Making History The Iraqi Way

By the time I publish this post, my fellow Iraqis would start a new journey toward their destiny. Our hopes and prayers are with the brave men and women who will make it the voting polls on Sunday.

I'm full of hope and fear. I know the terrorists will try to disturb this historical day. I know people will vote with their lives. This is when my fears overshadow my hopes.

Still, I hope many Iraqis make it to the polls. Today, Iraq needs the brave hearts of its people.

The BBC reported a few minutes ago that people are lining up at the polling centers in Basra - my city of birth. YOU GO!

This feels like a real election. I was depressed a few days ago because the election results may not be what I wished for. Now, I feel it really depends on how the voters decide. It's not about me. It's about the majority of the voters.

The people who decided to boycott the elections have nobody to blame except themselves. Iraq doesn't belong to one ethnic sector. Iraq belongs to all Iraqis.

In Iraq, especially in the south where I was born, people wish others a safe journey by saying:
ألله و محمد و علي و عيسى يكون وياكم

It translates to:
God, Mohammed, Ali and Jesus be with you.

OK, I added Jesus to include all ethnic groups.

UPDATE 01/30/2005 12:14 AM:
The CNN reported that women voters outnumber men voters by 2-1 in Kurdistan.

Voting ballets comes in three colors:
Pink for the National Assembly election.
Blue for providential council election.
Turquoise, Fayrouzi in Arabic, Kurdistan parliament election.

Explosions were reported in different parts of Baghdad during the last two hours.

UPDATE 01/30/2005 01:29 AM:
CNN correspondent, Jane Arraf, is reporting from Baqouba. She was at a voting center where people were singing and clapping while waiting to cast their vote. One woman told her, "Today is a bullet in the heart of the enemy."

UPDATE 01/30/2005 02:34 AM:
CNN correspondent, Nic Robertson, is reporting from Halabja. Halabja is the city that was gased by Saddam's army in 1988. One man told him, "The vote is not for the future. It's to prevent the past," or something along that line.

CNN also reported many women turned out to vote in Jordan. Pretty cool.

A few suicide bombers blew up themselves. It killed more than four Iraqi people and others were injured. Still, these incidents did not stop people from standing in the queues, where these suicide bombers struck.

Iraqi blogger Husayn in Baghdad cast his vote. Go read his post.

UPDATE 01/30/2005 10:15 AM:
The polls closed while I took my nap. An estimated 72 percent of Iraqis voted on this historical day.

Today, we witnessed the birth of the new Iraq. I can't express my joy. I can't express how proud I am of all the Iraqi people who defied their fears and voted. They are the real heroes.

Ahmed, Najma's uncle, has voted. Ahmed, you're a champion and you'll always be known as Najma's uncle :-)

UPDATE 01/30/2005 12:24 PM:
7,500 Fallujans VOTED. Those people were not scared to show up at the voting polls to make a better Iraq.

35 Iraqis were killed by suicide bombers. May your souls rest in peace. I salute you from the bottom of my heart.

UPDATE 01/30/2005 09:50 PM:
Today, I was happier than ever before. Today, I wanted to scream loud and say, "Yes, those are the people I grew up with. Those are the people I knew all my life."

The most emotional scene I've seen on TV was of an old woman who was carried to the voting poll on a chair. She was a determined woman.

Tonight, I'll go to sleep knowing a new Iraq was born today. The journey toward the sun has just started.

Thank you to the Iraqi people who voted today (Via Jeffery). You made me so proud.

I'll get to your comments tomorrow. I'm so tired. I need some sleep.

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