Farewell To Umm Lumma
Everyday, the media reports the death toll in Iraq. The same media rarely reports the names of those Iraqi victims. It could be because the reporters can't get their names or because those victims aren't as precious as the American victims. Either way, I wish the media would put a face on those victims instead of treating them as statistics.
Few weeks ago, Neurotic Iraqi Wife wrote a touching tribute to Kristin A. Irvine-Ryan, an American victim of the 9/11 attack. At the time, I wondered if Iraqis would ever write tributes to the victims of violence in Iraq. I wish they would as it may help them heal the wounds of this war. So, when I read the story of Umm Lumma, I thought I'd pay tribute to her.
Most Iraqi mothers wake up early each morning. They walk to the neighborhood's bakery and buy hot bread. Then, they prepare a nice breakfast for the family. Iraqi mothers never complain of this daily ritual. They perform it under difficult conditions including heat, cold, rain, blazing sun, war and peace. Umma Lumma was one of those wonderful Iraqi mothers. She was on her way to buy bread when she came face to face with death. CNN Baghdad correspondent Arwa Damon reports:
On September 16, she left the house to buy bread for breakfast and a car drove up. Someone inside called her name. Her niece remembers well how the events unfolded.
"Are you Umm Luma?" asked a man in the car.
"Yes, dear. What would you like?" Umm Luma responded.
The first bullet ripped through her arm, knocking her to the ground, said Rafal[Umm Lumma's niece]. The man, who couldn't have been older than 18, then exited the car and shot Umm Luma four more times.
When will Iraqis have mercy on each other? When will Iraqis realize that Iraq is for all Iraqis? When will Iraqis stop the daily bloodshed? When will Iraqis remember the good old days when neighborhoods were a melting pot of Sunni, Shia, Christians and all other minorities? When will Iraqi women like Umm Lumma feel secure to leave their homes and buy the breakfast bread?
When I know the answer to any of these questions, then I'll regain my confidence that peace may visit Iraq again. Until then, more and more Umm Lummas will lose their lives for this senseless violence.
R.I.P. ya Umm Lumma.