Monday, January 15, 2007

Basra' Sidewalks and The Deadly Celebrations

By Queen Amidala
Basra, Iraq

Two things are happening in Basra that might be interesting to whom it might be concerned. One is good and the other is bad.

First the good thing. Do you remember when I wrote about the Southern Oil Company's efforts to rebuild Basra's sidewalks? Well, the National Electricity company has been doing the same thing. Though, we would loved for this company to do more in its field. But, they are doing something completely different. The company is helping to rebuild the other roads in Basrah.

At first, I started to laugh at this ironic effort. Then I had second thoughts. IT’S BETTER THAN NOTHING because they're doing nothing to improve the electricity in Basra or other places. We still suffer from the bad electricity and the undrinkable water. Sometimes, we are without water for days -- three to seven days lately.

I thought, what’s wrong with those people? Why are they doing such things that might not be useful to Basrawis? Then, I thought again. At least they are providing jobs for a lot of unskilled people, who are the majority of our population.

Now to the bad thing.

Here in Iraq -- including Basrah -- they celebrate the good and bad events in a very strange way. They celebrate by shooting in the air. This kind of celebration causes the death of innocent people. So far, two innocent people, who I know personally, were killed by those celebratory gunshots.

The first person was a 13-year-old Muslim boy. He was with his mother on the roof of their house. The mother was hanging the laundry to dry. His father works in Dubai. The neighbours say he was very attached to his mother. He was a brilliant kid. His life was taken short by some one's crazy celebratory bullet. The bullet went straight into the boy’s heart and killed him.

The family is very sad over his death. Actually, the street and neighbours are all sad over his death. But, that didn't stop other people from celebrating the same crazy way.

Another accident happened earlier this month. A newlywed 22-year-old Christian woman was cleaning the garden of her home when a celebratory bullet killed her. It hit her in the head. She died after few hours.

I'm very sad for both families. Death happens suddenly in Iraq. One moment you're with a beloved one. The next moment your beloved one is gone forever. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a loving one. My heart is with their families. May God help them in their grief.

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