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neurotic Iraqi wife

May 18, 2005

Incense of Life....(Updated with a Pic)

This may be the last post I can write in a long long time. There are so many things on my mind and I have to admit that Im scared. Yes, scared. Really scared. Not scared for my life cuz that has already been planned out for me, but scared for my marriage. As much as I love my husband I keep begging God, praying that he's worth all this. Im ashamed, real ashamed admitting this but its the truth. This will either break us or make us and Im praying its the latter.

I sound like the most ungrateful wife alive,no??? I dunno, I dunno if what Im feeling is natural, I dunno anymore. I cant believe am going to Baghdad after all this time, I really cant but most importantly I cant believe that I will finally be with HUBBY...And just thinking about that makes me anxious, real anxious.

Another thing worrying me is my family. Im gonna worry about my family worrying about me all the time. Im gonna miss them immensely, Im gonna miss just being here with them. My family supported me through all my tough and rough times, they were always here with open arms, ALWAYS....They taught me the real meaning of unconditional love and I sure do love them with every nerve of my being....

Most of you know why I started this blog.You accompanied me through a real tough journey, a journey filled with ups and downs but most of all it was a journey of learning and accepting. A journey of faith and patience. Im writing this now and my emotions are going haywire. I really really am gonna miss writing, miss smiling at the comments and most of all Im gonna miss having you accompany me to the next stage of my life....And that for me is SAD, really sad. But it wont be for long....

I met people from all over the world, from all walks of life, damn I have goose bumps now....I wanna thank every single person who visited my blog and had to endure all the silly ramblings of a mad Iraqi wife. I especially wanna Thank Dave, Chris, Umhakima, Stephie, Ihath, Sami, Ahmad, Sara, Fayrouz, Liminal, Tilli, Misterghost, madtom, Najma, AnaRki13. I also wanna thank Emigre for introducing my blog through the IBC. A huge thank you also to ITM for including my blog on their inspirational site, I wish you all the best. I forgot to mention Dave Schuler who also introduced my blog to a wider audience. Brianh thanx for correcting my spelling,hehe. No matter how many thank you's I say its not really gonna be enough. But be sure that each one of you, left a huge impact, even the anonymous comments were great....I apologise for leaving anyone out....

This is definitely not a Goodbye, for goodbyes tend to always be painful. This is just a see you soon kind of thing and a dont forget me post,hehe.... Wish me luck for I need it and I hope Ill be receiving emails from all of you while Im in Iraq. Although its my country, I know am gonna be a lonesome stranger for some time.....

Oh and by the way,if anyone out there needs someone to pack their luggage, just whistle, for I believe I have become "THE" packer of the year. As much as I hated packing my bags, it has become second nature. I know how to utilise every bloody space available, so whenever you are going away and dont feel like packing think of me and smile.....It can be extremely FUN you know, just ask me,lol....

Well, I better go back and finish what I have started. The incense is burning, the Incense of Life.....


NIW

My sweet young sister is a fashion designer and has done this Tshirt for me to wear in Baghdad,lol....
posted by neurotic_wife at 5:35 PM 50 comments

May 16, 2005

BAGHDAD HERE I COME......

I GOT IT!!!! THE COUNTRY CLEARANCE IS OUT!!!!!!!!!JUST HEARD THE NEWS 45 MINUTES AGO. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!BAGHDAD HERE I COME.....
posted by neurotic_wife at 10:24 PM 7 comments

ME Time.....

Im feeling much better after the bout of depression I had the last 2 weeks. I felt myself slipping, slipping real fast in a world of seclusion and sadness. But there came a point where I said ENOUGH. Enough negativity, enough hopelessness. It was far too draining.

I decided no TV news from now on, cant bare it. Its a cowardly way of dealing with reality but for now, its a short time solution to gather my thoughts together. I cant bare looking at burnt corpses, or children's bodies scattered, drenched in their own blood. These graphic, disturbing images do nothing but scar you in a real bad way...

HUBBY too seems to be catching my depression virus. Says nothing is going right in Baghdad.This is the person I depended on to get my laughing medication. This is the person who used to always make me smile. This is the person who I always turned to when I was down. But changes are imminent, I knew it was only a matter of time....

Living in the Green Zone is no laughing matter. Im not talking about the daily mortars that drop in randomly, nor the sirens that go off every now and then.Even there you struggle to survive. Maybe not survive physically as much, but mentally you HAVE to stay sane. Mentally you are so fragile, so prone to breaking down. Men leaving their families behind, their wives, their kids, their Lives. Missing birthdays, missing the first "dada" words. Women leaving behind their love nests, their definition of ultimate security and stability... All this takes its toll even if you think you're made from stone for stones too have their breaking points....

"I need some privacy" were words that shocked me to my core. What do you mean, I asked??? I need time, time just for myself he said. But you ARE alone in Iraq, you have all the time in the world there, all the time without ME. No, he answered, Im never alone there, you can never be ALONE there,always surrounded by people by thoughts of survival. At work its colleagues, in the trailer its my mate,in the streets its mortars. I need time, ME time....

Me time, words that kept resonating in my ears. Being the emotional person that I am, took these words as insults, as a selfish behaviour from the one person who I thought was selfless...How can he say that??? How dare he!!!I looked at myself and felt pity,I mean there I was counting the hours, days, weeks, months so we can finally be together. So We can finally spend quality time "together" and then get this??? How can it be???

You dont love me anymore, I said. He smiled,took my hands in his,looked real deep into my eyes and said "how can someone not love you??? After all this time,how can you have the heart to say these words.If I could, I would give you my eyes, If I could, I would give you my soul. You dont give yourself much credit, you are too harsh on yourself". But you want ME time, how can you love me when you want ME time, I spat the words out.

A look of sadness swamped his sea blue eyes and he said, you will know what I mean when you come over. Its nothing personal against you, its something I NEED to do. I want to stay in bed and rot for a few days. I want to sleep like there's no tomorrow. I wanna get filthy and smell. I want to stay in the room and not see a single soul. I cant do that when you are around. I will feel selfish if I do that and leave you out and thats why I say ME time. At that moment I felt my heart ache, literally.

Here I was married to someone in his forties, someone strong, mature, fun, unbreakable, and yet I realised he is only HUMAN. How could I have been so selfish,how could I have been so blind, how could I have gotten it so wrong. He's only human and has his own weaknesses. He too has the right to be sad, down, miserable.....He afterall has the right to have his "ME" time. And so I gave it to him. Maybe not as long as he hoped for, but it was a start.

I left our hotel room, ventured out into the streets. I took a cab and went to a nearby mall. Spent 30 minutes window shopping, since I didnt really need anything to buy and the rest of the 90 minutes was spent in a cafe gulping down one latte after the other. I got people looking at me strangely, but I didnt care. I sat there waiting, wandering when is it time, looking at my watch every 10 minutes. Once I needed the bathroom after the OD of latte's I decided its time to leave...I went back to the hotel and found him lying down. Did you have enough "me" time I asked??? He smiled and said come here I missed you......

I wander, how many more people out there feel the same. How many more people out there are mentally exahusted. How many more people crave for their "ME" Time.....
posted by neurotic_wife at 12:19 PM 6 comments

May 10, 2005

A Dream of Martyrdom.....

Have I gone mad??? Or am I just being Me??? I woke up with a jolt, am not sure if I dreamt I killed Zarqawi, or was it one of those ideas that lurk behind my brains. Its kinda vague, but I guess I have it all planned out.

Im depressed, Im feeling low, HUBBY is ignoring me, I say to hell with it, Im gonna run away. Run away from home, run away from reality, I have nothing to lose. I wait until everyone is asleep, I tiptoe to the door, I take one last look at the house I grew in, I begin to cry silently and I whisper the words "Goodbye" I leave and never turn back. I take refuge in a mosque. Im frightened yet determined. I sit there in a corner, reading the Quran, hoping that God will forgive my sins and will give me the strength for what Im gonna do.

For two days am in that mosque, then a man approaches me. I tell him I want all my sins to be forgiven, can he help me??? Is there a way which will ensure my soul to paradise??? The man has a long scruffy beard, his dishdash is so short Iguess he must be one of those Wahabis that believe Sunnis and Shia's are non believers, and killing one will secure him a place in Paradise. I wince at that thought, but Im on a mission, and he is probably the right person for me now.

His eyes scavenges me over and over then he says "Do you really want your sins to be erased???Do you want to meet God in Heaven???" Yes I say, who doesnt want to???. I try not to meet his eyes, for Idont want my secret to be revealed. Im shaking inside, yet a voice tells me to go on. He whispers "you've come tothe right person, Im gonna help you". "What faith are you???" I answer, am Muslim. No he says, what's your Math' hab??? I lie and say I dont know. He smiles, revealing dirty black teeth.

"Do you know how your brothers and sisters are suffering in Iraq??? Those American infidels and everyone who assists them are criminals, they are the non believers and God has told us to fight them, wherever they may be. Our brothers in Iraq need our help, and we are obliged to assist them, this is gonna be your passage to heaven, your passage to the almighty.Come with me little one, you are going to Heaven soon"

I shudder, I think of my parents, I think of HUBBY, they must be going crazy with my disappearance,but I have to do this, I GOTTO. I follow the man in the dark dark night, all thoughts pass through me. What if Ill get raped???What if they find out am a Shia??? We keep walking in the darkness, until we reach a small house. The man stops, he knocks ever so slightly, its some kind of a weird knock, for it had a special rythm, Hmm maybe its a code they use amongst themselves. The door cracks open slowly, a young man appears "Al Salamu Alaykum" The old man says. "Wa Alaykum il Salam, wa rahmatu allahu wa baraktoo, please come in our Sheikh" the young guy says. He eyes me up and down, and I thank God that I purchased a face veil the last minute. He can only see my eyes popping at him.

A lady was called, she came and took me to the kitchen."Hungry???" she asked. I shake my head"No thank you, Im just thristy" She then pours me some water and I gulp it all. The Old man comes in, says "You have to eat, for the journey ahead of you is long, and you need all your strength.Eat little one, and in afew hours you will be on your way to paradise" Oh God, I say to myself, I pray to him, the almighty, the power higher than anything, help me do this, give me strength and guide me through.

A few hours later, just before the first light colours the sky, me and the young man, begin our journey. We go into a nissan car, pretty old, and worn out. Bismilah he says, and along we went through the desert. He drove and drove, and in the background, a tape of some man encouraging all muslims to fight the Holly war in Iraq. To do "Jihad" and kill all infidels, this is our duty he says as muslim brothers and sisters. America is the devil, the devil defied God, and its our duty to kill him. You will go to the firdos he says,you will meet your hoorees there, yoou will have wine and it will never run out. 72 hooriyat for each one of you" I sit and think, hmm, men get hooriyat(virgin women) what do we women get??? Virgin men???

The weather is hot, the sun is scorching, I feel the sweat on my forehead, I wanna take this damn veil off, I wanna breathe. But I cant. I need the loo, I look at the young man,and say can we stop somewhere???I need the umm bathroom. I look around its all desert. He stops the car, and points at a bush. There he says, go there, do it quick, do it fast. Can I have some tissues I ask??? He throws the box in my face and says sternly "bring it back" Go now, you are delaying us". When you are desperate you dont even think about whats wrong and whats right, you just do it. I hurry to the bush, I hear sounds, animal sounds my heart beats so fast, but I dontcare, I just pee, and hurry back to the car. I feel dirty, havent showered in so many days. But I dont care Im on a mission, a mission to paradise....

We cross the desert, into Saudi, check points all over. The young man shows ID's, and we are inside. I dont even wander what ID theyve given me. I just sitback in the seat dreaming of Iraq. We stop at a house. Again, its that same rythmical knock. Another young man opens the door. His dishdash is even shorter than that of the old mans. Another Wahabi..... He takes us in, a young woman takes me to the kitchen and the whole scenario repeats itself. But this time we sleep. My eyes wouldnt close, not for a nano second. I twist and turn and I pretend to be in a deep sleep, but infact Im shivering. Lying down on the mattress I can see the stars in the sky through the small window. I imagine the stars watching over me, smiling, I smile back....

At dawn we wake up for the prayers. I stand with my hands on my sides, then I realise with a start that this is a give away for being a shia, I hoped they didnt see that, and I assumed the position of placing both my hands ontop of each other down infront of me. I resumed praying and with tears going down my cheeks. I pray for forgiveness, I pray for strength. I pray for my worried parents, I pray for Iraq....

Then we huddle up again into a different car, this time more young men join us. We are like 5 inthe car with me being the only female. Their voices are loud, they talk about heaven, they talk about their virgins, they talk about becoming "Ameers" in the land of the Euphrates.(Ameer is a prince,you gain the title if you kill 10 Iraqis). I shudder with fear. You assoles I think to myself, you are killing my people, Im gonna kill you all, very soon.

I guess we arrive into Syria, then into Iraq. Fifteen years, fifteen long years have passed since I laid my eyes on Iraq. I inhaled the air so deeply. My God, look at it. Iraq Im here finally, Im here and am gonna rescue you. I think of HUBBY. If only he knows, if only he knows we are breathing the same air, we are looking at the same sky....If only...

We arrive at a house. Dont really know the town. I hear Iraqi together with different Arab dialects. We enter. Im taken to a familiar looking man. I hear the words"She wants to join the mujahideen, she wants to be a martyr, she wants to kill the infidels." The familiar face looks at me, looks through my eyes. Im shaking but I say nothing. He says" are you ready for the mission?" I nod my head. "Do you want togo toheaven???" I nod my head fiercely this time. "Tawakalna ala allah" he says (we depend on God).

Two days of vigourous training, two days of watching videos they have taken of explosions and suicide missions. Then they show me videos of slaughter, this will be your fate if you con us. We will cut your throat like an animal and let you bleed to death. This is what happens to infidels. I nod my head and say "Allah is great, Im gonna be a martyr".

The day has come. I havent slept in many days now. I havent washed myself except for abolution, yet I feel energetic, clean, strong....They take me inside a room and explain my mission. Im going to go in a crowded market, filled with children. Im gonna pretend to buy something and when I feel Im surrounded by many people, Ill detonate myself. They put a belt around me, with every explosive device, and tell me "May God Grant your wish of martyrdom, May we see you in heaven"

Off I go just outside the house with another man waiting for me in the car. I look at him, then I shout wait I forgot to say something to our leader.I walk back slowly, Im stopped by the guards, I say please let me in, I forgot to get blessed by the Leader, they look at me suspiciously but they let me in. As I see his face, I say my "Shahada" (There is no deity except God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God) then I push that button and BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM. I am gone, they are all gone, those criminals, those animals, those barbarians, and their emperor, ZARQAWI......

Am not sure if this was something I dreamt while asleep, or something I made up before I slept. But its there, just like that. As for the virgin girls and wine, yes it is written in our Quran, but criminals like Zarqawi and the Wahabi's they brainwash the weak, and use God and the Quran as their tools. They translate words to their own liking and although am not religeously knowledgable, I do know that when God mentions Jihad in our holy Quran, he meant Jihad as the Struggle, the struggle of one's self. Thats what Jihad is.

Islam and the Quran is clear about killing innocent people. It does not encourage killing, on the contrary it encourages peace and kind heartedness. It is the criminals like Bin Laden and his followers that taint Islam. Its Al Dhari and his followers that encourage the killing of innocents. Be sure to know that the Quran and the words of God, DONT....Its the human or infact the inhumane brain that tarnishes Gods words......

This was my dream, A Dream of Martyrdom.....

Googled Articles about Wahhabis:
1- Wahhabism
2- Extremists in a Moderate Land
3- Wahabi Vs Wahabi
4- Who or What is a Wahabi
5- Wahabi
5- Some beliefs

A beautiful tribute on Mother's day from a Soldier's Mom to the Mothers of Iraq. Please be sure to pass it on to all the Iraqi women. My sincere thanx for your beautiful words.....
(Hat tip: Assumption of Command)
posted by neurotic_wife at 2:13 PM 18 comments

May 07, 2005

Road of The Faithless.....

Can someone please tell me that things will get better in Iraq. Can someone please give me guarantees. I dunno, am feeling down, real down,especially after todays bombings. A small kids voice flows from the TV crying"I was standing in the street and then BOOM, a shrapnel hits me in the leg, Ive never hurt anyone" he cries," I never did anything to anyone, why me" These words just tore my heart apart. Tore it to shreds and now I feel empty. WHY children??? WHY the innocent???WHY the criminals are still around??? WHY???

When will this stop??? When will these thugs leave us alone??? Will they ever??? Please tell me that they will, please assure me that no more innocent people are gonna die. I was so hopeful awhile ago, but now am not so sure. I still wanna go to Iraq, no matter what the consequences are I AM GOING, but how can I be of much help if my faith is disappearing slowly. How can I smile when I know that I cant stop these unfair killings. HOW???

Where can people go and know that they will be safe??? Where can a child play with his friends without looking back??? Where can women walk without fear of getting kidnapped, or worse still raped then slaughtered then dumped in the river??? WHERE???

Can you shake me hard and convince me that Iraq is gonna be OK??? Cuz am begging here, I need words, words of wisdom that takes me away from this depression. I need words of Wisdom that can stir my faith up to surface again, I need those so badly now. So badly....

The last few days I heard of so many families leaving Iraq. I met 2 already, and when I ask them about Baghdad, all they say is "Forget Baghdad, Forget Baghdad that once was, Baghdad now is a big wild forest, filled with wild beasts roaming its streets freely, roaming the minds easily, Forget Baghdad" To forget Baghdad is like erasing my whole identity, how can I forget the one thing I yearn for??? How can I forget the dreams, the hopes, the memories??? How can I???

I cant stand myself being like this, but I'm slipping, slipping down the road, the Road of the Faithless.....
posted by neurotic_wife at 11:03 PM 21 comments

May 05, 2005

A Moment of Love.....

Got back last night from our ten day vacation. Went to Cairo, Sharm El Sheikh and Jordan. Cairo I absolutely loved. I've been there before so I know what its like, HUBBY on the other hand didnt like it much. He enjoyed the Pyramids but apart from that he wasnt too impressed with the Egyptians. This time they didnt give me much hassle at the airport, thank God for that. HUBBY is safely back in the Green Zone, and am still waiting for the OK from Baghdad....

The day the tourists got killed in Cairo, we were stuck in the museum. It was our last day in Egypt and HUBBY wanted to see the mummies. After spending an hour and ahalf roaming about and checking out the gruesome looking mummies, we started heading for the exit. I could see crowds and crowds of people being shoved away. Then the security guards gathered together and told us to go back deep inside, no one can leave the museum. I could see the fear starting to show on the tourists faces. French, American, Brits, Japanese and many more began to question the guards but no one said anything. All they did was make signs with their hands that we all should stand way back in. A woman began screaming and shouting at the guard. HUBBY just walked off, found a corner and sat there. I on the otherhand was real curious as to why we arent allowed out.

I was afraid of having one of my panic attacks, so I stood next to the glass wall, waiting for any word. An hour later "ibleeeez, everyone, ibleeeez calmee down, zeer iz nossing, its juste a small car accident eet eeez nossing, ibleeez" said one of the museum officials. A car accident my A**. They wouldnt react in that manner if it was just a car accident. Another hour passed and I began breathing pretty heavily. The place became claustrophobic, filled with panicy people pushing and shoving. Then out of no where I saw tour guides raising their hands up and telling their group to follow them. I rushed to HUBBY and dragged him alongside. We pushed and shoved and found ourselves in the open air at long last.

As I was going down the steps, the policeman stopped me, asked" where are you going" I said am going out,with my husband. He looked at HUBBY and told him with a rude voice"come back here" HUBBY who never ever gets angry or screams, shouted so loud I thought that is it, we're going to prison. To save the situation, I took my British passport out, waved it at the police's face, and told him "Im a British citizen, and I demand to leave this place" You can see sweat dripping from the policeman's forehead, I spoke to him in Arabic and said, is it because Im an Arab you treat us second class citizens???I hold a British passport, will that give me priority??? He smiled, but you can see the fear in his eyes, then he said clamly"please madam, we dont differentiate, we do this for your safety, but if you wanna go, you can go, just dont tell the guards you dont have a tour bus waiting for you".

We left the place, I lit a cigarette with my hands shaking, shaking from anger and disgust. HUBBY smiled and told me its not worth it. Half an hour later, my mom called, asking if we were ok, what happened I asked, she said its breaking news, there was a suicide explosion near the museum. Hmm, I guess, we survived. Had we left earlier, Im not so sure I would be here today. I still am angry though at the way we got treated...

Unfortunately I didnt have much time to surprise HUBBY by getting a ribbon and wrapping it around me for our anniversary gift, but HUBBY did manage to get me 2 beautiful paintings done on the Papyrus. We bargained so badly that the young boy gave up and gave us the second for free,lol. Way to go HUBBY....

Our Anniversary was spent inside the pyramids. I really didnt wanna go, but HUBBY insisted. We had to hunch our backs and climb 35 meters until we reach a room thats absolutely empty,lol. Tour guides arent allowed in, so HUBBY and I just started making our own stories about these exact steps, and there, right in the middle of the staircase, HUBBY pulled me close to him and kissed me full on the lips, just like the movies. He looked into my eyes in the total darkness that surrounded us and whispered "remember this kiss, our anniversary kiss inside the pyramids, This Is A Moment"

And so it WAS a moment, a moment of utter bliss, a moment of unexpected emotions, A Moment Of Love.....
posted by neurotic_wife at 4:53 PM 11 comments