neurotic Iraqi wife
June 11, 2005
The Green Zone....
Things are strange here in the Green Zone, and no I wont start calling it the International Zone anytime soon cuz I like the sound of the former, thats how I got to know it by HUBBY, and thats how it will remain in my mind. Something am sure most of you know about the GZ is the fact its a very minute area of Baghdad. I think Ive seen most of it already. At times I tell HUBBY it feels like the Bahamas, its hot, many people tend to wear shorts and sleeveless tops, and the workers have those round hats covering their heads from the scorching sun.
I tell you, this place is artificial. I said it before and Ill say it again, its not the "Real" Baghdad. Although I have to confess that I managed to get a glimpse of the Baghdad I crave for, and that moment was a real tear jerker for me. HUBBY had to escort an Iraqi engineer to the final check point in the GZ, right next to the Bridge, cuz Iraqis who dont have passes are not allowed to come in or go out without someone sponsoring them and escorting them. I insisted on going with HUBBY. As we reached that checkpoint, HUBBY asked me to take my ID'S off, and keep my head low. Hmm now whats the point of keeping my head low when the whole point is to actually see my Baghdad???
We passed the checkpoint, and I stood there, right in the middle of the pavement of the real Baghdad street, staring at the cars passing by, watching the movements of the ordinary Iraqis going on their business, and in the far distance I saw it, I saw the white and orange Iraqi Taxis, my heart fluttered, and my eyes welled up. I starting pointing out stuff to HUBBY and saying, "OMG, HUBBY look there" "and there" and here". I felt like a child seeing things for the very first time, or more precisely I was looking at these things through my childhood eyes that left 26 years ago. Although it was only a 5 minute thing, its a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Work is getting better and better by the day, which means Im getting busier and busier by the hour. Am getting to know people slowly, and am filtering out those who I dont feel comfortable with, and believe you me, there are quite a few around here. So many of you asked about the comment I wrote in my previous post regarding the weird looks I got. Well to clarify that, apparantely many Iraqis either thought I was a Lebanese, an American, a French???, or an alien from some other planet. HUBBY said that some were probably intimidated by me. I dont see how. But then when I was approached by a few Iraqi ladies, they said they would never have thought I was an Iraqi simply because of my colouring and my Physique.
I might be petite but I know quite alot of Iraqis who are the same. As for my clothing, I practically live in my khaki pants and white tops, as plain as I can ever get. Probably the plainest one here. Everyone else just dresses up for work with high heels and tight jeans. I will never be caught in high heels here, simply becuz most of the walking paths arent paved, its all stones and rubble, which makes me wander how do these women manage with heels, I have no clue.
We've moved to new sleeping quarters, each contractor gets their own room and bathroom. Wowww sounds lavish doesnt it??? Lol, believe you me, that room gets crowded with one person in let along 2. So HUBBY and I have separate bedrooms abate next to each other. We do sleep in my bedroom though, the bed is tiny but I aint complaining.
One very important thing I wanna say is that, many Iraqis(locals) are being employed which is a great thing. They are being trained and educated on many issues of the rebuilding process so they can take over later. These Iraqis that enter the GZ everyday, are nothing but heroes in my eyes. Most of them have gotten threat letters, and yet they are adamant in coming here everyday to learn and be part of this huge effort. We have a lady whose Brother in law was killed 2 days ago because he "used" to work with KBR. They still killed him even though he succumbed to their wishes and left his work a few months ago. The same woman's father in law was killed last year because of the brother. I mean those savages are lower than the low of the scum of the earth. I have no clue what the government is doing about this, cuz believe you me, Iraqis here are just fed up.
Some of those I've spoken to have dreams of leaving here, mind you I said leaving and not living. They wanna seek a new life, a new beginning, and I dont blame them. I also witnessed a demonstration a few days ago, something I used to only see on TV, but this time I saw it for real. We were just heading to our "digs" when we heard loud voices and cars beeping. We asked around and were told that it was a demonstration regarding the evacuation law that was inputted by the government regarding residents of the GZ. Apparantely what happened was after the war, many people who lost their houses took shelter in abandoned government houses, appartments, whatever they could find. The interim gov, didnt do anything about it then, and so the residents settled in. Two years later letters of evacuation are being handed out, cuz these places are needed to protect the new members of this government.
The residents got upset, cuz they realised that if they hadnt taken shelter in what became the green zone they woldnt have to evacuate. One of those asked out, is actually the same lady who had her bro in law killed. She was given shelter here by the company, cuz of the threats she and her family received. The government said, they dont care, and that these places are needed for the ministers. What do you think??? Are they right??? Are they wrong???
In any case, I better go before I get caught. Im gonna prance in my Khakis and trainers in the lovely zone, the Green Zone.....
June 04, 2005
Home Sweet Home....
So yup, here I am blogging from the Green Zone, which is actually called the International Zone now. I would have never believed that I will be here in Baghdad. What can I say? My feelings are pretty mixed cuz I havent been outside the Green zone. This is not what I wanna see, I wanna see the real Baghdad, the real people. But am happy, am happy that am finally here with HUBBY.
I cant stay long blogging since Im not allowed to use these computers for personal use, but Ill try every now and again to post what I see. So far, I have seen one of the many palaces around here. Ill be really honest here, when I first arrived I was shocked at the amount of multinational forces around and the humvees. I dunno I never thought it was gonna be in this capacity, but I guess this is still a war zone and these forces are really needed.
I managed to speak to many Iraqis who work with me, Iraqis who endured all the years of tyranny. They all have mixed feelings. They are sad that the Baghdad they know is no more, one lady, in her late 20's said that she is glad she is working here, with the International companies but at the same time she said that now, being a woman, she has no social life. She leaves work and goes home. I even noticed that many women come in the morning covered up, either with long shirts or jackets and then once they are here, they take the long sleeves off and tshirts begin to appear.
I see sadness in their eyes, and sometimes fear, fear of the unknown. I cant blame them, I cant blame her. Although Ive only been here a week I gotto know many people around, and the majority of them are just great. Most of them are really here to help with the reconstruction process, but I also heard from some that there are those who are here for their own personal gain. Ive heard that taking bribes is the norm here, and that for me is sad. I havent seen anything in my own eyes, but stories come and go....
As for the trailer, well I absolutely love it. Its the first "home" we have together and Im cherishing every moment. Though we get to share a bathroom with 2 others, it aint that bad. We have like a rota going on, 2 people take showers in the morning and the other 2 in the evening so its ok. HUBBY keeps asking if Im happy, I dont think he knows how much this means to me. No matter where I am as long as am with him, Im the happiest bunny alive.
One of the big bosses around here said to me, "Welcome, welcome to Baghdad" I said, Baghdad is my home, Im the one who should tell you Welcome, welcome to my country, to my home...He just smiled and said "yeah you're right'...I did get abit aggitated when I first got here. Everyone would just stare at me, even the women, HUBBY would laugh big time and say"God, they're gonna eat you". And once I open my mouth and speak Iraqi, you see their eyes going haywire, and they would ask" you are an Iraqi???Wow, you dont look like one" Umm no offence but how do Iraqis supposed to look like??? But these stares just wore off now, thank god for that, instead I get mosquito eyes following me. I have been bitten all over my arms and legs, and that just bugs me.
I better go, HUBBY is done with his presentation, and its time to leave, time to head to our Home, Home Sweet Home.....