Friday, November 10, 2006

This Is The Only Time Our Children Can Play

You can click the picture to see it in its real size. This picture was taken today in Baghdad. During the curfew time. There is a curfew every Friday now. It is there so that even more people are not killed as they gather to pray.

I am a primary school teacher. I am the first of my family to be able to read or write. I am a widow for two years for which I have to thank an American soldier. My husband was shot by this murdering foreigner as he came home bringing bread. He was not armed. He did not even know how to shoot. His commander a lieutenant came to my home and spoke to me. I did not want to let him in but the interpreter told me that I and my children would be punished if I did not let this foreign murderer into my home. He spoke only of his feelings. Was I supposed to care about his feelings? Then he tried to give me money. I told him to leave and take his traitor interpreter with him.

I have three children. Friday curfew is the only time I dare let my children out to play. We have an arrangement that men in our neighbourhood (I am NOT going to tell you where I live) take it in turns to bring our children to school. A group of armed men first a group of armed men to each side. A group of armed men behind. My children are growing up without a father and surrounded by armed men. It is hard for my children to be locked in all the time. It is hard for me to be locked in with them all the time!

Soon I and my children are going away. We are going to join Maryam. (I am NOT going to tell you where that is either) But I know we will be safer there and the refugee camp needs more teachers so I will have work we will have food and safety and I will know that my children can run around and play like children should.

Zeynab

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