Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Jail


As the date of My wedding anniversary becomes closer , I decided to make a surprise trip for both of us , me and my wife , to celebrate our anniversary for 3 weeks in Jordan .
I wanted us to relax, live a normal life for a while, see our parents and have some fun and because I wanted it to be a surprise, I didn't mention it because my wife
(of course) reads my blog . Anyway , I started to arrange the requirements of the trip , I needed to book tickets , and take a sick leave , because it's the only type of leaves that I can have , and I have to go to Al-Sadir hospital (formerly known as Al-Qadesia hospital) which is in Al-Sadir city (formerly known as Al-Thaora "the revolution " or Saddam city)! I don't know why they force any one who wants to take a leave to take it from there! I know there is a thin line between Braveness and stupidity , but this is a necessity to me and I have to go and that's what I did , Al-Sadir City is somewhere that not only Sunni are afraid to go but even most of the Shiite who doesn't live there , like my friend who is Shiite and whom I asked to accompany me there and was terribly afraid to do so , I know Al-Sadir city is the stronghold of Al-Mahdi army , but people thinks that it's the grave of anyone who dares to go there of course except the people who lives there, anyway I decided to go , I decided to take the risk to have some peace later.
I wear raged clothes, and didn't shave that day so I will not bring attention, I took a taxi to a place called Al-Talbia which is a car mechanics complex near Al-Sadir city, and from there I took another taxi to Al-Sadir hospital because no taxi driver near my home will go there and to prevent the taxi driver who will take me to Al-Sadir city from knowing where do I live.
I entered the area, and that was the first time for me since I was a teenager. It's strange, the massive number of Muqtada Al-Sadir's pictures and pictures of dead members of the Mahdi-army, it's written under there pictures that they belong to the Mahdi-army and was killed in action! How strange! What actions? What is the type of those actions? The pictures are everywhere; it's even more than Saddam's pictures at his time.
As the taxi took me through the City streets, I was amazed how developed the city is now, how cleaner it is from the last time I entered it. It was something very dirty with dirty water drowning the streets, and garbage everywhere. It's clean now (not really clean but relatively clean) , it has shops and markets , I was really happy for the poor people there , but then something shocked me and got me back to reality that I might be killed any second , there was a small shop for audio devices who was playing Mahdi-army's songs very loud , I got back to reality and the smile on my face for the poor people disappeared , me and the taxi driver had a conversation about the soccer team victory and how the terrorists prevented us from celebrating.
Then I reached the hospital , I was amazed again by the building which is very modern , and with the guards who took everyone's cigarettes because smoking is not allowed and the thing that shocked me is the number of patients there , I could easily say that a thousand patient is present there ? There is an extremely long queue for patients waiting to bee seen by doctors; it's something I have never seen. I decided to go to the surgery department and ask them for a favor to give me permission for a sick leave, I didn't wait in line of course because it will take 3 hours at least before I reach the doctor so I went straight to his room and told the guard that I'm a dentist and I'm not here for a consultation, so he let me in.
I met the doctor and told him that I'm a Shiite working near a Sunni neighborhood which is very dangerous for me so I need a sick leave to arrange my transfer to somewhere safer, he immediately agreed and gave me 20 days, I rushed out of the hospital and took another two Taxis to my clinic and asked my boss for another 7 days, and amazingly he agreed.
I didn't think that going to Al-Sadir City would be that easy and without facing any problems or complications, but later when I told my friends at the clinic, all of them blamed me for that, they said that this time you got away but don't do it again because you will not, many people were stopped there and killed by the Mahdi-Army.
Everything is good now, I have arranged everything for the trip, it's time to tell my beautiful wife about it, she was extremely happy when she heard about the trip, she is so excited, we started to pack our bags, I was so happy also because I have been saving money for this trip for a long time, and I would be able to have some romantic time with her away from the explosions and the hell in Iraq.
In the morning of Tuesday we took the airport Taxi and got there after being checked million times , we waited for the plane and I was expecting it to be delayed as usual , and that what happened , because the Iraqi air-ways have only two airplanes. Then one of them arrived. We checked our luggage for the last time and we were in a hall between the waiting hall and the checkpoint when they told us it will be late for 4 hours at least and we have to wait here because we can't go back! I asked why? And one of the security guards told me that they are fixing the airplane, there is something wrong with it, I was astonished, and asked where will we wait? He told me that's it's not his problem. there are very few chairs at this hall and there is about 50 passengers waiting in it , we stood and wait but later people started to sit on the floor , so finally I joined them because I was really tired .we waited from 6 am till 7 pm when the airplane arrived and we got on board , the trip took one hour and we were finally in Amman / Jordan.
In the Jordanian airport we waited in hall to meet the intelligence officer, who will decide whether we can enter Jordan or not, I wasn't afraid and didn't worry because I used to go to Amman every summer, and so did my wife.
Then it was our time to meet him, everyone told us that we should not tell him that we own a flat in Amman, and we shouldn’t tell him that our parents are there, that way he will know that we are not staying there for good.
We walked to the room after our names been announced, and then he asked his first question, why do you want to come to Amman? I replied , We want to spend a vacation here , he answered , people are dying in your country and you want a vacation , Why not if I can afford it , I have been in the danger too , I want to spend 3 weeks here to have some rest and a vacation , I replied. Then he asked whether I'm a Sunni or a Shiite and many other annoying questions. Then he told us to wait in the hall. We waited for about 3 hours , at this time only 14 people are left in the hall , me and my wife , 4 young men , a father and his daughter , 2 mothers with their daughters , a young women and an old women . all of us were waiting , then an officer came to us and told us that we aren't going to enter Amman in the most humiliating way of speaking , and walked away I tried to talk to him but he closed the door in my face…..I was so angry of the way he treated us , we are locked in a small room now , and my wife is scared of closed places , she was so scared and she began to cry hysterically I felt that she will die if she staid like this and again there was nothing I can do , this really makes me hate my self when I can do nothing , I knocked on the door many times but no one answered , it's like a prison , I shouted : don't let us in , just let us out , get us back to Iraq , I don't want to be humiliated like this…… there was no answer , they just ignored us again.
After an hour of my wife crying , her eyes are so swelled now , then another humiliating officer talked to us like we were dogs :"get the hell out of here , and go to that room" he pointed , we walked and we saw a dirty corridor with blankets and 3 small rooms , you will sleep the night here , he said. He pushed all of us and locked the door, at this time I wish I could kill one of them for the humiliation we received from them. all of us were so scared from the idea that we will sleep in a jail for the first time in our lives for no crime we did , just because we are Iraqis , why does everyone treat Iraqis like this , we are humans , we aren't aliens , we are not animals to be put in jail for no crime , I walked and I saw another man in one of the rooms , he was very classy , he smiled kindly when I entered . I asked, did they return you also? How long have you been here? He said , yes they did and this is the fifth time they return me , I don't want to enter the land of dogs "he meant Jordan" all I want is my money , all my money is there , and I want to draw it , but the dogs didn't let me in , tell your wife that there is no need to cry like this for the land of the dogs , and if she continues crying they might tell her some words that she will not like and will never forget , this happened before and I have seen it. Of course not only my wife was crying but all the women in the "Jail" or what the Jordanians call the Waiting Hall , all the men had red eyes , they struggled to keep the tears in their eyes , and I was one of them , I don't know why they were so sad may be some of them for the price of the ticket 644$ which was lost , maybe for the business and opportunity they have lost , but for me it's for the humiliation and disrespect I have seen , for the way Jordanians treat Iraqis , for the lost chance of seeing our parents , I didn't care about the fun because I can go to Syria later , and have fun there . And I'd like to say that all the detained people in that jail are very classy. Me and my wife sat on the floor of the corridor after being exhausted because there are no chairs, and she is afraid to sit alone in the women's room. Then a young man I'll refer to him as B joined us and we begin to talk , He told me that he was kidnapped in Iraq by Al-Mahdi army and had to pay a huge ransom to get out so he can't go back to Iraq , he almost cried when he said this , then another young women joined us , she is Christian and later became a friend of my wife in the "Jail" , she came with her mother who was very sick from what happened to her and was hysterically crying , she told us that she and her mother haven't seen her brother for 4 years now .At this time another lousy officer came and said that tomorrow night maybe you will be able to get back to Iraq . the crying started again , we were on the floor and he was standing , so B told him that he can't go to Iraq because he was kidnapped and that he wants to go to Syria or anywhere else but Iraq , and he is ready to pay any price for the tickets , Why don't you let me go to Syria , he said . The bastard officer kicked him with his dirty foot and told him that it's our call and if you have paid the ransom then pay it again and he begun to laugh!!! he is laughing on our miseries, he is laughing on our everyday torture, then the young women stood and begged him to let her only see her brother, he is in the airport just come with me, I just want to see him even from a distance, she said, he looked at her and didn't reply, he looked in a way I will never forget. At this point I wanted to do something specially when my wife begun to cry again and saying why do they treat us like this , I can't take it anymore , I have never been treated like this all my life , may god have our revenge from them. Now I remember at Saddam's times when the Jordanian students come to Iraq and study for free and the government gives them flats and pocket money as to encourage the so called "Arab Unity" what a comedy! They have the priority in applying for the universities in Baghdad, Saddam gave Jordan oil and electricity for free, now I was so mad, but I didn't on whom should I be mad; of Saddam or of Jordanians? Saddam wanted good relations with them so he did that, and that's the way the treat us, I wish the time could go back, I wish.
We waited and talked with each other to spend the time and then someone came with food packages, he threw them on the floor and left. I swear I will not eat that food, people started to eat, it was 1am and we were so tired and sad, my wife asked me what will we do will we sleep on these dirty blankets on the floor with all these people? I assured her that I will not sleep a moment here , I can stand it , you may sleep and put your head on my lap it's clean , I smiled , I will guard you all the night and you may use your clothes as blankets , I'll get it to you from the handbag , I said . and that what happened she slept on the floor and covered herself with her clothes and I placed her head on my lap so she will not touch something dirty , and feel safe , I staid up in that corridor all the night thinking that my second goal in blogging beside letting the world know the truth in Iraq is to expose what happens to Iraqis by Jordanians and do something to stop it . I will dedicate my life for this cause, something should be done. This can't be, it's something very humiliating. At that night 6 young men came to the "Jail" they were going to Turkey they used the Jordanian airport as a transit , they booked in the airport hotel and paid for it , so when they came into the "jail" one of them asked the officer :is this the hotel? The officer laughed at him and told him yes, this is the five star hotel that you have paid for, and he closed the door.
At the dusk my wife waked up and looked at me with the saddest look I have ever seen from her: haven't you slept all the night, honey? I smiled to her and told her that if I didn't succeed in giving you a good time as our wedding gift, then at least I should guard you while you sleep, she said I will go to the women's room and you should have some sleep, I refused and didn't let her go, she tried to stay up as to support me, but she couldn't stand it, so she fell asleep again. I also slept for about an hour, I didn't feel when I slept. In the morning of Wednesday she woke up and so did all the "detainees" in the "Jail" and that's when I took the last two pictures, the first one was at night. then another rotten guard told us that we might sleep another night here , because there has been a sand storm in Baghdad's Airport and the planes can't fly to get us back , at this time and for the first time I felt that I'm going to break down , I felt a huge weight on my chest , I felt my eyes will blow , I felt like I could kill one of them . I can't stand another minute here , I can't take it anymore , no one and no words can describe it , no one can feel it unless he was there , all these people treated like this and no one can do anything to stop it , I wish I was somewhere in Europe or in America , then I will go on a protest and gather the maximum number of people in front of the Jordanian embassy .At this time it was so hard for me , and I saw another family brought to the "jail" they were Christian also (all the "detainees" are Sunni and Christian) , they have a huge bank account in Jordan but they didn't let them in also , another women with her baby tried to talk to the guard she told him that she wants to get diapers for her baby from her bag (which is outside the "jail") she needs it because she is so dirty , he told her that it isn't possible . the poor baby was crying, it smelled, the women begged him so many times, and now I was so angry so I pulled that women and told her: It's true that I'm a stranger to you, but please consider me as your brother and stop begging to him, it tears our hearts apart, use something else as a diaper, come with me. At the same time another woman heard the conversation and gave her a towel, she used it. but again the baby was dirty , the mother so angry , all the "detainees" are so angry and we all begun to shout and tell them to let her bring her diapers , but they didn't let us , my wife headed to the officer as he has opened the door and she told him :please let her get the diapers , the baby is dirty , please , have you no mercy? I tried to pull her back because I know that he will say something we will not like, he pointed at her with his finger ordering her to step back by the movement of the finger and looking at her as looking into something miserable and he stood up and closed the door on us again, and again my love begins to cry, I want to stick my finger in his eyes, why does he do that? Why? She said. the mother begins to cry and saying : is this what happens to Iraqis , poor Iraqis…… at this time I cried , yes I cried in public , it was a very sad seen , a mother and her baby crying for a diaper , and we are in this "jail" and treated like this , everyone is dirty and tired , the women are crying for a day now , why does these women have to experience jail , what have they done?
One of the young women told us her story , she is the only member of her family left in Iraq , she has just finished high-school and she got a scholarship in the US and she has an interview request at the American embassy in Amman, what do the Jordanians need more to let her in , it's her future that they are playing with , it's a life time chance that they didn't let her have. All the detainees have sad stories , but I can't put it all or put all what happened because it needs a book not a post , what happened to us is so touching , and till this moment I haven't recovered completely from what happened.
At the evening the officer told us that the plane has come , and we will be getting back to Iraq , all the "jail" was so happy , we cheered and jumped in the air , they took us to check our luggage and get on the plane , we reached Baghdad at 10 pm of course there are no cars to take us back home , so we will have to sleep in the airport also , we didn't mind as long as it's not Jordanian , we slept on the sofas from 2am till 6am at Thursday when an officer waked us up and told us that there are cars waiting for us. We rushed to the gate I took a taxi and got back home. at last I reached my home, when I was in the "jail" I was ready to pay million bucks just to let me sleep on my bed and at last I have reached there, I jumped to the bed but it was like a frying pan, I had to go and look for fuel for the generator, I tried to have a shower but there was no water, not a drop, it has been 2 days with no water or electricity as my neighbor said. What is happening to me? Am I cursed? Then I remembered that I'm Iraqi!!! All Iraqis are cursed! I looked for fuel and bought it and started the generator , I slept for 3 hours and woke up , I went to book a car to Syria , I want to have some rest , I want to relieve the stress , so I found one who will come at 6 am at Friday , the road usually takes 9-11 hours but the driver was an idiot it took us 18 hours to get to Damascus , there was many obstacles on the road and I have seen many things that worth mentioning on my way to Syria which I will tell later .On Saturday at 1 am we reached my wife's relatives house , in which we spent the night , then next day we rented a flat in which we live now , it's a very beautiful and relaxing flat , I'm having some good time at last , the funny thing is that in Syria http://www.blogger.com/ is blocked so I can't open it from home I have to go to certain Internet cafes to open it! .

Note: I didn't include any picture of the people I talked about in the story to preserve their identity, and no picture of the women in the "jail" because that's what they want.

73 comments:

Indigo said...

Your testimony is very important. I am outraged. The Red Cross and the UNHCR have to read your report.

Marcus said...

A very moving post. Again it starts out as a happy story where you manage to get leave and get on your way. I am amazed you dared go to Sadr City for the sickleave, knowing the dangers! It was also interesting to read about Sadr City being better off than before, most neighborhoods seem to be worse off. I guess it pays for them to have Moktada running the ministry of health.

Then your story turned sour with the detailed description of your time in the "jail". I imagine that must have been a terrible humiliation, espacially since you had done nothing wrong and just wanted to visit.

I'm glad that this story had a happy ending, that you made it to Damascus and found a nice apartment to stay in for you and your wife. Have a nice vacation and keep safe!

Indigo said...

Mohammed, I have complained to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies - and copied my complaint to the Guardian newspaper and to the Jordanian embassy in London (marked, "please forward to HM The King of Jordan", and in which I said that the treatment of Iraqis at Amman airport is inhumane and contrary to the teaching of Islam. The point of that additional comment being that the King claims to be a direct descendant of the Prophet PBUH). Text of my complaint, below:

"ABUSE OF IRAQIS AT AMMAN AIRPORT

Please tell me what arrangements the Red Cross and Red Crescent are making to protect vulnerable Iraqis detained at the airport in Amman. There is too much of this:

http://pajamasmedia.com/2007/07/iraq_report.php
http://fayrouz.blogspot.com/2007/07/our-trip-to-amman-and-erbil.html
http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/3768/Iraqis_Sleep_on_Floor_at_Airport_Prison
http://last-of-iraqis.blogspot.com/2007/08/jail.html

Babies denied nappies; food thrown at the detainees; people who are only in transit prevented from travelling onwards.

YouTube clip here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we9UuCxyzjs&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eiraqslogger%2Ecom%2Findex%2Ephp%2Fpost%2F3768%2FIraqis%5FSleep%5Fon%5FFloor%5Fat%5FAirport%5FPrison

I look forward to your reply. I am outraged by these abuses of people who have already suffered so much. The UK and the US Coalition promised a better future for Iraqis in all walks of life, and we have spectacularly failed to deliver on that promise. I am not going to let this be forgotten."

Indigo said...

I have now also e-mailed the same message to the UNHCR, at

http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/contact

and I suggest to other people reading this, if you have any feeling at all for Zeyad's family, please do the same.

Indigo said...

Mohammed, you did well to govern your feelings and actions. In your place, I would have felt like killing the Jordanian officers.

Please tell me if there is anything I can do to help you find a secure place in another country, until it is safe to return to Iraq. One day, Inshallah, the invaders will have to leave, and Iraqis will reclaim Iraq.

LJM said...

This is heartbreaking. You should collect your stories for a book. In another time, such stories were written and published. The authors worked all their lives for peace. Some even won Nobel prizes.

Enjoy your precious time in Syria with your wife. Tell her we are sorry for the bad behavior of strangers.

Glory Rose! said...

This is completely outrageous, words fail me right now... The huge problem is that this is not a single incident, it happens everyday to thousands of Iraqis! And the Red Cross knows about it, the UN knows about it, it's not hidden, every single relative or friend I know who left Iraq, all of them using Amman only as a transient were scared to death that they would be sent back for absolutely NO REASON!!!!

If they could justify one simple action they do, I would be quite satisfied!

And exactly as you mentioned, those are the ones who practically survived over OUR money! When university students came from the south to Baghdad and they couldn't afford to dress decently, Jordanians and other Arabs were treated like kings, EVERYTHING for free! Sham on them, shows exactly what kind of "creatures" they are, I can't even use the word human with them, for not an animal would act like that, even dogs remember favors!

Anyway, I am glad you got to Syria now, hope you can relax a bit, take it all out of your mind, you deserve the break!

P.S My regards to your brave wife, I am proud to belong to the same country that you do to! :)

Yazan said...

This is downright outrageous.

I donno what to say, it was painful reading that.

i hope you are well now.

Paloma said...

Mohammed,
I cried while reading your story. Those Jordanians were sadistic and took pleasure from treating all of you badly. I am friends with someone whose husband holds a high position in Amnesty International. I will make sure they know about what happened to you.

neurotic_wife said...

Mohammed, this is has been going on for a long long time. Its disgusting and shameless!!! Hathola il urduniya, are worse than the zionists. During Saddam, they lived on our account, and now, they still do!!! One guy with me, who got his US visa interview in Amman, said, Neurotica, wallah, the minute I'll get my American citizenship, I will come back to Amman, and spit in these officials faces for the humiliation they put us through. He said, I have so much hatred towards them, and I cant wait for the day when I can get back at them!!!

I hope you enjoy your stay in Syria though...Best of luck

Indigo said...

Well said, NIW. The behaviour of those Jordanian officials is utterly shameful and disrespectful.

Mohammed, please let me know if I can help with applying to the UK's Highly Skilled Migrant programme. In theory, you could set up your own private dental practice business (pooling resources with other members of your own family who are also dentists, with Nabil in the pharmacy). I don't know any poor dentists here, and - unlike many other European countries - it is very easy to start your own business: I have started three and still run two.

I read somewhere on the web that the UK no longer has a shortage of "salaried dentists" but I think that must mean dentists working for the National Health Service (ie whose salaries are paid by the State). Nevertheless, there is a huge shortage of dentists here.

Thaqalain said...

I am the witness of the same sort of story and I have seen cries and eyes in tear and all sort of humiliation by these Wahabi/Salafig Pig Hasemite Kingdom who is building its bonanza business boom out of bloody burning Baghdad; Basra; Baquba; Babul.

May Allah punish the government; kingdom in the same way as past dictatorial regime of Saddam.

It's good that our eyes are open and oppressed Iraqis know how best are their Arab neighbors.

Iraqis eyes should be open and they should know who are their friends and who are their foes.

Doctor you and your family is allowed to enter in my city any time ; If I will be Immigration chief ; I will lift the necessity of passports/money/ other useless conditions to land on our soil.

The time will come soon when we will see Hasemite and Saudi kings will be taken out from sewage manholes like SAD-DAMN.

Thaqalain said...

And remember that don't say I am Muqtada man if I will raise voice against occupation; against Shaitanic Saudi State and Hasemite State of Jordan.
I believe you will be more happy to pass a peaceful life on Sadr's hospital floors then on Amman Airport.
We need to be united like 5 fingers in a fist to give a strong blow to the invaders of Iraq.
Have you seen unchecked counters for Halliburton; KBR and American citizens who don't need any sort of visa to enter/exit in Iraq.

I hope Washington and London should suffer in the same way as Baghdad is passing through these days.

There will not be any peace; tranqulity; security; water; power; oil; benzene; fuel for Iraqis until the fall of House of Terror and Axis of Evil (Bush Admin; Saudi and Hashemite Regimes)

Anonymous said...

thaqalain fuck off you and your shia scum.
thank you mohamed for bringing this truth to the world.

Long live Saddam Hussein and down with the shia traitors and the arab traitors and smelly iran.

layla anwar said...

Hi Mohammed,

Sorry for what you had to go through. It has been going on for months now. I am glad you made it safe out of Sadr city. Every decent Iraqi's nightmare this place is.
For the americans on this blog who are oh so outraged at the way Iraqis are treated, I need to remind them that it is because of THEM and their collaborator Iran that Iraqis are in the situation they are in now.
So instead of being soooo outraged, do something to end the occupation and we will deal with Iran...don't you worry about it!
Stay safe Mohammed,

Thaqalain said...

Muhammad and others; for God sake and for the same Qibla -Ka`abah and same Quran and after what you have suffered at Amman Airport and seen from your own eyes; do not think that your neigbor IRAN as your enemy;

Just think deeply what circumstanes led Iraqis to see these days.

Can you believe your ISLAM teach like that your neighbors as your enemy and someone 13,000 K.Ms far from you as your best trustee.

Do you want to make Baghadad like another Amman another Riyadh another Kuwait!!!
Kuwait who arranged both bullets and water bottles for Iraqis. Kuwait & Saudia who are continuously supplying its dairy/other food products to feed your invaders. Will you continue getting Saudi Salafic Terrorists to spoil Baghdad peace.
Why not Saudia open borders and accept Iraqis as refugees. Are Mecca and Madina are personal properties of Khyn al Harmain?

The day is coming closer.Sooner or later Saudis; Kuwaitis and Jordanians , too have to taste the occupation repurcussions.

Thaqalain said...

Why Saudia building 1300 K.M long multi million dollar sophisticated fence?????

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Amazing story.
You are brave and admire your courage.
Hope you and your wife will have some rest now.
Kindest

LJM said...

Wow, it's this thread has become like a group therapy session for people all over the world telling exactly how they feel about each other. I like it. Better to talk on a website than to beat each other over the head with clubs.

As horrible as the treatment was in Jordan, I expect that a comparison can be made to Houston and the people who had to leave New Orleans after the hurricane. At first Houston was very welcoming, although the people from New Orleans had to to to the Astrodome as their shelter and couldn't just go wherever they wanted in Houston. As time went on and New Orleans has not been rebuilt so these people can go home, Houston is overburdened and now the people of Houston are hostile with them and want them all to go home. Jordan is a small country. No one place can take in all the people fleeing from another large place. The world community needs to step up to this humanitarian crisis and help all these people to reach new homes if that is their goal. Families should be kept together to resettle in their new host country.
As for Iraq, the people united after the soccer team won the Asia cup. It's up to the people of Iraq to stop the violence against each other and rebuild your country. It's very simple, when the violence stops, the U.S. troops want nothing more than to go home. Whichever side is blowing up the pipelines for people to have water and electricity, stop it. You want the U.S. troops out of Iraq, then let the Iraqi people have security, electricity, clean water and petrol for their cars so Iraq can function. Stop killing each other. The killing has gotten you nowhere. Do as your soccer team did. Join together. Follow a strategy to work together and rebuild Iraq. Find another way to resolve your differences and share the resources of Iraq so everybody can have a decent life over there. Sorry if I sound like I'm preaching. It's just that it's so obvious. Revenge and all the killing aren't working. Nothing will be left of Iraq but dust and oil if you all keep doing this to each other.

Amre El-Abyad said...

Dear Mohammed,

No words could ever make up for that tragedy.

In all countries there all sorts of people, the genuine and the fake. Remeber that Jordanians just like other peoples are brainwashed, quelled and disoriented by their regime.

Don't direct you anger toward Jordanians, for that is exactly what Iranians, Americans and Israelians want, but rather, take out your anger on your real opressors.

Remeber that what is happening to your country is at an ultimate level because of of the Pan-Arab orientation of Iraq

In solidarity
Amre

programmer craig said...

Thank you for posting a first hand account of this, Mohammed. I've seen at least one other Arab bloggers pick up your story and post about it here:

http://sillybahrainigirl.blogspot.com/2007/08/shame-on-you-jordan.html

I hope you enjoy your what is left of your time off in Syria, and honestly I hope you don't go back to Iraq. I don't think things are going to get better. I looked at Zeyad's photo blogs yesterday, and I was really shocked about how HAPPY Iraqis looked in those pictures in 2003 and 2004. And a lot of people were saying things were BAD then. So, I don't know.

Stay safe.

PS-I'm dismayed to see that so many of the people who've been supporting "resistance" in Iraq are here showing sympathy and support.

Anonymous said...

to programmer craig,

i am dismayed that american trash has dirtied my country. so resistance is the only way "buddy".

Anonymous said...

anon,

One thing we can agree on when coming to this blog. We're all friends of Mohammad. Interesting how people from all sides can be supportive to one Iraqi dentist. We were all happy about the win of the Iraqi soccer team. It's the same sort of unifying thing.

Fadi said...

Solidarity from a Palestinian in America. Thank you for posting this. May Abdullah and all of the hereditary rulers and regimes be tried and imprisoned for their crimes against humanity.

Jason said...

It would be easy to blame "just" the Americans and other foreign invaders for the misery that is Iraq. But one musn't overlook the fact that Saddam "provoked" the already paranoid and trigger happy US into attacking, not just in this war but in the first gulf war as well. He and his supporters were obviously spoiling for a fight. So Saddam didn't exist in a vacuum. Many Iraqis supported him and cheered on his killing ways.

The same goes for President Bush, You can't just blame him for the murder of Iraqis. He's just one dude. You also have to blame the soldiers on the ground and all the Americans who voted for him and the invasion and continue to support the "war on terror" They are equally responsible.

LJM said...

Jason, you can't blame all the soldiers in Iraq who are working to create peace in various areas of Iraq. Bush sent them to Iraq and they do what they are trained to do. It's their job. If you don't want stuff to get broken and people killed, don't send the military. That piece of the puzzle all goes to Bush/Cheney.

As for Saddam, he's gone. Has been for a long time. It's time to move on. Holding onto old grudges gets people nowhere. If people actually are responsible for crimes against humanity, they should be tried for that, but you can't paint such a large brush stroke against a large group of people.

Jason said...

You don't create peace by invading a country and killing and terrorizing the populace. Thousands of US soldiers deserted before the war because they didn't want to kill Iraqis. Imagine if they all had felt that way?

Bush may have sent them but somebody gave him permission. Who was it? Who gave him the power of office? He didn't get there by himself. Did he?

Besides most Americans approved of the invasion and this approval was a signal to the President to move forward with war. It doesn't matter whether he lied about the WMD's or not. Americans didn't have to support the call for an invasion. Yet they did. And they knew darn well people were going to die on both sides. Therefore, they need to be held responsible as well.

I guarentee you Iraq won't be the last country the US invades and destroys. 10, 12, 15 years from now it will happen all over again (maybe sooner). All that will be needed is a flimsy pretext to get the entire country rowled up and paranoid and you will have yourself another "preemptive strike" that will end in an "iraqi quagmire" Only this time it will be some other Third World victim.

LJM said...

Jason, let's focus on what we can do about the situation today in Iraq and the stories Mohammad is telling us, okay? Repairing the world takes helping people one person at a time for the most part. We aren't going to do the work of the United Nations on this blog. We're just bloggers sitting around the virtual kitchen table trying to find common ground.

Anonymous said...

Mohammed,

You probably don't realize this, or intend for it to happen, but when I read the things you write, and see the kind of person you are, it makes me more determined then ever that my country should not abandon you.

Bridget

Anonymous said...

One other thing, Mohammed..I don't know if you hope to come to the US or not, but you are on the right track with your blog and your publication in the Washington Post.

Whether it's right or wrong, the US is not looking for health care professionals from the Middle East. However, people with certain credentials, including publication in major American newspapers, excellent language and communication skills, fluent Arabic, and an objective perspective about international relations, well, those are the people who will likely be in the front of the line.

I have no idea if Mohammed wishes to come to the US. Just trying to put him on the right track if he does.

Bridget

LJM said...

Bridget,
The way things are going with the Dept. of Homeland Security, nobody gets to be at the head of the line. They are supposed to take at least 7,000 people this year and so far it's a number under 100. The other thing is that people wanting to emigrate have to be on the list with the UNHCR and so far, they aren't functioning in Baghdad and unless someone is in a transit country applying as a refugee and getting on the list, it's all the more difficult. The US state dept. can't even promise greencards to their own employees, because of DHS. We'd be very lucky to have Mohammad and his family living in our country, making it better. Maybe adding another voice like yours, writing a letter to the editor or to your elected officials would help get the ball rolling. It's going to take really loud voices to help all the people who are looking for a place to go.

Mohammed said...

Thank you all for your comments,
I'm really happy to see such debate in my comments box, it's a debate between people from all over the world , and between all the religions and sects , this is so healthy , this is what I want , I want to reach a conclusion , but I just want to say that I BELIEVE Iran is responsible for all the mess in Iraq , it's the real enemy , it's the root of all troubles , I don't want the US to withdraw from Iraq because of Iran , Iran is brainwashing our shiite brothers , they follow it because they think that is the religion ; to follow Iran , in a direct way or another , sad thing .
but the good thing is that many Shiite realize that Iran is the enemy as many of my friends and people I know , they finally figured it out.I'm so happy that awarness is begining to spread . maybe when they will stop supporting Iran , and Sunni stop to support Al-Qaida (as the majority did) we may have the dream . we may have the peace we have been dreaming of for a long time now.

Abu Shihab said...

My heart is with you. You truly are the last of the Iraqis, not because of your blood but because of your attitude. Read some of the comments on your wall for an example of what we have become - hateful, irrational idiots. I am Iraqi and have been to Jordan many times. I know that many Jordanians love and respect us. They want our country to succeed. But many of them hate us. I would hate us too if people came to my country and acted like some of the Iraqis I saw in Amman. I remember sitting in a coffee shop in Amman and hearing Iraqis swear at Jordanians and making fun of their country in a loud voice. Who do you think will suffer because of this ignorant behaviour? It's not the stupid Iraqis in that coffee shop (I think they all had foreign passports), it's people like you. Many (a minority, but a visible one) Iraqis in Amman act like they own the place and have no manners of being guests in a foreign country. Those people are hurting us as much as the Jordanian guards who disrespected you. Yes, Saddam helped Jordan's king but Saddam is rotting in hell now (I hope) and political alliances between dictators do not give us a right to walk into another country and act like we own it. My words are not to justify the way you were being treated Mohammed - I got a taste of that myself once, don't worry. It's a message to all those Iraqis whose stupidity is giving us a bad name and affecting the chances of people like you of going out when they really need to. Remember that Jordan was open to any Iraqi until an asshole decided to blow up a wedding. Now we are all paying a price.

Stay strong, keep writing, and don't let the extremists (of any kind) affect you. That would be the greatest tragedy, to lose your soul. No one can take that away from you other than yourself.

Indigo said...

Afterthought: where is the Iraqi ambassador to Jordan, HE Saad al-Hayyani, in all this? He should be visiting the airport holding centre twice a day, negotiating, bringing relief, ensuring that those whose interests he is supposed to represent do not have their human rights abused. He is not in Jordan just to dance around the Iraqi (puppet) president.

Anonymous said...

Australia has a shortage of dentists. Mohammed you could try migrating to Australia. Check up the Immigration Department's website. Good luck!

LJM said...

thaqalain, I have a question. I looked at your blog and I must admit much of it is over my head not being an Islamic scholar or historian for your part of the world. Clearly, you are very educated on your subject and I am very impressed. OK, here is the question. From all I've read about Shiite Islam, it's not possible to have a government that isn't under the control of the clerics. Is that right? Is it possible for Iraq to have a government as they do in Turkey for example, that's not controled by clerics? The model of Iran is a government controlled by the ayatollahs. That may or may not work in Iran, but doesn't look like a model that would work in Iraq. Is it possible from your point of view for Iraq to have a government that unifies the country as they have in Turkey? I selected Turkey, because it's not a kingdom. From my point of view, having a kingdom is going backwards for the people of Iraq, not forward. It would be the same line of thinking as a dictatorship. That also is a step backward.

Somer said...

@Ljm

i dont think the turkish model of goverment would work in our case,if you are famailiar with islamic history in general and iraqs past history in particular in the Sunni/Shiite issue and the kurdish issue you will also come to that conclusion

its important to mention that you shouldnt forget the neighboring countries influence in iraq,i hardly see Iran or Saudia arabia happy to see a turkish liberal form of government,not to mention that the iraqis by the atmost majority with the exception of Kurdistan simply dont accept or comprehend a liberal government,the country is simply too segregated,the people are segregated

forgive me for any typos......i,m typing in the blind dark somehow and i sorry for answering a question not targeted at me :)

salam

LJM said...

somer,

You did a great job of typing in the dark. I guess what I'm asking isn't so much that Iraq be a liberal government, but could it be secular and still be in agreement with the various religious beliefs? I have done some reading about the history and various groups within Islam and it seems as though some groups are required to live in a theocracy such as Iran, while others can live with their own religious freedom within a country with a government not tied at all to religion. That's what I'm trying to understand.
At various times in history, the area that is Iran has been home to many people of various religions. Before the time of Islam, I believe the same could be said for Iran. Do you believe Iraqi government has to be tied to one religious belief system?

salam to you.

Moey said...

well, go somewhere else then.. you have many options.

Anonymous said...

A very interesting and sad commentary on the situation, followed by rambling hatred, which speaks volumes more about the situation there. Abu Shihab, I long for the day when your voice is the only one we hear.

Thaqalain said...

Ljm
Ayatollahs don't have to interfere if civilians/technocrats run government and establishment successfully.
It was the same Iran who was ruled by 2500 years of Persian Kings but people united and stood against Shah_CIA alliance which have puported brutal oppression of Iranians in the same way as Iraqis stood against brutal Saudi-American barbarism of Bush-Blair-Brown forces against boys of burning Baghdad; Basra and Baquba.

LJM said...

thaqlain, thank you for your response. So let me see if I understand, in the Shiite religion, when it comes to government, the Ayatollahs always have the final say? This is how I understand Iran to be governed, but does the religion require a country to be governed as a theocracy? I guess what I'm asking is can their be a separation between mosque and state?
As for the Shah-CIA alliance you spoke of, I have read about that time. I don't approve of what happened in that time. I have read that Iranian people do miss the time when they could travel openly to Paris on a motorcycle if they wanted and those days are now gone. Do you think it's possible to respect other points of view and all of us share this tiny planet?

Salam

chikitita said...

Mohammed,

Alhamdulillah Ala salama,

Sorry you andall Iraqis have to go thru all this.

I just wish Iraq would be back on its feet again and we will not have to suffer.

Be safe

Thaqalain said...

There is direct relation b/w religion and state but what so-called democratic & autocratic administration has some conflicts with religion so they both accuse each others.
As Islam and Shia sect of ISLAM is the only true ; most scientific; philosiphical religion of the world in any age; so we see it as why Shia Clegy has so much control over state affairs.
The basis of any state/democracy/autocracy/establishment is security and justice and what we see in Iraq is that States united in Iraq are not providing these basic things.
So there comes the place of religion to condemn the oppression ; barbarism of Bush; Blair; Brown and Al`-e-Sau`ud Suicidal Soldiers.
One need to note why Muslims are happy in USA; U.K but they are not happy with what their administrations doing inside Iraq.
Iraqis are welcoming any hope of peace; security and provision of justice whether the intention of White House and Downing Street is rigth or wrong?
The Shia Clergy has patiently given the enough time to White House but now I think its time to show mammoth power of oppressed Iraqis to SuperPower of White House.

LJM said...

I agree that security and justice are very important in any country. It just seems possible to me to live in a place, for example Sweden, that allows people a great range of personal freedom and autonomy and still maintain security, justice and peaceful coexistence among a variety of groups living together.

I respect that you believe Shia religion as the one true way, but do you insist that everyone see the world the way you do? For example, the Dalai Lama is a revered master in Tibetan Buddhism. John Perkins wrote in his latest book, on meeting the Dalai Lama, the advice he was given was, "don't become Buddhist, the world has enough Buddhists." He told him to, "be compassionate, the world needs more compassion." These are wise words, in my opinion. In various ways, all religions may have different traditions, customs and practices, but they all seem to find their way to the interconnectedness of everything. The ancients realized this at various times and places in the world. Some truths are universal don't you think? Anyway, thank you for sharing your point of view. I find it all fascinating.

Anonymous said...

^I, for one, don't think that it's possible for Iraq to be have a level of secularism such as Turkey, and it would be foolish to try such a thing.
The best government in Iraq, at this time, would be one similar to post-1943 Lebanon, with the government divided in seperate but close branches and the majority religious group having most of the power. It's not a fair government, but after years of civil war, that's the only one I see that has a chance.
Lebanon itself being Shi'a (well; Shi'a majority compared to the other Muslims), I personally think it could work, though I could be wrong. Just my view.

Oh, and on your last paragraph:

"All religions must be tolerated, for every man must find his own way into heaven." -Frederick the Great

LJM said...

Anon, I've heard Lebanon was a wonderful place, before their civil war. If only Lebanon could find their way back to living together as they did then.

Frederick the Great summed it up very well. You chose a very good quote.

LJM said...

Reading up on the history of Lebanon since 1943, it doesn't seem any group held onto power there before there was infighting among the various factions in Lebanon. When a few powerful families run a country, what you get is lots and lots of corruption with the vast majority of people living in poverty as is the case in Mexico. At the moment, we have had almost 19 years of a Bush or Clinton in office. We could have another Clinton and be looking at 28 years of those two families. It could be part of the reason we are so divided in the US. Somehow, there should be a way to have a balance, no matter what type of government a country has. Ruling families are just another form of aristocracy or monarchy. We certainly have our "King George" at the moment. Had his name been John Smith, he wouldn't have been elected to anything.

Anonymous said...

Please tell your wife that my heart is crying for her. Your bravery and service to others deserves better in this world.

The daughter of an American Dentist

Indigo said...

Mohamed, do look at the Australian Skilled Migration programme.

See also this site, the Australian government's own Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

They have a skills shortage in a number of areas.

Indigo said...

Here's the list of skills shortages etc. It includes dentists.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting that, indigo.
I hope Mohammed does investigate his chances of migrating to Australia.

Anand said...

Mohammed, thanks for being you.

Could you comment on the terrible Yezidi tragedy? It is much bigger than 9/11 as a percentage of Iraq's population. How to stop these attacks in the future? Who do you blame for it?

http://iraqimojo.blogspot.com/2007/08/mideast-media-on-latest-terror-attacks.html

Anonymous said...

Mohammed,
AUSTRALIA IS GOING TO INCREASE ITS INTAKE OF REFUGEES FROM MIDDLE EAST.
Look at this:-

Refugee intake adjusted towards Middle East
August 18, 2007 - 4:33PM
Source: ABC Australian Broadcasting Commission


The Federal Government's refugee and humanitarian program for 2007-2008 will see fewer people coming from Africa and more from the Middle East.

Intake from the African region will drop from 50 per cent of the total to 30, while the intake from the Middle East and Asia will increase to about 35 per cent.

The number of new arrivals will remain at 13,000.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews says the composition has been adjusted to reflect the areas in greatest need.


Go for it Mohammed!!!

Anonymous said...

We--all of us humans--are bullies and worse beneath our surfaces. I'm so sorry and astonished at what is going on...the every day suffering and torment of Iraqi people, the Brutalization of the Jordanians. We should haul that American president before the world court. He is pushing civilization off a cliff.

Kat

lee the red said...

this is not the way humans should treat other human beings. truly they are animals.

Stephanie said...

No person should be treated like this...ever. I'm so sorry (& outraged) that you and your wife had to endure such humiliation!

Take care.

An American said...

I am 15 and I am from America. I have been sheltered from such discrimination all my life, and it was hard to read your story and see what I've overlooked. I've always been annoyed by the treatment Iraqis get from other people, but I never knew the extent of the discrimination. Now when I reflect, it jumps out at me. You story brought me back to earth. When the Iraq war started, I remember a classmate not showing up to school afraid of the reactions of her peers. I never thought people could be so mean, and it turns out that she had every right to be afraid. She probably didn't fear her life or anything too drastic, but the bullying she would receive. I did not think she would have been bullied at all in class. I actually thought she was worried over a small matter. I wish I would have comforted her in some way now though. Although it sounds stupid and makes me sound ignorant, I really did not know the extent of the humiliation Iraqis receive. Your story and the details you give me really let me see how life is on the other side of the river.

It's the little things in life that make you better. I really want to thank you for posting this blog. It might sound dramatic, but you really did change my life.

Although I don't think you'll read this comment, I feel I owe it to you as so many other Americans. We invaded your country, it is the least I could do, even if it means so little to you.

I also want to ask you something: Was Iraq better before or after the war?
With all the propaganda, it's hard to sort out the bad from the good. Sounds like a stupid and ignorant question, but you'd be how surprised how many Americans think that Iraq is better after the war. I personally disagree completely, but I could never really know for sure unless I ask someone who was/is in Iraq before and after the war.

A dragged out goodbye and thank you, but I was caught up in so many thoughts and questions.

Anonymous said...

That is absolutely heartbreaking to read... I cried. I don't even no what to say that could possibly ease the pain of what so many people must endure every day.

I'm so sorry.

-a 33 year old female American, Buddhist

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This sounds like a horrible encounter, and I cannot imagine having to endure it. Two questions: Did you notice any difference in treatment of men and women by the guards, or was everyone treated unfairly due to the fact that they were Iraqis? Also, when you mentioned at the end of the post that you didn't put up women in jail because that's what "they" wanted, who are these people that you are referring to?

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Monday morning and I sat into my rental Subaru Impreza WRX STi...ups, dreaming... Well, my rental car anyway. The plan was to drive about 1000 kms north of Australia in the next couple of days and then return to Perth. The towns in WA are rather small with none of them having more than 30.000 people (Perth excluded). Only in the outback you get to know what being reeeeaaaaallllyyy easy going means. One of the reasons why I enjoy outback so much.