Sunday, May 07, 2006

" I Have An IED With Me"

I had to go with a US journalist to “ Ibn Rushud” hospital for psycho diseases in Baghdad to meet some psychiatrists there. The story we were doing was about cars bomb trauma suffered now by Iraqis.

When we jumped of the car, I and the journalist had to run as quickly as we can as if we were criminals in the street, we had a bodyguard with us but still the whole trip is a real adventure.

So we ran toward the hospital but we stopped by a group of security men who were standing outside the hospital at the main street.

I said “ Salam.” To the security man who answered me the same and asked me what I want to do inside. I told him, “ We want to see few doctors inside the hospital. We are journalists.”, he looked at me and said “ Ok, show me your permission from the Ministry of Health.” I told him, “ I have talked with the director of the hospital and he approved my visit.”. He said, “ Sorry, I can not let you in.”

So, now we have a problem and I have to solve because Iam not going to lose the appointment I have with doctors nor get back without getting what I came for.

I have to use another style, I told the security man, “ Look I have an IED with me and it is going to blown up at any time.” He said, “ What?” I told him, “ I have this foreign journalist with me and it is very risky to keep him out like that because at any moment we might be attacked by any unknown gunmen who will kidnap him and shoot against us, so he is an IED.”

The security man laughed and said” You are right, go ahead.”

Thanks God we solved this problem, the US journalist thanked me for doing that though he did not understand what were talking about but he knew that there was a problem and we passed so he said” Well done.”

A statue for an Arab Scientist named “ Ibn Rushed” is standing in the center of the hospital , he is considered father of psychology in the Arab history. It is good that it is still ok because now statues are Haram, they are against religion, and most of Baghdad statues destroyed by unknown sides even the statue of the founder of Baghdad “ Abu Ja’afer Al-Mansour”.

Most famous statue along Tigris bank in Abu Nu’as street” Shahrazad and Shahrayar” most popular characters of 1001 night story, Shahrayar who is well known of his obsession of killing a woman every night till it was Shahrazad turn but she kept telling him stories to distract his attention and make him forget about killing her.

Shahrayar’s arm found cut today, but who did that? Nobody knows, whether anti statues activists or radical feminist movement wanted to revenge for all women killed by Shahrayar.
Talking with one of the psychiatrists in the hospital in his out patients clinic where so many patients were waiting, he begged us to be short in our questions because he can not keep his patients waiting for long for each one of them his own complicated case.

Dr. Al-A’ni said “ After the end of 2003 war, we started to receive prisoners, political opponents and drug addicts, but since last year till now, with the daily cars bomb flooding streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces, patients of cars bomb trauma began to show up for the first time in the hospital.”

US journalist asked Dr.Al-A’ni to brief him with such cases, Dr. Al-A’ni said “ just few days ago, I received a 23-year female who can not sleep or eat and on the verge to be divorced though she is newly married.”

The US journalist asked, “ Why, what is her case?” Dr.Al-A’ni said “ This lady was with her mother at Kadhimiyia shrine during Hussein’s funeral anniversary but all of a sudden a car bomb went off among the crowd who were there performing their rituals including the lady and her mother, the lady survived but the mother killed.”

The doctor went on to say that whenever the lady sits with herself she recalls her mother’s head scrolling on the ground in front of her same when she was with her during the explosion.

The US journalist asked the doctor if he can see her, the doctor told him that most of the patients come to him top secretly because the idea of visiting a psychotherapist is still unfavorable by the Iraqi society.

“Most of the patients come here for out patients clinic, take medications and go home to avoid meeting with any people know the family.” the doctor added.

The Us journalist asked about hospital preparations for such new cases, the doctor said that the hospital did not have good experience in such cases, no enough medications and equipment, the treatment almost depended on family care.

The most common question to be asked by any foreign journalist, “ do you have a statistic to such cases? The doctor answered, “ Sorry, we do not have and I need to see my patients.”


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