" Long Live Falluja, Long Live Mujahdien"
The man told me horrible things about what he goes through every day, in a way, he prays every night dead prayers to himself and vows not go to the work again but in the morning all his family responsibilities stand in front of him and oblige him to go to work.
“ You have to know, if a Sunni person killed, three Shiite would be killed in revenge for him, this is what I see in my daily work.” he said.
In one incident, he told me, 15 Sunni man killed in one day in Ghazaliyia neighborhood, in Baghdad just because they carry the same name ” Omer”, ( name of second khalif after prophet Muhammed, not favored by Shiite but adored and revered by Sunnis), but within three days after that incident, 36 Shiite man killed in Dura district in Baghdad , 12 of them killed within one day just because they carry the names “ Aqiel” and “Hussein”.
Finding happy story in Iraq is as difficult as looking for natural death case nowadays, both are big challenge to any journalist works here.
But still I should give it a try and go to search for couples who still believe in something called “love”, I know a very good place where most of men and women are in love meet and sit together to have a nice time.
I took the car and went to sit there in a bid to open an indirect dialogue with some of the couples I might find there and see what do they dream of among this crazy situation.
The place is on the bank of Tigris, a romantic view favored by the Iraqis, I toured the place twice but could not find a shadow of a lover, what is the matter, where did they go? I looked round in hope to find any person to ask, my eyes fell on a writing on a wall of one of the houses there and read this warning “ We will cut the heads of any villainous lovers dare to sit here, he who warns is excused.” It was written in a bold way so that no one can miss.
I did not give up and decided to chase a story about a couple who lost their minds and decided to get married and establish a family in Iraq where most of the people are waiting for the end of the school year to take their kids and run away.
So I found a couple who would get married soon but again wedding ceremonies are facing problems in Baghdad, few months ago such ceremonies used to be held in one of the celebration halls in Baghdad especially if it is for a rich family, but this procedure cancelled these days because of the security situation, even time of the wedding ceremony is changed now, mostly at 3 pm to enable people reach their homes early.
The only common feature for an Iraqi wedding ceremony shared by rich and poor families is to have a team of popular Iraqi music accompanied the motorcade of the wedding.
The groom told me that he spent a week looking for a team of popular music to come and play in the ceremony, could not find any, “ I looked for these teams who used to be everywhere in Baghdad, hardly could find any and when I found a team, they told me they can not come because there is a warning by Mahdi army not to play any more.”
The bride was very disappointed, she even could not have a musical team as other brides, again it is not a reason to cancel the wedding.
The two families decided to make a small party at the bride’s house and run some recorder’s cassettes for different Iraqi songs. Soon Families and friends were involved in dancing while they were listening to the songs, most of them described the beauty of the beloved and the suffering of the lover.
All of a sudden the recorder began to play national Iraqi songs on Saddam and Iraq “ Allah Ikhali Al-Rais, Allah Itawal Umera” which means in English “ May Allah keep the president (Saddam), May Allah bless his life.”
The crowd looked at each other in surprise, what is happening? But they decided to continue, this time they got crazy and were shouting with the song out of joy, till another song began which is well known for the Iraqis at the advent of 2003 war, “ Fout Biha Wa Al Zilm Khaliha.” Which says in English “ Go ahead ( Saddam) and leave it to men” at this point most of the men who were dancing took their guns out of their pockets and started to shoot in the air and shouting “ Long live Falluja, long live Mujahdien.”