Sunday, May 07, 2006

" She Is My Mammy"

Saleh was advised to go to the forensic department after he lost hope in finding his daughter Hanan who did not come home at the end of the day.

“My relatives and neighbors told me to go to the forensic department as all people do when their relatives go missing.” said Saleh Abdul Hussein, 65, father of eight in addition to Hanan.

But neither Saleh nor Hanan’s husband, Muhammed Salim was able to identify Hanan’s body or find her pictures among a set of pictures showed to them because all women bodies at the forensic department were charred.

But there was a body of a lady with a piece of cloth on her shoulder, the doctor told the family to bring more people close to Hanan aware of what she used to wear.

Rana, 10 year, the eldest daughter of Hanan, who is a student at a primary school was brought to the forensic department to see that piece of cloth because she saw her mother when she was leaving out to go to her college.

“ She is my mammy, this is part of the shirt she put on before she left in the morning.” Rana cried while she was looking at her mother body and she bent to hug but her grandfather and father took her out.”

Hanan Saleh, 34 year, a teacher at a primary school married with three kids, Rana, 10, Sarah, 7 and Ahmed, 5.

Hanan main dream was to complete her study and become a teacher at a secondary school.

“ If I can do that, my salary will boom and won’t care if my husband work or not. I won’t be worried any more about my kids future ” Hanan told me that while we were talking together few years ago, we used to see each other a lot because she was living in our neighborhood.

A week before her death, Hanan all of a sudden came to say "hello" as if she was saying
“ farewell”, she was so happy and full of life.

“ This is the last year for me in the college and within few months I will fulfill my dream and become a teacher at a high school.” she said.

Hanan told me that she would move to another house where she could have a separate room for her three kids with small garden where they can play as the house they live in now is very small, but all of that after she graduates.

A week later, Hanan woke up early in the morning to make breakfast for her kids so that they can go to school and then she can go to her college.

She kissed and hugged them warmly and put a new shirt which her daughter identified in the forensic department.

But Hanan did not get back at that day and when her family went to get her from the forensic department, they were informed that the department received bodies of some people who were inside a minibus in Baghdad Al-Jadidia, a district eastern Baghdad exploded at noon time.

Two persons who were inside the bus but they survived told the family that when the minibus was full of people, the driver moved towards Al- Mashtel where Hanan lives, fifteen minutes later a guy jumped out of the minibus leaving a sack inside the bus behind him.

Some of the people who were inside the bus shouted “ Hey, Habibi your sack.” But before they complete their sentence, the minibus exploded and fire engulfed all the people who were inside including Hanan.


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