Days of My Life

Talk about daily life of a teenage girl in Iraq, and days of suffering and success. My nick name will be Sunshine..

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ramadan and it's spirit ..

Ramadan the merciful month for all the Muslims started a week ago , I was hoping it'll bring us peace, but It didn't ..
Yesterday, I was writing and waiting for a mine behind my house to explode! My brother stayed in my lap and kept asking "will the windows break like last time?"
Seriously, they made "progress" !!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway, in Ramadan there are so many nice series, I watch some if we have electricity, I feel a little bit hungry during the day, but the hardest time is the last 5 minutes before sunset..
I like the spirit of Ramadan, the delicious Iraqi desserts, and meals, grandma make excellent Noom Basra juice (Basra's lemon), I love it ..

this is the Noom Basra.
Mama awake us for al suhoor at 4 am, to eat a meal before the morning prayer (at 5:30 am) after I eat al Suhoor I go back to sleep, but my parents stay awake for about an hour reading the holy Quran and praying the morning prayer. Everyone's prayer is for Iraq.
I wake up at 10 am, I spend my day working on computer, and watch particular shows, because my mom don't like to see me spending the whole time watching TV. (I don't like that either).
At 7:30 pm we have al Futoor, when the sun start to set . . Adas soup (lentils soup), juice should be on the table every day in Ramadan, as well as other different kinds of dishes..

When Ramadan ends we'll have Eid (feast), in Eid we wear new clothes, and visit our relatives and friends, we usually have big family meeting in the grandparents' house, or eldest uncle's house in the first day. It is a tradition here.. and I love it a lot..
The spirit of Ramadan and Eid is absent, since 3 years, because of the circumstances and the bad events that happens to every family in Iraq.
We are expecting a curfew in the coming days as things began to be out of the government hands, we expect it to last for a long time .
If we'll have curfew, we'll go to my dad uncle's house, like what happened in Eid 3 years ago.. their house is safer than ours, and the part of the neighborhood we live in is extremely dangerous.
I hope our expectations are wrong! And we won't have curfew.
keep praying.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

That was huge ....

On Monday I was working on the computer, at about 5 pm, my family were having a nap , and I got an E-mail from the BBC (it is not the first time) but I felt excited, I checked the mail and read that they want an interview with me at that same day I immediately talked with the producer, and he said the BBC want an interview with me, alive, in a show called "world hear your say" and General David Petraeus will speak too!! I awaked my mom and took her permission..
she agreed to make the interview, I felt awesome, but extremely nervous, because I don't know what will the questions be about, and it'll be alive! I was thinking what if I didn't know the proper word in English, or what if I didn't use the correct word, I'd embarrass myself ! But the producer was very nice , friendly and very encouraging , I decided to take a risk, what will happen if I made a mistake or tow?!! It is not my first language and my English consider good for my age, it is even better from many adults!!
I sent them some of my favorite posts, and at 6:00 pm I had to leave my house with my family.. although I didn't want to, I wanted to create a new skype account because I forgot my password. But I had to take my uniform from the dressmaker (it looks really nice btw).
Anyway we also visited my dad's uncle who live in our neighborhood) , I was feeling really afraid and asked them to pray for me not to make any mistakes or speak too fast (when I get nervous I speak really fast), they told me they'll listen to the show and pray for me..
I came back at 7:30 and guess what??????!!! I didn't have internet service, I tried a lot, and tried to call the manager but he didn't reply. I tried to call the engineer but I didn't have coverage, I lost the coverage because of a LOUD explosion happened in a neighborhood in Mosul, I don't think it was a car bomb, I think it was a lorry.. the neighborhood was far away and our windows were opened! (just like the explosion in my neighborhood, everyone in Mosul heard it and thought it was in their neighborhood!)
Luckily I got an internet line and as soon as I logged in, I remember the password for my old account.. (lucky me!)
Now guess what, I couldn't hear them!! Problem with my mic, after many attempts we were able to hear each other (god loves me!).. my heart was beating fast, I made breathing exercises and listened to "seasons in the sun" to relax, I also talked to my supportive friend Madcanuck ..
I heard the General speaking, then other Iraqis, A blogger, marines, generals, and then it was my turn
I started to talk about 10:15 and had only 11 minutes of electricity !
while the interviewer was asking me about my eye problem the electricity was off. They were able to hear me, but I was unable to hear them .. I said "OOHHH "
My mom and family were saying " WWWWOOOOWW YOU DID IT WWWOOOWWW" and I started to knock on the table asking them to be quiet.
The producer said " You were brilliant!!!. SO good . Your English is SUPER " and they want to speak to me more.
I was thinking of my answers and electricity in the same time..
I believe I wasn't bad ..
My English, pronunciation, and explanation is getting better by time, the notes I get from my readers help me a lot, as well as my friend luke, I always ask him about the words I don’t know.
My family are proud of me, & I am proud of myself .. I have a great supporting family, they were listening to me in another room..
Dad said "your answers were diplomatic", and our family friend said I can be an ambassador in the future and asked me to never say I am young and can't do so much difference ..
I am glad, I believe my blog is a gift, I don't think I'll stop one day, because when I look at my achievements I feel more confident in myself, and when I receive E-mails from people telling me they know better about our life now, and I am like their eyes in Iraq, it worth everything I've done. I feel like I am a reporter, you know I love journalism, but it is not safe to be a journalist or reporter in Iraq, if the situation become better before I go to collage (which is impossible) I'd love to go to the journalism collage..
I am doing good for a girl my age, and I'll keep learning, improving, and educating myself.
Honestly, if someone three years ago tell me I'll be famous, have interviews, know famous writers, exchange E-mails with Hollywood star, my blog will be taught in universities and I'll write a book I wouldn't believe him and think he's crazy!…
Yesterday I went fishing, we have really nice nature, and in these days the weather is getting cooler (we don't sleep in the living room anymore!) We had really good time, although I caught only two fishes, last time I got about 20! But yesterday there were winds and people swimming, the breeze was great, I stood on the edge of a boat enjoying the view and the weather, is was awesome, and great place for thinking..
There were 3 families and 4 couples from Baghdad, so the session was great and my mom had a great time, she was happy, it is nice to see her shining smile of her beautiful face.. we kept laughing because I didn't catch anything but those two tiny fishes! The families there said "ok, today we will have lunch with you, we want Mazkoof" (mazkoof is a great Iraqi dish)…
I am glad I was able to convince my father to have lunch in the casino. The casino here is a place near the river, there is a restaurant inside the casino too, but you are free to bring your food with you, or you order for food.
In the morning the roads were closed, but later they were opened, We heard many explosion at that day but we went at 11 am and came back at 2:30 pm.and had wonderful time in spite of everything.
do you see the fish i caught?!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ramadan Karim.....

This week my friend Marwa visited me, she lives in my neighborhood, and I find her really nice person, they were forced to leave their home in Baghdad and come to Mosul, she felt like a stranger but not for long time, because we made a party in school for the girls who came from Baghdad and allocated money, and bought new clothes and stuff they need (I participated in that and wrote a post about that event).
Marwa's house was in my aunt Rose's neighborhood, the situation there is not good and Marwa saw many dead people thrown in front of her house, she talked to me about that, she even witnessed murders in front of her eyes. It is really hard to see a person murder and you can't do anything to stop that. It is not strange here, many teenagers witnessed murders and saw horrible views, even the kids.
Anyway, we had a good time during her visit, she borrowed books and CDs from me, because she left all of her books, stuff, and CDs in Baghdad..
We talked about her journey to Sulaymaniyah, she spent a great month there, wearing and doing whatever she want, without being afraid from the terrorists. It is safe there, Sulaymaniyah is very nice place in the northern part of Iraq, they could go because her aunt is married to a Kurdish man. I wish I can visit sulaymaniyah one day ..
While we were talking and eating potato chips we heard a nearby shooting, we looked from the window and saw the man who was shooting, he was very close to my house, wearing a white shirt, dark trousers, and sitting on his knee.. we kept watching him shooting.
This week I visited one of my dad's uncle family, they live in my neighborhood but we don't visit them often, their daughter got engaged and I was busy to help them for three days, I made the bride's hair, her 3 sisters and mothers' hair!!(I inherited my gift from grandma), my mom and I made the decoration.
It was very nice Nishan party, there were many girls in my age, we had a great time and danced a lot, their neighbor has a BIG stereo (I love loud music), I spent really nice time, although when the party started I was exhausted!, her friends are really nice and we got along well, in spite of the age difference, we kept talking about her fiancé, the dresses she'll wear, make up, hair style, fashion, guys (of course), and then we talked about the situation !! (I don't know why, we talk about a subject then we turn it on the war, electricity, fuel, and situation!).
But my joy didn't last for long time, my dad's friend was murdered, the terrorists slaughtered him, and put his identity on his head, the terrorists called his boss and said they'll kill this man because he's infidel !!!! (now the terrorists kill a person and put his head on his chest, then throw him in the street or a land out side the city, many times the dogs eat the corpse, and that person's family keep searching and can't find him, or bury him).
My dad friend's corpse was thrown in a neighborhood near mine.
That made me worry about my dad, I don't know why but R's story came to my mind and I burst into tears, I begged him to stay in the house and never go to work (my dad is an engineer), but he refused.. I pray for my family's safety and all the innocents and people I love, hoping one day god will answer my prayer..
The situation in REALLY bad, everyday a mine, car bomb, or shooting awake me. I want to start my day with something nice, like the peg top's sound not a horrifying sound, not a loud explosions and shrapnels' sound falling on my house, I want to wake up and stay few minutes in my bed stretching and yawing not running and hitting the furniture ! (that's a dream I am not sure if it'll come true soon, sometimes I feel it is like Lucifer's dream to enter the paradise :D)
The first day of Ramadan will be on Wednesday or Thursday (depends on the moon), in Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise till the darkfall, to feel the same as paupers who don't have money to buy food, so that we don’t' forget to help them.
Ramadan teach us how to be patient, and be closer to god..
In this month people give paupers money and food (we don't do that in Ramadan only, but we give with much generous in this blessed month), my family used to buy new clothes, toys and food for the orphans, and give money to poor widows..
Muslims also give alms in this month, which is 2.5% from their saves, and 10% from their crop , in case they have a farm ... there is also alms for gold , and alms for many things.
Since I was a kid I used to give paupers from the money I save, the more I give the happier I feel.
In Ramadan Muslims should NEVER fight, even if they were in a war, they should announce armistice or conciliating. (I mean the people who are real Muslims, not the pretenders). Even the people who have problems with their relatives or friends should reconcile them. Because Ramadan is a blessed month full of mercy.
When the TV. Channel announce that the next day is Ramadan, the muezzin start saying the Takberat (praising god) which I very much like. There are wonderful TV shows in Ramadan, and really nice series, luckily I'll be able to watch them and enjoy the last 15 days of my summer holiday!
To all of my friends and readers, specially the Muslims, blessed Ramadan (Ramadan Karim), may all of your dreams come true.
And for my Iraqi friends and readers, may this Ramadan be peaceful, and we'll all live a peaceful life, without killing, explosions, and shootings...
In Ramadan god answer the prayers , let's all pray for a new shining and peaceful day for Iraq, may the terrorists vanish and we have a developed country, I am writing this post feeling positive and full of hope..
About what we've done for the Jordanians, we supplied them with electricity and oil for years, for free.. scholarships, salary for every Jordanian student, they used to take the Iraqi places in university, they should be thankful, not mean ..
I receive SOOOOO MANY E-mails asking me about my opinion in US troops, and war, I'd appreciate if you read my ex posts, I answered this question hundreds of times, I don't mind answering that over and over if I have electricity and enough time to write… I am thinking of making a section (under the links) and talk about my opinion about war and soldiers. Good idea?????!
You're welcome to ask me what you like, but be patient, sometimes I answer after long time.