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..

Monday, December 31, 2007

Excellent Eid (part 1)

On Saturday 15/12 we went to Baghdad , we heard from people that the road now is better and safer .
We left mosul at 8:00 am and arrived Baghdad at 6:05 pm!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine the delay?!! We usually reach Baghdad in 3 hours and half, or 4 hours if we stop in the restaurant !!! but because of the so many troops we reached Baghdad after 10 house! Thank god we didn’t sleep in the street, when the US vehicles drive we have to stop aside, or drive 100 meters away, slowly with the lights on, if we drive nearby they point with lazer on our car or shoot !..
We were about 5 minutes away from Baiji when someone’s car stopped working so our driver spent an hour trying to fix it, but he couldn’t, in that car there were 3 guys and a girl in the first year of collage, the girl came with us, first she was shy and didn’t say a word, but we invited her to have lunch with us, and I introduced myself, we soon became friends, and spent the time talking and joking. . she’s studying mechanical engineering in mosul ..
We had our breakfast, lunch , and even dinner in the car, we drove in unpaved roads for long time, my sister was feeling nausea, and my brother started to cry, I gave him my cell phone ,he spent some time playing games.. my dad was extremely angry, dust was in everywhere, and the dark fall ..
When we arrived Baghdad, I could barely walk !! because of the small space and long time sitting , we had supper my grandma made her famous chicken and red rice (it is like a tradition in my family, when we go to Baghdad our first lunch should be chicken and red rice with soup and salad, and when we come to mosul my grandma make delicious okra and rice)
At 10 am I went to bed, the weather in Baghdad is cool, I didn’t freeze at night, and they also can close the windows because they don’t have explosions. .
On Sunday we went to nearby shops, in the evening my mom’s aunt and uncle came with their families, I spent Monday and Tuesday cleaning and organizing the house, & preparing the house for Eid, because grandma had pain in her back and couldn’t do the housework, we also made tons of klecha (Iraqi dessert), we gave a lot of Klecha for our friends and neighbors as well, on Monday our neighbor brought Biriani (Iraqi dish has rice, currants, almond, onion, meat, potatoes, and other stuff ), she always make Biriani for us when we go to Baghdad.. what a lovely woman, everyday in the morning she kindle candles, and spend an hour praying for god to protect her children and protect us .. and in such dangerous times she used to go to church and pray for my mom when she was sick..
The First day of Eid was on Wednesday, we had a family meeting in our eldest uncle’s house, we were only 21 people !!! the other relatives left Iraq, or left Baghdad, so we spent the first hour talking to them by phone .. after that we talked about different things (not policy, thank god), and we had really good time, after we had lunch and delicious Iraqi tea with Klecha, we went to my mom aunt’s house, to pass on good wishes to her husband because he couldn’t attend the family meeting (he was sick), at 6:30 we came home, then an Armenian neighbors visited us ..

One of the things that made me happy, is the streets in Baghdad were clean, and in the road junctions there were beautiful gardens with roses and some of them had fountains..
it’s strange, how people in Baghdad slept on one day feeling afraid from the unknown future, and had no idea what’s happening, then in the next day suddenly the killing stopped, the situation calmed down, and the sun shone after long time of darkness, no one knows how nor why .. is it a Truce? or it is a bargain?!!!.
Many shops were destroyed , we saw the shop owners cleaning their shops and fixing them. I felt happy to see how they were re-building their shops and I am looking for the day we’ll re-build Iraq.
In the second day we had lunch in my grandma aunt’s house (yes she’s alive, but really old woman), her grandson has a tortoise, it was the first time I see a tortoise and hold it, I had really good time there. And in that evening we had dinner in my mom uncle’s house, we spent a lovely evening, the last time I saw my mom’s cousin was when she gave birth her son and now he’s 2 years old!! We came home at 9:30 pm ..
In the third day we didn’t go out, but we received guests , our neighbors came to congratulate us, they are very kind and good Shiites neighbors ,the Father “A” is an engineer, the conversation interested me a lot, “A” talked about how silly is the differences between the first day of Eid for Sunnis and Shiites (for the Sunnis the first day was on Wednesday, for he Shiites who follow al Sadir the first day was on Thursday, and for the Shiites who follow al Sestani the first day of Eid was on Friday), it’s wrong and ridiculous , because it depends on the moon, everyone knows the first day should be on Wednesday, “A” said “ the religion should gather us, not separate us, if the religion separate it’s people, then I don’t want to belong to any, but I am sure this thing is made by the government , they want to see the Iraqis separated, but anyway it’s not going to happen” I loved what he said and wrote it at once.. well I celebrated Eid for 8 days, with the Sunnis, Shiites , and Christians.
Later at that day our friends visited us as well as my mom’s uncle , they stayed for dinner , I spent the best time ever, but I had to wash a lot of dishes..

To be continued ….

NOTE: I have a lot to talk about , and I also have some pics .. so keep waiting and I’ll write whenever I have time ..


At 8:32 PM, Blogger RG said...

"but I had to wash a lot of dishes.."

Time to teach little sister how to do dishes. (ha!)

Glad you got to see all of the relatives. After reading all the food you and your relatives ate, I am hungry. See you later, me and my horse Harley are going to go find us some lunch!


At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Norwegian guy said...

Sounds very nice=) I'm looking forward to read the rest!

At 11:59 PM, Anonymous Wayne said...

I am so happy to read that you had such a wonderful EID while visiting your grandparents. I'm glad the security in baghdad has improved so much. Sorry that your trip down there was so slow. I hope it will be better next year.


I really enjoy your posts.

At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was a very happy story. The food looked really good. I wanted to eat some. It is good that everybody got to visit no matter what religon they were. I am looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.

At 2:05 AM, Anonymous alex said...


At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's in "red rice"? Never heard of that one.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Dave said...

I love to hear your story. In Michigan (USA) we just had 12 inches of snow. I wish we could borrow some of your sunshine.

At 7:56 PM, Anonymous kathleen said...

Hi Sweetie,
I loved your post of your trip! It is wonderful your family was able to get together! It is great to see the pictures and read about your traditions. The values of your family and faith shine like a bright light showing the world once again that we are all more alike than different. My favorite quote was...."the religion should gather us, not separate us, if the religion separate it’s people, then I don’t want to belong to any" ..... I feel the same way!! The second quote I loved was that you said....... " I celebrated Eid for 8 days, with the Sunnis, Shiites , and Christians." What a wonderful testament to your acceptance and love for all people.
With these quotes my thought was, we are greater than our governments and our religions, we are one people of the world united with the same challenges and love of family. You are a healing gift to our world. I am blessed to have you in my life!
Happy New Year sweet one,

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Geo said...

Thanks for sharing, it was very nice that you are sharing this with us. Happy New Year!

At 11:51 PM, Blogger John said...

It's wonderful to hear from you, Sunshine! I'm glad you had a good holiday.

At 4:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! I hope 2008 will be a good one! Sounds like you had alot of fun on your Baghdad excursion. We had a tortoise once, we named him Esio Trot(Tortoise spelled backwords). He escaped by CLIMBING over the fence we put up. I never knew turtles climbed!
Can't wait to hear more,
Cat, or agentcase

At 4:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny !!!! So great to hear about your trip. WOW, that food looks great! One of my wish's for this New Year is that things continue to improve all over Iraq. Again, you are a remarkable person and it has been an honor for me to share in your blog. I hope in this next year you are able to report more and more improvements. Many blessing to you and your family, and keep your Sun shining : ) Solo

At 8:23 PM, Blogger Ray-Ray said...

Happy Eid Sunshine! Peace and love in the New Year,


At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Wing said...

How crazy would it be if you shared your car with another Iraqi blogger. There's another BBC Iraqi blogger who is 19 years old and is an engineering student at mosul:

At 6:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wing...Najma ( a star from Mosul) is Sunshine's cousin. A very talented and educated family.

At 6:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wing I believe Najma is Sunshine's Aunt. HNK too.

Happy New Year Sunshine

I'm looking forward to reading PART 2.

Tom in Texas

At 7:47 PM, Blogger Lieutenant Fishman said...

"the next day suddenly the killing stopped, the situation calmed down, and the sun shone after long time of darkness, no one knows how nor why ."

Uh, actually I know EXACTLY why things changed. Exactly as I told you six months ago Sunshine- the US and Coalition and Iraqi strategy is WORKING- that is why things changed. The surge and the change in tactics has worked beyond belief, and that is why there is now security. That is why the people have finally turned against Al-Qaeda and against the militias and criminals. And with more security, the Iraqi people can once again start a regular life getting jobs, fixing up their neighborhoods, and learning how to live in a free country for the first time ever. The future is indeed bright- when everyday Iraqis can spend more time making parties and reunions than worrying about being blown up by the savages- that is when Iraq will truly be free. All it takes is for the people to take destiny in their own hands- the US military has given Iraq the chance now to create the country that they want!

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Wayne said...

Najma and HNK are not directly related to Sunshine. They are nieces, by marriage, of her aunt who we know as Rose.

At 12:33 AM, Blogger jarvenpa said...

Thank you for sharing your celebration, Sunshine, and for the charming photos.
I look forward to hearing more. It was nice to hear that there are roses and fountains in some of the Baghdad streets.
May life in Iraq get better and easier as the days pass.

At 3:15 AM, Blogger benny said...

Thank you for your latest addition to your blog, Sunshine. I'm happy to hear that the situation in Baghdad has improved, but some of your comments are also very eye-opening. I had no idea about the rule about staying 100m from the Americans. It must be so oppressive! It is encouraging, though, that the Sunni's, Shiites and Christians all celebrated Eid with you.
Happy new year, and I'm looking forward to the next installment!

P.S Dave: I live in Australia, where we've had a 10-year drought. I'd happily trade some of our sunshine for your snow!!!

At 5:28 AM, Blogger jhondie said...

I'm so Glad you got to stay out late and enjoy the city. Its such a lovely place. Peace be with you Sunshine.

At 8:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello again!
Congrats on 118,000 visits to your blog! Pretty cool.
Can't wait for part 2,

At 10:25 AM, Blogger John Chappell said...

What a wonderful thing to be able to travel to see your family. I am sad that it has been so tough for you all in Iraq. You are a proud people. I have know you will rebuild her back to greatness. I pray every day for you and your country.

At 10:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

all of that food looks yummy! would love to try some food from iraq someday.. i like trying food from other countries. maybe you can put a recipe or 2 up? :)


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