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..

Friday, January 11, 2008

Excellent Eid (part 2)

It has been a really crazy week, I had many many exams, I did ok in most of them ..
Today I woke up feeling scared, I had a nightmare that a camp was attacked and I was in the middle, I didn’t care about the nightmare and I got ready to go to school in such cold weather with no electricity just like everyday, I was waiting for the driver in the hall when HEAVY shooting started, the driver came with 3 girls, grandma didn’t allow me to go out , when shooting almost calmed down, I ran to the car, and the driver drove fast , we drove among so many tanks, the national guards didn’t allow any car to pass the bridge except ours because they saw we were students and we wouldn’t attack them , so we drove among the Iraqi tanks, and national guards slowly, as soon as I reached school (at exactly 7:37 pm) a loud explosion happened followed by another few minutes later!! What a great way to start school .. the situation is not good, and many car bombs entered Mosul today, they didn’t explode yet and I hope they won’t, so please don’t forget to pray for us, 2 weeks ago a car exploded at 10 pm, many Iraqis died, poor people they were in their houses, asleep, or having showers, maybe studying, or having dinner, and for no reason an idiot put a car there, killed and injured tens of citizens..
Ok , now I’ll continue talking about my diary in Eid .
In the fourth day, we had another family meeting in my mom aunts’ house, and what a great time we had, at about 12:30 pm an old neighbor brought salad (with Amba it is a sour spicy sauce ) , she lives alone and spend her time cooking and making sweets and dishes for the neighbors and herself, she also went to nearby shop and bought candies for the kids in the neighborhood, everyone loves her, that’s how we (the Iraqis) care about each other, the neighbors for us are more than a Family ..
The lunch was awesome, but I had to wash SOOOO many dishes ..
After that we drank delicious Iraqi tea, made by aunt .. We talked a lot, laughed, and joked, at 5 pm , we came home, I changed my clothes quickly and at 6 pm we received guests, our Christian friends.
I spent the most pleasant afternoon, there were grandfathers, children , and grandchildren also! Tiea was the youngest member, she’s only 3 months old, very cute baby, with red cheeks and lovely ears looks like Jerry’s hahah, as soon as I carried her she slept on my shoulder, I love kids in her age ..
I like to talk to old men more than women nor teenagers, so I got aleng well with my grandpa’s friend !
Uncle S is a wise, educated and very respectful man, who wrote two books, sometimes I feel he knows everything! I like to ask for his advice and he also like to talk to me ..
I spent the time also chatting with Uncle S’s nephews, Dr. Safaa and Tias’ father , as well as my neighbor M who’s 7 years older than me, most of the talking was about internet, and my blog (they are fans of me :D), and we also talked about the situation a little bit ..
I took a look at everyone in the room, the eldest women were busy talking about Eid, food, & their kids abroad , the men were making serious conversation talking about economy and policy (very interesting), my mom participated in all the conversations ! the kids were playing and I wished that this minute can last forever, someone is talking , the other is laughing, another one explaining his point of view, very lovely view.. At 8:30 they left the house , and again I had to wash many dishes ( oh yea, not my favorite part, but I was thinking about the whole day) ..
On Sunday, we visited some friends house, I had a good time I didn’t see them for more than 2 years, their sons work abroad and they came to spend the holiday with them .. at 6:30 pm we came home, and at 7:00 pm my mom’s cousin came with her family, and my mom’s uncle also came with his wife, so grandma prepared dinner (and again I washed the dishes)..
At 9:30 they left the house , after we organized the guest room and living room, we watched a hilarious movie and I spent the whole night laughing, and each time Mariam would say “I want to get some sleep” , Shush” “ you are crazy, you know what?”
On Monday , we had a family meeting in my mom cousins’ house, I went with my relatives because our car doesn’t fit for all of us, in our way we passed through “Badir’s organization” I kept looking closely with astonishment, there were many flags, Black, green, red oranges, & yellow with strange sentences I said “uncle, I feel like I am in Iran , not in Baghdad” that hurts me a lot..
Anyway, we reached after an hour and half , it was the first time I see my relative’s house, it was really grandiose, so many antiques, chandeliers and fountain in the garden, but I don’t like such kind of houses, we had really yummy lunch, after we drank hot Iraqi tea we returned home .. We wanted to congratulate our Shiites neighbors, but they were in Najaf.
It doesn’t matter if they do things we consider wrong or if we disagree with them, what’s important is, those neighbors were with us in the greatest times and the hardest once, and we also shared them their celebrations and never left them in their hard times alone .
On Tuesday , my grandma and I made desserts, and cakes for our Christian friends, and we also prepared lunch for our neighbors, because their son came with his family to spend Christmas with them..
In the afternoon we visited our friends, and shared them their celebration in Christmas, they know how much I love Christmas tree so they invited me to sit on a sofa near the tree, of course I spent the time playing with Baby Tiea, and talking with Grandpa’s friend and everyone else .. it was a lovely afternoon, at about 8:30 pm we returned home..
On Wednesday, we visited our relatives to say good bye, as we’d leave in the next day, and we also visited our Christian neighbors, at 9:15 pm we returned home ..
On Thursday we arrived mosul, we left Baghdad at7:00 am and arrived Mosul at 2:00 pm .. we spent 7 hours in the road, that means 3 hours of delay, not bad comparing with our way to Baghdad!
I still have a lot to talk about so keep waiting ..


At 11:46 PM, Anonymous dccane said...

great post! Really Diyala and Mosul are the last two areas of Al Qaeda infestation. Inshallah we and the Iraqi security forces will continue to destroy them and make sure that they can't hurt your neighborhood. One good thing that you seem to be saying though is that there are now IRAQI tanks in Mosul, not just American ones. Although I doubt they are real tanks, but actually armored personnel carriers :) It is a big victory that the IRAQI forces are now protecting the people of Mosul, and not just the Americans!

At 1:50 AM, Anonymous Norwegian guy said...

Sounds like you had a busy, but yet wonderful holiday:)

At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what movie was it?

At 2:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest you get a thing where it tells you which country people visiting your site are from ( like the thing that shows the number of visits).

At 2:52 AM, Blogger Gil said...

I read recently something that made great sense to me. It was about dreams and why we have them. It appears that dreams are the mind's way of practicing how to react during diffrent events.
Perhaps thinking of your dreams this way will help you undertand how and why our minds work like they do.

Thank you for sharing with us.

At 4:44 AM, Anonymous Wayne said...


I am so happy to know that you had such a wonderful time and enjoyed it so much.

You should get Mariam to start helping with the dihes.

Thank you for keeping us informed on what is happenng in your life.

Stay safe and know that we love hearing from you. Our Prayers are with you.

At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Cat again!
Sound like you had the busiest, craziest, most wonderfullest time with your family and friends! The baby in the pictures is adorable. I was thinking. Operation Phantom Phoenix is underway, and that is said to be the last and biggest ALQ. stronghold. Maybe when they are hounded out they will also leave Mosul. I hope things get better really soon, and I also hope the dishes get less and less. I have seven siblings, so I know dishes. =P

At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh another thing... I was just wondering if Mustafa is doing any better? I was really concerned after reading the medical statement, and am now hoping that you may have some news of him.

At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Joe from New Hampshire said...

Sunshine, you can't know how important your blog is to so many people all over the world. There are so few Iraqis still living in Iraq who blog. After hearing about the sectarian violence you see so much of, I was amazed to find people like yourself saying how you all got along and still do get along and are friends with different sects and with christians. It must be that the politicians and the religious leaders are the ones who can't be civil.
I just wanted to let you know how interesting your blog is. Please keep it going.You really are a special person.
Oh,by the way, did you get to see the snow in Baghdad today before you left? I read where it was the first time in maybe a 100 years since that happened. I hope that's a sign from God that better things are coming.

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was not reading your blog carefully when I came to the picture of the CHRISTMAS TREE! I thought: "Sunshine had a Christmas tree?!?!?!" And then I read it was your neighbor's tree.

I am sorry to hear of the fighting in your neighborhood. I wish for peace everywhere in Iraq but especially in all places with Sunshine!

May you and your family have a peaceful 2008.

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sunshine,
So glad to hear about the second half of your trip!
Good for you staying focused on your studies. I know it is hard with all that is going on!
I am praying things get better around you in Mosul. As the war gets better the worry has to be on that Dam that is endangering your city. The US needs to help fix that problem and soon!
You are in my heart dear friend,

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I enjoy reading your blog both the corageous struggles you have in the midst of a war and our efforts as a family, an extended family. to carry on you life together, visiting, feasting, sharing your thoughts. You wider family all seem to be very interesting.

At 3:23 AM, Blogger programmer craig said...

What a terrific post! Thank you, Sunshine :)

At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you like to talk to us old guys Sunny, we're so full of wisdom :D Sounds like you had a pretty good time with your family visits. I'm glad to hear that The kids are all so cute, and that food, mmmmmmmmm!!! Keep your Sun shining! Solo

At 9:19 AM, Blogger RG said...


What you need to get your family to start using are paper plates and plastic cups, plastic spoons and plastic knives! Except for special occasions then you pay Mariam to wash the dishes.

Down her in the south of the United States we have plastic cups and things called Dixie Cups.

Just trying to help with the dishes... ;-D

At 9:21 AM, Blogger RG said...

P.S. Don't use the paper plates and plastic things but for one meal and then just throw them away (no need to wash them). If you use them more than once, that is gross. Not that I ever tried that before...

At 9:08 PM, Blogger sheoflittlebrain said...

This is a wonderful post, Sunshine!
It gave me joy to read of your celebrations, you family, and your friends. I'm glad that Baghdad is so much safer and I pray for you, your family, your neighbors and for safety and peace to return to Mosul.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Jhondie said...

Hi Sunshine! Glad you enjoyed the holidays! Hopefully these trips wont be so far and few in between in the near future. I wish My unit could have done some work in Mosul, I hope the people who are there can get the job done soon. Peace be with you Sunshine!

At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Manu said...

I hope that the worlds turns, and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, or cry with you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you.
You are truly an inspiration.
A 16 year old Indian.

At 9:45 PM, Blogger dancewater said...

Sorry to hear such a horrible experience in your city, and glad to hear of your wonderful holiday! I already knew that Iraqis got along fine with various religions before the war and occupation started. It is the political and military decisions made that caused all this strife.

Hope things are wonderful for your upcoming 16th birthday! I always sent flowers to all my nieces on their 16th birthday, and I sent them to their school. They liked that.

I don't recommend using paper plates and cups - they are a waste of money and create lots of garbage. We all need to protect the earth from garbage and pollution. Of course, if you find that your water is cut off - then you may need to use the paper stuff.... but hopefully, that won't happen.

At 1:05 AM, Blogger BrianFH said...

Just a comment about the Mosul dam; imagine that the dam had been built on ground made of sugar, and the water is dissolving its way through. The Americans and Central Government are trying to reinforce the sugar by pumping thick paste into the gaps that have formed to harden it, but the water is still winning.

It was idiocy to build that dam there, and in the long term it can't be saved. The ground is just not able to sustain that level of water saturation.

I have no idea what the outcome will be, or if there is a solution. But don't just wave your hands and say, "The Americans must fix it." Some things Saddam did were so stupid and ignorant that no one can fix them.

At 2:20 AM, Anonymous Roy said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. It's always nice to see family and friends. I think you need to make a Iraqi cookbook so all of the rest of us would know how to cook all of the delicious looking food you have posted on your blog.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Each time we link into someones blog we must also recognize that we also brought this person into our home so first I say.. Welcome to my home. You are quite the inspiration and hope for the future of Iraq, you and your friends that struggle so much just to attend school. It's utterly madding for some of us here to see such dismay in a planet that offers so much to it's people. Your writings of Family and Neighbors is breath-taking at seeing the respect and love for each other and yourselves. But for all that it is worth your life of oneness with family and friends is of the richest life one can have, it is of this love that God looks upon, not the power of authority, but the power to hold firm to ones principle of unity and brotherhood. Keep up the good work, stay strong...Pray. Love.
And Yes...a few of those recipes would be Great !!!! I say we all trade recipes....right now I'm in a Bread baking craze :) I've been searching for all different kinds of bread from all over the world, the last one was a hearty Irish soda bread that was very tasty but really just a breakfast food or something with soup for dipping, but yummy!
Peace, Catherine

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just thought...that perhaps the woman of your family may be inspired as I have in this latest bread baking craze...:) so if you can get into this website you can translate for them the various recipes, this is a wonderful site and it's all free.
sorry about the dishes....but it's always worth it....mmmmmmmm

however, I would still love to have some authentic recipies that are not widely known except by tradition so if you have any to share, please ,please do !! and we will too!! Peace, Catherine

At 8:00 PM, Anonymous hannah said...

wow this seems like you have a hard time keep on trying and praying !!!!!

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Lieutenant Fishman said...

Op Phantom Phoenix is killing and capturing even more of the Al Qaeda savages. We are making great progress- Sunshine you should talk about the new "De-Baathification Law" and if anyone in Mosul is discussing how this might help the economy...

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sunny could start her own TV show. It would be called Sunny's Iraqi cooking show. She could be the next Rachel Ray. :D I would watch.

At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot. She could get somemone wlse to do the dish's

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Sunshine says she loves Christmas trees, I think next year we (the Christian readers) should send her pictures of each of ours. :)

William's Uncle

At 4:30 AM, Blogger jarvenpa said...

Sunshine, I love your photos and your honest and interesting posts.

At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a cute baby! and the food looks really yummy!

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and i agree about what another poster said about showing our christmas trees!


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