I had a crazy week, all the teachers want to examine us as many exams as they could, I kept studying the whole time, and I did my best , my marks are ok, I won’t have to attend the final exams for all subjects except physics. in Iraq we don’t have to attend the final exam and study the whole book for every subject if we have 90% and higher as final mark (= A+), it is hard, especially in my school, but I did, in spite of everything, the war , terrorists, explosions, all the hard circumstances, without electricity, nor fuel for heaters, I used to stay up late studying alone while everyone was asleep, catching the torch in one hand and my book in the other, with many blankets over me in order to stay warm, it’s scary to stay in a room alone while there’s shelling and still be able to study..
I continue going to privet Arabic lessons, and I like our teacher, he’s great and praise me a lot (my friends got jealous hehe)..
My friend who lost her mom is doing good, she’s stronger than anyone I’ve ever met, although her sisters don’t study, but she told me “ if I don’t study nothing will change what happened, but I know one thing for sure, it was my mom’s will for us to study hard, she used to ask us to do our best and study, and I’ll do it for her”
On Thursday, Rita visited me and read all of your comments and E-mails, we talked for awhile, but she had to go back quickly, she was busy, they were moving to another house, far away.
Grandpa and I went with her, as it is not safe in Iraq to walk alone, we were walking , laughing because I said a joke, and she was saying to me “shush don’t laugh loud” Rita is really shy person.
As soon as we reached the end of our street, a mine exploded and the US soldiers started to shoot, I didn’t think about anything but running away, Rita caught me from my arm and asked me to calm down, we reached her house, with my knees shaking, her mom, dad, sister’s husband, and their friend were packing their stuff, Rita went to the garden, she insist to bring me a rose, I looked at the rooms through the window, I was trying not to be emotional and cry, the house was empty nothing but the white walls, in one day this house was full of life, this family witnessed many good days there, such as their kids birthday, Raffi’s graduation, Nora’s graduation (their other daughter), Nora’s wedding, all the festivals, the good and bad days, hard and pleasant times,all their memories for over than 30 years.
once in the Armenians’ Eid, my family and many neighbors visited them, I remember perfectly well that day, every single conversation, every joke, there were people from different religions, different castes, and different cities, but you know what, I didn’t feel different, we were talking about the same things, laughing at the same things, it is normal because we are Iraqis, Raffi was sitting in front of me, talking with his friend in low shy voice, like always.. Rita pointed at the door and said “you see this door sunny” ( it leads to the other guest room) , she continued “ we used to open it in Eid, because many many friends used to visit us and there wouldn’t be enough space for all of us, so we used to sit in two rooms, teenagers in one room and adults in the other, and at the middle of the night, everyone stands up, we catch each others’ hands and dance Dabka, what amazing days we had before the war, now we can’t have guests till late time, beside many Armenians left Mosul”
I remember her say, and was imagining the living room full of people dancing and enjoying their time, now they’ll leave the house, leaving their memories behind, but their son’s memory will be carried in our hearts forever..
It is so hard to leave the house you’ve been living in for your whole life, When the situation was really bad about 4 years ago we had to leave our house, I started to cry while I was packing my clothes, I can’t imagine myself living in any other house, surrounded with other neighbors, Rita’s dad came to say hello, he hugged me and said “we’ll miss you the most, it is so hard to leave the neighborhood, the neighbors and house, but what we can do” he looked really sad and was smoking ! he has heart problem and I am so worried about him..
last Wednesday, I was in my way home, after a tiring day at school ( an English professor attended class with us, after the class finished he examined us to see how good we are, he liked me a lot, he kept asking questions and I kept replying without any mistake, he was impressed, the teacher also said I was excellent) anyway in my way home, the driver was driving carefully and we stopped in a checkpoint, an Iraqi vehicle belongs to the National guard was driving really fast and it stopped suddenly in the middle of the bridge, the soldiers started to run , they looking down from the bridge, and ran back shouting something, I didn’t understand their accent, and they yelled at the driver and asked him to go back, but it was impossible there were tens of cars behind, another vehicle stopped and the soldiers seemed to be ready for any attack, they were catching their weapons tightly,, I was like in the middle to Indian action movie, a group of men came wearing worn out clothes, they gave a paper to the national guard and said “we are with them” he looked down from the bridge and said “Yes, they are one of us”
I didn’t understand any thing, they were one of whom? What happened? Who were those men? What was going on? I want to know!!!
I thought there was a car bomb, or it was an ambush , or may be bunch of terrorists were going to attack the soldiers, I was happy to remember a prayer, and I kept repeating it over and over again, later I found out I was saying the wrong one I was saying “Forgive” instead of “protect” ..
A national guard came toward our car and said to the driver “if you don’t want to die GO BACK NOW , DO YOU WANT TO DIE” the question was directed to the driver but I replied quickly “no he don’t” , the other girls who were in the car looked very pale, and the youngest one kept asking me what’s going on, and what will happen ..
We went to another bridge and I arrived my house could barely walk, I was terrified, I really thought I could be just like one of the numbers we hear in Tv.
27/4 will be the last day I attend school in, but I won’t have a holiday I’ll have to study physics, math, and chemistry beside Arabic preparing for the sixth grade ..
On Saturday, my mom, Mariam, Yosif and I will go to a picnic with my mom’s work mates and friends, and I’ll meet Baghdadentist, he is such a great friend and supporter, as well as a very talented writer, I am really excited, there won’t be anyone in my age ! but I can get along well with the new graduated Drs. and everyone ..