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..

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Awesome trip ...

It has been a really wonderful week, we celebrated my mom’s birthday on 25/4 and we had such a great time.
On Wednesday 31/4 we went to the North of Iraq, with many of my mom’s work mates, all of them were either doctors or dentists, about 7 families and 20 HANDSOME GUYS , I had fantastic time, my parents dedicated this trip to me for my success in school ..
At 2:00 pm, on Wednesday the journey that I will never ever forget began, the driver came and we went to al Jamea street where we decided to gather, and at 3 pm the bus came, with 3 singers and two musicians!! we stared to acclaim and sing Iraqi songs, as well as Arabian songs, the two musicians spent an hour and 20 minutes trying to fix the note to start !! we also spent sometime waiting for the US troops to open the road ….
The funniest thing is the musicians got angry, they were old (about 60 years old or so) and they knew only the VERYYYYYY old songs, and we wanted to sing the new Iraqi songs, one of them shouted “ GUYS, either we sing or you” so everyone answered “ WEEEEEEEEEEE” it was really funny.

At 6 pm we reached Dhook, our first stop, in a place called “Dhook dam” .
It was is a really nice place, we stayed there till 10 pm, first we took pics near the waterfall, then we took the kids to the play yard, my brother was so excited, he’d never seen such a nice play yard before.After that Dr. BD, Dr. A, my family and I climbed the mountain, and we took many pics near the lake .. then we ate delicious ice cream, after that the Drs. put some great Iraqi music (I brought the CDs :D ) and started to dance in the street ,the famous Iraqi dances and Dabkas , then a man in a nearby small shop played Kurdish music, the guys didn’t know the right way to dance Kurdish Dabka, so a Kurdish man came, took out his handkerchief, caught a Dr’s hand and started to teach him, then all the guys took each others’ hands and started to try, after 10 minutes they became practiced, and started to dance Kurdish Dabka with the Kurds ..
When that man came, I felt blissful, I was assured that Iraqis are united no matter what others may say, I was acclaiming and taking videos, my mom came and said “ you see, Sunny. The Kurds like us, that’s why they came to teach the Arabs their dance, because we are all Iraqis”.. I nod my head, and was speechless .. and she’s right ..
The guys kept dancing for hours, and everyone was clapping, even strangers stopped by and shared us our good time ..
At 10 pm we left Dhook and went to Serseng, we had dinner there, and spent the night in a small Motel..
In the next day, I woke up at 7 pm, opened the window and for the first time I didn’t see destroyed buildings and destruction, instead of that I saw a great view, blue sky, and mountain .. I had my breakfast while I was enjoying the view..
At 8 pm, my mom and I went out to see the city, so we went to the nearby markets and walked in the streets , I felt so safe, I didn’t see a soldier, nor tank, I didn’t hear an explosion nor shooting, I wasn’t afraid of terrorists , and walked freely with my mom, I didn’t have to worry , I was happy ..
At 9 pm we came back to the motel, and waited for awhile till Dr. BD and his friend came, the were arrested by the Kurdish security men because they took pictures while there was a special celebration for Kurds .. they spent two hours in the investigation (you can read about the details when Dr. BD write a post )..
Then about 10:30 Dr. BD and Dr. A came and we went to Ashawa, a place near Dhook, with big waterfall and beautiful view ..
For the Iraqis, impossible Is nothing, we love picnics and parties a lot, and we have many kinds of dances, each city has a special kind of dance , Iraqis are very good dancers, and we have unbelievable ability to amuse ourselves ..
The Drs. took a generator and climbed the mountain carrying it !!! YES!! whenever two guys feel tired other two Drs. take their role, and the others carried the speakers and laptop..
In Ashawa the first thing we did , was taking pics near the waterfall, and then we put REALLY loud Iraqi and Kurdish music and all the guys started to dance, then other guys who were nearby came and started to dance with our group, they were kurds, and so good dancers..
My brother become very good dancer, he learned fast and had great time, and he kept saying “ I’m so happy, and I like all the Drs.” .
It’s the first I see him enjoying his time and feeling safe to walk away from my mom..
At about 12:30 am, we celebrated a Dentist daughter’s birthday, I bet she’ll never forget this birthday ..
Ashawa is one of my favorite places, the mountain is big and has many stone colors and inclinations, I felt a bit tired so I put my head on the chair to rest and enjoyed the view..
Then in the afternoon, we went to Dhook, first we visited Mazy supermarket, which is awesome, and huge. Then we went to Dream city .
I didn’t go to amusing city since I was 10 or 11 years old, and I’d never seen in my life amusing city more gorgeous than Dram City, it is definitely “Dream” city ..
Everyone had fantastic time, I enjoyed every second, walking freely, hearing loud music, and feeling so safe, there I saw my dear friend Rezan , we didn’t see each other for 3 years, she had to leave Mosul because of the bad situation, It was great to see her, we took many pics, and then we saw another friend Zainab, it was beyond anyone’s imagination ..
Dr. BD and I were walking when he said “ I feel like I am in Baghdad” at that time I was thinking about our old days in Baghdad too…..
We played many games, and I felt like I am the happiest and luckiest person in the whole world.
While I was waiting my turn to play a game, I met a Kurdish woman, she said something I didn’t understand, I know only few Kurdish words, then she started to explain by signs, she understands Arabic but don’t have the ability to create a sentence and speak, we spent half hour trying to communicated by signs and with few words we know . we were able to understand each other hardly .. (she said she liked my clothes a lot ) ..
The funniest game we enjoyed is a game called “Disco” , Dr. F insisted to play it while he stands in the middle, it wasn’t a wise thing to do, because of the fast rotation and vibration, Dr. F’s leg slipped and fell and started to move from one side to the other, thank god he didn’t hurt himself, but when he came out everyone was laughing at him, and joking.. At 1:30 AM we went back to our motel, I didn’t come back home late for more than 5 years!! Because it is not safe in Mosul and we have curfew starts at 10:00 pm everyday ..
We spent our way singing and dancing , and by the time we reached home everyone was exhausted and most of the Drs. slept without changing their clothes, including my family members, but for me, I wore my pajamas and brushed my teeth as well :D..
Next morning I woke up at 7:30 prepared our stuff, I didn’t want to leave this place at all, it is so safe and the nature is beyond description..
At 9:00 pm we went to a place called “Karka” it has a small waterfall, it was the first time I see this place, and it is nice actually but need a lot of care to make it better.
Anyway, my sister and I claimed the mountain with Dr. BD and this time I fell, hehe .. we took many pics and spent wonderful time. .
My problem is the fear of heights, I can’t look down, if I do, I feel dizzy, and close my eyes immediately, but Dr. BD kept encouraging me to get over it..
We left Karka and went to Anishky cave, as soon as we arrived we heard loud music, and all the Drs. started to dance as soon as they entered the cave, it was great ..
Then two Kurdish men started to dance Dabka, I’d never seen this kind of dance before.

Then the Drs. joined them and started to dance like them and went all around the cave dancing this dance. This is the Kurdish folklore dress .. Then we decided to go to Soolaf, to have lunch there ..
I had extraordinary time there, we had lunch in very cute restaurant, the view was unbelievable, we ate delicious Kabab..
I took this pic from the restaurant..

Then we returned to our bus, but before we leave, we played loud music, the Drs. started to dance in the street and another group of tourists joined them, and I had never seen such a great performance before..
Then a man from the new group who joined us said “ Guys, won’t you show the guys Karbala’s Dance?” and they started to dance Karbala’s dance, which is really cute ..

Note : those guys who were dancing, in the pictures i published , are not from our group..

Then all the guys danced on a song called “Hedi” the song says (there isn’t any difference between people, nor Muslims and Jews … etc) everyone was singing this song, acclaiming and dancing.. Then we returned to Mosul, we spent the time in the bus singing as well!!, then the Drs. sang a song and dedicated for my mom, they like her because she take good care of them, and make them feel they’re in their home, then Dr. R (who’s from Basra) sang a song about expatriate , Dr. F’s eyes filled with tears, he didn’t see his family for some time.
Dr. F is very kind person, and he smiles the whole time, beside he’s a great dancer ..
I was actually surprised how the Drs. have such great voices, if they don’t succeed as Drs. they can be great singers hehe, and many play drums perfectly well, they impressed me ..
I met great people in this journey, like Dr. R, I didn’t know anything about Basra and he spent some of his time talking with me about Basra, all the Drs. left good impression , they are funny, like to enjoy there time, very respectful and kind ..
When this group from Karbala came, I was shocked because of what I see in TV. I didn’t know the people in Karbala have such a nice spirit, I am so glad I got the chance to meet people from different Iraqi cities, and know more about the citizens of my beloved country …
Everyone needed that journey, we didn’t have fun for long time, that’s why we spent the whole time singing and celebrating ..
I wish the war will end and all of our days will be peaceful and nice, like the days I had ..

Sorry, this post was long.. but I wanted to mention most of the details to make you see through my eyes .


At 3:52 PM, Anonymous ROSEBAGHDAD said...

Great pictures, I like the Dabka very much. I wish I was there with you.last time we went to the north 5 years ago,the only photos I took with me when I left Iraq.

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

Sounds like you had a great party. Can you answer a question? Do just the men dance or do the women dance also. I enjoyed your photo's and comments and was very happy to see you having fun instead. I use to be afraid of heights but took up skydiving to help overcome that fear. I didn't think your post was long, just a great discription of your great trip.

At 5:06 PM, Blogger John said...

Congratulations Sunshine! It sounds like you had a beautiful and refreshing time.

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sweetie,

Don't worry about the length of your post; I loved every word of it. And the video was great, too.

I am SO glad that you all had such a wonderful time.


At 7:59 PM, Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What a wonderful time you had. I am pleased you and your brother got to have a little "normal" relaxed time away from the war. So many of the children of Iraq are having their childhhood stollen by the war.

It is nice to see pretty and natural sites of Iraq in your pictures. They are very different than here. Where I live we do not have mountains. We do have more forests, lakes and rivers than you could imagine. My country, Canada, has 1/4 of the World's fresh water.
It is a precious gift we need to take better care of. This time of year everything is getting lush and green as the growing season had begun.

I hope you have more pleasant outings in the coming year.

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Lieutenant Fishman said...

Very happy for you Sunshine!! I told you that things will get better- wasn't I correct? :) And please post even more pictures and videos- we need to get out the entire picture of Iraq- like you say where Karbala and Basra and Dohuk and Mosul all join together for ONE Iraq! Post as much as you can and stay safe- keep these memories alive as that is the future- we just need to keep fighting for final victory over the terrorists..

At 1:24 AM, Blogger Jhondie said...

Awesome post :) That Dabka looks a lot like river dance. Northern Iraq is such a great place. Stay safe and peace be with you Sunshine!

At 2:50 AM, Blogger Asheville_Activist said...

Thank you for sharing your joys and sorrows with the world. Please know that there are many Americans doing what we can to end this illegal occupation of your beautiful country. May your joys be many.
With Peace and love,
Gaia's Tears in Asheville

At 7:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No post from you is ever too long!
At the moment I am in Thailand waiting for the Generals to give my team visas to enter Burma so we can help the victims of the cyclone.
Keep smiling.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger David said...

Dear Sunshine, thank you for this long post and your beautiful pictures. You did a great job of sharing your excitement and joy with us! I feel so happy for you and your family that you had such a wonderful trip! :)

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous steen said...

You seem to have mistaken am and pm.

At 11:46 AM, Anonymous steen said...

Why aren't women dancing?
Did you dance?

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Sunshine said...

I'll answer your question asap..

At 10:37 PM, Blogger dancewater said...

It was great to read such a happy post and to see a part of Iraq in your words and pictures.

At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Simon Columbus said...

Hey Sunshine,

no post can be too long if you're happy. And this one I really liked because one can feel your happiness from every single line. It is so great to read a post from you about happiness, dancing and brotherhood instead of bombs and chaos. These lines are a really giving my hope for you and your country. I wish you more and more days like these.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger cat said...

Oh Sunny!
This is beautiful! Sounds like you had an amazing time! I laughed at the picture of the guys with the generator; it reminded me of some of the things my older brother does with his friends. :) Hey next time you guys take a trip up there, can I come? hehehe, it is absolutely beautiful in those mountains... It would be so fun to go on a trip and sing and dance and have fun the whole time, except I can't sing. It's more like squawking very, very loudly. :) I bet your little bro and sis had fun... Especially little Yoyo. It must have been like heaven for him. *Shouts over to Yoyo* You're adorable Yosef! Luv and hugs always, and keep up the great posts,

At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Wayne said...

eni Sunshine,

alif shukur.

This report really makes me happy. I love it when you and your family enjoy a trip or any wonderful visit with friends.

It looks like Yosif and Mariam enjoyed it too.

Do not worry about making long posts. We love to read all of your writings.

I was also happy to see that aunt Rose made a comment on this story. It will soon be 3 years since she introduced us to you and mama. We thank her for that too.

tisbaheen ala kheer.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous Nic said...

Thanks for a great post.

I almost always end up crying when I read your posts, but today it was tears of joy.

I'm so pleased to hear you had a lovely holiday and felt positive about the future. Long may it continue.


At 12:31 PM, Blogger AO said...



At 3:09 PM, Blogger Ray-Ray said...

The longer post, the better!!!!!!

I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time. Northern Iraq seems like such a wonderful place!!!!!! I learned so much about it in your post.

hugs & wishes

At 8:58 PM, Blogger lela said...

Sunshine, this was an absolutely happy post, with beautiful pictures! I hope that your future posts will be just as happy and beautiful.

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found the "20 HANDSOME GUYS" comment amusing.

I forgot to mention earlier that asthma can be resulting from a hidden allergy to milk. I've had this problem myself.


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