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, March 08, 2007

At least we are alive !...

School started on Sunday 4/3
I got my marks, my family was very much pleased, but I wasn't happy and my eyes filled with tears , I don't like to take less than 95% in English.. I was really worried about my physic's mark I took 83% one of the highest marks!!!!!
I got 90% in chemistry, 100% in religion, 95% in history , 94% in geography , 91% in biology, , I got 96% in math (I felt upset too, I had 100%) , I got 85% in Arabic the teacher said "very good, Arabic is really difficult , in French I got 90% , the funniest thing is I got 82% in Art ,hahahahahah , we didn't attend any art lesson.
we didn't attend any Art , sport, Kurdish lessons, the teachers don't give them any attention although they are useful!
I heard a shocking news , the poor widow who used to clean my class was killed, I feel really sorry for her children, they lost there parents, the cleaner before her was also killed.
I didn't have internet services in the first few days of the holiday , I felt really bothered , the company sent us the engineer 3 times , and finally he fixed the internet connection.
I read 2 books , "Country comes up , country comes down" I read that book about 10 times , it is written in Arabic , it is gorgeous, I also read " 25 natural ways to manage stress and avoid burnout " written by James Scala, , I also finished a book I was reading " family first " written by Dr. Phil , I started to read " 1000 French sentence mostly use" but I didn't finish it yet.
I read my 700 E-mails and answered most of them.
My dad had to do some work in a village near Mosul , called Bahsheeka, grandpa , mama , Miriam , Yosif, and I went with him, we stayed in my grandpa friend's house ( the Kurdish man who took grandpa to a hospital in Dhook) , we had the best time ever , they have a nice farm , the farmers where working in the farm , it was fun to watch.
They are very friendly, and there traditions is to take off your shoes , before you enter the house, there house was clean, Bahsheeka is a nice village , and safe too , I didn't hear any explosion nor shooting , it was great , they brought us breakfast ,although we had breakfast in our house before, but they insist to join them , their mother brought hot bread she baked early in the morning ,tea , milk , cream , clotted cream, yogurt , and eggs .. grandpa suggested to go to an ancient Der near Bahsheeka, it was gorgeous .. we visited the cave first , then the church , it is name is Der Mar Mattie , and what a fantastic surprise , when we saw scouts there , playing music , then we went inside the church, we visited the monks' cists , and chaplains' and read their stories , I saw a monk , I went and asked him the story behind the Der , we talked for a while he told me the history and the story of monk Mattie.

We took many pictures , and returned to the house , we had lunch then the electricity came at 4:30 , I was working on the computer and heavy shooting started , mortars fall on the neighborhood, this lasted for an hour, 3 mortars fall in the street , 2 in the street behind our house , and one in front of it.
The situation in the next day wasn't better , we woke up early , I organized the house , grandma cooked , at about 1 pm , my parents' uncle , his wife and his daughter arrived from Baghdad, we had lunch , then my parents' cousin left, but her parents stayed in our house, we had so much fun , at 3 pm , they visited Najma's uncle who had a surgery, then their grandson came to our house , it was very emotional meeting.
In the next day , mama and I cleaned the house , and windows (ALL OF THEM) the house looked perfect, the guests very much liked our cleaning.
Uncle didn't see grandpa for 4 years , because of the war.
It was a gorgeous shining noon time, we were laughing , and having a great time , although there was shooting every now and then , but it is something usual.
At 1pm , mama and I were in the garden, Mariam was in the back yard garden, Yosif was running he wanted to go to the garden shoeless ,but our uncle catch him in the corridor , Dad ran upstairs to bring Yosif's shoes , grandma was behind the house bringing fuel , uncle's wife was in the living room.
BOOOM , heavy explosion (a fuel tank full with explosives exploded near my house) , my ears were closed !2 seconds later BOOOM again, mama ran and shouted "Mariam" , I was panicked , there was thick smoke everywhere , I shouted while I was running I wanted to reach Miriam :" something fall on our house", " mariam , where are you " I stopped for a while to have a look, the windows were broken , and the glass was falling down on me , I started to cry and shouting "Mariam" , I turned and saw black smoke and blaze I realized that the explosion wasn't inside the house , I entered the house , everyone was alive !!!!! a true miracle.
The door was broken, the door after was broken into two halves , they fall on my uncle and Yosif , the bluster throw Yosif inside the closet, there was blood on aunt face , a shrapnel injured her above the eye-brow , the living room was full of windows' glass , and slivers of wood, there was smoke and gunpowder everywhere , mama asked me to bring her the mobile phone , I went upstairs and found the secondary ceiling down!
We lost all of the windows , even their hooks and handles , the air-cooler , air-conditioner , 2 wooden doors, the ferric doors were twisted , glass entered the couches , walls , mirrors, carpets , closets , clothes , beds , blankets , it was in everywhere , my mobile was thrown away , some of the curtains were disrupted, as well as many things.
It was a very loud explosion , it was heard in all Mosul, people called us from the other side of Mosul , they said " our wooden door was opened" my relatives who lives in nearby neighborhood, lost their windows ,and their TV. Was thrown out of it's table !!! relatives lives three or four neighborhoods away from ours lost some windows too!!!
Who see my house at that time can't believe that we are alive , when dad saw us alive he started to cry.
I was worried to death before I see my family members , I was afraid that they might be injured . I can't thank God enough , mama bought two muttons and allocated the meet among paupers and orphans( that's how we thank Allah (god))
We kept cleaning and removing the debris and glass for 3 days , in the first day , we kept hearing glass sweeping in the whole neighborhood, we slept without windows nor doors, I couldn't sleep because I was terrified , we slept in one room , in the next day , the smith , and large No. of workers came to fix the house and to put new windows , and of course we kept cleaning and cleaning , the carpenter couldn't come.. we kept hearing the sound of the hammers all day long.
Our relatives came and helped us for two days , because it was impossible to do all of the work alone. We didn't know from where we should start.
The neighbors brought servants, but we didn't , we wanted to do the work in our way , we finished in 3 days only, but the neighbors didn't finish until now!
Our house is made of bricks , cement , and iron that's why it didn't fell down , nor damaged completely.
Many glass entered my hands and my mom's while we were working , but we are alive that is the most important thing.
Thank god , grandpa wasn't at home , he was in the other side of the city , he take Warfarin tablets, because he recently had a CVA , and this medicine cause bleeding.
I was so tired , I wake up early in the morning and work ALL DAY LONG, without sleeping enough , nor eating well , I lost 6 pounds.
85 innocents were injured, and more than 25 died
May god protect us all
Sunshine ..

Now , it is your questions time:
A question from Mary and Cassidy:-
I'd like to know more about your faith. Can you share some of your beliefs and traditions with us? What inspires you?
well , sure I believe in God , and try to do the good things always, I believe that people should help each other , be kind to everyone even people who harmed us (be merciful with people in the earth , god be merciful to you..) shouldn't lie , shouldn't cheat, nor kill in the name of a religion , we should be peaceful, appreciate our life , don't hurt anyone by act nor words , those are some of the things that my religion say , as well as the other religions.
What inspires me to do good thing all the time , is that god is always there with us , watching us , and a great example for that is when this explosion happened he protected us.
About our traditions , can you specify ? wedding traditions ? or what?
For more questions , you can e-mail me on
This is a great article my friend Wayne sent me it touched my heart, and I would like to share it with you..
BTW , I took pictures and videos I will publish them later , as soon as I learn how to publish videos ( one of them is about 8 MB) and have electricity and internet services..


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

I feel you should be proud of your grades. Those were very good marks.
Sounds as though you and your family just went through some very frightning times. I can't imagine going through that. I am glad that there wasn't anybody in your family that was seriously injured. I noticed that you were reading a book on handling stress. I hope it helps but I feel that the person who wrote it never had to go through the stress you do. Maybe you should write a book on how you handle stress in a war zone. What caused the explosion? Was it a morter or a car bomb? Once again try to stay safe and know that there are people who worry about you and your family.

At 3:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear One,

Firstly, I am so happy that you were spared any serious injury or harm. Allah was taking care of you. Praise be! I can not even imagine how very, very scary the explosion would have been. But again, it sound like you handled yourself with grace and dignity. Your family is truly blessed to have such an amazing daughter/sister/granddaughter.

I am so glad you were able to get away to the farm, in the peace and quiet. I only wish that all of your days could be spent watching the animals and sharing in time with your family. No one should have to spend time worrying about mortars and bombs.

I would bet that if Dr. Phil knew you were reading his book, he would be honoured. You, Dear One always put your family first. And I know, that someday, you will be so blessed by the work you have done to be the best support and example you can be to your family.

And speaking of example...those marks, my sweet, are absolutely wonderful. I would be proud to have such a bright daughter as you. My children do well in school, but they face no where near the adversity that you do in your daily life. Your marks are a testament to your character and intelligence. One day, Dear One you are going to be able to use all of your education to change this world. I know in my heart you are making a difference today.

Dear One, again I wish you peace and safety. Keep serving your family and Allah will keep you in His protection. I will continue to send my prayers and thoughts to you, each and every day.

God Bless Dear One, God Bless

At 4:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sunshine my young friend, I'm so glad you and your family are ok. My heart was pounding just reading about it!! Your grades are fantastic, especially under the circumstances. I'm very proud of you! You and your family are in my thoughts every day. Stay strong and keep your Sun shining!

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wish things will get better in Iraq .

At 9:26 PM, Blogger dolls like us said...

I liked reading about you life is teaching you right now and trying you keep your faith in God . One thing life has taught me is that love is the strongest force in the whole world and their are good people all over the world you sound like one of the good people I write about . Don't worry to much about your grades save some time for fun life goes a million miles a hour when you get old .

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't even believe all the things you are going through right now. when you said that hearing gunshots was just normal, i was shocked. i can't even begin to comprehend the troubles that you endure day in and day out. I will keep praying for you and your family.
God Bless

At 10:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sunshine,

I live in the United States and I regularly read your blog because I'm inspired by your writings and desire to know the truth about the way Iraqis live, despite what the media tells us. You live under such terrifying conditions, even though they seem normal to you. I feel partly to blame because of the US invasion into your country.

My hope is that ultimately the Iraqis live peacefully and the US presence is a contributor to that, not a hindrance. How do you feel about the US presence?

I am curious to know more about your faith - the holidays you observe and what they mean. and the traditions you have around marriage. I don't know any Muslims and I feel it’s important to understand other religions in order to build respect for other people and to understand the differences and similarities of other faiths.

My biggest question for you is about heaven. What is heaven to you? How does a person get there? Do you believe these good deeds earn your way into heaven? Is there a book that you would recommend to give us a true understanding of the basics of your faith?

I pray that God will keep your family safe. I know that He is good and loves you and your family very much. I believe you are His child because you have faith in Him and He loves you the same way your parents do, only perfectly.

Congratulations on your marks - they are excellent grades. Students who are hard on themselves like you end up being the best students!

God bless you,


At 3:39 AM, Blogger jhondie said...

You are so amazing. You are my Hero! Its true I even posted it on Myspace. I hope you dont mind my putting a link to your site. I'll pray for your safety Sunshine, but here are some tips if you didn't know already.
For Mortars: Sand Bags on the roof would help, but make sure your roof can support the extra weight. 18 inches of sand on top of plywood can stop the average mortar. When taking in coming the best place to be is a hallway. Stay away from windows and just get down as low as possible.
As for car bombs: I noticed the People in Baghdad have set up road blocks in their neighborhoods to prevent cars from driving into them.

At 10:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sunshine,

First of all, I am happy that nothing happens to you.
I am reading your blog since some month and watch in this way how the life of people in Mosul is going on.

I am Iraqi to, I live in Baghdad since 2003 after the regime collapse I get back to Iraq from Germany (Munich). Actually I am German citizen but I don’t look like one :-)
Born 1977 in Baghdad I was with my parents 1982 in Prison and after that deported from Iraq, I grow up in Germany, went there to university.

Everything was perfect, my family was next to me, I had a lot of friends and a very good job in Munich and enjoyed my life in a free society.
Then 2003 came and we saw the changes in Iraq and we where quite happy about it. I went back with my parents on visit in June 2003 to Baghdad and we found out that our missing relatives where all killed 1983.

I loved Baghdad from the first moment I saw it and I decided to stay. It was an emotional decision to build up the new Iraq and I had a lot of visions and dream how this new Iraq has to be.
But now 2007, I am feeling that my last 4 years are like 50 years...
I am not feeling like 29, I am feeling like 50. These explosions, the blood, the killing which I have seen the last 4 years destroyed my soul. I lost a lot good friends in Baghdad which were collogues of mine because of what? Because we are working with Americans the murders told us.
Yes we are and if working with the Americans means that we get a democratic free Iraq, I am proud of it to work with them.

I feel terrible because every day in Baghdad I see horrible things but I don’t want to leave, I had to leave Iraq 1982 I will not let this terrorists win!! I will never leave again!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope for you sunshine that you will have in future the same things which I had in Germany, to grow up without fear, to grow up in an open minded society, to have the chance to study and to work in interesting companies...
Because of your generation I get back to Iraq, I wanted to make it able to give your generation the present which was given to me when I went to Europe...

Actually I am today in Kuwait (no bombings, no killing) and will be back in Baghdad next week.

Don’t give up

Regards, ali

At 3:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool blog

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Sunshine,
I cannot express how grateful i am for ur safety. I am a fan of ur blog.
Wishing u health and safety.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Ripama said...


Each day is an adventure.

I liked your photos. They make me want to visit some of the sights.

Maybe your 2nd book could be a photo album???

Live Strong! We need our Sunshine!

At 1:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Sunny,

I am so very sorry for all the dangers you are going through. I wish there was something I could do to help you live a safer life. I check your blogspot every day and thank Aunt Rose for introducing us. I admire you greatly and agree with all the comments made by the better writers commenting above.

Shukran Gazeelan for being my friend.

I pray for you, your family and other peacful Iraqi every day.

At 3:03 AM, Blogger A. Damluji said...

I love Mar Matti, i always went up there whenever i was in Mosul.. also i've been to Mar Gorges (St. George who fought the dragon) and the Church of the Pure Mary (كنيسة الطاهرة), and the Nabi Younis (the Prophet Jonas) so many times!

oh, i've also been to the Prophet Daniel's and the Prophet Jurjees as well, drank from the well near it. such beautiful places

i've also once walked up the mountain of Mar Matti, using the long route (with the seven turns around the mountain) it was very exhausting but worth every step.

Congratulations on your grades..
very good!

salamat on your house. dear Sunshine, better the house is hurt than people.

take care, little sister.

At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

تبرىء الكلمات في القلوب

ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
على النفوس والشيطان
قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
على القلوب البريئة
كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

كيف تنام عيون الايمان
وسرير الأمل
تفترشه ملاءة القنوط الشاحب
وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
حتى يصل الاعتقاد
بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

تحدث الحكيم
بصوته الخفيض وقال
أن للشيطان أتباع
يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
على شواطىء العزم الالهي.

[أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in France, and I too thank God that you and your family are ok. I translated your post and send it to friends and relative via mail. It make us understand what is behind the daily reports of "so many killed in Irak" on Tv. Thank you.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger Marshmallow26 said...


Alf elhamdelah 3asalama habeebti...

You are a true angel on earth. God is taking care of you and your family for sure, you should always be thankful dear, and I think you are.

That explosion and the description reminded me of my uncle's house explosion, if you have time you can read and see the pictures I posted about that horrible explossions here:

Bravo dear on your marks, every one should be proud of you...

Wish we have 100 in each city thinking as you do, Iraq would be better...

I've been to der Mar mattie (Saint Mattie)and its so cool and high!

What can I say, take care? God will...

You stay spiritually and physically beautiful always.

Hugs and kisses


At 2:49 PM, Blogger Um Haleema said...

Sunshine, I wasn't able to post this on your Mama's blog. Could you please share this with her?

Mama I'm very happy to hear that you are all ok. I heard about an explosion near a police station in Mosul and I worried about your family as I knew that you lived near a police station. Imagine if your family had heard the news and you hadn't sent that message. I pray that your lives can get peaceful soon. It is hard enough to raise children without having to do it in a warzone. Stay strong Mama.

At 3:43 AM, Blogger David said...

Dear Sunshine,

The pictures of the monastary are very interesting! I visited a monastary in Italy once. I was fascinated by the ancient building and the many paintings on the walls and ceilings. One of the monks gave us a tour and we saw the crypt of the bones of a Catholic saint. I am glad for you that you had this interesting experience!

I am so sorry to read about the explosion near your house. I am thankful that no one was badly injured. I wish that all the bombings would stop!

I think your desire to help others is amazing! I try to do the same when I can. Please try to keep your spirits up. I will be thinking hopeful thoughts for you and your family.

Take care.

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pray things will be better in Iraq.

At 6:49 PM, Blogger nuh ibn zbigniew gondek said...

As salaam alaikum.

I surfed in to remind you about jumah prayer today. If you can't make it to your local masjid come by my blog for my 2 pence in a khutbah series:

Be well.

Wa salaama,

nuh ibn

At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please be strong. The trouble WILL end - please God. Many of us see the hope of the future of your country in your hands, those of your father and mother and the countless others who do not share your access to the internet.

We cannot imagine the full extent of what you are going through and can do little to help in any practical way, but rest assured - we care, and you, your family, and all the others trying to build a better future are in our prayers daily!

At 7:06 AM, Blogger C. Insulander said...

Hi Sunshine,

I just found your mothers and your blog here. I tried to comment on your mother blog, but unfortunately it was only for team members. I liked the "Why we are poor" article.

I live in California but will move to Hawaii to start a job at the University. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help improve your family's situation.

Keep up the good work!

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Khalid said...

test test....sunshine il 7abbooba!

At 7:16 AM, Blogger Heather-Anne said...

I know you are hard on yourself but you should be so proud of your grades in school! This is a great accomplishment and you need to be commended for all of your hardwork and studying.
Keep up the hard work and keep in touch!

At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise all things wonderful, Sunshine, you are okay! May Allah continue to protect your family.....

You are the most intelligent youngster on the internet, and I am greatful to be fortunate enough to read your thoughts. What a beautiful world this is, when even in the midst of violence, the beautiful voice of a young woman can resonate across the Earth. What a wonderful gift you are to this world! Hurray for you, Sunshine!

Stay strong and stay positive. You are truly a bright light in this world. And BRAVO on your grades!

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Dupa Jasia said...


At 3:34 AM, Blogger Joakim Andersson said...

I happened to stumble across your blog by accident while surfing the net, following som sort of trail about the Iraqi conflict on swedish blogs. Anyhow, I was deeply moved by your blog, Sunshine - it gave the news stories I hear on the television and in the papers and on the net a totally new face. A human face, a down to earth face.

In (western) media, there's so much focus on the violence that we tend to forget the actual people living in Iraq. You give them all a face (and feet, coming to think of your blog entry with the photo of the stockings :-) ).

I wish you and your relatives good health, a good life, a long life - and, eventually, peace. Oh, and don't forget; if it wasn't for you guys between the Eufrat and Tigris, we europeans would still be living in caves ;-)!

Joakim Andersson, Sweden

At 5:38 AM, Blogger jarvenpa said...

May God continue to protect you and your loved ones. I often stop by and read your posts though I don't always leave a comment.
And yes, what good grades you have--and under such difficult circumstances. Admirable, Sunshine.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger jhondie said...

just dropping by to send you well wishes Sunshine!

At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

those are great grades! it's your generation that will make iraq a better place, and i hope you can go to school someday without worrying about violence in your country. maybe i'll email you!


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