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[casi] Letter from an Iraqi woman I know

Hello all,
yesterday I received a letter from a nice Iraqi woman I met several times in
I received a lot of desperate letters the past months,  but I send this one
to the list because Yasser's recent posting could give the listmembers the
impression that people are happy and hopeful for the future. And that is NOT
the case. I don't mention her name, for security reasons.
Dirk Adriaensens.

Dear Dirk ,

How are you? I hope that you are fine ....

i don't know if you still remember me or not .....

I couldn't send u anything cause there are no e-mails or internet in the
houses because the war destroyed everything, now I'm writing you this
message and I'm going to send it from an internet centre ...... it will be a
very long message but it contains details about everything ....

The war.... it was more than horrible but it was better than now because now
we are living in a forest ......

Baghdad and all Iraq has been destroyed completely .... they are killing
people everyday and everywhere (American ..... thieves ..... from Kuwait and
Iran )..... they are kidnapping girls and send them to Kuwait ......

 During the war we saw all the kinds of weapons .... weapons that had never
been used before ..... and we saw how the missile follow the plane or the
other missile to hit it and how they bomb everything ..... we saw new kinds
of planes and missiles.... we were going on the top of the house with our
friends and relatives who stayed with us during the war and even after it we
were looking at the bombs and the fire all around Baghdad .... and when we
see the light we close our ears because the sound after it is unbearable
.......and when it's near it makes us move from our place by the strong air
that comes after it ...... Baghdad was burning .....

when the war started at 5:30 in the morning we were very afraid and we all
stayed together and were sleeping on the lower floor, the first 2 days were
not very strong so i told  them in the third night I would go to sleep in my
room on the upper floor and so the others also went to the other rooms in
the upper floor. When I woke up with a great shock finding my self  down the
stairs putting my hands on my head. I felt that something had thrown me
there I saw all the others were running down stairs and they were also
shocked ....I asked them what happened but no one knew and after a while we
went to the top of the house and saw a great fire near to us, it was the
building of the Iraqi television ...... and from that day it began to be
something horrible,  they bombed the same places more than 3 times they came
day after day to bomb the same place and they bombed the telephone building
of our town 7 times the first time they made a mistake and instead of
bombing it they bombed 2 houses near to it  ...... they killed people,
thousands of women and children were killed in their houses and in the
streets and in a place near to us in (Al Kadmyia quarter) there were people
who died on the pavements killed by the bombs and the missiles. The worst
kind of bombs was the one which they call (B52) it is internationally
forbidden but they used it because no one can prevent them. It's a kind of
cluster of bombs falling all together and each one contains 250 bombs inside
it and it is about 900 tons....   they buried those people all together and
after a few days there were journalists and others came to see them and they
said this is the graves that Saddam maid !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There were also 4 houses that we saw by ourselves in Al Mansour district,
which they bombed with 900 tons ....and there isn't any thing around that
place but houses ..... there were families living there and they couldn't
find all the bodies, we went to see it and it was unbelievable we saw a hole
of 15 meters deep in the ground and the houses as if they had never existed.
We saw even the pieces of cars about 15 meters deep away from us ..... we
couldn't sleep 3 days after seeing it ....

There are many other cases like this, near and far from us, we saw them all
and we can only watch and we have nothing to do .......

After the war .... on the 14th of july 2003 there was a gang of 11 criminals
who entered our house with their weapons and here are the details .....

 We were sitting, me and my 2 sisters, my brother who is 15 years old (my
other brother who is 18 years old wasn't at home) and my mother was out in
the garden behind the house. We were talking and waiting for someone to
come, there was no electricity at that moment and it was something good for
us (it was supposed that we have electricity from (3 to 6)  ... but it was
turned off suddenly at 4:15 afternoon..... then at 4:25 we heard a car sound
and my brother went to see who is coming. He opened the door, he never used
to open the door before knowing who it was first but this time he thought it
was a friend of my other brother. He went to the door and said "who is it?"
They asked him" is your brother here" and while he is opening the door and
before he answered them, they hit the door by force and 4 of them hold him
and hit him with the end of the guns my brother was bleeding from his mouth
and nose .... I heard a shout and went to see from the window I saw strange
men with weapons and I was scared because I knew immediately that they were
gangsters because we hear about them everyday sisters also saw them.
We had 3 guns and a kalashinkof at home and I know how to use it and it was
very near to me but I forgot to take it or to use it because I didn't expect
something like this to happen...

We went into the garden, the door was opened by my mother who was in the
garden coz if it was closed we would never have been able to open it because
they were near it and we were screaming and they ran after us with their
weapons they were saying keep silent or we'll kill u. We couldn't escape
cause the walls of the house are very high ......they told us to enter the
house and we went to a room inside as they were putting their guns on our
heads they said give us the money and the gold and then we are going to kill
u one by one .... we were very scared and they started to break everything
in the house especially my room (you know we were putting the gold somewhere
that they can not find it because the American soldiers were entering the
houses and they were stealing gold and money from people so they told us to
keep it near to us in order to be easier to take it with us when they come).
Therefore we put it near to us and the gangster found it easily and took it
as well as all the weapons that we had ..... then they took the key of the
car but I had removed the 4 wheels from it .... one of them said let's put
the wheels to take the car we have enough time  ....and they told us that
they are going to stay till night and before they go they are going to kill
us one by one and from time to time they told my mother they were going to
kill us in front of her .....

There was a child playing in his house near to our house and heard the
scream at the beginning but not very clearly because the garden is behind
the house so it is away from him....But this child saw 5 of them (they were
about 11 persons)..... they saw 5 near the door of the garage he went to the
other neighbours and told them he thought that there were gangsters. They
came to see and entered the garage, ...we were in the room and we couldn't
move or do anything because they were threatening us with their weapons ....
Then a women who lives in front of us tried to enter but they told her go
away, they pretended to be relatives and we having a problem with us ....
Then 2 of them went out and talked with all the neighbours. All the
neighbours asked them who are u? They said they were relatives, and then one
of them told the neighbours "shame on you we are relatives just go away"
..... Some of the neibghours believed that they were our relatives and they
returned to their houses .....But this woman told them she wanted to see us
"I want to talk to the girls" and I was listining to her voice saying "Sura
.... Zeena .... where are u ?"  (one of them came to me and told me come
with me to tell them that we are relatives and he said if u tell them any
other thing I'll kill your mother and sisters here

 .... I told him I would not go because I was afraid that they would kill me
or kill them .....then he asked my mother to go so my mother went and he was
putting a gun behind her and told her that if she says another thing he is
going to kill us ....she told the neighbours yes they are our relatives and
tow of them were looking at her, then before entering the house she made a
hint by her eyes to one of the neighbours (he was 16 years old) he
understood and went home and brought his weapon and told all the neighbours
to bring their weapons ......

(at this time one of them told the other go and kill the woman outside
because she'll let the others come .... but when he went she was going to
tell her husband that time we thought that they all
believed and went and I was waiting how shall to die ...... and when they
took everything they still wanted more .... and then they armed their
weapons ready to kill me and my sister ......2 of them put the guns on our
heads and one of them told the other let the mother see how they will both
die in front of her then she'll tell us if there is any other thing to give
us. My mother was going to die she was looking to us ...... at this moment
we heard gun shoots and it was increasing of them said ....
lets go guys the neighbours are shooting .....and 1 of them said kill the
brother ....the other told him no don't kill him take him with us (in order
to ask for more money and gold) ......and they took him...... the husband of
that woman was there he started to shoot on their legs then they let my
brother and went into the cars. Some of them stopped 2 cars that were
passing in the street took their cars and ran away with it

............There were more than 15 of the neighbours shooting .... and they
killed one of the gangster but the others escaped, 2 of them were injured
but escaped and took everything ....... we told the police but they said
there is no government and  they couldn't do anything.  We asked them how
this could be : they had one of the corpses and his papers and they couldn't
get the others with it. They said that at the moment no there is no one who
can do anything .... that was on the 14th -7-2003. After that we went to our
relatives and stayed there  45 days. Now we came back to our house and they
told us not to return but we can't live in others house any longer ..... I
want to leave Iraq at this moment cause I hate everything here..... even
though I loved it so much and I was saying I'll never leave it and even
though I love Baghdad more than everything but it is different now....

 can u see now how we live.......

well my hands are very tired and I realise that it is a very long message
( longer than a journal)  and sorry for taking your time but I wanted to
tell you the details ... i know these are things no one wants to hear but
this is all that we have lived in from more than 5 months, now it's very
difficult for any one to go out of his house ....I wrote this message at
home and I'm going to send  it from an internet centre and I'll wait for
your messages ......

hope to hear from u soon and if you write in French it'll be ok.



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