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Singing and Writing Plays – Part I

Despite all of the hardships we experienced and the confusion during the war years, there still laid a very thin line of hope in a fresh beginning. As a child, I was thrilled with the idea of writing and directing a play or a movie. In my small world as a child, I believed in my ability to influence my friends and some of my cousins to become part of the crew. They were excited about being on the team even though I only needed a few performers while I took on the role of the director. Whenever my parents would take us to visit our neighbors or our relatives, I would start pulling them aside to explain my idea. Then I would assign roles to my “Beginner actors.” Then as a team, we would look for a location where our movie or play would take place. Usually we would go to find an empty room but sometimes we would go to the roof of the house and then start to arrange the area. We gathered what was possible as far as furniture or clothes to use as part of the show. Once the stage was set, I called “Action” to begin filming. I created my own safe haven where I could let my imagination take me to a better place, where I could enjoy a peaceful life and have fun. I believed that was my way to cope with the stress during wartime. Three [...]

By |2017-03-06T10:38:56-05:00February 27th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on Singing and Writing Plays – Part I

The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part II

The news constantly reported the Iraqi military victories and the number of the dead soldiers and prisoners of the Iranian army. The policy of the press was to cover up the defeats and the losses of the Iraqi army. However, the government could not fool the Iraqi people for long. For several years, there were massive casualties to soldiers and civilians in both countries and destruction to the military equipment and infrastructure. Many women lost a son or two, or even had been widowed at a young age. I personally lost several cousins to that war. We were, as children, surrounded by terror, grief, and confusion, which certainly damaged our childhood. That environment forced us to change rapidly from innocent children who were supposed to care mostly about playing and having fun to a confused version of childhood, we were lost between two worlds - the world of childhood and the world of adulthood. My dad worked two jobs as a teacher. He worked mornings at the elementary school and evenings at a literacy school for both men and women. The education system in Iraq was very strong. President Saddam Hussein ordered that the illiteracy rate in Iraq be eradicated. Anybody who disagreed with his plan to eliminate illiteracy could lose their jobs. At the very least, they would not advance or be promoted, even if they were the most qualified candidate. My dad used to travel a long distance to get to his work [...]

By |2017-02-17T21:41:40-05:00February 14th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part II

The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part I

My parent’s happiness in having their first boy was troubled and interrupted with the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war in the beginning of 1980. Their anxiety over providing a safe environment and the necessary financial support for six children was increasing. My parents’ savings were decreased little by little because the living expenses in Baghdad were much higher in comparison to living in a small village in northern Iraq. For many years, my dad’s salary was plenty not only to cover all of our needs, but we also had the luxury of traveling for vacation during the summer months throughout his early years of working as a teacher. Gradually, that lifestyle began to shrink as the years went by. My parents and the majority of other people managed financially was by sending their children to public schools which was paid for by the government. In addition, for many years most of the elementary schools would distribute breakfast to students and teachers alike at no charge. Great emphasis was placed on the importance of a strong Iraqi educational system, in the sixties, seventies, eighties and the early nineties. Families from all over the Arab world sent their children to study at the Iraqi colleges, especially to the universities of Baghdad and Mosul, which is the second largest city in Iraq. I remember waking up in the early hours and feeling excited about going to school with my younger sister, walking with my dad and holding his [...]

By |2017-02-07T12:29:29-05:00February 7th, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on The Outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War – Part I

The Coming Messiah – Part II

My parents wanted to have the biggest party ever to celebrate my brother’s birth. Why not? Is not that what they were praying and hoping for through many years? They were no longer considered to be the abnormal family. The son they had now had changed their status to a “normal family”. After all, he is the one who will carry on the family name. As this little child would grow, he would become more familiar, not just with his privileges, but also his responsibilities as a first-born son. Let us not get distracted and worried about the future of this little boy. Let us first celebrate his birth which brought hundreds of people to the party that evening. In reality, even my parents told me the number of guests attending did not exceed a hundred people, but I did not want to change the number in my recollection of this event, because, for my understanding as a child, hundreds was any number larger than ten. At least it felt this way to me at that time. All of my cousins, relatives and friends were invited to join us to celebrate my brother’s birth. There were many people attending that day. AS children, Most of them we did not know. In fact, our guests knew that my dad, teacher Luke, had a bunch of girls, but finally God had granted him a boy who would carry on his father’s name. At the celebration, some people [...]

By |2017-02-17T21:43:35-05:00February 1st, 2017|English Posts, Short Story|Comments Off on The Coming Messiah – Part II