Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"It’s hot here, baby, but it’s so cold inside my head." downtown baghdad blues

Mazgoof/BBQ fish as a feast in honor of us

Photo credit: my baby cousin Zainab

The second morning was spent visiting relative and neighbor after relative and neighbor. By noon, my father's brother had picked us up for lunch and the Shaikley tour. We were able to visit my father’s siblings, their children, and their children's children. Natives of Doara, we dined in the neighborhood that is described as Baghdad's biggest bloodbath at the worst of the war. Doara, where corpses outnumbered stoplights on the streets.
            "2006 was bad--I was getting my PhD and dropped out. Not only cause of the kids--they kidnapped my husband, you know. He was in jail for 5 months, but only after not knowing where he was for 3 days. We were positive he was dead" went on my cousin from the Sunni side of the family. She awkwardly realized that we were raised by my strongly Shia mother, "No, no--I mean it wasn’t just the Shias. Everyone was wild."
The story closely resembled and starkly juxtaposed another story retold earlier by a younger cousin Ali. Previously blogged about, Ali was kidnapped at 15 by presumably Sunni warlords who knew of his Shia family. Ali, Iike my elder female cousin, went on to defend the opposite sect by also insisting that either sect was at fault at the worst of the war.
The sun beats down equally in Baghdad, regardless of Sunni, Shia, Kurd, or Arab-ness. It was Francois Fenelon who once shrewedly noted, "all wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers." Touche, Mr. Fenelon. Touche. 

The Downtown Baghdad Blues. The line between hilarity and depression has never been so blurred. 

No comments:

Post a Comment