Over 6000 Days of Solitude...


A few days ago, I learned that Kamel, 56 years old, has been detained by the Americans.
They stormed his house at dawn, took him out in his pyjamas and since that day we have not heard from him or his whereabouts.

I have been unable to sleep. I twist and turn in my bed, counting the minutes...
I keep wondering what "they" are doing to him...
Are they torturing him? He is sick, are they giving him any medication? Are they brutally interrogating him? Does he sleep standing up amidst hundreds of others?
Are they giving him water? Do they feed him? Did they kill him? Is he dead? Where on earth is he? What has he done? Did he perhaps glimpse Omar in the crowd of the 100'000 prisoners?
And so it goes in my head, on and on...running in circles.

What I did learn though is that an "informant" blew the whistle.
But I know for a fact that Kamel being the quiet, pious man, is not involved in any "activity".
Sure, he does not appreciate and is not "grateful" for the occupation, but then who does apart from those agents and informants ruling Baghdad today.
It seems that he was overheard talking to a friend after Friday prayers. He was telling his friend "We do not fear Death, we trust in Allah..." So his wife told me.

Seems that sentence was enough to abduct him from his family in the wee hours of the morning and make him disappear...
Will I ever see Omar and Kamel again, ever?
I just don't want them to hurt him...He is a kind, kind man...Very religious, sufi-like and compassionate towards everyone he meets. He still has it in his heart or maybe not anymore...

I could not go with another sleepless night... Besides which, a fever is raging in my body.
I noticed it came on after I was told about Kamel being kidnapped from his bed.
Fever followed by cold chills and the heat strikes again.
And I sit in my bed, one minute shivering and the other feeling I am in the pits of a Fire hole...

Then I remembered something I heard when I was a child. "Count sheep" the voice told me...
I cannot recall who exactly uttered this sentence but I do remember vividly imagining a flock of sheep and my counting them 1.2.3.4....and sometimes on the roof terrace where we used to sleep in summer, I would count the stars and that would do the trick.

I see no stars so I decided to try the sheep... It did not work.
So this brilliant idea flashed across my mind and since I am so bad in maths, they bore me to death, I thought I will engage in simple mathematical equations...you know, nothing too complex, simple arithmetics...
Surely this will do the trick and I will be able to fall asleep at least for a couple of hours and maybe when I awake, I will hear news from Kamel...I lost hope about Omar though.

So I started multiplying 365 by 4 . Hey that was easy - 1461.
I needed something more to trigger me into dozing off...
So I went for 13 multiplied by 365. That was more difficult - 4745.
Now I added up the two figures in my mind - 6206.
Six thousand two hundred and six days...

That is over 6'000 days since the barbaric embargo and the occupation...
Over 6'000 days of savagery, brutality, violence, destruction, rape, torture, imprisonments, starvation, neglect, abandonment...
Over 6'000 days of living in the obscurity, to the blind eyes and deaf ears of the rest of the world...
Over 6'000 days of being left on the margins of the international community, marginalized into shadows, into ghosts with no names, into a subhuman category, into a void of total despair, left to fend for ourselves...

First, during the 13 years of the most brutal sanctions that history has ever witnessed followed by another 4 years of the most savage occupation known to any living human...

And so we are dumped collectively with our ruins, debris, sickness, garbage, poverty into a convenient forgetfulness...rotting away...on the fringes...in our homes, in our streets, in prisons you have constructed specially for the occasion...for people like Omar who is not 18 yet and for Kamel who is 56.
Rendering the whole of Iraq a huge detention camp that people try to flee and escape from, only to find themselves prisoners of lack, poverty and rejection in other countries.

Iraq is over 6'000 years old and it took you just over 6'000 days ....to cut us off totally from the world, from any form of civility, to uproot us and destroy us...Why?

I cannot sleep and I need to know WHY?

Saddam was a dictator is that it? Do you really believe your own lies so readily?
Even your so called anti neocons "fighters"...they STILL have the audacity to keep spewing this deceit till this very day - after 6'000 days of collective torture and death...
"Saddam was an American puppet, Saddam was a CIA agent, Saddam was a mass murderer, Saddam was a tyrant..."

6'0000 days later and you still repeat that like idiotic sheep ....
6'000 days later and over 600'000 dead and you still have the audacity to repeat that...?
What bloody hypocrites!

No wonder an article stated that "the anti war movement this time around...(because it seems you had many times around before - thanks to YOUR Tyranny and Dictatorship around the world) lacks vibrancy..."

I wonder why it lacks vibrancy? I tell you why...because Iraq is not Guatemala, nor Vietnam, nor Salvador, nor Chile, nor Korea, nor Japan...
Iraq is Arab that is why. And that explains why you were so lovey dovey with the kurds and whoever was willing to put his hand in yours...
You just hate Arab nationalism...Forget nationalism...
You, all of you, left and right, hate Arab patriotism...You hate Arab pride. You hate Arab dignity. You hate Arab Honor...
You have inherited this hatred from your Masters, the hypocritical Brits...They hated it too.

You want us like sheep...same as the sheep I am supposed to be counting in order to fall asleep.
Like the sheep I have to count because you took my loved ones away never to be seen again, in the name of Freedom...
You want us to have your so called "democracy" by violent force. And you are so collectively stupid you cannot even see the absurdity in all of that. Or maybe you do see it and it suits you perfectly well...

Yes this is what you want. Nice "moderate" read compliant, obedient, sheep (slaves) to your ideologies, your way of life, your habits, your consumer goods...
Consume, just consume and give us your monies...Don't think, don't question, don't argue, don't perceive, don't debate, don't contradict OUR truth...
If WE say you live in a dictatorship that means you live in one...If WE say "he was a tyrant and too bad it was a botched up job that turned him into a martyr" then he is a tyrant.
WE will collectively fabricate the evidence and you will have to believe us...And eventually WE will believe it too...
If WE say you are not free, that means you are not free...
If WE say you are being oppressed, that means you are being oppressed...
And WE will come and liberate you and save you from all of that...Because WE,the killers, the abusers, the rapists, the torturers, the thieves, the tyrants, the dictators...have the Truth.
WE are the enlightened ones, the rational ones, the empirical ones, the scientific ones, the analytical ones...WE know .
And you, a people over 6'000 years old don't know and you happen to have the oil too...
And to top it all off you are Arabs ...What a combo!
No, you definitely need our freedom, our human rights, our democratic institutions...
WE will first starve you, render you ill, give you cancer with our Depleted Uranium, bomb the shit out of you, rape you, torture you, kidnap you, imprison you, kill you ...so you may be ready to receive OUR gift of democracy and freedom...
But hey if anything goes wrong, be prepared, because WE will blame you. Blame you for being incapable of receiving that wonderful present...And WE will call you tyrants, terrorists, dictators, backward, hopeless...

What a lie you people have collectively bought into.
What a disgusting, deceitful, evil lie...
And 6'000 days later you have the gall to call a man who kept the unity of this country and who sacrificed his life at your altar and your altar is nothing but a gallow, a tyrant?

Despicable, truly despicable...

Over 6'000 days, abandoned in solitude and silence...A deafening silence despite the cacophony that your anti-war movement prides itself on...Oh but I forgot, it does lack "vibrancy".

Maybe an insufficient number of your brave boys died...
The brave boys of Abu Ghraib, Haditha, Mahmoudia, Ramadi, Falluja, Baghdad...
The brave boys who piss on dead corpses. Who rape and mutilate...The brave boys who keep dead brains for trophies...The brave boys who burn people alive...The brave boys who ask 10 years old kids if they "fuck donkeys"... (do watch the video) or maybe the brave boys who paint the crucifix on the Koran and in mosques - here is another video for you.
Yes brave boys indeed...3'000 something is NOT enough...Maybe if we double it and make it 6'000 maybe you will regain your "vibrancy".

6'000 of yours for our 6'000 days of suffering, pain and torture...
See how merciful I am...I am not even saying 600'000 of yours...just 6'000.

So let me count again... hmm....that makes 1 for each day spent under your collective lies, punishments and crimes...
Not bad for a mathematical equation don't you think?
See, there is an upside to everything, you have taught me how to count correctly now.
And lo and behold, am not even bored by the whole exercise.

I still need to sleep though...I will pick Gabriel Garcia Marquez and re-read "Love in the time of Cholera".
Summer is approaching and thanks to you, Cholera is too...Except I have absolutely no love to share with you.
Blame it on the raging fever that has gotten hold of my body...
Blame it on over 6'000 days of solitude in Hell.

Now where did I put those darned sleeping pills ?


Painting: Iraqi artist, AbdelAmeer Alwan.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Layla,
We in the west are not all that
way. It is not right to lump
everyone together and generalize.
Some really do feel this invasion
is immoral and those responsible
should be held accountable. You
do have supporters and friends in
other parts of the world so please
don't cut us all off.
LostHere said…
Once again I must say that you are a breath of fresh air Layla.
I agree with Ike in a previous post, your prose, your poetry, is worth being immortalized in print.
It is sad that it is such infamy that you must write about… that you must live.
Having to live under the unimaginable experiences that you are living, it does not surprises me that you feel
that “They hate Arabs” (not sure how to define “They”, could it be We?), but looking from where I am,
I think They hate anyone that opposes them, their design of conquest and subjugation, that do not accept their “truth,”
as you correctly stated
Imagine “the liberators” being accepted in Iraq from the beginning.
Imagine your Beloved President accepting the terms… whatever they may have been (seems like the Iraqui Kurds did)
Would the situation be the same now in Iraq? No, I don’t think so… Yes, Iraq would still be raped and killed, but not with bombs and guns…
No, I don’t believe that it is the Arab people that it is hated. Perhaps it is just that Arab people happen to be of Arabia, and that is unfortunate because that happens to be “the promised land”, promised to “other” people, you see, and any thought of Arab Nationalism will not be tolerated, not for long.

Here in the US right now the movie 300 is out… I have not seen it, but being an admirer of Frank Miller’s art, I have read and seen his book (comic book?)
In any case, the story of a few courageously free resistance fighters, confronting the more formidable forces of the time…Persia, just resonates so similar to present day Iraq.

Stay safe
Czar
Anonymous said…
Thank you, Layla, for yet another dose of the Truth. You so courageously bring it out to this fallen world, despite all the darkness which surrounds you, thanks to the occupiers of your land. May we witness their downfall soon - I believe we are getting there, sooner or later, except that innocents like Kamel and Omar are paying the price.

Long live Iraq - 6,000 years of civilisation as compared with about 200 years of barbarism from the US means that it will, despite all the attempts to erase it from the world map. It's interesting to read that the Iraqi who hacked down the statue of President Saddam Hussein is now wishing he was still leader. That says a lot, doesn't it?

May Kamel and Omar return soon to their family.

God bless you, Layla.
Anonymous said…
Your passion and genius always leave me completely speechless and in shock.
Anonymous said…
Salam Layla,

I fully understand your anger at the invaders and their collaborator friends. However, I do not think it is specificaaly the "Arabs" that they are targetting. The US and their other criminal friends dehuminize any nation/people that they want to attack or invade...If you look at the events prior and during WWI, the British were THE major driver for arab nationalism idelogy as its served the interest of the Brits and pitted the Arabs against the Ottoman Turks.

Our misfortune is that we sit on the most desired region on Earth (Jerusalem - the city of God) with the added bonus of lakes of oil beneathground.

Layth
Robin said…
Ahelen Layla,
This "There's Something About Numbers" http://umkahlil.blogspot.com/
(second thread down), well, the "said" EXACT persons being referred to might not be precisely the same, but you can relate, of that I am pretty sure.
As always, reading you,haunted, and onward.
Bless you and YOUR sheep Layla, the sheep who one day SOON Inshallah, will be roaming peaceful pastures.
Masalama
Anonymous said…
The American Slaughterhouse

We Americans are extremely skilled at bringing "Democracy" to a nation, especially at the point of a gun.

We first refined that technique on our indigenous Native American population.

Here's a short paragraph from an excellent book on the subject called "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee."
This is a partial description of one of many mass murders that took place against Native Americans, in the 17th, 18th & 19th Centuries, this one was at Sand Creek.

".. There seemed to be indiscriminate slaughter of men, women and children. There we some thirty squaws--females--collected in a hole for protection. They sent out a little girl about six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded but a few steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in the hole afterwards were killed.. The squaws offered no resistance.

The raping, killing and looting continued unabated with various descriptions of horrendous acts taken by the US Calvary, like disembowling a pregnant woman and her fetus.
Cutting woman's private parts out and using them for hat decorations.
Cutting the privates off boys and men so they could be used as a tobacco sack.

It goes on and on.

The White Man was very skilled at using lies and deceit to get what he wanted, then using some kind of phony excuse to kill off the Indians they had just signed a peace treaty with.

Of all the so-called "peace treaties" the white man signed with the Native Americans, not one did he keep.

In the battles that the Native Americans are forced to fight, they usually give the US Calvary a good beating, since the Calvary was always more skilled at killing woman and children rather than armed men.

Sound familar?

Greg Bacon
AVa, MO usa
Anonymous said…
Greg,

You are so right on! Let the truth be told of how the white man can be trusted and how their kind ways are spread like the lies of their ways. The Iraq peoples and its Nations should not trust the white man on what they say or write. It Is Worthless!!!

Bless you my Brother.

Layla, I'm sorry I haven't been in touch but I needed time to clean my spirit of the evil that some of the anon's were trashing me and your blog with. I know the evilness comes from their white blood.

You are a good kind person and I care a lot about you and would never want to hurt you in any way. My love I send to you. Keep on fighting my Sister!

Savage American Warrior.
Layla Anwar said…
anonymous no1.
I was not referring to everyone in the West, I was referring to the US in particular . I also did link to an article on why the american anti war movt lacks vibrancy...
One of the woman interviewed argued that this war was not pictorial and graphic enough to capture the american imagination!
I shall not add more...it is self explanatory.
Layla Anwar said…
To Czar and Layth,
Yes of course they will stand and eradicate anyone who stands against them...however I still maintain that "arabs" hold a "special place" in the western psyche and in the anglo saxon one in particular. Hence making it distinctly different from other occupations. Zionism is of course a cornerstone in the edifice...or maybe the crux ...so are the lawrence of Arabias both past and present. Orientalism is very much alive.
Layla Anwar said…
Little Deer,
Thank you. It is a known fact that those who disappear that way, do not reappear...Kamel's wife has gone bezerk and Omar's mother too.
That is REALITY.
God bless.
Layla Anwar said…
anonymous no2.
Thank you . Makes a nice change from hearing the following from bloggers:
" Layla Anwar is a nazi - Layla Anwar is a fascist - Layla Anwar is a self serving arab westernized bourgeois despised by most iraqis and anti imperialist revolutionary forces"....

Hmmm where are the anti imperalist revolutionary forces today?
Oh I remember they are blogging!
Layla Anwar said…
robin,

Ahlan, got no sheep left to count...only black rebellious ones.
Salam.
Layla Anwar said…
Greg, should iraqis consider themselves the "new Jew" or the "new native american"? Or maybe a mixture of both?
Layla Anwar said…
SAW,
Nice to see you again.
Thanks for your kind words.
Anonymous said…
peace fan

every blog u post have alot of sense and deserve to be read it by everybody
i will try to put the link to this blogs in any place where people needs to know this truth
keep your work
Anonymous said…
Disgusting that the US will attack anybody they deem to be part of the "Axis of evil" ......and Arab neighbours sit back and do nothing...3000 US soldiers die...and it is a monumental issue....wat about the 600 000 Iraqis?
They hanged Saddam for killing 148 people in Dujaila?
What should we do with the Bush administration then for the
600 000 Iraqis?
The level of hypocrisy is astounding...

How are we to trust the intentions of the US?
Even after "weapons of mass destruction" lies?

I was stunned when 911 happened...

Iam apologetic for all the innocent civilians killed...
But since then...Afghanistan and Iraq...you have killed maybe twenty times more...

Please vote for the right person in 2008, US....we dont want another warlord running around...

Iam praying for you Layla and all of Iraq
Anonymous said…
Gabriel Garcia Marquez -> One Hundred Years of Solitude -> Over 6000 Days of Solitude...
Anonymous said…
The Iraqi's--what's left of that people--should consider themselves cannon fodder and targets for the Pentagon's well oiled killing machine.
The Bush/Cheney criminal mob will not rest until nearly all of Iraq has been turned into a wasteland that is not fit for living.
Much like what our governmnet did to our Native Americans when they wanted a resource that was buried beneath the land; here it was gold, in the Middle East, it is oil.

They would broker "treaties" with the Native Americans, then move the tribes to reservations, forcing a nomad people into a life of subsistence farming.
Except that the reservation was usually placed in a hell hole where the water was brackish and the ground useless for farming.
The foodstuffs the government promised was rotten and at half rations.
When the Natives would leave the reservation to look for food, that gave the government the excuse it needed to slaughter any and all Native Americans it found looking for food.
In Iraq, the Bush/Cheney mob is bringing the reserervation to you folks with an outcome they already know.
Deprivation, starvation, diseases from brackish water and no medical help.
Did i mention the Depleted Uranium? The poison from DU's will stay in the Middle East for thousands of years, permanently affecting the DNA of millions of Middle Eastern peoples.

Except the DU poison is creating a backlash. Already in the UK, higher than average levels of radioactivity are being detected.
Here in the US, bee hives are disappearing at an unheard of rate. The DU dust has been taken up by the trade winds and is being spread around the world.
Maybe the radioactivity that is destroying Iraq will now do the same to the ones that spread that poison in the first place.
Anonymous said…
Layla,

Greg is being truthful and it all comes down to one thing greed of the bush man the soul killer of the true free. It is a sad thing what is being done to you and your people. And just as Japan and Native Americans paid years latter I'm sorry to say so will Iraq. What sick bastards!!! But what can you expect they were tought well by the greedy brits. Freedom fighters my ass! chicken shit greedy bastards is more like it.

Take care my sister.

Savage American Warrior
Anonymous said…
Gabriel García Marquez was born on March 6, 1928 in Aracataca, a town in Northern Colombia, where he was raised by his maternal grandparents in a house filled with countless aunts and the rumors of ghosts. But in order to get a better grasp on García Márquez's life, it helps to understand something first about both the history of Colombia and the unusual background of his family...read more
fafnir said…
Layla,

You are right... absolutely, like the seas that run, like the child that cries, like the winds that lifts the sand and sprays it over cities that have been lost to time...

You are left alone there...

I read through all these comments people made, the best that comes wavers somewhere between sympathy and condescension, the worst tries to justify by showing their soiled minds...

i'm trying hard to think how is it to be you... in the middle of everything, alone with your feelings, suffocations and thoughts...

forgive me laila for asking, but can you stop these posts?

memory is fickle, memory is short, and people keep forgetting( and if there's nothing, there's CNN and FOX to wipe it off!)

compile instead an archive...
i'm suggesting like an idiot for i don't really know the circumstances in which you write...

build a detailed archive laila...of the lives and songs and silences of Iraqis who chose to live and die with dignity...

keep going, my sister...
i can only wish, but it's a genuine wish...

"to defy power which seems omnipotent,
to love and to bear,
to hope till Hope creates,
from its own wreck the thing it contemplates,
Neither to forgive, nor falter, nor repent..."

keep going...
fafnir said…
Layla,

You are right... absolutely, like the seas that run, like the child that cries, like the winds that lifts the sand and sprays it over cities that have been lost to time...

You are left alone there...

I read through all these comments people made, the best that comes wavers somewhere between sympathy and condescension, the worst tries to justify by showing their soiled minds...

i'm trying hard to think how is it to be you... in the middle of everything, alone with your feelings, suffocations and thoughts...

forgive me laila for asking, but can you stop these posts?

memory is fickle, memory is short, and people keep forgetting( and if there's nothing, there's CNN and FOX to wipe it off!)

compile instead an archive...
i'm suggesting like an idiot for i don't really know the circumstances in which you write...

build a detailed archive laila...of the lives and songs and silences of Iraqis who chose to live and die with dignity...

keep going, my sister...
i can only wish, but it's a genuine wish...

"to defy power which seems omnipotent,
to love and to bear,
to hope till Hope creates,
from its own wreck the thing it contemplates,
Neither to forgive, nor falter, nor repent..."

keep going...

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