Sunday December 25, 2005
Assalamu alaykum. On Friday night, we had an interesting scare here in our neighborhood. (Hubby) and I were spreading the carpet in our extra bedroom (5 month old Suma had just gotten to sleep after a hectic day) when we heard a really loud, close explosion around 7:15ish pm. We were surprised, but went on with our work (I actually heard a closer explosion after the first one, but (hubby) didn’t; so I figured something might be up). (Hubby) decided to go upstairs (onto the roof) and see if he could see anything. He came back down and told me to get dressed quickly and to bring Sumy. I was like, “Why? She just went to sleep.” He said that the kerosene tank in the gas station (very close to our house) had exploded and there were huge flames shooting up. The whole street was leaving, out of fear that the rest of the benzene tanks would catch on fire, and possibly affect our houses. (When we left the house, I saw the huge flames burning in the not so distant horizon. It was quite scary seeing such a huge fire, so close by, but at the time, I thought that this was a natural accident, due to lack of safe conditions. I did not think that it was the work of insurgents).
We went to (hubby’s) aunt’s house (Amma Suad), (continued on February 11) and got back home after 10 pm. The fire was still raging, and stayed that way until after 1 am. But alhamdulillah, it didn’t spread.
(June 12, 2006): We later found out that some arsonist had set fire to this station and to other stations, protesting rising gas/diesel/kerosene costs.
After decades of Saddam clamping down on their right to free speech, some Iraqis have become quite expressive in their forms of protest.