Saturday, September 09, 2006

Update on House Searches in Baghdad

Our house in Baghdad was searched on Monday. Around 6:30 am, my husband received a call from our next door neighbor telling him that they were searching our neighborhood. A short while later, Iraqi Army soldiers knocked on our gate and my husband let them in.
There were three soldiers, and surprisingly, my husband told me they were very decent. They asked for his name and ID, and his place of employment. Two of the soldiers then asked permission, went upstairs and looked inside the bedrooms. That was it. They left after that.
These house searches have been occuring during this past summer to help secure Baghdad. My grandmother and aunts in law living in Amiriya, Adhamiya, and Dakhilya had there homes searched earlier this summer. Mammy (my husband's grandmother) and his Aunt 'W' living in and around Adhamiya had their houses searched twice this summer, and they also had American soldiers along with the Iraqi ones.
The day that our neighborhood was searched, the roads were blocked and no one was allowed into or out of the neighborhood. So my husband was unable to go to work. I was happily surprised at how decent the soldiers' behavior was. But technically, if someone was trying to hide something in their homes, I don't believe that search would be sufficient in discovering it.


Anonymous said...

oh man, that's so scary.. they just banged the gate open? Alhamdulillah no one in the neighbourhood was hurt.

EdoRiver said...

Maybe the soldiers are glad nothing was found too ;-)
Maybe it is psychological. Of course a real terrorist plans to have ways to hide stuff, really hide it; before he even starts bringing in anything. So these kind of visits are to try to reassure the neighborhood members that the men are there to help...Also they may, if they remain in the area, get information about who lives there. I would hope that the same faces who come to your home are the same faces you see on any kind of patrol of your neighborhood. This is assuming, of course, that they are your friends to protect you.

Fatima said...

What you say is interesting edoriver, b/c my husband felt that he had to threaten the soldiers with the fact that he knew their higher in command, so 'you better not consider kidnapping me.'
People are still not very confident that the security forces are there for their own safety, but generally, soldiers of the Iraqi Army are more trusted than those of the Iraqi National Guard which is more infiltrated by militiamen.

Oxford International Review said...

Al Sadr's Spokeperson in Iraq: Oxford International Review Exclusive

For the week of 9/11, The Washington Post's PostGlobal and Oxford International Review (OIR) are sponsoring exclusive blog commentary from Baghdad on the security situation in Iraq. Click here for comments from Baha al-Araji, primary spokesman for the movement led by Muqtada al-Sadr. Members of the Sadrist Movement eschew contact with western media, but al-Araji agreed to speak exclusively to OIR. Join the conversation and pose questions to our panel. Because of your interest in fostering online commentary about Iraq, OIR and PostGlobal would love your input.

Patrick8700 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Patrick8700 said...

Hi, I'm an italian boy....
I'm really interested in what's going on in Iraq, and I'm tring to know how is daily life in your country; your post is very interesting!
I hope one day you, your family, your neighbors and all Iraqis could live in peace without having their house searched by the army!!good luck!!
If you want, please visit my blog!!
bye bye!

I love Munich said...

I wish to GOD this nightmare will be over soon ... it is terrible to have to live this way! You must be under tremendous psychological stress!

Fatima dear, I don't find an e-mail address!
I want to wish you and your family RAMADAN MUBARAK!!
May the holy month of the revelation of Qur'an bring you PEACE, HAPPINESS and PROSPERITY!!

May Allah bless you - always!! :)

Joel said...

Whatever holiday wishes are appropriate, I wish you and your family. You haven't written for over ten days. I am concerned. Would you please at least tell us how you are doing?

Fatima said...

Karin, Thanks so much for your good wishes and prayers. Same to you and yours.
Joel, Thanks for your words and concern. I'm well, busy with my husband who arrived from Baghdad, and getting ready to head back to Baghdad with him. Yay for me. :)

Joel said...

Dear Fatima,
I cannot imagine the circumstances that would cause you and your husband to leave the states for Baghdad. I gather from some of what you have written that your husband is wealthy and that you live in a relatively safe area,but relatively is the key word. Your life, of course, is your own. But please explain why you are going back.

MixMax said...

Did you ask them what they are searching for? and how come houses were searched more than once?

The big question, are we so confident that this searching, among other activities by IP and army is sufficient to bring security to Iraq and Baghdad in particular?

I wish from my heart it will

Fatima said...

Joel, I'm going back to Baghdad because my husband believes in making his country a better one, and hopes to help it achieve that goal. And I like the idea of staying together as a family.
You're right, our neighborhood is not much safer than other areas, its just the draw of the lot. Also, I must have mislead you when I mentioned that we were better off than others. We are, that's why we have a generator. But we're not wealthy, otherwise my husband's salary last month would not have gone on our generator fuel.

Mixmax, welcome to this blog. As I mention in the post, I don't think these searches are necessarily going to achieve much. But its an attempt by the Prime Minister to secure Baghdad from terrorists and their activities. They're looking for stashes of weapons, bomb-making equipment, etc. And they were revisiting neighborhoods that are known to be 'high-activity.'