Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Finally, Some Good News

My good friend's brother in law, who was kidnapped almost a month ago, was released a couple of days ago for a $60,000 ransom. I'm so happy for his 20 year old wife, and his two young daughters (three years old and three months old). After two weeks of not hearing anything of him, we expected that he was going to become another statistic, but alhamdulillah, that was not the case.
Now, his family has to search around for a way to pay back the whopping $60,000 ransom that they borrowed from various friends and relatives to save their son's life. As with so many Iraqis in their shoes, there's a sense of complete relief at having him home alive, and a feeling of being so burdened by this sum of money, which if they worked all their lives, they might still not be able to pay it off.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Where Weddings are No More

My cousin in law is the fourth of four sisters, the last one left at home in Adhamiya after her other sisters have left Baghdad- two for Syria, one in Mosul. Hiba has been engaged now for about six months to a man from Mosul. Yesterday on the phone with my grandmother in law, I found out that Hiba's fiancee is coming next week to take her to her new home, with no wedding party to celebrate their marriage.
Adhamiya has become too dangerous for any type of celebration to occur, too dangerous for cousins to visit cousins and aunts to visit nieces and celebrate with them. With rockets and mortars raining down on them daily, all Hiba can hope for is to leave her father's home in one piece. Perhaps then she can celebrate her marriage in Mosul with her in-laws. Without her sisters, her parents or dear grandmother.