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July 17, 2005

Email From Iraqi Friend In Babylon (Updated)

[Update just now received (23:35 EDT) from Sabah in extended post - Yahoo News AP report was wrong...]

(original post)
We have been in communication with an Iraqi in southern Iraq for some time now, and this evening, he sent us a disturbing email. The great majority of people in Iraq want democracy to succeed, and are suffering terribly from the relentless terrorism taking place there. But most Iraqis in the non-Sunni areas, suffered even more during Sadaam's regime - and one of those who suffered then, along with his family, was Sabah. First they suffered the terror of Sadaam, and now they suffer the terrorism of the suicide bombers (originating from outside Iraq). Today, it was just too close to call.

Sabah and his wife were teachers of English during Sadaam's regime, and were forced to go into hiding until the U.S. entered Iraq (so his English is pretty good). Here is Sabah's email (here is the article he refers to in his email), received [Sat, 16 Jul 2005 14:30:56 -0700 (PDT)]:

Dear Richard,

Thanks for both your emails. I read the interesting article. Such debates are common to us. People may go in a vicious circle in case of trying to convince those who encourage the terrorists - I guess such persons or groups who defend the terrorists are very little to check sites like this so that they can in turn improve themselves for democracy world. The mission is not to agitate such subjects among people whom are considered as educated people, it is rather how to communicate with those rural people who work as a nest to terrorists.

I'm Sorry to tell you that today evening at 7:00 pm here in my city a suicide blast occurred killing 60 and injuring 90 while I was doing my shopping. Just 50 meters from me it occurred ! The blast caused by a fuel tank-car driven by a suicide bomber exploded in the center of our city directly in front of the main town mosque. The place usually crowded by different people who usually do their marketing or sitting in casinos for a short rest. Most of the people are civil citizens- women , children & old men.

I suddenly found myself thrown into one of those foodstuff shops. Huge flames were running to everywhere. Splinters were thrown all around. We kept stick on the flour sacks hearing the thrown flying splinters over the place.

Then I tried to hurry back to the place of the event but the flame was horribly burning. My elder son who was running his little internet caffe' - only 90 meters far from the targetted area became terrified, crying in horror, running searching his father. Soon he got to me and he hugged me with faint dying face. I tried to satisfy him that things were o.k. But I dully worried about my two other sons-Saeed who used to do his body building practice in a sport club 25 meters far from the mosque , and Shams whose one of his friend already told me that he had his short talk with him.

My son , while crying, begged me not to go back to the burning place saying it might be targetted again by another attempt to kill more people. His partner in the cafe' begged to accompany me in his van to take me back home 3 kilometer far to check if my other sons were at home.

Fortunately once I arrived home I found my 2 other sons there. They in turn were asking everyone coming from the site. Our neighbour, whom I met him near to the place where the blast made increased my worry. Thanks to God I found him too already arrived his home.
But still my brother with his son - whose T.V. & Satilite workshop is close to the mosque - 25 meters far-did not call or contact me! I cannot go back to check about their desting!

Now it is nearly midnight and I have been trying to contact him but telephone lines are cut. Along the way from where the blast happened till my residency , hundreds of mob were running aimlessly. They did not know where to go and whoever they ask to inquire abiut their relatives and friends.

Now I am so tired to continue my message. So only excuse me. Till tomorrow, pray to find my brother safe with his son.

Will continue tomorow. Please , keep in touch.

Note: Unfortunately I weren't carrying my digital camera to register the hell itself! Till tomorrow, then have my best wishes & regards

Babylon, Iraq. AL-MUSSAYEB district.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sabah, his family, and his neighbors. It's not as though Sabah doesn't already have enough to worry about, without having to worry about suicide bombers while shopping. We'll try to update you on the aftermath as we hear back from him.


Dear Richard,
Thanks much your contact and interest. I am going now to check for my brother and his sons fate. I will picture some sites referred.

Keep in mind what is issued in Yahoo is not accurate. The news said(Suicide Blast Kills 54 at Iraq Gas Station) By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writer, this news together with the picture is not accurate. Try to draw the attention of Yahoo concerned people who are in charge.

The gas station is far about 1 km distance. When the picture showed an isolated place whereas the post is in midst of buildings. It is at the center of the local public market.

I'll check to register those important sites by my digital camera.

Will continue later. All the best,

THIS is the story that Sabah says is incorrect.

Below - Image of Sabah and some of his friends on the day of the Iraqi elections:


Cross posted at Hyscience

Posted by Richard at July 17, 2005 1:50 AM

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