Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Riverbend: Leaving Baghdad

Baghdad Burning is a blog from Iraq that's been with us since before Bush started his war of choice. Its anonymous author, almost certainly a woman, has even won several prestigious awards and two book contracts.

After a few choice words about the Wall --
The Wall is the latest effort to further break Iraqi society apart.
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It's time for America to physically divide and conquer- like Berlin before the wall came down or Palestine today. This way, they can continue chasing Sunnis out of "Shia areas" and Shia out of "Sunni areas".
* * *
I remember Baghdad before the war- one could live anywhere. We didn't know what our neighbors were- we didn't care. No one asked about religion or sect. No one bothered with what was considered a trivial topic: are you Sunni or Shia? You only asked something like that if you were uncouth and backward. Our lives revolve around it now. Our existence depends on hiding it or highlighting it- depending on the group of masked men who stop you or raid your home in the middle of the night.
-- now, Riverbend says it's time for her and her family to leave Iraq:
On a personal note, we've finally decided to leave. I guess I've known we would be leaving for a while now. We discussed it as a family dozens of times. At first, someone would suggest it tentatively because, it was just a preposterous idea- leaving ones home and extended family- leaving ones country- and to what? To where?
Read more about the terrible choices confronting her. What to take? What to leave? How to exit? Where to go? Will they ever return?
It's difficult to decide which is more frightening- car bombs and militias, or having to leave everything you know and love, to some unspecified place for a future where nothing is certain.
You can also hear a short piece about the story on Public Radio International's The World.

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