I write these words with a lump in my throat having just read Mohammed's account of the assassination of his sister's husband, a young doctor who returned to Baghdad after the invasion to help rebuilt his country.
He was not affiliated with any political party or movement and spent all his time working at the hospital or studying at home and he was dreaming of building a medical center for his specialty to serve the poor who cannot afford going to expensive private clinics. We didn't know or anticipate that cruel times were waiting for a chance to assassinate the dream and kill the future.
It was the day he was celebrating the opening of a foundation that was going to offer essential services to the poor but the criminals were waiting for him to end his life with their evil bullets and to stab our family deep in the heart.
Grief and pain is killing me everyday as I hold my dear nephews, my sister is shocked beyond words while my parents are dead worried about the rest of us.
We are trying hard to close the wound, summon our patience and protect those still alive while we look forward to the future that we hope can bring peace for us.
The terrorists and criminals are targeting all elements of life and they target anyone who wants to do something good for this country. They think by assassinating one of us they could deter us from going forward but will never succeed, they can delay us for years but we will never go back and abandon our dream.
We have vowed to follow the steps of our true martyrs and we will raise the new generation to continue the march, these children of today are the hope and the future.
* * * * *
Mohammed writes at Iraq the Model, one of a growing number of Iraqi blogs. Do we know that he's giving us the straight scoop? No more than you know whether I am, so this blogging thing is substantially built on trust.
More important is that Mohammed and his fellow bloggers provide information that does not go through filters at the Voice of America, New York Times or the Oval Office. When some talking head jackass on Fox News is telling you that the big bad news media distorts the truth and everything is peachy in Baghdad, you know that certainly is not the case in Mohammed's neighborhood.
These bloggers also give me a much needed dose of humility.
As I write this under bright halogen desk lamps on a zippy computer while listening to the audiostream from a faraway jazz radio station, my biggest concern is having to ride over to a nearby medical lab to have some (routine) bloodwork done before I pedal off to my cushy university job. Mohammed doesn't even know if the electricity will stay on long enough or his dial-up Internet access will even work so that he can blog today, let alone who the next assassin's bullet is meant for.
Please support Mohammed and the other bloggers whom I have provided links to in the expanded section immediately under my profile atop Kiko's House. They include the marvelous River at Baghdad Burning and Zeyad at Healing Iraq, as well as Nancy, who is an Iraqi studying in the U.S. who blogs at Welcome to Beth-Nahrain.
Your suggestions for additional links are most welcome. And say a prayer for Mohammed and his family.