Friday, November 12, 2004

Relief and sadness

This morning I felt a wave of relief wash over me as I noticed my friend Najma had put up a post this morning. That relief was quickly replaced by sadness and concern as I read her words and saw through her eyes the nightmare her life has become in the last two days with all the violence going on in Najma's city of Mosul.

I also feel bad for the fact that tomorrow night is the start of Eid al-Fitr (the biggest feast in Islam), which is almost like the Muslim equivalent of Christmas, and Najma and her family will probably have to spend the whole time hiding in their house.

Najma's blog is very valuable. As the first comment on Najma's post this morning said, her blog "puts a face on the war" - significant, when you consider it was a US soldier stationed in Mosul who wrote it. I'm sure there are a number of soldiers in Mosul and other parts of Iraq who read Najma's blog. Najma's words have a power to help them understand what they are (or should be) fighting for, and perhaps to encourage them to exercise a little extra professional care in what they do - wondering if maybe that tall skinny silhouette they see in their gunsight could be Najma, or perhaps a member of her family, or one of her friends. As any hunter or soldier will tell you, it's way too easy to shoot the wrong thing if you don't take that little bit of extra time to get a good look before pulling the trigger.

I would encourage anyone reading this to go visit Najma's blog and read her post from this morning, appropriately titled Crying with no Tears. I would also encourage you to put a post on Najma's blog wishing her a happy Eid - I'm not sure how happy it will be under the circumstances, but maybe a few good wishes will help.