Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finally, word from Riverbend

For those of you unfamiliar with Riverbend, I'll explain:

Riverbend is the blog name for an Iraqi citizen, presumably a woman, who for a long time wrote a blog from her home in downtown Baghdad. Her posts were anxiously awaited by the members of the blogosphere for a first-hand account of exactly what was happening during and after the United States Military occupied Iraq. There were long periods of silence and only sporadic posts from her during the last year or so but when she did post, each entry was an eloquent description of the almost desperate situation in Baghdad for the long-time residents.

Finally, on Sept 6 of this year, Riverbend posted that she and her entire family had left Iraq and sought safety in Syria. We had heard nothing from her since that date.

Thanks to our friend, Alwayshope commenting on Last Chance Democracy Cafe, we see that Riverbend posted again.....and this one....this one breaks my heart.....

here are some snippets and the link is here.....

By the time we had reentered the Syrian border and were headed back to the cab ready to take us into Kameshli, I had resigned myself to the fact that we were refugees. I read about refugees on the Internet daily… in the newspapers… hear about them on TV. I hear about the estimated 1.5 million plus Iraqi refugees in Syria and shake my head, never really considering myself or my family as one of them. After all, refugees are people who sleep in tents and have no potable water or plumbing, right? Refugees carry their belongings in bags instead of suitcases and they don’t have cell phones or Internet access, right? Grasping my passport in my hand like my life depended on it, with two extra months in Syria stamped inside, it hit me how wrong I was. We were all refugees. I was suddenly a number. No matter how wealthy or educated or comfortable, a refugee is a refugee. A refugee is someone who isn’t really welcome in any country- including their own... especially their own.

and the entire occupation...the entire Iraq misadventure...or as Dave Obey calls it, "this misbegotten war" summed up in this snippet:

The first evening we arrived, exhausted, dragging suitcases behind us, morale a little bit bruised, the Kurdish family sent over their representative – a 9 year old boy missing two front teeth, holding a lopsided cake, “We’re Abu Mohammed’s house- across from you- mama says if you need anything, just ask- this is our number. Abu Dalia’s family live upstairs, this is their number. We’re all Iraqi too... Welcome to the building.”

I cried that night because for the first time in a long time, so far away from home, I felt the unity that had been stolen from us in 2003.

I'm crying for you too Riverbend......all humanity is crying.....

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