From Anita David, artist living in Iraq

From Anita David, artist living in Iraq


I hope spring is as beautiful in Chicago as it is here. It's green and the weather is just fine, more than fine. I am fine. This is the best feeling I've had on team since Baghdad. Nothing is settled but I'm not worried.

We completed a non-violence/reconciliation training for 25 people. Worked out very well. We were invited to present the training in their homes in Tikrit, Mosul, Salahadin province, Diala province, Kirkuk. Cannot happen as these are some of the most dangerous places in Iraq. Blank stares and then laughter when we asked about security.

More Turkish bombing in the Qandil mountains at the start of May and it continues. This time no village was hit and no animals were left stacked atop one another dying. However, there are alligations of the use of "unusual weapons" by Turkey during the December bombings. Will let you know when we know more later.

Headline in local paper: 14 women die in 10 days. The story reports 7 suicides and 7 were murdered. Suicide and "honor killing" are problems the Kurdish Regional Government is not trying to hide and wants to see end. I know women's groups here are working to stem it but I have no idea of activity by the KRG.

IDP camp is here in the city. 1,400 people from central and southern Iraq, Sunni, Shi'a, Kurdish live in a refugee camp here. Visited it a few days ago. It's just like in the movies but it's real. The head man said the authorities are moving the camp to an area about 20 minutes from the city. He was not a part of the move discussions and has not seen the area to which the displaced people with be taken. Have an appointment on Saturday to ask what's the harm in letting him see the new place.

Sent the letter to 2 friends from Baghdad. The first reply is from a man who, with his immediate family, fled Baghdad because he received a death threat. He is from Sadr City and his family continues to live there. The second is from a man who continues to live in Baghdad, not far from Sadr City.

From Anita: I just read that the Iraqi and U.S. army told people in Sadr City they must leave their homes and move to tents in 2 soccer fields somewhere in Baghdad. Have you heard from you family? What will they do? What do you think of this mess? I think it is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Love, A

Reply 1:
Yah. That is wrong but who is the wronger ? al Sadr, U.S and Iraqi army, the people in Sadr city?

My sister's son died before 4 days. He is delicate he hate’s Sadr and the war. Moktada al Sadr caused decay of Iraq. He deceived the people in Sadr city. The Mahde army delivered photos and some papers inside the city that said: any person or family goes out of the city, the Mahdi army explodes your home.

The U.S and Iraqi army said: everyone still in the block, the army shoot him. Can you tell me where the people going?

My brother tell me that Sadr city is hell and Moktada enjoy this bekuz he feels he's heroooooooooooo.

When this deception finish? Moktada has not esteem for the life and the people. I'm sure Moktada in the end will flee to Iran and all the people will be dead. The fight will finish in Iraq when the Islamic men out the Iraq

I'm sad.

2. Hello A-

Yes people are leaving their houses there , i can see that on the streets , they are carring their belongings and moving to different areas , i saw a guy today carring his things on the top of his old old taxi car ( his mattress ,,...,.......) .
I didn't hear about the soccer fields yet .

well , i disagree with you that this is wrong , people here are very angery with the Mahdi army,and everyone i see (a shiite of course ,mostly ,and sunnie ) they want this thing ends very fast , great number of them are really happy that the american army is taking action against them ,sure innocent people are paying the bill for that , but , believe methere is no other way to handle that . these people are very mean ( Mahdi miltia )they have uncovered their ugly faces , they even have turned against their own people in the same neighborhood ( Sader city ) , people here are sure now that these militia are really criminals,and they don't have any kind of noble cause . My opinion they are similar to Hizbullah in Lebanon in some ways , and also, they are much much worse than Al- Qaida .

Your real friend

Sooo, If you want to know about other violence in Iraq, you should see my new hair cut. Or maybe not.

One piece of good news, maybe...A woman I met at the training has a 12 year old daughter. The family lives in Diala which is a provence right around the corner from Hell. 4 years ago her daughter was shot in the hip. She now has a left leg considerably shorter than the right leg. She has not been able to leave the country for treatment. How is this good news? We just learned Doctors Without Borders is here in downtown Suli. We took the medical records to them. This morning I received a call from the Doctors saying they would see the girl tomorrow morning at 8:30 am. I called the mother and between my good intentions and her minimal English she understood me to say she should call. And she did. And maybe, maybe, in this one case, something good or pretty good will happen. I'm not ready to put money on it yet.

Love, love, love,