8 October 2004
On to my next point in tonight's discussion. First off, if I seem a little jumbled or out of whack this evening (rather this morning), forgive me as it is nearly 3 in the morning here and I had an extremely rough day. We have seen a severe case of racism sprout up here in the country as of late. Before it was primarily centered around religous views, such as Sunni Muslim vs Shia Muslim vs Christian. However, it has come to my attention that one of our interpreters, whose mother is British by birth, has a brother who was denied being allowed into school based upon that fact and that fact alone. His mother has lived in this country for 35 years, and now it becomes an issue. Why? That is the question of the day. Our interpreter is pretty torn up about it because he feels that he is no longer welcome in the land of his birth, however, he feels that he would be welcome no where else based upon the fact that he is a Muslim. I have told him, that no matter where he goes, no matter what country he resides in, unfortunately there will always be racism and differing religious views to contend with. However, I also told him that no matter what or who he encounters, to not fall into the same trap. American, Iraqi, Geman, French, Israeli, Japanese, Chinese, Polynesian, etc., we all bleed red. It matters not what one's skin color, sex, religion or beliefs are. We all bleed red. In the words of our Constitution...All men are created equal.
We visited a few of our schools today and we were informed that the headmasters and the headmistresses have been threatened. This makes relatively no sense, for if tehse insurgents wish to win the popular support of the people, how is targeting a school going to help in their quest for power? Once again, just another conundrum in this whole crazy, mixed up mess.
It did do our hearts good, however, when we were able to visit with one of the schools in our sector and talked to each of the classrooms. It is a small school in relation to the size of the building, however there are over 900 children that go to school there. The classrooms are pretty much filled to capacity, and then some. It was good, however, to visit with the children for a while, in grades 1-6 and be able to show them that we are human too, not some monster that Saddam dreamed up and spoon fed his people. We were able to talk to them about staying in school, doing well and growing up to help their country by being doctors, nurses, policemen, firefighters, soldiers, etc. Every child had a smile on their faces and of course, the whole picture taking session had to take place. Every child in this country loves to have thier picture taken. I enjoy being around the children and talking to them. I feel for them, in the same manner, for having to grow up in this environment when they had nothing to do with the situation here.
I will post again tomorrow as it is getting late and I need to get some sleep. Till next time.