Thursday, April 01, 2004

Not in Fallujah

Not in Fallujah
Thursday, April 1, 2004
12:03:00 AM CST

01 Apr 04

Just a quick entry to let you know I am not in Fallujah. Actually, I have been busy pulling myself together and packing to get out of here. I am leaving Camp Victory and Baghdad today for Camp Doha in Kuwait for a few days and then onto Doha, Qatar on 05 Apr. Both legs of my trip are via airplane.

I did do some last minute shopping and got all that stuff mailed out so that I don't have to drag it all around "hell's half-acre." A woman in the one Haji shop that I like is a wealth of information. This shop that she works at is more an antiques and collectibles shop and she is very up on her history. About two weeks ago, Dan had asked her if she were glad that we (the Americans) were here. Here response was *not* immediate. She had to think before she answered. "Well, we have many more freedoms than we had previously." She did go on to explain that she was a Shiite and Saddam was not real nice to her people.

Thinking about what happened yesterday, I'm sure that she has had to be very careful working/dealing with Americans for fear that she will be viewed by her people as a traitor. Even now, it is a fine line that they walk. I'm sure that she has been used to looking over her shoulder while growing up. Carefully choosing her words and watching not to say anything inflamitory of the Hussain regime.

Yesterday when we were there, I saw a nice ashtray that looked like a Star of David. Well, she explained that it, in fact was the Star of David. It was an ashtray made by Jews in Iraq about 40 years ago. Iraq did have a group of Jews for quite some time and still has a few that have chosen to remain. Then we got on the subject of the eight pointed star that we see on everything here in Iraq. She pulled out a piece of paper and drew the star and explained that each corner of one square, a letter is written of Saddam's first name. Each corner of the second square which overlaps the first to form the star contains a letter for his last name.

I'll write more once I get to Kuwait. Till then, thank you all for your concern. All of my thoughts and prayers are with the people who have lost their lives and to the soldiers and civilians that will remain in Iraq working alongside Iraqis hoping and working for a better government and for a better life.
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