Monday, March 19, 2012


On this anniversary of the Iraq Invasion by the United States, I began to think of younger years as the war continued and more innocent people died. I remember telling my high school friends, when we graduate university, we will still be somehow involved with this war. And here we are today.

The following poem is one I wrote following the events in Haditha. That this was written nearly 6 years ago and millions of graves away--truly saddens me. What a travesty the US has committed, and will only continue to commit, so long as it views the world as strictly its own. 

Anyways, here is what I wrote when I was 18. I was in a phase of religious renewal, and very much (and still) disappointed with the Muslim nations. Sadly, little has changed.

"I heard Younis speaking to the Americans, saying: 'I am a friend. I am good, " Aws Fahmi said. "But they killed him, and his wife and daughters." The 24 Iraqi civilians killed on Nov. 19 included children and the women who were trying to shield them...The girls killed inside Khafif's house were ages 14, 10, 5, 3 and 1, according to death certificates.--By Ellen Knickmeyer, Washington Post Foreign Service. Saturday, May 27, 2006; Page A01

Haditha walked past me today, and all I could do was lower my gaze.
Peaceful greetings I could not bestow upon her
Too precious was she to corrupt with my words
Yet my silence had corrupted her
It had made her more eager
And once she mumbled, 
I need you

The door flew open
Trampled her with neglect
The coffee still warm on the oven
And I could not manage to let out my hand to her
A married man grasping the hand of a woman—what would people think?
They stormed her kitchen
Ransacked her bedroom
Crushed the cradle of Iraq
And I could not reach out to her
I must remain true to the custom
Must keep my distance from the woman unveiled
Her scarf thrown in the street
She tried to attract me
She cried to me in the dust
Asking for a hand
Asking me if I brought her the dowry
Yet I am already wedded to my own cause

My silence killed Haditha
Haditha walked past me, and all I could do was lower my gaze
While they killed her
And still her sister looks on, Baghdad
From the graveyard her mister carved and decorated with desert flowers

Her head facing me, asking Where were you in her time of need
                                                   When Haditha asked for your hand, why did you not come and accept

I was only respecting the custom of our people
I am what a Muslim is today
I had to lower my gaze

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