I will do something.
My mother is from Basra, and yes your first initial demographic, remote sensing, stereotypical, wrong intellectual perception is that she must be a shi’a. Well I am sorry, mom is not a shi’a but a sunni, that is one thing that most people do not know about Basra is that it is or it used to be a big metropolitan area, and you have all kind of Basrawis from Shi’as, Sunnis, Christians, to Mandeans and what have you. It used to be known as the Florida of the Arabs with its awesome palm trees and blue Shat Al-Arab, back in the Seventies Basra was even the Iraqi city to be more than Baghdad (but thanx to Sadam it was completely destroyed in the 1980s). It was a city of tolerance, never my mom said shi’a or sunni , there was no fitna or sectarianism, if my mom was ever proud of something as her background, proud of Basrawis' fishes and great yummy shrimps, and proud of the Basrawis' simplicity as oppose to Baghdadis’ vulgarity, mind you, my dad is from Baghdad!
However, with the latest development in Iraq and especially in Basra, this spirit of tolerance is gradually being erased, and turned to a tide of fundamentalism, hazardous not to my country Iraq, but hazardous to dear relatives of mine, my uncle, grandmother and auntie!
The Sunni Basrawis have an ultimatum to leave Basra no longer than the fourth of July, my uncle have left to live temporary – his visa is only two months, with my other uncle in the UAE, but he will be leaving within few days with his family and my grandmother to Syria as many Iraqis found refuge there. My auntie and her husband they are still in Basra but they will be leaving shortly to Northern Iraq, the reason she is able to reach the northern point of Iraqi Kurdistan is because she is married to a Kurd, and he does not know how to speak Kurdish, since he lived most of his live in Basra.
Is this how Basra becoming, is this how tolerance and peaceful livelihood to be erased and wiped out just like that?
It is the Iranian intervention and influence is to be blamed, it is the death squads, Faylaq Badr, and all the rest of the fundamentalist groups to be held liable for this crime! Many will brush me as simply a sunni, however I do not identify myself as a sunni but as an Iraqi, and I do not have any sectarian agenda to say what I say, because simply I am not saying this, but eyewitness accounts through my uncle’s experiences in Basra, from raiding and bombing sunni mosques whom my uncle escaped one time , to killing the engineering dean in Basra because of his background, to now sunni evacuation in Basra.
Also, according to my uncle, the sunni Basrawis have send a delegation to the prince of Kuwait asking him to open the Kuwaiti borders for their lives, however he refused, because if he does or accepts such request, the matter will be politicized and internationalized. But how about people’s lives, if there are people who can afford to go to Syria or to UAE temporary, then how about the ones who can not, how about the impoverished poor, where would they go?
I will do whatever I can, I will be sending emails to amnesty international, human rights watch, talk with a Kuwaiti lady I know off and see if she can do anything, the Kuwaitis must do something, I mean they have distances relatives who are Basrawis, the lady herself is married to a Basrawi.
But my resolution of what I can do is forming gradually, and this is what I will do for the time being:
Ø Form a network of Iraqis regardless if they are outside or inside Iraq, however the priority is given foremost for the ones who live inside Iraq, since they can supply the information needed of human rights abuses and eyewitness accounts
Ø Keep an open mind and high Iraqi nationalism is required – Iraqi interests above all.
Ø Everyone reports from the region they know best, they can choose otherwise if they want to, however for technicality purposes, expertise is required, at least. For example, I am reporting of human rights abuses that Sunni Basrawis face does not mean I care about the Sunnis or southerners only, it is where I have my contacts, and this is where I get trustworthy information, and they are my relatives. I am well aware of Sunni fundamentalist groups that have extensive human rights abuse accounts regarding Shi’a victims.
Therefore, my resolution is to champion tolerance and peace by fighting fundamentalism, extremism and sectarianism, and that is by reporting human rights abuses of what is happening which most of the time hidden from us to know.
مكتوب # 25
5 years ago