We're exhausted and not looking forward to the coming work week. There is still a lot to be done around here and most of the boxes remain packed. The master bathroom is still under construction and there's a leak in the roof that needs fixing.
I've been back on line for only 24 hours so am still catching up on the news. I see that people are finally starting to wake up to the fact that Golden Boy Barry is short on substance, enamored of truthiness, and entirely too eager to kiss Republican ass to get a few primary votes.
Something I realized as I was looking over my links is that Riverbend (Baghdad Burning) has not posted since late October 2007. I keep checking her blog, hoping to see some word on where she is. Nothing. I'm afraid of what the answer might be. She had a two month visa at the end of October. It's now two months beyond that deadline. This is how her last post ends:
This is the Bush legacy, father and son. This is what Cheney and the neocons would gladly do to every being on the planet. Are these the ideas you thought were so awesome, Barry? Is this what you think is a pretty darn good way to run the White House, just like Saint Ronnie would do? Are these the people you intend to invite into your administration, and seat in your cabinet, and get all warm and bipartisan with? Because this is the core of the Republican Party.
By the time we had reentered the Syrian border and were headed back to the cab ready to take us into Kameshli, I had resigned myself to the fact that we were refugees. I read about refugees on the Internet daily… in the newspapers… hear about them on TV. I hear about the estimated 1.5 million plus Iraqi refugees in Syria and shake my head, never really considering myself or my family as one of them. After all, refugees are people who sleep in tents and have no potable water or plumbing, right? Refugees carry their belongings in bags instead of suitcases and they don’t have cell phones or Internet access, right? Grasping my passport in my hand like my life depended on it, with two extra months in Syria stamped inside, it hit me how wrong I was. We were all refugees. I was suddenly a number. No matter how wealthy or educated or comfortable, a refugee is a refugee. A refugee is someone who isn’t really welcome in any country- including their own... especially their own.
We live in an apartment building where two other Iraqis are renting. The people in the floor above us are a Christian family from northern Iraq who got chased out of their village by Peshmerga and the family on our floor is a Kurdish family who lost their home in Baghdad to militias and were waiting for immigration to Sweden or Switzerland or some such European refugee haven.
The first evening we arrived, exhausted, dragging suitcases behind us, morale a little bit bruised, the Kurdish family sent over their representative – a 9 year old boy missing two front teeth, holding a lopsided cake, “We’re Abu Mohammed’s house- across from you- mama says if you need anything, just ask- this is our number. Abu Dalia’s family live upstairs, this is their number. We’re all Iraqi too... Welcome to the building.”
I cried that night because for the first time in a long time, so far away from home, I felt the unity that had been stolen from us in 2003.