Monday, June 15, 2009

iraqis come to the shoreline

not long after the US media reported on the mere 500 or so Iraqis admitted to the US -- out of a couple of million made refugees by our wonderful war -- this scandal is in a tiny way ameliorated. the scandal was that we had raped their country and were doing nothing to help those directly victimized by our presence, such as the translators who were threatened with death for helping our army. the worst part of it was that the US was terrified of the very people it had pretended to assist with the invasion, terrified that "terrorists" would slip in amongst the desperate and wreak havoc.

i don't know if media attention helped nudge the state department or not, but lo and behold, several iraqi families have appeared on the shoreline. yesterday sara and i attended a small birthday party for the girl in the picture. the 3 kids are adorable. tomorrow i will try a language exchange with the father, who is 3 years younger than me. his english is very minimal, not so different from my arabic, so it could be a good exchange. his younger brother's english is too good to make a good exchange with me.

seeing them here, sitting awkwardly in the suburban quiet, wondering where they are and what they are to do, makes me think. behind them, on their backs, is the violence and death they left behind. i wonder, but do not ask. that limp in the father's leg: was it from birth? or from a bomb? and on and on. . .

it is good to see their affection and love, especially between parents and children.

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