Two years ago I was working as an admin assistant for a university here in Erbil, one day my manager and I were having a discussion about hopes and dreams and how life in Iraq almost always does not turn the way you planned it. I remember telling him how much I want to go to New York one day, he told me that it was funny that i should say that because New Yorkers are pretty much like Baghdadies when it comes to loving their cities. Baghdad has been through so much but it always rises back and I thought it will for a very long time until recently I lost hope, I can't remember the occasion but I know i sat one day and thought to myself this is it, this is not a temporary situation anymore and Erbil, as much as i hate to admit, is pretty much home from now on. It's sad and devastating but we are human beings after all and we are forced to follow our survival instinct.
Last week Ali and I went to Baghdad for Eid holiday and as skeptical as I was about this trip it turned out completely different from what I envisioned. I will tell you about one day only, the day that changed my entire perspective on the future of Iraq. You might find this silly but the reason behind this change is a football match.
Friday night, 11.11.11 I was looking at my Facbook home page which was filled with status messages about making wishes on 11:11 since this won't happen again and Although I found it a bit silly but secretly I made a wish, sipped some tea, got up, got dressed and went to visit my friend. After that Ali and I went for a walk in one of the busiest streets in Baghdad and while we were near the car we heard what sounded like an explosion, we turned around to see fire works everywhere, Iraq has won a football match against China and all of a sudden the street was filled with cars honking, people singing and dancing and flags, tons and tons of flags we even bought one and put it on our car. It was an amazing view and I felt my eyes tearing for a second! So in the spirit of patriotism we went for ice cream hehehe, no seriously the view from a higher place was really moving and i found myself secretly wishing if we could ever move back to Baghdad. This thing about Iraqi people, you just can't find that elsewhere, no matter how horrible things get we always have a reason to celebrate regardless how silly the reason is.
One of the Baghdady groups on Facebook announced that the winning goal was actually made at 11:11 EST or something like that, so there you have it 11.11.11 was indeed a lucky day. Here are some seriously bad quality pictures I tried to take that night:
I had a wonderful 11.11.11, I hope you did too.