Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraqis Adore Freedom

"On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Iraq on this great and historic achievement" are the very last words of the statement by President Bush on the Iraqi election.

Thank you Mr. President and thanks to the people of the US for supporting his policy in Iraq.

On this historic day I headed for the polling place with my brother at 8 AM. Till two days before the polling day, nothing was made public about the polling places. A school about 200 meters from our house was chosen as a polling place. On reaching the school, we discovered it was not the place for us to vote at. The officials told us a name of another school which we had not ever heard about in our neighborhood. Even the officials knew nothing about it. We were disappointed and returned back home. One hour later, my brother saw one of our neighbors who told him about the polling place. So we headed for it immediately.

Since the early morning one could hear machine gun & mortar sounds. Frankly, no one of my family paid attention to the sounds, we were worried about where to vote. The weather was nice. The number of people heading for the polling place was marvelous. The general atmosphere was wonderful. The city was calm, except the machine guns & mortar sounds, because of the curfew; it reminded me about the countryside.

On approaching the polling place, the Iraqi policemen stopped us about 30 meters away from them and asked us, by shouting, to open our jackets so they could see that we were clear. Again at the main gate we have been searched carefully. I admired the search procedure since it gave me the feeling of security.

Inside the building nice young men received us and led us to one of the rooms. There I presented my ID; two ballots were given to me; I went to the voting booth and chose FREELY the candidate I want to represent me. Then I went to the ballot box, but before putting the ballot in the box I had to put my right index finger in inerasable ink. My eyes were filled with tears as I put my ballots in the boxes. It is the very first time in my life I feel that I'm totally free to choose.

On our way back home people were congratulating each other on the occasion as if it was (EID). Children were accompanying their parents though many threats made by the insurgents which one of those had said (We will wash the streets with the voters blood).

Some of our neighbors decided to boycott the election, but because of the curfew we gathered and discussed the political process. It was a very civilized discussion which I admired highly. It is what I referred to, many times in previous posts, as (educational rehabilitation) which I think it has started here in Iraq.

Each one voted was proud to show his/her index finger. For me I wanted to scream in the streets (I'm free).

The Iraqi people proved that they adore freedom.
God bless Iraq.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so proud of the Iraqi people.
I have great faith in your countrymen to create a free and prosperous Iraq. You're on your way!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Son of Two Rivers,

I am astounded at the bravery of the great Iraqi people. I am 43 years old and I do not cry. Yet I am writing with tears in my eyes. Over three years ago, the world looked at America and felt the shock and horror of the 9/11 attacks. That day, people all over the world, looked with sadness and felt a kinship, thinking "today, I am an American."

Today, the world looks on with great joy. You have shown us all anew how beautiful and wonderous is the gem of freedom. Today, people around the world are feeling a kinship with you. Today, we are all Iraqi, and we triumph.

Tears of a Texan

6:58 PM  
Blogger Squigoth said...

""Some of our neighbors decided to boycott the election,""

Well be sure to point out to them they did this by thier own free choice and in doing so they participated in the elections as well. When you hear them complain about the National Assembly in the comeing months please be sure to politely remind them they chouse NOT TO vote and so they really have no valid excuse to complain (but stress that you'll listen to them anyways and they may want to reconsider voting in the next election)

Oh and congrats to th eIraqi people and yourself... You're on your way to true freedom. Just be ready for a rocky road. Nothing comes easy.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Son of Two Rivers,



9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should add, I also am awed by the courage all the voters showed in coming out to vote despite threats of extreme violence. I'm thrilled to think that this occupation, which I opposed, may turn out well. And happy to be proven wrong, frankly.

In the coming months/years, creating a democratic government is bound to be frustrating, slow work. But worth it. (The US has been working on perfecting a democratic system for over 200 years now, so the work never really stops.) I think Winston Churchill said, democracy is the worst kind of government there is, except for all the others, or something like that.

Congratulations again.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Son of Two Rivers,

I believe that voting is our most important right as members of free-societies. During our own election, I encouraged all of my friends and acquaintances to vote, regardless of who they voted for. Having discussions after the fact, as you did, is important for the democratic process.

I am sure you understand this, but I will state it anyway. You represent that segment of free-societies known as the Forefathers of a Nation. You, and others around you, will be forever remembered as the heroes and great historic figures that set Iraq on the true path to Freedom. I cannot even begin to show the enormous respect I have for you and your countrymen.

Congratulations and welcome to the world of Democracy. It is a long road, and I'm not sure there will ever be an end in sight, but at least you will have your friends in America, and other Freedom loving nations, at your side for the journey.

Your friend in Democracy,

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iraqis have earned their freedom. God Bless Iraq!

2:05 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Greetings Ibn,

I hope my congratulations find you and yours safe. You and your fellow countrymen and women have started your wonderful journey to freedom. I know that it will be hard at times, disapointing at times and sometimes will seem not to be progressing as fast as everyone would like. Building a new fair and just government will take time and much effort on everyone's part. The terrorists and thugs will do their best to make it more difficult and more bloody. But they will lose.

Here is a poem I thought that you might like to read. I think it is appropiate.


I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young soldier saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No Freedom is not free

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No Freedom isn't free!

copyright 1981
Kelly Strong

Papa Ray
West Texas

3:57 AM  
Blogger AFSister said...

You make me want to cry with you- tears of joy! Tears of celebration! Tears of FREEDOM!

People in my country cannot understand what it must feel like to be able to vote without fear, it's a right and a privledge we take for granted. However, seeing the thousands of smiling faces proudly displaying their purple fingers makes it real. Reading your account of the experience makes it real. I am so proud of our role in these elections. My generation has done something truly wonderful for your country, and I am just so, so, so happy for you! The Coalition Forces and the will of the Iraqi people have made this possible. It's an awesome feeling!

4:21 AM  
Blogger MonicaR said...

You blew us all away would be the understatement of the year! The millions who watched sat in awe of you. Thank you! Iraq will be fine with such strong people to keep her free. God Bless you Ibn al Rafidain and God Bless your beautiful country!!

9:34 AM  
Blogger Original_Jeff said...

It was beautiful to watch all of the Iraqis--ordinary Iraqis of all ages and all types--voting throghout the whole of Iraq.

Your neighbors who boycott will have many more chances to vote! As I understand it, there will be a vote on the constitution later this year. And then a vote for the first permanent government.

Perhaps working together as one Iraq you can defeat these people who do not want democracy.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A long time ago, I wrote you and told you I had prayed for freedom for the Iraqi people for many years. When I read your words, that you wanted to scream "I'm FREE!" My heart just soared like an eagle!!! I hope your new government will be everything you have hoped for!
And if they aren't, well, next time you'll get to boot them out!
My prayers for you, a long lasting peace, and for me, a long lasting friendship with the Iraqi people.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am one of many, many millions of people humbled and inspired by the bravery of the Iraqi people in the face of obscene brutality. Anyone who still thinks the Iraqi people will allow themselves to be enslaved ever again must be blind.

Most Respectfully,
Tom Penn

7:29 AM  
Blogger DagneyT said...

Ibn, we wept with joy and our faces were sore from so much smiling, as we watched your brave people go to the voting places in Iraq. We watched all day as your people danced in the streets, had tears of joy in their eyes, carried their elderly parents to vote, and joyfully and proudly held up their stained fingers. The world rejoiced with Iraq on your first day of free voting! Your bravery was astonishing! Never will Iraqis allow themselves to be enslaved again! The taste of freedom is sweet.

7:16 AM  

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