My Newz 'n Ideas

It is my intent to express my opinion and to discuss current events. Feel free to make suggestions to fields you would like to see covered, and I will consider them. Please leave your name with comments. Thank you. Arabic: عربي.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A Boy by the Name of Firas Mahmood Ya'koob

Yesterday we witnessed the first trial in a series of trials Saddam Hussein is going to face. There is a lingering eeriness, however, as to why? What did he do that was so terrible?

We know he fought a war with Iran. There are laws for war. Did he break any of those? Why are they trying him for something that happened in 1982? What did he do?

I think it can best be explained through the eyes of an Iraqi child (7 years old at the time.) His name is Firas Mahmood Ya'koob. He is now a doctor in Iraq. Here is his story in his own words:
They made us line in a row on both sides of the road to wave for him and cheer his name. It never occurred to me that it would be my last day in the childhood world. <...>

The first station in our long journey was Al-Hakimiyah prison that belongs to the intelligence, I found hundreds of my village people, old, young, men, women and children, we were 480 there. Out of whom 80 were relatives of mine.

It was enough to say the word Hakimiyah for any Iraqi to be completely paralyzed (the one who gets in is a missing-the one who gets out is reborn-this was what we used to say about this prison, the walls of which tell thousands of horror stories that you refuse to believe.)

I was too young to know why we were treated like that, but I sure knew the meaning of being scared to death. The sound of foot steps that stops by the door was enough for every one to freeze, as after that the door would be opened, a name of one of the men would be announced and he would be dragged to the interrogation room to return few hours later unconscious, covered by blood, wrapped in a blanket, and would be thrown on us.

The women and children had their share, and this is what saw: extraction of nails and teeth, electric shocks, whipping with lashes, using razors to tear the skin into shreds, my aunt was left hanging from the roof after her clothes had been wrapped of her in front of her brothers to force them to talk. Do you know how much pain we suffered? Can you imagine? I doubt it.
You can read the full account at a later post by Omar at Iraq the Model. I also recommend you read this article about the reactions of some Iraqis toward this trial. This one is written by Mohammed.

It isn't about us. It never was. Their freedom is theirs. We should support them in this, while never forgetting this vital truth. It is necessary for both to remain friends. Have a good day.

Hat tip to Terrorism Unveiled and Dawn Patrol at Mudville Gazette.