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Zeinab's Mother

2007 Peace rally in Portland, OR_Photo by Muna Hamzeh

Zeinab's Mother

Now it is fast and easy. You hear the news on cyberspace. You let your friends know on cyberspace. They can't see your shaky fingers. They can't hear your choked voice.
You tell them about Zeinab's mother. She was kidnapped and tortured in Baghdad on April 12, 2007. She was shot six times in front of her family. But not all her family because Zeinab was n0t there. She didn't have to see the mutilation, the warm blood and the mangled corpse of the woman who carried her for nine months.

Zeinab is safe in America. She looks out the window to a well-manicured lawn. She can tell what time of the morning it is when she sees the mailman. He always shows up on time. Her neighbor walks his dog and bends over to scoop the poop in a plastic bag. Will they wear gloves when they scoop the pieces of her mother's flesh? Will they place them in plastic bags? Will they fine the men who made her scream in torment before they shot her dead?

I search online for news about her. She is nowhere to be found. She's lost in the latest Baghdad bombing and the number of US soldiers killed. She is now a statistic added to the count. Have we reached 600,000? Is it more than 40,000? Or is the countless? Do we feel more safe now? Are the Iraqis liberated? If they don't democratize, will they meet their death? Is Zeinab glad to be here, or is she wishing she were dead?

The sun has risen. It is the dawn of a new day. The trees are in bloom and the roses are beginning to bud. The tulips fill the landscape with their white, yellow and pink. Welcome to the Pacific Northwest. We have beauty here and a multitude of color. Over there in Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, they see only one color. It is always red.

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