Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, March 19, 2004

I recently had someone demand that I justify myself and my presence here in Iraq. They didn't think that I could do any good and that my presence was "a drain on the available resources" that Iraqis rely upon. The recent bombing had frightened them and they felt that the danger is just not worth it.

Whoa Nellie! First of all … you folks back home need to remember that you only hear the worst news ... if you were here, you would realize that bad news (bombings, shootings, terrorists attacks) is the only stuff that gets covered by the Media and that there are plenty of other things going on. Secondly, I'm tired of people telling me that my being in Iraq is not useful. Excuse me, but how do they know? I don't have to justify myself to anyone. How do they know what the Iraqi people need or want? I simply came to find out, to listen and to learn ... and if I could, to help. There is and can be no harm in this. Actually, I think it would be a very good idea if more people came. At the very least, the taxi drivers will benefit greatly by over-charging all the Westerners. Come on people! Expose yourself to another culture for a change. It will do you a world of good. Stop making a lot of assumptions from your cozy seat in the West.

I may not be able to do a lot of good (or even any good), but at least I'm giving it a go. I've been trying to get medical assistance to a boy here that can not walk. His mother is afraid, like many others, to approach the Americans for help and so I'm trying to do what I can to intercede for her, since it is the Americans that control the purse strings. If that is the only think I do here, that will be a huge accomplishment. I know that people are jumping all over me because they are worried ... but jeez lousie, give me a break!

Note: There is nothing worse than being in a dangerous situation ... than having people constantly remind you that you are in a dangerous situation and that what you are doing is pointless.


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