Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, March 26, 2004

Today my interpreter, Alaa, showed me the small handgun that her husband bought for her. "He went to the countryside to get it," she told me. Apparently you have to go out of town to buy a gun these days. It is disturbing to me that she has it but I certainly can't tell her not to do so. She takes as much risk (if not more) by being seen with me as I do by coming to the country. Many interpreters have been killed.

Today, I went to a vigil in Tharir Square with the Christian Peacemaker Team. They had a tent, banner and signs talking about the security detainees being held at different prisons around the country. Many have been in prison for many months with little or no word about why they have been detained and held. I held a picture of Arras Hadi Hussain, a 20 year old student that was detained last April and is being held in Abu Ghraib prison.

I spent two hours in the hot sun talking in broken arabic and broken english about everything from detainees, to who would win the U.S. elections in the fall, to what my favorite sport was. We were mobbed by people the whole time ... all men and mostly young. Many people thanked us for our presense, some shook their heads saying it was useless and that we couldn't change anything. I just told them what I believe, "It is better to keep trying."


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