Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, April 23, 2004

No time to do a proper post ...

First off we're all fine and dandy! At the moment eight of us are all staying in three ratty apartments in Karada Dakhil (Central Baghdad). Things have been very quiet for the last few days ... no bombings or gunfire that I've heard for awhile (but we did have a lighting and thunder storm last night!) ... atleast in the city. Outside Baghdad is another matter, as I'm sure you've seen from the news ... sporadic fighting in Fallujah and various other places, Najaf is still surrounded by Coalition Forces and the terrible bombings in Basrah. We did hear in Baghdad of the kidnapping of a Jordanian man and the killing of a Spanish Journalist within the last few days. I have actually met a Sheikh recently who has negotiated hostage releases in Najaf (a good man to know!).

Lately we've been interviewing Fallujah families ... I have so many notes to write up, it's crazy. Some friends are considering a trip into Najaf with the Red Crescent Society. Today, I was also able to visit with Ahmed, a young man who has MS. He is finally getting some treatment (yeah!). And tomorrow I give a test to my students at the University!

As far as the general situation goes ... Karrada has been quiet, everything looks normal. Iraqis still warn us to keep a low profile. I tell and encourage A, my translator, to quit anytime she wants, but she will not hear anything of it. I've had no problem and everyone is still very nice (most of the time Iraqis are warning me to watch out for other Iraqis!) but I also wear hijab all the time outside now.

General question #1: I would like to get a wheelchair for Ahmed. His mother has to get him from the house to the hospital and back several times a week. He can't walk and it's a real hardship for her. He is treated on the 10th floor of a building with elevators that hardly work and she had to beg to get a wheelchair at the hospital the last time she went. I've heard that it only costs about $80 to buy a wheelchair here. I'm going to ask Voices in the Wilderness if they would open up a fund for this purpose, so stay tuned if you'd like to help.

General Question #2: Does anyone know what Methylprednisolone sodium succinate is? Ahmed is getting injections of this stuff. He's had four injections so far and he told me today that one of his legs is getting a bit better.

Well that's all for now!


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