Sunday, November 30, 2003

Sunday, November 30, 2003 5:43 pm from the Balloon Internet Cafe, Baghdad

Sorry I wasn't able to blog for 2 days. Friday things closed down early, like on Sunday evening in the U.S. Yesterday we didn't get back from Kerbala early enough. With the power going in and out (and losing my blogs), I'll write Friday and Saturday's and then create a new blog for today.

Friday we first went to the orphanage run by Sisters of Charity (Mother Theresa's order). They take care of about 20 severely handicapped children (cerebral palsy to congenital malformations). We were there in time also to feed the children lunch, a big help since each child needed to be spoon-fed. Then I went to Friday "mosque" with Safa to Faraj Ali Al-Saleh, a new mosque. We had lunch with the Imman and the mosque owner/realtor. Lots of good discussions about the current situation. Later that evening I had dinner at the home of Seeham Abas along with 3 of her sons (her husband and other son were at work). It was a good reunion. We ate by lamplight due to the lack of electricity.

Yesterday we visited the city of Kerbala (home of the famous Shi'i shrine) and met with the Human Rights Organization there. After that we held a joint prayer service at some of the graves of those who were killed by Saddam in the 1991 uprising in that city (over 100,000). We didn't arrive back to Baghdad until about 9 pm because the highway was backed up for hours as cars were routed around where (we later learned) Spanish spooks were attacked and killed. We could see the helicopters, humvees and the burned out white stationwagon as we slowly crawled through the small village of Al-Latafiah.

(see today in the next blog up)

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