Riverbend’s last post is dated Thursday, April 26, 2007. In it she writes that she and her family had finally decided to leave Iraq. Her expression of what that means is bitter and poetic.
She discusses logistics. Where will they go? Their only two choices were Syria and Jordan, the only two countries that let Iraqis in without visas. Getting a visa to another country would not really be an option because of the shortage of functioning embassies in Baghdad. And even Syria and Jordan turn Iraqis back at the border. There are no guarantees.
How will they go? By car or by plane? As the whole world knows by now, travelling to Baghdad’s airport is not the safest of journeys. And, Riverbend reports, one is just as likely to be turned back at the airport as at a road border.
Will they all go together, or will they send Riverbend and her brother first? What do they take with them and what do they leave behind? A house full of memories – photo albums, books, a guitar, summer clothes, winter clothes, CDs…
The problem is that we don’t even know if we’ll ever see this stuff again. We don’t know if whatever we leave, including the house, will be available when and if we come back. There are moments when the injustice of having to leave your country, simply because an imbecile got it into his head to invade it, is overwhelming. It is unfair that in order to survive and live normally, we have to leave our home and what remains of family and friends… And to what?
It’s difficult to decide which is more frightening- car bombs and militias, or having to leave everything you know and love, to some unspecified place for a future where nothing is certain.
Nice work, The New Amerika. I just couldn’t be more proud.