Thursday, August 30, 2007

"No One is in the Club's Lounge"

Great, thanks, CNN.

It must be a serious War if the upper class feels sad sometimes when they play in the pool.
Nearby, one of Amal's daughters, 7-year-old Golmaz, splashes happily around the pool in her inner tube, avoiding her brother, who has Sesame Street floaties on his arms and is trying to pester her.

"At home, I am bored and scared and lonely; it makes me sad," Golmaz says. "But when I come here, I am happy."

It takes her mind off the gruesome images of people dying in the war that surrounds them. "Once, there was a bomb close to the bridge. Lots of people died. I saw it from the window. I cried," the little girl says, then swims away.

Her words are piercing. Welcome to Iraq's grieving oasis.

Tears begin streaming down Fatma's face as she recalls how she hasn't been able to visit her parents at her childhood home for the last three years. "I wish, I wish, I wish I could just go and sit in my house. Go back to the old days," she says.

Here, everyone talks of the "old days." The club is a shadow of what it once was. Two of the pools lie empty, the gardens are deserted and no one is in the club's lounge.

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