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A Note from Baghdad

An aspiring filmmaker is forced to trade his camera for a gun.

It's three o'clock in the morning and the sound of mortars and Katyusha rockets are my soundtrack. Gunfire is intermittent. Some is very close and some is far away. It does not matter anyway. I locked my building's gate with an American-made lock and a large, stifling chain of steel. It cost me more money than usual because it is strong and works well. The door of the small apartment, where I am right now, is also locked.It is a wooden door, and behind it there is a metal door, also locked with an American lock. Everything seems good at this moment. I only hope that the situation does not get worse.The curfew is everywhere on the news channels and in the media; all I know for a fact is that gunmen are touring the city, killing without mercy. I receive messages on the phone about incidents from friends in different parts of Baghdad, which is being strained by what is happening. I am writing now with a loaded Russian-made rifle next to me. There are lots of bullets waiting in my camera case; I hope they stay waiting. It is chaos out there; many killings-too many. The dead are numerous, and the living are just waiting their turn. It is a cinematic scene, and everyone is waiting for a role.
Quote:
There are lots of bullets waiting in my camera case; I hope they stay waiting.
The streets are relatively quiet compared to a few hours ago but can I, trapped within these walls, be hopeful? How? With my worries? With the monster of death that could come at any moment to my home to harvest the ones I love? Or with the news that I may receive on the phone that one of my friends is...? What a farce.I am angry, but I am not desperate at all. I am just angry. I am aware that this conflict will not continue forever; it will end. The how that will end this nonsense concerns me very much. Will I cry, or laugh, or what? Everything I worked for does not seem reachable at this moment.We are waiting the verdict on this dividing nation. I am not pessimistic. I am only dreaming of a better tomorrow; a gunfire-free tomorrow. If that happens, I'll write my film, or shoot what I wrote so far. I will love. I will keep my promises.CONTEXT This was originally part of an email sent by Hussein to a group of his friends struggling to survive in Baghdad.TRANSLATED by Fady Hadid
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