Yesterday, after the sun went down, we made an effort to visit some of the homes in the neighborhood as part of the Ramadan celebration. Enthusiastically welcomed by all of the families, we spent a few moments with each sharing tea and talking.
This was a unique event, giving me the opportunity to see the inside of several Iraqi homes. We sat within ornately formal living rooms and drank tea from Mickey Mouse shot glasses or sipped super sweet bubble gum flavored soda.
Over the course of the evening this is what we heard:
- 99% of Iraqis are profoundly grateful for what America has done for them.
- Sadam had brutalized this country and had crippled its development for years to come.
- In the past people did what they were told or their families were thrown in jail.
- There is a massive brain drain flowing from Iraq to neighboring countries.
- Other Arab countries like the Emirates or Jordan have developed nicely while Iraq has gone in the opposite direction.
- There is hope now for the younger generation.
- All children are now going to school from 8:30 in the morning to 12:30 in the afternoon.
- They accept the violence as an aberration and go about their daily lives trusting everything to God.