“It seems like you’re just waiting for your time here,” Omar said these words to me just a few moments ago.
We learned tonight that a good friend of his died today, from a gunshot wound to the neck. He was killed by stray gunfire in the Mansour district. This is all the news we have at this point.
His friend, Assam, was a shopkeeper, 26 and apolitical according to Omar. He never made trouble with anyone and simply took care of his shop and his aging mother. This is Omar’s second friend to be killed in the last month.
Earlier this evening we heard a screeching car and a loud crash, and jumped up from our nightly indulgence of old copies of Red Dwarf played back on my powerbook. Omar and I went to the gate and he ventured outside, to determine what had happened.
A few minutes later, I had the camera gear ready and he returned. “Just a car accident, the wheel popped off and slammed into the car. And the two guys in the car were drunk.”
No one was killed and we were relaxing watching a second episode when the phone call came. All we know is that he was killed by stray gunfire. This is a familiar story though, as exemplified in the fact that Omar already knew another friend killed this month. We plan on writing a full update tomorrow about his friend and the conditions surrounding his death.
The senseless death in Baghdad everyday adds just another layer to the complex relationship and attitude Iraqis have towards the resistance against the Occupation. Westerners and anyone who’s analysis consists of “the Resistance is legitimate and we should support anyone fighting the Occupation,” would do well to consider this simple story as yet another reason that many Iraqis, though they support the Resistance, still find the violence tiring and hope for a peaceful resolution to the conflict soon.
(Editor ’s Addendum: If anyone wishes to write to send their condolences to Omar or Assam’s mother can email me at aliveinbaghdad at gmail.com and I will pass on the message. If I am permitted to post any other contact info, you can be assured it will be included in tomorrow’s update.)