[Editor’s note: Because of the tense situation in Ramadi, it is taking Qasem some time to type up his entire story and send it via email. Rest assured, the whole story will be published in time.]
I woke up when I heard a sound entering my ears ….it was,
“Hey you, English man, wake up …come on wake up now …now …hey … hey ..heyyyyyy”
oh my ..what this is it dream ..where I am ??…….well, I am in the detainees room …tha’s what my eyes found when I opened them.
“Hey …hey stop dreaming and wake now…..” a marine shouted at me …he was on the other side of the room (behind the grills).
“Wake the others and tell them it is time to eat …do it now ..now ” he said to me loudly pointing his finger at my face …seems like order
” ok ..ok … ” I said
it was 4:30 am ..I knew the time from the marine guy.
I woke up the other 4 detainees, including my brother …..when I found the chance to tell him some more words …..
The soldiers handed me the food bags …it is military food ….they used to take off some things from the bags …the take off …heating materials , plastic spoon ,and some things else…I couldn’t recognize them .
Each detainee got one bag…
Frankly, the food is not good at all …..we can eat only some biscuits and cake ….
While we are eating we have very limited chance to say some words each to other ….such as whispers “from were they brought you?” and “Where is your family living and why they arrested you??” and so on …..
I found that all other detainees don’t know why they had been arrested!!!!!
We sitting on the centre of the room. The room was vary dirty …and cold …we were freezing ….because air-condition cooling the room although the it was not hot…
By the way I found that electricity continues in the base for 24 hours ….it make a sense that the Americans take our services…..in my city electricity not found.
May be I have to explain why the time of eating is after 3am ….it because of Ramadan , Muslims in Ramadan are fasting (no eating , no sex , no drink and no smoking) during the day time …Ramadan is one month coming every year……I used to eat with my mother …she like me serve her and make juice for the family …I like do some kitchen works sometimes …..but I am not good in cooking at all
Anyway after we finished our food the marines shouted at me ..”Everyone go back to his bed …and NO TALKING …..move now” he shouted and I told the other detainees what he said …..one of the detainees was funny ..he loved to make it funny …he did not move although I told him what the soldier said ..he just stay sitting and ignored the soldier shouting!!!
“Hey Othman ……what you dong …go your bed this soldier getting angry,” other detainee asked Othman (the naughty detainee)
Othman ignored him too ….then he said “Just let me alone …I want him to be mad …just go.” he said …signing by his hand to us, to go
Then Othman said to me “Qasem, Qasem …..if he asked you what it is the problem …tell him that I am a crazy man ok??? Just do that ”
I surprised from that …but I will say what Othman asked me sure …..he seems like he going to do a funny thing I hope …..we need that
“Hey you ..english man …whats wrong with this guy ….he can hear me …he cant undertand you …?? ..whats wrong with him …..tell him if he did not move I will pull him to his bed now …tell him now” the soldier said to me, very angry
“No No …he can hear you …but he is crazy …he is not normal …” I said to the soldier
“Ok …ok …you pull him to his bed ..I don’t want him to stay there …you move him anyway ..ok?? ” the soldier said to me
I moved toward Othman …..well Othman did funny thing …he looked at me with scary eyes then he run to his bed suddenly …….oh my …he scared me when he suddenly jumped to his bed
The other detainees laughed when they saw this …….yeah all of us laughed deeply …..
Othman succeeded to make us laughing in this bad place ….it deserve thanks
Then Othman covered himself with the blanket and he kept his eyes looking at me …..and his body shaking …..he can be good actor!!!
The soldier keep his eyes on Othman ….well the soldier start laughing too, “Hey why he looking at U like this …….he seems scared of you” the soldier asked me
“I dont know …he seems strange …I am scared ” I said
“No no ..you should not …..” he said
I did not reply to him
“Well …tell me were you learned English ……you were living in England before ?? or what ??” the soldier said asking me this boring question again !!!
“I learned English in college …here in Iraq ” I said
“That’s after the war ..right ??” he said
“No …I finished my study at 2000 …” I said
“Oh ..no .. that’s impossible ..I heard that before the war it was not allowed to teach English in Iraq ” he said …seems not believing me
“No …..in iraq we used to learn English as basic textbook from primary school and keep studying it until we finish college.” I answered
“Realy ..I did not know that …it is good ….yeah that is good ” he said
“You’re Muslim right?? ” he said
“Yes ” I answered
“You Sunni or shiite ??” he asked me
“Well …I don’t like this question ….it is a starting point for discrimination…” I said
“No .No ..I just used to meet Sunnis here …and I want to know you more that’s all …it is long night and I want to keep awake up so I need to talk with somebody ….and it is interesting to talk ..it is first time for me to talk with detainee directly ….” he said
“Well …I am Sunni …..” I said
“You said you finished your study in college …..where is your college …in Baghdad ?? ” he asked me
“No ..it is here in Ramadi ” I said
“There is college in Ramadi ?!!! Wow you surprise me ..sure ?? ” he said
“Yes sure….and you in one of the colleges of Anbar university now …..this building is belong to Anbar university ” I said to him pointing around me
“What …this building ….what you mean ?? ” he said
“I mean ..your military unit is occupying University and most of high studies students lost there chance to study because of that along 2 last years” I said
“What building this one was …which college ?? ” he said
“It was agriculture college …..this building is part of it ” I said
“You know it …you studied here in this college?? ” he asked
“No ..I studied in other college, on the other side of the city ” I said
“Which one…I mean which college you finished your study in ??” he asked
“Engineering college ” I answered him
“What kind of engineering ?” he asked
“Mechanical engineering ” I said
He said “Oh ..it is very dangerous…so ..you can make bombs technology ?? ”
“I studied about mechanics ..not bombs !!” I said
“But engineers can study about bombs and guns and make them…” he said
“Everybody can make them when he study about them and have enough meterial and sure desire to do bad things.” I said
“Well …now I can imagine why you were arrested ” he said !!!!