Not Enough Cemetery to Go Around - 12.11.2006

The Abu Hanifa Mosque is a famous Sunni mosque in Adhamiya. After the invasion the mosque constructed a new cemetery originally for fighters in the war but it has since been expanded.

Now the cemetery takes all manners of victims of Iraq sectarian violence and it has open to Shi’as as well.

Although stories about Iraq accentuate sectarian violence and the possibility of a looming civil war, there are many accounts of Iraqi’s coming together in opposition to sectarianism. One story is about how the Abu Hanifa mosque helped survivors of the Kadhmiya bridge tragedy in 2005.

Unfortunately this new cemetery can not hold all of the martyrs and others dieing each day in Iraq, and they expect to build many more in the coming months. The caretaker of the Abu Hanifa cemetery says they dig an average of 4-5 graves each day, and this is just for one cemetery in a city of five million inhabitants.

As the Iraq study group returns dire statistics from the situation in Iraq, one wonders when the stories of mutual aid and collective support in Baghdad’s communities will begin to get more play in the media. Although a civil war now seems inevitable, perhaps a better understanding of the solidarity present within Baghdadis and Iraqis can provide another direction for Iraq’s future.

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