IRAQ: Where there is not my mother, home will smell like Hell


1 October 2010
IRAQ: Where there is not my mother, home will smell like
 by Awezan Nur


[Note: Nur is a young woman who submitted the following
article to Pana for Peace, a newspaper put out by CPT Iraq and the Pana Center
to give the youth of Kirkuk, Iraq a voice.]

She was a cute nine-year-old girl, with light eyes, named Arazo.
 Tears were falling from her eyes
and her hands were trembling.  As I
was looking at her, she was miserably sad and withdrawn, not enjoying her
playtime with the other nineteen children living together as one family in the

Arazo, who burst into tears at the children’s laughter, was
disturbed by the games they were playing.  She seemed to be encountering thousands of questions alone
deep in her heart, telling no one around that she was as a stranger to them.  

She did not realize that, through her pearl eyes, I saw
grief and pain.  When I called her
for a chat to tell me the reason why she did not play or dance or laugh with
the other children in the room, she suddenly came into my arms and cried.  “My mother died, she’s gone away
and left me behind; my mother loved me very much.  She was sick; her kidneys stopped functioning.  My father sold both the house and the
car to buy a kidney for her, but she did not recover.  They had shaved her head and in surgery,
they installed a tube, but soon after the surgery, she turned yellow and could
hardly breath.  She called out to
speak to me, but she was having difficulty expressing herself.  Before she passed away, my mother said
to me: “I love you my dear daughter, if I die, you come to my grave once a

She was able to say that much and then was gone.  My eyes filled with tears, and I shared
her anguish in my heart.  Then,
Arazo lifted her head and said, “Mom is not home, I don’t want to go back;
home smells like Hell.  I cannot go
home; please sister let me stay here, because I see my mother everywhere I go
in the house.  Why did my mother
leave me and my brother, why?”  

I pray to God to please give her courage.  Please God; help me bring back the
smile onto her lips to make her overcome her deep sorrow at the agony of death.
 Please, God, make me utter a word
to assist her.  Let her have
flowers instead of tears; replace suffering with hope.  Give her self-confidence in the place of
pain and distress.  Make her a
generous sister for her only brother who also lost his mother.  Please God; help Arazo live her life


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CPT really needs your support in raising $10k in September. Unfortunately, we are behind our financial targets and need your help. We want to dedicate the month of September to bringing people together around the dinner table. You can choose the date, who you invite and what you cook (though our teams have some great recipes prepared!) We’d love to hear if you’d be interested. 

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