Folks of Mosul

Picture taken by Ali Ayad in Mosul

Salam is washed with crude oil and all scenes follow any bombing, he managed to survive though all wars happened in his life. A black tall young man. He is a very kind human and his name Salam indicates Peace, the peace that he never saw. Salam was recruited to serve in Iraqi army, just before the war led by the US to topple Saddam and his ruling party. His story spread widely in the neighborhood, that he was one of the soldiers being killed in the last American raid on academy of infantry affiliated to Iraqi army. We saw the rubble soaring to heaven and goes down. We felt sad for people who were there, and that guy was one of them. He comes from a very poor family, his father was also martyred in the Iraqi Iranian war. But, one week after the assault, we heard a rejoice in Salam’s house instead of the sorrow, as we rushed to his house, we saw Salam with is black skin and curly hair sitting like angel on the sofa in the guest room, I peered through the people who were surrounding him. It was such a great moment, his mother with her cleaning clothes filled with kitchen’s oil, was sleeping on his chest, touching his shoulders with the fingers of doubt. She didn’t pay attention to the crowds around her, she was staring at his face from time to time, and saying some words.

Salam was replying on people’s greetings and saying that god had saved him. His two sisters were weeping and touching him. Other neighbor’s women brought water to him and to his mother who’d drowned in her vile of tears. I was shocked, like all attendees in that moment.

Salam who didn’t die in 2003, he lost his job after war, so he had to find something to do for living. And like many young people that time, he became a national guard, the first military power in Iraq founded by Americans, then a regular soldier in the army, then he was married to a poor girl from his relatives. Salam left 5 children and a widow wife, after 2014 when ISIS had taken over Mosul. They arrested him and he never came back.

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