Baghdad Bob writes back
So I asked him to get in touch. And he has.
So he's not a teacher in an Iraqi school. He works for a U.S. contractor teaching English to Iraqis in the aviation industry and he lives on a military base. But he does talk to Iraqis every day.
This is what he writes. He's given me permission to quote from it:
"Let me say that most of my students face a tough life. I am not saying things here are easy. But every day these guys go through checkpoints and face potentially being kidnapped or worse in the name of creating a better life for their families. The amazing thing is every day they smile and every day they say, Inshallah (God willing) when we talk about a class reunion in seven years..."
"...On my first day of class while I was calling the roll I had a first for me. Keep in mind I have taught in eight different countries as of right now but this is my first war zone. As I was calling out the names one student was absent but it was explained to me that he had been kidnapped. OK that was a negative but two days later he was freed and six days later he was in class and even though he has a broken foot and has to drive over 180 Km [110 miles] he was in class every day and can't get enough!"
OK, positive news is all relative.
Bob goes on to say: "In seven years I have made a promise that I will be in Baghdad with my wife and child and WE WILL ALL EAT TOGETHER, DRINK TEA TOGETHER AND LAUGH TOGETHER!!"
I have to disagree with Bob that the way to report what's happening in Iraq is to show soldiers giving toys to Iraqi children or to focus on the few clinics that have been built rather than the many more that haven't been.
But you have to admire not just Iraqis who show incredible resilience in the face of terrible suffering but people like Bob who spend time here and keep hope alive that it will be ok.
- Life beyond the violence
Suicide attacks and murders due to sectarian conflict continue around Iraq. See how residents live their lives amid the attacks.