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The Hanoudi Letter

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A Note to My Reader

There are moments in life so stunning, so unexpected that they are very difficult to describe, the shooting of my son Nazar on the morning of the 29th of March 2004 in Baghdad which was a mistaken act by a young American soldier is a very good example, by that time the environment in Iraq against the Americans was so poisoned which left the young American soldiers in a very tense and a trigger happy mood. This work is a an attempt recounting of that moment, it is  a modest striving at telling the story of my unfortunate son, his long ordeal and the terrible nightmare we were plunged into as a result of that inexcusable incident. That ill-fated moment turned my life and that of my family upside down and plunged us for eight years into an endless tragedy full of agony and uncertainties and all kinds of difficulties.

I have told the story of the tragic shooting of my son and the events which followed it in a fairly reasonable detail from the day it happened until its end on the 21st of December 2011 when he died and was buried in a cemetery in Southfield, MI in the United States, but I always wanted to tell the whole story not only its uncertainties and frustrations but also to acknowledge the prodigious obligation I owe to so many people who provided us at times with very desperately needed help, some of these exceptional people were total strangers and so for the last year I have been writing a detailed version of the story hoping that I would be lucky enough to have it in a classical book form. But now what I am going to do now is concentrate not on my son’s story but on the story of the book which is telling the story.

All books are the works of others in addition to the those whose names are scrawled on the cover and this one is no exception, it is my work but it is also the work of those who shared my agony and frustrations, who encouraged me to write it as a means of letting out those agonies and frustrations, it is also the work of those who taught me by their kindness and their sympathy the meaning of love and giving and who were a great inspiration by learning about their lives and experiences. This is a journey, it is a personal story, a sad and very painful story, full of tensions and hindrances and death, but also a story about love and kindness and giving, and I like to share it with you and those who understand the morals and the real values of life who are indulgent and compassionate.

To me, telling my story to such people is a  catharsis and psychotherapy, telling my story allows me to vent out my frustrations, my worries and my stresses and to ponder about our very long ordeal which was full of agony and pain a terrible and a very fateful incident which turned my life and my family’s completely upside down. And I like to tell this story because inside the long history there were many smaller and sometimes not very small stories each one of them was really fascinating and which took place at different times and places during the more than eight years of our tragedy, each one of them taught me an unforgettable lesson in the meaning of love and friendship and charity.

Now I would like to make one final point, I am using the word WAR  in this narrative as a label to the Bush administration’s adventure in Iraq with all its tribulations and tragedies, I am also using -sometimes- the Bush war, the 2003 war, the Iraq war to mean exactly the same thing.

Enjoy the book.