Stand out firmly
For justice, as witnesses
To Allah, even as against
Yourselves, or your parents, Or your kin,
And whether It be (against) rich or poor:
For Allah can best protect both. Follow
Not the lusts of your hearts, lest ye
Swerve, and if ye Distort (justice)
Or decline To do justice, verily
Allah is well-acquainted
With all that ye do.” (Nisaa: 135).
They say angels are born on a Friday.
That everyone can feel it when an angel is born, because that day the sun shines and its rays warm the hearts of the believers.
You may ask who these believers are.
They are those people who continue to believe in hope even though they are going through hell.
Yet they continue to believe
And strive to better themselves.
They are the ones who whisper words of love to the ones they hold close.
“Chin up, I believe in you.”
Aftermath of a murder.
Walls stained with innocent blood.
Before that they burned her remains.
Before that they shot her in the head.
Before that they raped her.
Before that they shot her father, mother and little sister.
She was fourteen.
Sweet, Abeer Qassim Al-Janabi.
Murdered by American soldiers.
An Iraqi girl.
Her dreams shattered.
She must be a martyr.
She must have felt abandoned and cold.
Tears streaming down her face, she must have known.
But maybe she wasn’t ours to hold.
Only her story, we were to be told.
I swear you could hear the sky screaming,
When this injustice was happening.
The soldiers say that they didn’t consider Iraqi’s to be humans.
The screams of the innocent victims must now haunt them.
Intense hate can drive one crazy.
Spite builds up and eats your insides like a poisonous snake bite.
When innocent Iraqi people are:
Murdered in cold blood.
Addressed with derogatory terms.
Without a cause
Just for mere fun.
An apology is offered.
A mere apology for such horrendous crimes.
Lives are stolen.
Love stories are broken.
I don’t accept your apology.
The world doesn’t accept your apology.
The innocent blood on your palms will never wash away.
Is a repair of a broken relationship.
This is for you my sisters, those of you who have been treated unjustly because of the war.
But I hope these words build bridges,
To places no one knows.
So everyone hears your story.
I hope they leave a mark on this life.
All, I offer is atonement.
With my words.
All that I have.
All that I am.
They say most angels die on a Friday.
That everyone can feel it when an angel dies.
The world goes into a solemn state.
Because a little bit of love disappears.
Sadness lingers and the memory is etched into stone.
The memory survives.
But they say that doves fly for those who die unjustly.
All that is left is atonement with words.
Believe in hope.
Believe in peace.
And scream words of love and truth to each other.
“Chin up, I believe in you.”
· For more information on this story and other similar stories, watch the fictional movie Redacted, made in 2007, about the events which took place in Mahmuduyah.
· This incident and the investigations pertaining to it were described in the book Black Hearts by Jim Frederick which was published in 2010