Friday, October 19, 2007

Boys at play in Baghdad

Laith, who works in Baghdad for McClatchy News Service and writes at the Iraq Today blog, enjoyed the Eid holiday celebrating the end of the Muslim month of Ramadan:

For the first time since four years, I have this quite nice feeling about the Eid. ... It was really nice to see so many big number of families moving going to the parks, giving their kids a chance to run in the yards, to play soccer and even to fight in a funny way with each other. ...

Its really nice to see the kids playing in the streets but we miss our old peaceful games like soccer or marbles. Instead, I saw the kids specially the boys play with the fake guns. ...

OMG, some of them look like real guns because they are made with the same size and same details accept for being made of plastic and they don’t kill innocents. When I saw these kids playing with the fake guns, I felt happy because they at least could have some fun but I felt so sorry because its not the type of fun I wished for them.

Several years ago, Nir Rosen made a similar observation about children's games in occupied Iraq in his book In the Belly of the Green Bird. Of course one could see similar children's games in just about any U.S. neighborhood. Do these games mean one thing in occupied Baghdad, another in U.S. inner cities, and something else altogether in a U.S. suburb? Probably.

Photo by Wissam Sami

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