By Khidher Domle
While Abu Tibah, a farmer in a village near Abu Ghraib (25 kilometers from Al-Fallujah) was happy with the blessing of safety with his family and relatives, enjoying the wealth of his fertile agricultural land and planning a happy life for his children, he was surprised on 15 January, 2014 by a random bombing on his area, and the army knocking at his door to tell him that he and his family should leave their house to another place, because the area is now a military operations field.
Abu Tibah managed, with his family, to collect some of their belongings, including official papers, some furnishings, and pots and pans, and ran away terrified, hopeful that fate would take them to a safer place. They arrived at a village 20 kilometers away.
Their suffering started there. Their land was destroyed by the random bombing and they started to feel displaced and their financial situation deteriorated. While they were asleep at the new location, the army attacked again and detained Abu Tibah, taking him to an unknown location. The family remained in a bad psychological state, with the father detained, and staying in a strange place with nothing to sustain them.
Villages surrounding Abu Ghraib witnessed military operations and bombing, resulting in the displacement of thousands of citizens towards Baghdad and the cities of the Kurdistan region. The area was turned into a battlefield by the Iraqi army after the militants entered it.
After seven days of worries and expectation, the army released Abu Tibah, and he returned to his family, whose members were overjoyed at his safety, although they did not know what to do. They left again to the suburbs of Al-Fallujah, hoping it would be safer, but as they arrived there, his daughter Tibah became sick, and started losing weight and becoming paler. Abu Tibah was horrified. There were no health services in the area where he lived. His financial situation was dire. His tears fell as he thought about where they were and where they have ended up.
Abu Tibah managed to take his daughter to Al-Fallujah hospital, crossing a dangerous route. After examining her and performing tests, the doctors told him that his daughter had blood cancer. He collapsed on the floor, crying. He collected himself and got up, reciting a verse of poetry by Al-Mutanabbi: I became, if afflicted by a catastrophe, like blades breaking on blades. He regained his strength, and thanked God, in any case.
Friends and relatives joined forces and collected some money for him, despite the rough conditions afflicting everyone. Abu Tibah decided to move to Irbil, hoping to find a treatment for his sick daughter. His suffering became even worse there, where the cost of housing was high and everything was expensive. Again, with the help of kind people, he managed to find a simple place for his family to stay, only to embark on another stage of suffering, especially that his daughter’s health deteriorated. He managed to have a specialist examine her, and was told that her health was bad and that she needed to stay in hospital for a long treatment. The expenses were huge, and Abu Tibah collapsed, talking illegibly, and asking God what wrong he had done to deserve this. He asked for God’s help to heal his daughter, with tears rolling down his cheeks. He could not leave his daughter to suffer like that, but he could not help her. He saw a doctor who examined her, and offered some limited facilities, which did not solve the problem. He contacted some philanthropists, who provided support for treating Tibah. She was admitted to hospital and was given the first treatment session.
Adel Ali Hamdan