Sunday, May 27, 2007

Perspective: 'My journey this time is to eternity'

AS HE prepared to leave his home in Baghdad for the last time, Abu Fahed, 37, gazed down at his sleeping three-year-old daughter Noor, torn between love for her and hatred of the American soldiers who had killed her mother.

He suppressed an urge to wake her, hug her, kiss her and stroke her hair. Instead, he placed a letter on her pillow explaining that his desire for revenge was stronger than his duty to look after her.

Then he turned his back on his “angel” and walked out of the house into the pale light of dawn. This was the day Abu Fahed had resolved to die. All that mattered to him now was to take as many American soldiers with him as possible.

Later, as Abu Fahed took part in a blitz on the northern city of Kirkuk in which he and six other suicide bombers killed 27 people and wounded 97, his sister-in-law found the child asleep, the letter by her head.

She opened the envelope and started to read the lines he had written on four sheets torn from a notebook.

“Forgive me, my daughter,” the letter began. “I did not want to wake you to kiss your hands. It was sufficient for me to kneel by your small bed and bid you farewell. My journey this time is to eternity.”

Read the rest at the Times of London