When we report on what's going on in Iraq, it's really hard to give a sense of what life in Iraq, or the Iraqi people, are like. So I have decided to do a series on Iraqi people, with the help of my super cameraman Tom Streithorst. Nothing fancy, just a minute talking with different people, filming them going about their work. We start out with a gardener, Abu Mohammed. Take a look at the video, then read my blog below.
Nobody is untouched by the violence in Iraq. Rich or poor, white or dark, Sunni or Shiite, soldier or civilian, everyone is affected by it.
Last week, I noticed that one of our drivers, Jamil, had not been at work for several days. When he finally came in, a few days later, he had lost at least five pounds and there were dark circles around his eyes. I asked where he had been and he explained to me that his best friend had been killed. He was a policeman and he had been shot. "He is my brother," Jamil told me, his eyes bulging with tears, "He has four babies."
Our housekeeper's nephew was kidnapped and murdered a few months ago. He was 16-years-old. Our former head of security, Bear, was killed when both of his legs were blown off by a roadside bomb last October. Our cameraman has received death threats, our cook was injured in a bombing, and our driver was kidnapped.
The list goes on. Every day you hear another sad story. A soldier with a newborn baby is killed. An entire family is blown to pieces on their way to a pilgimage. It is so difficult, as a journalist, to convey to people back home the depth and scope of the suffering in this country on all sides. When there are so many car bombs and roadside bombs and so many deaths every day, it is almost impossible to take in the fact that everyone who dies in those attacks is an individual. They have sisters and husbands and children. They have a favorite food, a hobby, a secret crush, a dream. When there is so much suffering every day we don't have time to give the details.
And it's the details that give humanity to the suffering.
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Clarissa Ward is a reporter based out of Beirut, Lebanon. She has reported for the FOX News Channel from Beirut and Baghdad, covering stories such as Saddam's execution and the current unrest in Lebanon.