by The mother of Zaydun Ma’mun Fadhil Hassun Al-Samarrai –
A Letter from an Iraqi Mother
• Mr. George Bush president of the United States of America,
• Mr. Tony Blair prime minister of the United Kingdom,
• Mr. Jacques Chirac president of the republic of France,
• Dr. Adnan Pachachi president of the Interim Governing Council,
• Mr. Paul Bremer American civil adminstrator of Iraq,
• Mr. Kofi Anan general secretary of the United Nations,
• The Director of the Red Cross Organaziation,
• The Director of the Human Rights Organization.
SAMARRA (January 9, 2004) — In the name of God, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful.
I write to you in a very distressed state of mind and that may burst .
My emotions and passions because of the weighty calamity that struck me and my husband after losing our oldest son who was at the tender age of nineteen years. He was looking forward with eyes full of hope and optimism to a bright and eventful future, especially after being engaged to marry a relative of his very recently.
He moved forward with all his energy to build their future life with firm and confident steps. But Fate stood in his way and seized him unexpectedly leaving a bleeding wound in the hearts of his parents, his fiance, and his friends and family. Please allow me to tell you my story…
On Saturday the 3rd of January 2004, my son and his cousin were travelling back to our residence in Samarra, they were driving a small cargo truck belonging to a third party from which they earn their livelihood in a country torn by wars and sanctions.
Yes, they were back from Baghdad, yet misfortune followed them from the beginning. Their car broke down on the road, which caused a delay in their arrival to Samarra when the curfew hour was just about to start in the city…And this is where the first chapter of the tragedy takes place.
An Encounter with US Troops
An American army patrol stood in their way, and after they went through the whole procedure of searching my son and his cousin, and inspecting the cargo load, they tied them up both and led them to an area about three kilometres from the scene and…in front of one of the gates of the Tharthar dam where water flows at its strongest rate and to my son and his cousin’s horror, they ordered them to jump into the water.
It was midnight and the cold was unbearable. When they hesitated, they were pushed by the soldiers.
Unfortunately my boy cannot swim, even though swimming at this time of the year wouldn’t have helped. Yet my son’s cousin survived miraculously after he got stuck in a tree branch to give us his account of this tragic event which could have went untold.
He tried saving my son, but the water current was stronger than him… After days of search, we found my son’s jacket floating with the stream. It shall remain with me as a memory and a symbol of the injustice brought against him by soldiers of the United States of America’s army, who came to our country under the banners of human rights and democracy only to send my son to his demise on his wedding days…
My Son”s Name Is Zaydun…
To document the incident, my son’s name is Zaydun Ma’mun Fadhil Hassun
Al-Samarrai, born in the 1st of June 1984… Yes, they killed him and they broke my heart. Try to imagine that dear sirs and ask your wives how hard it for a mother to see her fruit ripen only to be thrown by sinful hands and to be swept away without any mercy or humanity.
Those soldiers have turned everything America has ever stood for into one big lie. I was a victim, and there are and will be many more.
And that is why I turn to you all and to your respected ladies. And especially to Mr. President George Bush to look into my case and order an investigation of the event.
I know that anything you may do will not bring me back my boy, but I wish that the procedures may put an end to the suffering of Iraqi mothers. We are reaping misery every day from actions of American soldiers with no regard to our human life, our dignity, and our culture and values.
Maybe the procedures will help me trust (again) the validity of those banners and mottos that fly high in American skies, those which we do not perceive in our country, but instead find their opposites.
Maybe such an investigation will support the power of law and justice so that day may not come when the conscience of one of the murderers awakens and confesses to its deeds, which will make it then a responsibility on your great nation.
I am assured that you know terrorism and what is regarded as a Terrorist act. Pray tell me have you ever seen or heard about a terrorist act that is considered any uglier than this crime, which was followed by crushing the car and leveling it to the ground by American military vehicles?
This is a question I put to you all and to the international community.
I await a peremptory answer.
In grievance for her son,
The mother of Zaydun Ma’mun Fadhil Hassun Al-Samarrai.