Saturday, May 29, 2004

Eva hasn't been posting much to her private blog, 5 Hours North of Baghdad because she has been back in the United States for the last 5 months very busy with creating a new home in the new house Meran built before he left early last year. She will be going back with Meran to Iraq at the end of the month, with hopes and intentions of doing more writing, both online, and freelance for hire.

Speaking of her blog, someone has noticed it, and this one. The author's blog has some interesting opinions on it, including one recent one where they state that the Kurds have been too nice, and look where it's got them. I have often wondered the same thing. Not that I'm advocating violence, mind you, but I do think that often the powers in control in any given situation, never reward kindness for kindness - they more often use and discard.

Look at the not-so-long-ago example of the Arab Revolt during World War I, led by T. E. Lawrence. He promised independence and freedom to the Arabs in the name of Britian, only to see the Arabs betrayed before his very eyes in Paris. He knew even as he led them, that his own country was not to be trusted. Out of the betrayal came modern day Iraq, still in a mess, still looking for some order...
Eva and Meran are here!

Eva called today at about 1:00pm to say they were in town. I was so thrilled to see the local number on my caller ID! They got over to my place at around 1:30 or so. Chris came with the car, and we hung out here for a bit, showing her around my apartment. Then we picked up my mother and headed over to my sister's for a family barbecue. It was great to have everyone meet Meran finally, and see the boys (my grandsons), as well as have a chance to catch up with Eva. Eva and Meran are handling things with dignity publicly, which I admire. I hope the lines of communication and mutual respect, especially from Meran's side, keep going.

They may only be able to say for two more days. I hope it can be longer, but it will depend on Meran, Eva said. I think it is more about money than being willing to. They are on a budget, which I can sure understand, and since I have no room, must stay at a hotel. I will entice them to stay as long as possible!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Last night I caught Eva online and I approached her for a chat. I asked if there was news on their coming, and how she was. She responded back that she still didn't want to talk more yet. I told her I respect that, and she said I appreciate you understanding.

I was supposed to call her tonight, but I have not been feeling well. I also hesitate because I don't want to be a pest. I will try tomorrow...

Today, I did a bit of research, and sent Eva this email:
I've been doing research to learn and understand the situation you're in from Islamic law and Kurdish cultural points-of-view.

The links & excerpts below lead me to believe that at best, polygamy is severely restricted...and many times not allowed at all either by secular law, or only if given permission by the first wife.

I realize you probably know most of this, but I wanted you to know as much as possible as you make your decisions. My thoughts and love are with you, Sweetie...


For women, the PUK government has banned polygamy, while the KDP allows multiple marriages only when the husband gets the first wife's written permission and registers it in court. More

In Islam, polygamy is allowed, but it is severely restricted - "And if you fear that you will not be able to deal justly with the oppressed women [Yatama-literally, the Orphans among women-see the context], then marry from among them two or three or four, but if you fear you won't be just [even then], then marry only one." (Koran 4:3)

An article about a woman who went through what Eva is going through now; the article goes on to discuss an interesting debate within Indonesian Islam concerning this issue.

Kurds tend to be strongly clannish in their social organization, organized around a male descendent. This is especially true of those descended from important political figures; overall there is much reverence paid to ancestors. Villages are often identified along extended family lines. To protect clan resources, intravillage marriage is preferred; in fact, first cousin marriage is common. Polygamy of up to four wives is allowed by Islamic as well as cultural mores, but is not common. More

And finally, this very interesting tidbit - see section Criminal Justice

Monday, May 24, 2004

I called Eva today to find out when to expect them. She was very quiet and hesitant, then quickly saying that they may not be coming. I asked why. "I don't want to talk about it now." I asked if it was because she couldn't talk now, she said now, that she just didn't want to. Of course, I wasn't going to just let that go. It was totally unlike her, and I knew something was wrong.

In the end, I learned that Meran had broken news to her between yesterday and today that he was involved with another woman in Iraq. When I say involved, it means he met a woman who he likes, is sympathetic to, and has made intentions towards, and that's all. Yes, it's possible there is more, but knowing Meran as I do, it is probably that simple so far. He didn't have to tell Eva, but he did because he is following custom where the first wife's approval is obtained before moving ahead.

From what I can tell, Eva probably won't be giving approval, but it's up to her. She sounded not only surprised but hurt. She said Meran and her had talked about the idea years ago and she had told him her feelings on it, and that they would not contemplate it together. That was then, this is now, however. Things and people change. The war and their separation has had an impact. I told her I hope they do come, that I would dearly love to see them, but the most important thing is for them to have the time they need to work this out...

Sunday, May 23, 2004

I couldn't stand it. This afternoon I called Eva to find out what the heck is going on. Golizar answered (Meran's sister), I asked for Eva. I heard more voices than I expected in the background. That got me wondering. Next thing I knew, there's a very familiar voice saying hello. "Meran?!" I exclaimed. "Hello, hello!" he laughed. "You got home!" "Yes, it's good to be back." Eva came on the line. "Hi, Mom!" I asked when Meran got in. Eva explained yesterday she was really down, wondering when Meran was ever going to get home. She took a nap, and was awakened by a phone call from Ajiza, Meran's younger sister, saying Meran had just called from Philadelphia where he had landed in the USA, and was on the last leg home to Nashville. Eva began crying, and Ajiza asked why she would be crying at such great news. I totally understand. It was overwhelming! They hope to be here by the end of next week. I am SO excited to see everyone!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Eva and I just chatted. She said Meran called last night. He's very discouraged on how long it's taking him to obtain transportation. I guess that's all that's holding him up now. So Eva gave him their credit card number, and he's going to pay for his own ticket to get home! Whatever works...! Their hope is that he'll get in sometime early next week, then take off by Thursday, and be up here (God willing) by Friday. *Yaaaaay*

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Encouraging news comes from Eva. Despite delayed paperwork, it looks like Meran will come. Possible dates now are either May 16th or 26th. We're hoping for the earlier date, but as long as he gets here, we'll be thankful!

Friday, May 07, 2004

Eva/Nirgaz says:

Still no word from Meran*.

Da Mouse says:

Is the plan that he was to be on touch by now about when exactly he'll be coming...?

Eva/Nirgaz says:

Although yesterday I called his Uncle Issa, he said Meran was there the other night and told him he still had not received word of when he would be able to take vacation and there was a possibility of him being moved to Mosul  I told him to have Meran contact me ASAP.  As it is I am anxious, not knowing if or when he will be coming now.

Da Mouse says:

I don't blame you.  I think people like Meran are much needed.  But that shouldn't mean he can't have much-needed leave!  Let me know as soon as you know...

Eva/Nirgaz says:

Yours and Grandma Lewis' letter helped yesterday, I was feeling low.

Da Mouse says:

What did Grandma Lewis have to say?

Eva/Nirgaz says:

The boys are really missing him lately, they mentioned they were thinking about visiting their dad, I said hopefully he will be coming.  They miss him so much that it makes it even more difficult for me because I can't do anything about it. She just sent a really nice card for Mother's day, like you did

Da Mouse says:

I sure hope you can come soon.  Everyone wants to see you, including Grandma Short!!

Eva/Nirgaz says:

I am sending you and her a card by the way. I know she knows I care, but I am sure the card will cheer her up to know I am thinking of her these days extra special. 

If nothing else, maybe me and Meran's cousins Kasar, etc. will come up if Meran is not able.  I was thinking about that.

Da Mouse says:

She'll love it.  She loved getting mail!  Mail is actually better than a phone call, because she forgets so easily.  With a letter or card, she picks it up and reads and re-reads and it means a lot to her...

Eva/Nirgaz says:

I figured that...She was quite the letter writer at one time.

Da Mouse says:

That would be great.  I sure hope Meran can get away, though.  He needs it, the boys need it, you need it.  But just remember if it doesn't happen as soon as you want, you'll make it.  It would be hard, but you would.  Just remember how Grandma Short was without Grandpa for nearly 3 years during WWII, and later when he was  on railroad extra gang he was gone working on the road a lot. She hated that, though...I hope for
your sake he comes home SOON!!!

Eva/Nirgaz says:

That's neat to know.  We are very similar, falling in love so young, being separated from them due to war, etc.  It's neat because I feel a special bond with her, not that I haven't always felt especially close to her, but now having experienced similar things I can relate to her better.  AMEN, (about him coming home) for me and the boys. 

*Meaning final confirmation...

Monday, May 03, 2004

Eva and I are both so excited! Only a week until Meran is coming home to the United States. Then I have to wait another 2.5 weeks before they come. Oh, the anticipation!!
You must read Jo's writing. It is the voice of people who do not have a voice. It is the face of the faceless. They are real people with real pain and loss. We need to hear them and have compassion...