Our Journey to Smile

Will humanity forget, constantly, constantly?‎
April 11, 2009, 7:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Laith filmed this family attempting to flee Fallujah – ten minutes later they were dead

Will we forget, constantly, constantly?

Or will we forever brush the discomfort aside because that corpse was not our mother’s or our child’s?

Or will we join Laith Mushtaq in saying, “Fallujah ( in-humane, senseless death ) never leaves my mind.”

Don’t we realize what ANY ‘army does on the ground’ and if we do, what do we choose to do or say about such a realization?

Dear Laith,

Thanks for your work and your article, because media, like everything else, should help us understand ourselves.

We, Afghan youth, understand those images that never leave your mind. We have to learn to cope somehow and we need to be strong.

And to hope that human civilization can change. If it doesn’t چه کنیم؟” What can we do? “


Our Journey to Smile


Al Jazeera ‘Fallujah never leaves my mind’

By Laith Mushtaq, cameraman


Laith Mushtaq was one of only two non-embedded cameramen working throughout the April 2004 ‘battle for Fallujah’ in which 600 civilians died.

When I think of Fallujah, I think of the smell. The smell was driving me crazy. In a dead body, there is a kind of liquid. Yellow liquid. The smell is disgusting, really. It sticks in your nose. You cannot eat anymore.

And you can’t get the pictures off your mind, because every day you see the same: Explosion, death, explosion, death, death.

After work, you sit down and notice there are pieces of flesh on your shoes and blood on your trousers. But you don’t have time to ask why.

I had to show the truth to people outside of Iraq.

I still remember the nurses couldn’t carry the woman because she was in too many pieces, people were jumping back when they saw it. Then, one nurse shouted: “Hey, she looks like your mother.”

In the Iraqi language that means: “She could be your mother, so treat her like you’d treat your mom.”

At some point, I couldn’t move anymore. I sat down on the street and kept smoking. I couldn’t move. I see what’s happening around me, but I can’t move. Khallas [enough]. I didn’t have any energy left.

The Americans said our pictures stirred up hatred against them. But what I did was only showing what their army did on the ground.

I don’t hate them, I don’t want vengeance, I just wish they had understood what they were doing.

US military admits killing mother, children

Afghan News Network 9/4/09

The US military in Afghanistan admitted Thursday that four people its troops killed in a raid were not “combatants”, after Afghans said they included a mother and her children, with a baby dying afterwards.


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