Saturday, January 24, 2009

Attawie, How Did a Tank Get onto your Roof!?

It's funny how we've been talking all these years and I've never mentioned this story! It all came back to me after viewing our home from Google Earth and seeing the black metal thing lay on our roof. And it hit me. Attawie, how did a tank get onto your roof!? David asked.

The war started 2003 and we were supposed to stay at home. But after two days we could take it no more and my mother's aunt called and said you'd better come now or else. Believe me her "or else" was threatening more than any bomb flying in the air. The old lady cares about us, plus, we were freaking out because the two previous nights were horrible. It felt the house was falling apart over our heads. Since our home is located close to what they call it green zoon nowadays, it was wise to leave. For certain reasons we kept going home every day.

On April 8th, we saw Iraqi tanks almost in every street in our neighborhood. An Iraqi solder asked us why we were there. He said: "Leave the area. Leave Baghdad if you can. It's a battlefield". Next time we went to our home was on April 17th. To tell you the truth, I can't remember the streets. Maybe it's bliss not to. I was praying all the way home to arrive safely and find our home still standing there.

The house was a mess. Two of our doors were broken. The neighbor blocked one of them with a chair and pushed the car to close the second. Cats and rats were playing hide and seek. Dust was everywhere. Broken glasses of shattered windows were everywhere. But thank God my room was as clean and tidy as I left it. No broken windows and the door to my garden was standing as strong as it could be. My room was the place where we slept during the later weeks.

When we were checking room after room we were shocked when we opened my sister's room. We couldn't see the carpet; instead, we saw a carpet of dust. But the weird dust looked like gray concrete dust. When we looked at the ceiling we could see the sky. That's when my father remembered his last visit to the house. When the bombing started and a strange bang shook the house and the noise was so loud that he could hardly get what was going on and had to leave in a hurry.

After a couple of hours we heard from neighbors that the other half of the tank was six houses away from us. It was an Iraqi tank that was bombed even though it was standing there in the street all abandoned.

That's how a tank ended up onto our roof
And that's all for now.

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Blogger khalid jarrar said...


1/24/2009 2:48 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

About what?

1/24/2009 3:17 PM  
Blogger David said...

Thank you for the post to answer my question Attawie.

I am really glad that your mother's aunt cared so much for you! Also, I am glad for the Iraqi soldier who told you to leave your house. I hope he is alive and well today.

It sounds like your father had a close call the day that the tank was bombed while he was in the house! I am amazed at how strong your house is that it survived that bomb and half a tank landing on the roof!!

Do you know anyone today that lives near your house? Can they go there to check its condition?

1/25/2009 9:05 AM  
Blogger attawie said...


We always remember that Iraqi solder. I hope he's alive and doing well too.

Actually Iraqi homes are relatively strong. Ours was built mid 1960s, I think. The reason behind surviving is that Iraqi house are built with bricks and concrete. The foundation of our houses are deep. If you ask an engineer you'll get a complete picture :)

We built an attached small house during mid 1990s and I've seen it step by step. Our neighbor's daughter got married in this small house two years ago. Most of the neighbors still there and we call them every now and then.

The entire area is surrounded by ugly concrete walls. No one can get in unless they are residence of the neighborhood.

The remains of the tank was very heavy, as I remember. And it still there as we left it.

1/25/2009 5:57 PM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks for elaborating Attawie. Actually, I understand concrete construction quite well, and I have some knowledge of masonry (bricks and concrete blocks), also. Did you forget that I am a structural engineer? ;)

American houses are usually built very cheaply using wood. Very few houses here would have survived what happened to your house!

I'm glad that you have neighbors living near your house that you can call. :) Someday, I hope you can at least visit your home in Baghdad.

1/26/2009 11:56 AM  

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