Hadeel Al Sayegh writes: Last month for the first time, I saw the aftermath of a bombing in Iraq, at the entrance to Baghdad Airport.The explosion had occurred a few moments before our plane landed from Abu Dhabi.
Several cars had parked at Abbas Bin Firnas, the final checkpoint before the airport, where people say farewell to their loved ones. By the time our car passed the scene, it was evacuated and all that was left was the burnt black frames of the vehicles. Scores of people died.
My father, who panicked when he saw the news on TV, was relieved to see me at his construction site in Baghdad with all my limbs attached.
He was talking to several engineers, one of whom told him that security officials found a bomb at the entrance of a nearby mosque while he was performing his prayers. They were lucky to have defused it just in time. The consensus was that an attempt to re-ignite sectarian divisions was imminent.
Little did we know that Iraq would unravel so quickly. Violence has always occurred on the outskirts of the capital and in more remote areas in the country. But today, almost three weeks later, even Baghdad is not immune.
In the past, attacks would target public areas such as markets, restaurants and cafes but now the perpetrators are focusing on places of worship – Sunni and Shia mosques.
Eighty-six people died on Monday; it was the bloodiest and deadliest day of the year. [Continue reading…]