A former coworker of mine left for Baghdad in August and its personalized this whole Iraq junk for me in an entirely new way.
Anyway Darrell works for FluorAMEC as an engineer/project manager and in case y'all haven't heard, their compound was bombed a few times last week. In fact, the little cafe they always go to was bombed. I was worried sick, but got an e-mail this morning.
"I learned at about 3PM that the bombs were caused by a pair of suicide bombers. One was in the "Green Zone Cafe" and the other was in the middle of an open market that we call the "Bazaar". Both of these areas are open for anyone to walk into, except us. Our security staff had determined about a month ago that they considered these sites to be "soft targets". So, they issued restrictions making these sites "off-limits" sites for all FluorAMEC personnel. "
I'm so glad he's ok.
He said also that an Iraqi citizen who'd been working them was brutally murdered last week. "She'd been warned after it was known she worked for a US firm. But she ignored the threats...she could not believe that her life could be in jeapardy just because she worked for a US firm. ... She was killed by three bullets to the head as she got out of her car after arriving to her Baghdad home from work." Raja was 26 years old.
I think this is kind of history repeating itself, with the start of Ramadan and all. The Muslims I know celebrate Ramadan in an entirely different way - its a time of fasting, reflection, centering and peaceful thoughts.
I still say him taking this job was not worth the money he's getting, and DARRELL I hope you're reading this.
Please come home safe and soon.
(more later - we all need some random happy thoughts this Monday morning)