Today, Saturday 31 of December, is the last day of 2016. Today we remember all what we wished for, what we hoped, what we did and what we didn’t, because tomorrow they will be memories of past year.
I don’t want to talk a lot about my 2016 experience, leaving this to another time, I am writing in short words about the celebrations that occuring through my city for the Christmas and the new year.
Recently, the western Christmas spirit invaded many Iraqi cities. During these days it is common to see Christmas trees 🎄 , small, large and huge, on the fronts of the shops, in your friends’ houses, and public plazas, children wearing santa claus dressing while they are going to school and people congratulating and wishing for each other a happy and peaceful year.
The celebration goes on till it reaches the day of today, which will also mark the end of it. Many people are expected to fill the streets of every major city in Iraq, and there may be fireworks too.
But before we go to that part (which is yet to occur as I am writing these words) I want to tell you about an event that happened this morning. Two bombs planted by ISIS exploded in a poor Baghdadi Market ( Al sinak) killing and injuring about 60 people. Those people were shopping gifts and presents for their loved ones to celebrate and hope for a better future. Many kids lost their parents, wifes lost their husband and mothers lost their sons in a period of time that should be only devoted for joy and happiness.
Such events are not unusual for the Iraqi people, after 13 years of the US toppling Sadam regime and violence is still shocking the land of the two rivers. There is a good lesson Iraqis learned through this period which is life will never stop. So Iraqis learned not to be afraid and to enjoy every moment as they still can. And today’s morning explosions as they are sad most likely they will not succeed to deter the Iraqis from celebrating the new year.
It is 6 pm now. People have already started to go out in the streets. They would likely to stay there till mid night. My family and I may join them too.
I expect there would be a large traffic jam in 40th street the main shopping street in my city, loud music, people dancing and many laughs and fireworks. Fireworks here are not organized and more random than everywhere else, but this won’t remove the joy of the sight of the sky dressed in shiny glittering colors. I already hear some of them right now!
Temperature is about 6 C tonight, a bit cold but I think the spirit of the celebrations will make the atmosphere warmer.
And Happy New Year to You and Your Families. May Happiness be Your Best Friend.
Written from Babylon/Hilla – Iraq 🇮🇶