Along the Dijlah in Baghdad

I will place a note in the box expressing my gratitude to all of you for helping me pass through the hard times since my country was invaded. I will wrap the box with white ribbons, the colour of peace, and will remember a special friend who keeps telling me to be patient and that the killers will be punished one day
I will place a piece of cloth which will look like the shawl my mother had, in remembrance of all mothers in Iraq who don't have what other mothers in world have. In remembrance of mothers who are deprived from the basic necessities, mothers who lost their loved ones, mothers who have been waiting for their loved ones to return and for those who gave up

I will place candles in remembrance of Baghdadi women who used to sit on Dijlah, during certain occasions, placing candles on wooden boards, letting the boards float on the surface of Dijlah and praying for their wishes to come true

I will place piece of chalk like the one I used to when I was a kid to write the first alphabet on the blackboard, remembrance of the kids in Iraq who are not able to go to school and who are forced to work at young age

I will place a white sheet, hoping to cover the body of the young Iraqi girls who are selling their bodies to support their families

I will place a chain of keys; each key looks like a key for a house I lived in since I left Baghdad years ago, in remembrance of all that Iraqis who were forced to leave their countries and live in exile, who will be forced to leave because of security reasons and of those who don
t have a place to live.

I will place a green tree branch in remembrance of all the palm trees, orange trees and other tress which were burnt during the continuous bombing on Iraq and in remembrance of the birds that lost their nests which were built in these trees

I will leave the box in front of my house, waiting to be picked up.  The wind might blow hard at night and take the box away as it took our hopes of returning to our beloved country. But a note that says, "I love you all and wish you happy New Year will reach your heart for sure.

Nesreen Melek