This is a poem, which appeared in an English newspaper in Iraq in 1993.
The poem was written by a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, Nahla al-Shagra,
expressing her feelings about the genocide committed against harmless
Iraqi civilians, who thought they were safe at Al-Amiriya shelter in
Baghdad during the US-led aggression on Iraq. Yet, they did not escape
death. Two American missiles struck the shelter, killing hundreds of
civilians, mostly women and children.
I think it is fitting to publish this poem on the ninth anniversary of
this horrible crime. Of course let us not forget that the Iraqi children,
who survived the US-led raids and bombing. They continue to suffer under
the sanctions imposed by the "United Nations" and thousands of them die
every month in this silent and forgotten war that the US has declared
against the Iraqi people.
The best gift any of us can give the Iraqi children is to raise our
voic! es, say "NO" to the US and end the suffering of millions of innocent
On the sweet morning of "Valentine's Eve",
The US sent greetings, for Iraq to receive.
They came in the form of missiles and bombs,
Not chocolate-heart-candies nor bon-bons.
While the world was busy, mailing out cards,
Writing love letters and preparing for balls,
Al-Amiriya shelter lay sound asleep,
A sleep so heavy, quiet deep.
Even when the sound of sirens pierced the air,
No one woke up, they just didn't care.
The children dozed off, snuggled up, undisturbed,
Their sweet night dreams left unperturbed,
They slept huddled so close to each other,
Hugging blankets, bears, sisters and brothers.
Little did they know of their horrible doom,
The missile that will turn the shelter into a tomb.
The clock in the shelter read four and a half pas! t,
When all of a sudden there was a killing blast,
It buried bodies in the shelter so deep,
The same shelter which had been serene with sleep.
Screams and shouts or horror and pain,
Were heard all over again and again.
A fire started in the middle of the room,
Distributing poisonous, gaseous fumes.
A child screamed his mother's name,
Then all was silent once again.
So, while the world was hugging and kissing with glee,
The few survivors were trying to get free.
But, with bodies strewn across the floor,
And a computer closing every door.
The poor prisoners, holding their breath,
For either rescue to come or death.
Either one, at the time was fine for them,
For their worlds had literally come to an end.
With all loved ones gone, there's nothing worth living for,
So, life isn't wanted anymore.
And now there's only one thing to say,
Thank you America, Happy Valentine's Day.
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