Monday, February 11, 2008

A visit to a bazaar

Yesterday, I accompanied my mother and went to the main bazaar near to our neighborhood (Ad Dora Bazaar). In fact, I haven't gone there for more than two years since it was closed and evacuated when all that shit happened.
I used to visit that bazaar a lot since I was a kid. I bought my favorite collection of comics and magazines for kids from a small corner shop. People used to go there to buy their daily life needs, i.e. food (veggies, meat, milk products.. etc), clothes & textiles, house equipments, toys, stationery supplies. You could find also some pharmacies, barbershops, and shops for selling electrical and digital devices (mobile phones, PCs, TVs, washing machines, fans.. etc) and many many more.
One of the familiar themes of that bazaar is OPEN-AIR markets where things are usually cheaper than in shops. Also People used to meet and sell things from the back of their cars which known by "car boot sales".
Ad Dora bazaar was considered one of the largest bazaars in Baghdad if it wasn't really the largest. Thursday evening was the best time for young men to stop at that bazaar as girls often used to go shopping; such as clothes, lingerie, cosmetics and other girls' stuff.
However, the sinful hand of the terrorism didn't let the life to keep going in that bazaar as the turmoil and the death chapters arise. Lives of many innocent people were taken away unjustifiably. The whole thing started with murdering certain individuals; I remember they killed two guys one was selling birds seeds and the other was an old man who was selling cigarettes and matches. I was there when these two poor men were executed, I heard the gunshots but I hadn't witnessed that bloody scene. Later, the killing rate increased, more people were falling down and markets were closed one after another day by day.
Gunfights began to take place everyday between some gunmen (rumored from Al-Qaida) and Iraqi police. The US army often intervened to curb those militias.
Anyway, plenty of procedures and actions were taken to make that bazaar under control. I mean under the control of the American & Iraqi forces to restore stability and constancy to Ad Dora neighborhood generally and to its bazaar specifically. Yesterday, I felt that the life is flowing back in the veins of that bazaar. I can't claim that it's back 100% to its normal, no, The bazaar is changed a lot and many markets and shops are closed & some of them are destroyed by fire. And now you can find some giant masses of concrete are piled together to form walls to block some entries and exits. I asked my mother about the souk and she said that it is getting better there. My mother was there to witness the final days of the ruined souk before it was closed completely. I asked her also about that middle-aged guy who used to sell magazines, newspapers and comics and she answered : "Hon! May he rest in peace! He's been killed.". I really felt sorry about that man as if he was some relative of mine. It's like I've lost another bookmark of my childhood. And what the fuck he did to take a shot to the head? Do his newspapers or comics represent any kind of threat? That's bitchy!
Anyway, one can get veggies, fruits, eggs, meat, milk and milk products from there. You can get some equipments for your house from that bazaar. I saw some clothes markets are open! Ah, girls! You still can buy your cosmetics and lingerie as well. ;)
One funny thing I'd like to tell you about is that when mom and I were walking back home. It was afternoon and the streets were calm and quite when people were having their lunch or a nap. A scary bark broke that dead silence was coming out up from no where. It was an ugly dog running towards mom and it was trying to attack her. My mother made a funny scream and soon she began to run away. The view of his drooling mouth and scary fangs was frightening. However, I grabbed mom's arm* and as a quick reaction my mom slapped the dog with her purse. The dog stepped back and cancelled the idea of terrifying that woman. My mother didn't know if she was crying or laughing. The situation was thrilling but hilarious in the same time. We couldn't stop laughing until we got home safe.

* If you saw a dog running towards you, don't run. Stay calm and steady and try not to show your fear. Dogs can smell the fear inside you! Believe me, I had experienced this in real.