Wednesday, February 21, 2007
we got back to Mina and the first thing i noticed was that the other sisters from Switzerland got to the tents way before us and secured there places, some of our lot managed to find there original place but me and salma ended up as refugees with no place to call our own sniff sniff, some body had taken our place and they where intent on not leaving.
so we stood looking at each other for a while not knowing where to go what to do, shrugging our shoulders and conscious of the fact that we didn't want to get into any arguments with any one, seriously we didn't utter a word to a single person, didn't question the sisters as to why they took our places, just stood staring and laughing. i was contemplating converting to a bat, hanging myself from the feet upside down from the metal pole and sleeping the way bats do, but then i realised that the blood would rush to my head and it would probably explode all over the hajjis, not a nice sight.
eventually we found a miniature spot and plonked our sleeping bags on the floor and fell asleep, i was really tired, there was allot of noise but i was oblivious to any one or anything, sleep land was where i was headed, i swear when ever you guys get to do hajj you must and i will type must in capital MUST just to emphasise how important this item is, you Must buy an eye cover thing, for you will not be able to sleep without it and its the next best thing since sliced salami, it will keep you sane and give you some sort of comfort and sleep so NEVER EVER leave Britain or your countries without them, at one point i was wearing it on my forehead constantly i looked like i was about to go fly a plane or something, pretty cool if i say so myself.
i hadn't slept very long, actually hardly at all because just as i was getting comfortable, a lady with her 2 sons walks in and makes us get up and move, just as i thought i had found asylum and was about to become a citizen of Mina tent me and salma became refugees all over again, i did protest to the lady telling her that the reason we where in that place was because some one had taken our place, to which she said 'not my problem' well what could we say, we smiled and stood up and looked around for a place to at least rest our heads, my head felt like it was getting heavier by the minute...
we asked one of the ladies if she didn't mind moving her luggage to the side of the tent to make space, but she refused and wouldn't budge, how great did we feel!!! one of our lot kept saying just squash next to us, but seriously there wasn't space for an anorexic ant never mind a full grown human but in the end we did, we squashed up mega style and that was to be our place for the next 3 nights, cozyyyyyyyy.
so again i plonked myself on top of a thousand sleeping bags and zonked out, i woke up a couple of hours later and was chatting away to some of the girls when some one got a text from England, she shouted 'oh my god' and then said 'Saddam is dead'it didn't register with me at all as to who she meant, Saddam? which Saddam? duh!!!!
it then clicked in my head, Saddam the former leader of Iraq, wow, you see we hadn't been in touch with the world news for quite some time so we where not aware of what was happening in the world, to be honest i was not expecting that type of head line, so it did come as a complete shock to every one, i didn't believe it at first because its happened before in Mina a couple of years ago where it was announced that sharon of Israel had been killed and the Palestinian camp in Mina where rejoicing and all sorts bless, then it turned out to be one big lie so i thought maybe it was the same, but it turned out to be true, Saddam was hung on eid day.
it really was unexpected and even though he was sentenced to death, i didn't expect it to be put into action so fast, if anything i thought he would eventually walk away with his life.
it was the topic of the moment for like an hour but then every one had to go to the jamarat so peoples minds where preoccupied with the up and coming crowds and the fear of death at jamarat so Saddam was put to the back of every ones minds.
later when we where at Madina and we had caught up with the news, then it began to register, i am not a fan of Saddam and he had so much to account for, but i get the feeling that his hanging was a way of shutting him up, ie some one else had more things to hide than Saddam,Washington's secrets are safe for now that is hmmmmmmm
The shameless, outrageous, covert military support which the United States - and Britain - gave to Saddam for more than a decade remains the one terrible story which our presidents and prime ministers do not want the world to remember. And now Saddam, who knew the full extent of that Western support - given to him while he was perpetrating some of the worst atrocities since the Second World War - is dead but what of his partners in crime? where is the justice in that? he faced many more trials, bigger crimes he had committed but was executed before facing those trials and you really do question why that is?
Sloboden Milosevic before his death in prison (god knows how he died) was facing trials upon trials for his crimes towards the Bosnians througth an international war crimes tribunal sitting in the Hague so why not the same for Saddam? either would have been far better than the process we witnessed.
that's my 2 cents worth, we did hear some celebrations coming from the shia later that evening but other than that he wasn't really discussed, we started to get ourselves ready for the jamarat...
just of the topic, yesterday i ate an orange that had travelled all the way from Libya, it was one of those blood oranges and it was delicious mmmmmmm.