Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mengapa aku baling Kasut itu...

Kepada pejuang ini, aku salut kami di pagi hari raya ini.

The Shoe thrower- I Am No Hero. I Just Acted As An Iraqi Who Witnessed
The Pain And Bloodshed Of Too Many Innocents -
By Muntazer al-Zaidi (19/9/09)

Muntazer al-Zaidi
Saturday, 19 September 2009 09:03

The Guardian, UK

I am free. But my country is still a prisoner of war. There has been a lot of talk about the action

and about the person who took it, and about the hero and the heroic act, and the symbol

and the symbolic act. But, simply, I answer: what compelled me to act is the injustice

that befell my people, and how the occupation wanted to humiliate my homeland by putting it

under its boot.

Over recent years, more than a million martyrs have fallen by the bullets of the occupation

and Iraq is now filled with more than five million orphans, a million widows and hundreds

of thousands of maimed. Many millions are homeless inside and outside the country.

We used to be a nation in which the Arab would share with the Turkman and the Kurd and the

Assyrian and the Sabean and the Yazid his daily bread. And the Shia would pray with the

Sunni in one line. And the Muslim would celebrate with the Christian the birthday of Christ.

This despite the fact that we shared hunger under sanctions for more than a decade.

Our patience and our solidarity did not make us forget the oppression. But the

invasion divided brother from brother, neighbour from neighbour. It turned our homes into

funeral tents.

I am not a hero. But I have a point of view. I have a stance. It humiliated me to see my country

humiliated; and to see my Baghdad burned, my people killed. Thousands of tragic pictures

remained in my head, pushing me towards the path of confrontation. The scandal of Abu Ghraib.

The massacre of Falluja, Najaf, Haditha, Sadr City, Basra, Diyala, Mosul, Tal Afar, and every

inch of our wounded land. I travelled through my burning land and saw with my own eyes the

pain of the victims, and heard with my own ears the screams of the orphans and the bereaved.

And a feeling of shame haunted me like an ugly name because I was powerless.

As soon as I finished my professional duties in reporting the daily tragedies, while I washed

away the remains of the debris of the ruined Iraqi houses, or the blood that stained my clothes,

I would clench my teeth and make a pledge to our victims, a pledge of vengeance.

The opportunity came, and I took it.

I took it out of loyalty to every drop of innocent blood that has been shed through the

occupation or because of it, every scream of a bereaved mother, every moan of an orphan,

the sorrow of a rape victim, the teardrop of an orphan.

I say to those who reproach me: do you know how many broken homes that shoe which

I threw had entered? How many times it had trodden over the blood of innocent victims?

Maybe that shoe was the appropriate response when all values were violated.

When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my

rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people.

My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure.

And casting out its sons into a diaspora.

If I have wronged journalism without intention, because of the professional embarrassment I

caused the establishment, I apologise. All that I meant to do was express with a living

conscience the feelings of a citizen who sees his homeland desecrated every day.

The professionalism mourned by some under the auspices of the occupation should not

have a voice louder than the voice of patriotism. And if patriotism needs to speak out, then

professionalism should be allied with it.

I didn't do this so my name would enter history or for material gains. All I wanted was to

defend my country.

Muntazer al-Zaidi is an Iraqi reporter who was freed this week after serving nine months

in prison for throwing his shoe at former US president George Bush at a press conference.

This edited statement was translated by McClatchy Newspapers correspondent

Sahar Issa

1 comment:

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