Warning: ini_get_all() has been disabled for security reasons in /smarthosting/content/d/dodsonbeau/.website15332/wp-includes/load.php on line 1020

Warning: ini_get_all() has been disabled for security reasons in /smarthosting/content/d/dodsonbeau/.website15332/wp-includes/load.php on line 1020
Beau's Journey » 2008 » February » 15

Archive: February 15th, 2008

February 15, 2008: Snowflake Therapy…

  I found this article and it made me smile – for obvious reasons.  🙂


Iraqis find hope in newly falling snow (Snowflake Therapy)
Huachuca Scout ^ | MSG Timothy Soliz

  These are the words of MSG Timothy Soliz

  Iraq – In the wee early hours of Jan. 11, the generator powering our containerized housing units, or CHUs, quit working. It didn’t come back on for six hours, and we hit an overnight low of 25 degrees. I woke up freezing in the middle of the night and found myself buried in the abyss of a cold, black metal CHU.

  I stumbled out of bed and stubbed my right big toe. After screaming a very short prayer…ahem, I think you know what I mean… I managed to find some warmer clothes, threw them on and crawled back into bed. I tossed. I turned. My big toe throbbed. I could not get back to sleep.

  When I finally got up for good, I was feeling quite cranky. I opened my door and saw a spattering of snow on the boardwalk that we use to stay off the mud when it rains. Being from Michigan, I didn’t give the snow a second thought.

  I decided to make coffee and check email. No sooner had I poured my first cup of joe, I heard a knock at my door. It was my 40-year old interpreter, who I’ll call Kareem. No one can know his real name or it will mean certain death to him or his family, or both.

  When I opened my door, I saw Kareem smiling and looking up at the sky with an absolutely beautiful look of joy on his not-so-handsome, leathery-skinned face.

  “Never before have I seen snow!” he exclaimed. “Snow has not fallen in this part of Iraq in many, many years. No one in my family can ever remember seeing snow.”

  A snowflake then landed on Kareem’s age-lined check and quickly melted, and I couldn’t distinguish whether it was merely a melted flake or a tear of joy. This man has known nothing but atrocious living conditions and brutal leadership in this land that seems forsaken. But suddenly, he seemed to be transformed into an innocent child, a child who once again believes that maybe there is hope for his people.

  Then I noticed more “snowflakes” melting on Kareem’s cheeks. He was crying tears of joy! They were warm, salty streams of inner exuberance that he simply couldn’t hold back, and he wasn’t alone.

  I learned that people in central Iraq up to 80 years old were exulting in the pureness of a fresh snowfall.

  Millions of Iraqis – Hardened-hearted as a result of their life’s lot – were crying like happy children, unashamed and obviously thrilled with the promise of a future being different that their past.

  Maybe healing has begun a a result of one tiny snowflake. And then I got to thinking. Governments can’t make these people happy. Their religion does not appear to me to make them very happy. Their living conditions do not make them happy. But snowflakes did.

  Maybe what this country needs is snowflake therapy.

  The snow was gone in a few hours, but the sweet joy it brought to millions of war-ravaged people here in central Iraq will last a lifetime.


Kathy Gibbons: Iraq snow melts away too fast


It created a healing, soothing picture.

For a moment.

I’m talking about the news that came from Baghdad a week ago Friday. It had snowed for the first time in recent memory in the heart of the Iraqi capital. News stories reported people streaming out of their houses and businesses, and phoning friends and relatives, to rejoice at the experience.

It was practically a miracle, in a place that is sorely overdue for one.

The stories said there were no reports of bloodshed for the duration of the snowstorm. Reading about people laughing and sharing camaraderie because of the snow, marveling at its beauty, even feeling, as one local was quoted, "joy" — a rare commodity in Iraq these days, it seems — I felt hope.

For a moment.