“Riverbend” is the alias of a 24-year-old Iraqi woman who started her own blog, Baghdad Burning, back in August of last year to write about her day-to-day experiences and thoughts in the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion. In her entry for February 15th, 2004, she speaks about the bombing of Baghdad during Gulf War I, focusing on the deaths of hundreds of mostly women and children huddled for safety in a bomb shelter in the Amiriyah district.
Amiriyah itself is an area full of school teachers, college professors, doctors and ordinary employees- a middle-class neighborhood with low houses, friendly people and a growing mercantile population. It was a mélange of Sunnis and Shi’a and Christians- all living together peacefully and happily. After the 13th of February, it became the area everyone avoided. For weeks and weeks the whole area stank of charred flesh and the air was thick and gray with ash. The beige stucco houses were suddenly all covered with black pieces of cloth scrolled with the names of dead loved ones. “Ali Jabbar mourns the loss of his wife, daughter, and two sons”; “Muna Rahim mourns the loss of her mother, sisters, brothers and sons”