Friday, June 22, 2007

Destr.-Iraqi Museum 05-02-16

Destruction of Iraqi Museum and Library

Mirza A. Beg
Written. Wednesday, February 16th, 2005

Al Jazeerah, Saturday, February 19th 2005

Left Hook, Sunday, February 20, 2005

Vices in War Time, Friday, March 11, 2005

Those, who care, have been ashamed of the way the Baghdad Museum was looted under the very nose of the US forces. The museum director pleaded for help, but the soldiers had no orders, so they could not help. Before the start of the war, Archaeologists in the US had requested the Bush administration and presented a list to the Pentagon, to protect the museums and antiquities in Iraq, only to be ignored. Yesterday, I saw a photographic exhibit, "Faces of Iraq." The thoughts, I had for the last two years, jelled into the following lines.

Dawn of the 21st Century, are we better!
Genetically, emotionally, culturally!
Six-thousand years of history,
Timeless places,
Places forgotten by time.
Say, No!

The past speaks in faint, halting voices,
Some reach out through the pages of history,
Some yet to be heard from.
People long gone,
Lived and loved, coveted and complained.
All - denizens of dust.

Ubadians and Sumerians, of six millennia ago,
Living - still, in broken cuneiform tablets.
Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Hittites,
Then came Chaldians, Persians and Arabs.
Conquerors, conquered former conquerors.
Civilizations fall to Barbarians, to rise again.

Lives, voices and treasures, preserved in silt.
Concealed by ageless guardians, Tigris and Euphrates.
Old at the bottom covered by the new, and yet newer.
Our common heritage, preserved in the sands of time.
Carefully, lovingly unearthed, by generations of Archaeologists.
Cradle of Civilization, sheltered in the Museum of Baghdad.

Mother of all codes, the code of Hammurabi,
The epics of Gilgamesh, Nebuchadnezzar and Haroon.
Story of humanity - Mesopotamia, history's loan to Iraq.
Even Saddam the tyrant did not dare,
But the barbarians from the 21st century,
In their ignorance, wrecked the salvaged past.

In the glimmer of modern buildings,
A child shops in a store named "Toys 'R' Us".
Some day the child would know,
6,000 years of human history,
Pillaged and looted in the summer of 2003,
The child may consider: Barbarians Are Us!

Mirza A. Beg may be contacted at

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