....LMB: "Pen Pals"....

March 04, 2003

My friend Leah Wells works for an organization called the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a group that promotes nonviolent resolution to conflict. Leah teaches a program of nonviolence to young people in the Ventura area of California.

Leah just returned from Baghdad, where she also shared these lessons with Iraqi children. She has encouraged her American students and students at this Iraqi school to write to each other, as a means of encouraging peace and understanding. I just received this email from Leah in which she shares the several dozen letters of the Iraqi students.

---

Letters from Al-Adamia Secondary School for Girls
As-Shebab Street, Al-Adamia neighborhood, Baghdad, Iraq.
Founded in 1937. 700 students, ages 15-20 years old, 48 teachers and staff. 80% of the students come from the neighborhood, 20% commute from other neighborhoods (through their parents). al-Aadamieh is one of the best public schools in Baghdad, with consistently high test scores. There are 43 students who wrote letters from this class.

Ms. Salwa al-Sharbati, principal (since 1978)
quotes from Principal al-Sharbati:
"When you have deep culture, deep history, it's like a motive to push you to do anything - you'll be ready for anything... The embargo itself is a challenge to us. Really, you have a lack in everything: chalk, desks, books, computers... We have another problem, that the students catch new diseases, especially cancers. This is effecting girls even more, they catch cancer of the breast and other disease."

5 out of 700 girls at this high school have cancer.


LETTERS

Al-Aadamia Secondary School for Girls
Baghdad, Iraq
March 3, 2003

Dear American Student,

My name is Naba'a Riad. I'm 18 years old. I say to you, How are you and want to you best wishes. At first all I want or all I wish is to be a doctor in the future and all the morning I hope this wish came true. I have a friend in my school who everyone carried their wishes. We want to live in peace. So how these wishes came true if you threaten us. Please let us live in peace and to be your friend.

With my best wishes,
Naba'a Riad

[drawing of a heart and flower] let this flower grow up.

***

Dear American Students,

My name is Thuraya El-Kaissi. I am in fifth class. I hope that we will see each other and talk about our dreams and hopes and our future ... I am really hope that, inshallah.

We love American people but the government they hate us and want to done this war on us.

I hope that you will send me your photos and letters to me and my friends in our school ... all my friends want your addresses and photos ... and any things about you all. What do you want from us? Ok!? See you soon, and keep in touch.

Your Friend,
Thuraya El-Kaissi

Note: I am 17 years old. How old you are?!
Note: I love the band:- N'Sync and (Anthony Hopkins)

***

Dear American Student,

I am Zainab from Baghdad. I'm 18 years old. I'm very happy to sent you this brief letter, and I hope to everybody good life and they become what they want. And I like to tell you what my desire is to be (doctor).

Goodbye,
Zainab Kies

***

The Bird of Peace [drawing of a bird with a flower in its beak]

Dear American Student,

I am Sara ... I live in Baghdad and I want to live in peace here ... and I am 17 years old.

So I don't know what I say. I am very sad and I am very confused. I like you to understand me what I want to say, and you have to forgive me because my English language is not good ... but I hope you understand my pain ... Just my tear could describe my pain ... I love you very very much because you want to help Iraqi children ... I want to be your friend ... I'm so sorry again for my English language is bad ... I'm so sorry.

Yours,
Sara Amer

[drawing of a flower] This flower is for you

***

For my dear friends in the world,

I am very happy for your letters sent to my school, and your opinion about the Iraqi people, and I hope to live in peace and I hope to live in calm life in my country, and I'm thank you with my love for you.

My name is Baidaa Suad, 18 years old, and goodbye with my love.

***

Dear America Students,

I send this message to any one of you to know us (Iraqi pupil) as it should be! I really glad to make a friendship with the U.S.A. student.

My name is Sarab and I'm 17 years old and I have no mother because she died in cancer last year... So I think this friendship will help me to get out from this sadness that I'm gonna through... I hope I met someone of you face to face and to still friends forever... What I hope is our problems solve... In fact I really love American people from all my heart. I swear it's true... I wish I can visit America and see you and you have to promise me that we will be a friends forever and ever.

I like dogs and I have one. It's german shepherd dog, his name is Bone... Tell me what you like, like I do...

I love Backstreet Boys, specially (A.J.)

I feel we'll contact with each other so in the second time tell me what you like to know you better.

Yours,
Sarab

Friendship forever [inside a heart]. Keep in touch and don't forget me... your friend, Sarab Taha El-Anne

***

Dear Friends in U.S.,

My name is Hiba Monther. I would like to tell you that I want to be like any people in the world. Well, I live with my family and from my house watch T.V. and read many books about the nature. Write to me and tell me about your feeling about this world. And I want to tell you that every night when I saw the moon and I feel that I am one of the stars in the sky.

Best wishes to you and your family,
Hiba Monther, 17 years old.

Hello also from Hiba's friend Rokoya (who doesn't know English very well).

***

Dear U.S.A. children,

I am Safa Emad Jihad Al-Rawi from Baghdad and my age is eighteen years old. I want to tell you that I'm very happy to send you this letter and I want you to know that Iraqi children want to speak with you about their life and their school and they live in very normal live and we love American people with all of threatenings of war on Iraq. We love you always and want to live in peace with all the world because the Iraqi people love peace for them and for other countries in the world.

Yours,
Safa Al-Rawi

***

Dear Friends,

I am student in sixth stage, secondary school for girls. I want living with peace in the world. I will be a doctor in the future, and I very like of them before the end. I hope the Peace of Iraq and America.

Zianab Munther, 18 years old.

***

Dear American Student,

My name is Rasha. I'm 18 years old. I want to say that I love the world and I love peace. I don't want war. Why do you want to kill the smiles on our faces? We want to learn and live in peace. I want to be a dentist, so how could I make that if the war happened? We are a peaceful people. We love peace. We love American people, so why do you want to kill us? I pray for the God to avoid us the war, and I hope for whole the world the peace and love. I want to be friends and keep in touch with you. Let us spread love among us.

With all the best,
Rasha Ali Abdul-Raheem

***

Dear Friends,

My name is Haneen Hamid. I have 18 years old. I want to thank you. I want to be a doctor.

Thank you,
Haneen Hamid

***

Dear American Student,

My name is Summer. We love you people America. I am 18 years old. I don't want war. We want peace. We want to learn. I love you. We want to succeed in our examinations. I want to be friends with you. So as love you because you love us.

With my best wishes,
Summer Mohammed

***

Dear Friends,

We are a group of 4 girls. We love the people of the world. We want to live in Peace.
I, Reem, I want to be a doctor. I, Aseel, I want to be a doctor. I, Halla, I want to be a doctor. I, Hadel, I want to be a doctor. I wish that I can visit U.S.A.

Good Luck,
Reem, 18 years old.
Aseel, 20 years old.
Halla, 19 years old.
Hadel, 20 years old.

***

We are love the people U.S.A. We hope go to U.S.A to meet to people and explain my feeling to you. Our hobbies listening the music and swimming. We hope becoming engineers. We are 18 years old. Our names Mary and Daniah.

***

Dear U.S.A. student,

We are friends, and we like them. We have two arms are peace and success. We know our feeling toward our country and we thank our feeling. Thank you and goodbye.

Huda Shakoor, 18 years old.

***

Hi!

I send them my best wishes and I hope them the success and all the happiness to them and to them families.

Your close friends,
Wasnaa & Hanan

Call me please! We are 18 years old.

***

Dear U.S.A. children,

Hi. I'm from Baghdad. My name is Saba. I want to tell you I am very happy to speak with you. You can understand me. I hope to learn and I hope to live in peace.

Yours,
Saba Ihsan, I am 18 years old.

***

Dear pupil of America,

.. We are Sara and Meas .. We are two pupils in Iraq .. We hope to live in peace .. and we want to learn only .. We love the people in America but we are against Bush.

Best wishes,
Sara and Meas

We are 17 years old. Thank you for your solidarity.

***

Dear American People:

Thank you very much to meeting's. I love you the best people. My name is Kother. 18 years old. I am pupil. I want to live in peace. Do you think the Iraqi people not good? I refused all the war in the world. I love you peace.

Best Wishes,
K.I.H.

***

Dear U.S.A. Student,

We are friends, and I love for love. This we are one that called for peace and no for war. Thanks for your feeling.

Raghed Salah Al-Deen, 18 years old.

***

Dear U.S.A. student,

I like your situation with us because together we have one aim - that we want peace and refuse the war in my country. I like to express my feeling towards America people - we love them but we hate America government, and in the end I thank you.

Yours,
Marwa Ali, 18 years old

***

A letter for America's students,

I'm Saja Waad. I love to say hello to all one who is my age. I'm 17 years old, and I'm Muslim and I'm love peace. I have friends in Palestine and Jordan and I love to have another in other country because I love communication with other people in all of the world. I hope you can understand me what I want to say. This idea very beautiful that we be friends. I really wish I have internet to talk with some friends in the world. My wish is to be a doctor in the future. Can you tell me your wish when you send a letter to me? I will be very proud if this idea will be successful.

With all my love,
Saja Waad Ali Al-Rubeay, 17 years.

Olive branch is a symbol of peace [drawing of an olive branch] we love peace

***

To Friends in U.S.A.,

I love people but I hate to the government (U.S.A.), and we love to be friend in school U.S.A. I hope to meet the people and I hope you can come to Iraq and visit us.

Thank you,
Hadeel Esam, 18 years old.

***

Dear American Student,

My name is Duha. I'm 18 years old. I love people America. I don't want war. We want peace. I hope to live in peace. I'm very love pupil America and I want to see somebody and I want to say for somebody pupil America. I want to be in touch with you always. I hope to love for me so as you love me for love you.

Duha Ali

***

Dear Friend in U.S.A.,

My name is Surowr. I love you for people America. I wish to visit America and I help to people America and I wish Doctor to help the children for people.

Thank you,
Surowr Muhammad, 20 years old.

***

Dear American people,

I would like to tell you that I love the American students. I want to tell you everything about the education in Iraq. We are proud of ourselves and we don't want war against our country. If you visit Iraq you saw that the Iraqi people are kindness and generosity. We hope to do this really to know your comment about us, how we are brave.

Finally, just we want that we live in peace and succeed in our examinations without war, and Iraq will be victorious.

note: I'm 18 years old.

Yours,
Marwa Hashim

***

Dear American Student,

I am 17 years old. I want to tell you that everybody in Iraq love everybody in the world. Only my wish is to continue my studies.

Yours,
Meelad

***

Dear Friends,

We love you and want to see you and we hope all the world live in peace and love each other like the flowers in one garden in heaven. Please urge your government to let us live in peace.

Best wishes,

Somiea, Anfal, & Yasamin
we are 18 years old

***

Dear American Student,

I am 17 years old. I have beautiful family and we all want to live in peace, and I want to continue my study in the future. I wish to be an engineer.

Your Friend,
Even

***

Dear America's children,

My name is Muna Khalid. I love America's people and children. I want to live in safety and the other people in Iraq. Iraqi people love America's people because the Iraqi people love peace.

We love the world.

***

Dear American Students,

All the Iraqi people love American people ... but we hate the war.

My name is Noor - 18 years old.

Thank you. Best wishes.
Noor

***

Dear America's Students! -

My name is Rasha. I have (19) years old. I hope to live in safety. I hope to a good study. I want to thank you about your feeling. You are good people.

Best wishes,
Rasha

***

Dear America's students,

My name is Israa Adel. I am from Iraq. I have 19 years old. In the beginning I want to thank you about your feeling. So in the first I want to talk about my wishes. I want to be a doctor and I hope that my God help me.

I love all the world.

Israa Adel

***

"The name of God"

For All American people,

I'm Marwa. I'm 18 years old. I'm in sixth lesson. I have my dreams .. I hope to finish my studies. I want to be a doctor. I hope to learn more than that .. I have a large number of friends and I hope to find more. Do you like to be my friend? I love all who love the peace. I love all who love the Iraqi people .. If you want to be my friend then tell me when we meet ..

Your friend,
Marwa

[drawing of a heart and flower]
"We live in one world"
Love destroy the war

***

Dear pupils in U.S.,

I am Lubna Saad. I am seventeen years old. I am student in Al-Aadamya Secondary School for girls. I live near the school and I love watching TV, and specially the movies. I hope I will be a lawyer in the future and to travel to America and I want to told you something - when I get out my house in the night I saw the moon and I believe that all the people in the world would see it even in different times. So I wish that we all live in peace and visit each other. Thank you.

Lubna Saad

Posted by Jake at 08:08 PM
Comments

Dear brothers and sisters. America doesnt want to help you or anyone. They only want to help them and other nonmuslims. They are fighting iraq because they want the oil from there. The oil here will pay for everything they lost in the war. Please dont support them and NEVER believe a nonmuslim American.
Mujahada

Posted by: Mujahada at April 14, 2003 03:55 PM

salam and hiya to all h r u male 23 mbbs final year student doctor here if u wanna frndhip woth great ever smart doctor thence welcome but plz no wastage of time

Posted by: doctorali at May 1, 2003 12:05 AM

Hi,

I am a teacher on Guam. I teach secondary Social Studies and would love to create a pen pal arrangement for my students. Would you like to do this?

Gina

Posted by: Gina at July 15, 2003 03:00 AM

Hi,

I am a teacher on Guam. I teach secondary Social Studies and would love to create a pen pal arrangement for my students. Would you like to do this?

Gina

Posted by: Gina at July 15, 2003 03:00 AM

I am a girl in America. We attacked Iraq to get rid of a very bad 'man' with soul-less sons! I am not a politician so I don't know anything about the oil, but getting rid of sadam was for the worlds well being. I will be relieved when i can feel safe again.

Posted by: Charlotte at July 31, 2003 11:17 AM

I am a girl in America. We attacked Iraq to get rid of a very bad 'man' with soul-less sons! I am not a politician so I don't know anything about the oil, but getting rid of sadam was for the worlds well being. I will be relieved when i can feel safe again.

Posted by: Charlotte at July 31, 2003 11:17 AM

We are looking to correspond and become pen-pals with Iraqi citizens via e-mail.

Posted by: Robert at August 20, 2003 01:51 PM

Sorry, but your leader, Saddam Hussein had plenty of money for food and medicine for you; he spent the money on himself and his family and friends instead. The leader of your government was a threat to the citizens of my country and my country's friends. Also, it was necessary for us to have this war against Saddam and his followers and it is necessary for us to stay in your country until we can be assured that you will have a democracy based upon the rule of law without bias toward any religion and that you will be a government peaceful toward all of your neighbors. As we helped both Japan and Germany, we can help your country to become prosperous and free.

Posted by: Diana Nielsen at August 23, 2003 11:51 AM

HELLO

I'M SEARCHING FOR ARMY, NAVY, OVERSEAS PEN PALS! IF YOU LIKE N'SYNC PLEASE WRITE ME! ESP IF YOU LIVE IN THE UNITED STATES AND YOU LIKE N'SYNC THAN WRITE ME! HERE'S MY HOME ADDRESS! Melanie Schuhardt, 7103 Olivia Rd, Baltimore MD 21220-1182! (USA)! BECAUSE I REALLY NEED MORE N'SYNC PEN PALS ANY WHERE! I HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU REAL SOON! I'LL CHAT LATER WITH YOU! I'LL BE WAITING FOR YOUR LETTER IN MY MAILBOX SOON!

Posted by: MELANIE SCHUHARDT at October 25, 2003 10:07 AM

iam sorry that our president used ou emotions to fulfill his desire for world power. i just hope we can live in peace. that one person made that much difference. imagine the difference we can make if we work together for the noble cause of peace

Posted by: zafeerah at November 10, 2003 07:11 PM

Used to be a Marine (U.S.) we went to "other" lands, in secret, to do our bloody deeds to whoever our commanders and politicians told us were "the enemy". Now I begin to wonder...? Why the hell are we in Iraq? Oil? hell, we have tons of it here in reserves! Politics..? well yeah...I suppose so...if by that we are talking about greedy whitehouse and capital hill and pentagon individuals who garner favor and huge dividends from the investment of war. Are we there to kill Sadam? why? he is a joke....I cannot seriously consider him any sort of a threat to the U.S.....not without laughing out loud at the sheer ludicrousity of the image it presents to mind....I mean think about it! Really!

As a soldier, bear in mind that should a REAL threat ever come to our shores, you'all can bet your asses that I will be the first to fire my weapon at an invading enemy....alongside of about 90% of all other Americans here, soldiers or not! BUT! As for invading Iraq, or any other nation for that matter, with reasons based upon lies, false evidence, political endeavoring, and greed ....that is a crime and a damn shameful waste of a whole hell of a lot of valuable lives...no matter the nationality of said lives!

Damn it people! Wake the hell up....everyone! Where the hell is our world going? We march our young men and women off to get their asses shot up or at least, at, and yet our main priority is football? As we are all Human Beings on this one bitty planet, we are therefore all one race, and I will say it again so ya'll can be sure ya got it down ....... HUMAN BEINGS

Now .... conduct ourselves accordingly, yes? knock off the war shit, Bush. I ain't impressed, and I thought a whole lot better of texicans than what yur showin us now. As for the rest of you people in the world who read this... remember... all ya got to do is just be good to the one next to ya and it will catch on, and pretty soon it will become a widespread epidemic of peace! My God! Imagine what that would be like?

Well I said my piece ... now ya'll got something to think about right? Don't think.....DO!

Wolfer

Posted by: at November 13, 2003 10:59 PM

I'd like to correspond with a citizen of Iraq who is close to my age-35.

Posted by: john eder at November 28, 2003 05:33 PM

I really want to talk to an iraqi citizen directly
preferably someone near my age- 17, but any age will do
thank you so much
contact
travkids@aol.com
or travkids (AIM)

Posted by: Sam Travis at November 29, 2003 01:32 PM

i would like to find a pen pal for my son's 2nd grade class to coraspond with. either a student in iraq or an american soldier

Posted by: michelle bagley at December 9, 2003 08:30 AM

i would like to find a pen pal for my son's 2nd grade class to coraspond with. either a student in iraq or an american soldier

Posted by: michelle bagley at December 9, 2003 08:31 AM

Hello. I am an English teacher in Brazil and I would like to find an American teacher with whom I could develop my master degree project. It consists in the exchange of letters or e-mails between American and Brazilian students of secondary schools.

Posted by: Zenaide Moschim Gianini at December 28, 2003 12:04 PM

yes!!!! a message for Zenaide Moschim Gianni--I hope you get this. I am an English teacher in the US looking for a teacher outside US to participate in an email exchange with--my students are 16-17 years old and are very interested in other cultures. In fact my brother is moving to Brazil in a couple weeks so I have some connection there though not a deep understanding of Brazilian culture. I think it would be wonderful to connect our classrooms. On e of my goals is encouraging my students to see themselves as part of a global family and to help challenge thier perhaps parochial and nationalistic view of the world. Please contact me at aldsweetie@yahoo.com Yours Sincerely, Amanda Duncan

Posted by: Amanda Duncan at January 15, 2004 11:51 AM

I would love to start a pen pal correspondence with an adult (20-80 years of age) in Iraq to further the goals of increasing personal knowledge, working towards global peace, and the intelligent exchange of beliefs and ideas between our cultures. If you would like to contact me, please e-mail at: bikerbabetm@hotmail.com (don't let my screen name mislead you. I am a serious, educated woman, who happens to like motorcycles...thus the crazy screen name!) Love and Peace to all who read this, Jill

Posted by: Jill Mark at January 21, 2004 12:27 PM

hi! my name is maddie and i'd like to start a program in the little town where i live in california. i want to help kids write letters to kids in iraq, and for the iraqi kids to write back (basically the same as what i've seen on this website) but i need an address or two. if someone could give me one i would be so grateful. please contact me through mag_pie229@hotmail.com
thank you and have a great day!

Posted by: maddie at October 6, 2004 05:08 PM

I would like to have an iraqi penpal to write too. I dont care what age. NE one over 20 would be fine. Male or Female. It doesnt matter.

Posted by: Stephanie at October 20, 2004 10:32 AM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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