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Archive for February 2007

Enzo Baldoni met the journalists of Fallujah

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On August 11, 2004, Enzo Baldoni and Ghareeb (Enzo’s Palestinian interpreter in Iraq) went to Fallujah. Enzo reported it in his blog (Blogdhad) and a phone interview with Baldoni was also aired by “Radio Città del Capo” in Italy. Here below the rush transcript of that interview. Enzo Baldoni spoke specifically about that tour and the related delivering of aids to some journalists of a newborn first independent newspaper in Fallujah. Enzo Baldoni and Ghareeb were to be killed in Iraq along the last decade of that very August 2004.

«We’ve travelled to Fallujah, I and Ghareeb, my interpreter, who’s a friend and a guardian angel above all. We’ve got there to deliver some aids and money to an NGO, greet and share solidarity to the journalists of this very first independent newspaper in Fallujah.
Fallujah is presently under armed Mujaheddins’ control. We were pretty tense because a fatwa was issued, just yesterday, against all the foreigners, the reporters, the photographers, and all the Americans of course. The dogs and slaves of their masters.
So really we were… The town was completely shut down, almost completely under siege by the Americans, who surround it. And there was tension around. We entered by a secondary, narrow road. Therefore, pretty luckily, we got to the office of that journal. Everybody there looked at us, thinking we were mad. We gave them the aids we had to, then suddenly they brought and showed us out, even saying to me: “Look, you’ve got to pretend you are an Iraqi, absolutely, do not show you’re a foreigner, sit straight, look straight in front of you, never watch at anyone’s eyes, don’t raise your hand” and all this stuff, don’t even mention picking up photos, of course.
At the checkpoint, one of the journalists [was surr…] He was bringing us on, he went ahead and made some mess in order to keep them a bit apart from us, and then …then they nodded: “Ok, go, go,” namely…
I don’t really know the risk we have run, in my opinion we did not run a particularly elevated risk. For sure there was tension, the worst thing is that they are divided in Fallujah. One Mujaheddin against another, the Mosques, one against another. And Ghareeb said, while getting out he said: “look, in my opinion, Fallujah is fucked up.” He means the Americans encircle it, maybe Moktada is probably hiding within Fallujah, and the Americans are going to carry on a last strike. Eh, yes, yes, yes, because at this point there is a struggle in Iraq, really hard. The Americans and the newborn Iraqi Army, from the one side, the Mujaheddins from the other. They say the Mujaheddins are quite divided and this, …and this is the problem, they cannot elect a clear leader, they’re one against another and this – according to Ghareeb, who knows them well and stuff – he says this will fuck them up.
Look, we went directly to this journal’s office, they gave us a sit and offered us some water, we talked for ten minutes and suddenly they escorted us toward the escape. The way out was watched by these Mujaheddins, all of them dressed in black, and with a bandage on their face not to be recognized, and these journalists and friends tried to get their attention so that we could gain the way out, yes, we got out, more or less unharmed, we got pretty scared because one of them [somew…] chased us on foot and made us open the baggage, but we had nothing inside, therefore…
Of course, when you are into a besieged town you turn a bit paranoid, moreover if there is a fatwa, a curse, a death sentence against all the foreigners, the journalists, against anyone …let alone being Italian. Ghareeb says we’ve run somehow a little risk. You know, in every movement there is a bunch of fanatics with blood in their eyes, sure there are also some of them. In Fallujah…»

[In italian see pipistro on line]
[See also Enzo Baldoni, who’s killing him one more time? in this blog and/or footnote #9 in Inge Van De Merlen’s In memory of Fallujah]

Written by pipistro

February 15, 2007 at 12:36 am

Posted in Enzo Baldoni, Iraq

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