Friday, January 28, 2005

DEMOCRACY IN ACTION

I have some positive news to report for once. For the last few days, I’ve been feeling increasingly depressed over Iraq’s prospects. It doesn’t help that lately, part of my job has been to keep track of all the election-related violence happening in Iraq. So it’s been about polling stations being hit by grenades or mortars, elections workers quitting en masse because of threats and dozens of Iraqis killed in the last few days.

So after another 12-hour day at work, I was heading home for some much needed sleep when we drove out to the main road and saw a commotion of a traffic jam and car horns honking. Hanging out windows and on the back of pickup trucks were ordinary people and political activists carrying banners for various political groups. There were also people standing along the streets, cheering everyone on. It was the last day for campaigning but it looked like a big block party, and the celebration lasted past midnight.

As I observed the scene, a few tears dropped from my eyes. I was just so happy to finally see a positive result from this so-called democracy we have brought to Iraqis. Of course, I was brought back to reality today as I heard of a car bomb killing four Iraqis in Baghdad. And who knows what the day after the elections will bring. But for that one moment, I felt a measure of hope.