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'Coyote' Part 18 'Hope Springs'
From the Author
Just a note
Sorry we've been away from the story for a while, the next part required some thinking out. Why? well, up to this point I've known most of the story because I was there for a lot of it, but the rest is a bit of a work of fiction as to how Samir actually did get out of Iraq.
One point I will add that's important to the story is that not long after we left Iraq the workers for Op Mercy were evacuated from there by the US government as anyone who worked for Western relief agencies was deemed to be in 'imminent danger' but some strange reason Samir's name was left off the list, and once again he was left behind, we'll cover that later in the story, but it might help to know that at the beginning of this part.
From the previous
“I hate the idea” Tariq was almost protesting, “I don’t want to”
“We know” Luka cut in.
“But you’ve got four single women travelling in the East” Azeem took over.
“They need a ‘big brother’ to protect them” samir finished the sentence off, “anything else would be unthinkable!”
“No Buts” Luka insisted, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned from you and the people at Op Mercy, it’s that we’re God’s children, and he looks after them much better than you can” his face was stern, “Now you must go, and may God go with you”
“Rabbina Maakum” Tariq replied (May God be with you all)
Aftermath, a few days later
“We still have things to do” Luka was addressing the remnants of the team, “there are twelve infants in the hospital, someone needs to take over training the nurses” he tried to not put Ashraf on the spot, but he was the only one with medical training, it was obvious he was the one Luka was talking about.
The first week since Tariq and the rest of the Westerners left had been hard, everyone had been on 'autopilot’ mode, going through the motions, more out of a sense of duty than knowing why. Everyone wondering if things were going to fall further apart.
“Do we have the money for the projects?” Jamila asked the question everyone was thinking, but no one had the courage to ask.
“We have enough” Luka replied, “Miss Jean also arranged for us to receive more money through the people here, they'll be able to meet at the border and deliver money to there, they just aren't allowed to cross anymore”
“Does that mean?” The question was half out before he cut it off.
“The Turks closed the border from their side” Luka carried on, “they're letting people into there, with a western passport, but not back into Iraq!”
“Does that mean?”
“For the moment, yes” he cut the question off, it'd been one of the guards. Op Mercy had three houses, two for the westerners and one office, each house had six men working as guards, now, with the westerners gone, they knew there wasn't the need for so many, they were scared, not just of Saddam, but no job meant no money, no food, Luka quickly cut that idea off.
A great read
A 'seat of your pants action adventure' set in nearby Iran (based on a lot of what I saw in Iraq"
'When you don't know what comes next, keep doing what you've been doing right!'
“We're keeping the houses, and the guards” he added, “for the moment they're not letting people across, but that could change, we have the funds, and strict instructions were left for everyone to carry on as normal” he looked around the room, making eye contact with everyone, Luka was the only Kurd in the room who wasn't from Zakho, Samir was in the room, but he wasn't Kurdish, establishing who was in charge was vital.
No one challenged him, by rights, by local custom, Azeem, as the oldest and most respected should be in charge, but he and Luka had already worked through things, and he really didn't want the responsibility, besides, Luka had proved many times to be trustworthy, Azeem reached over and shook Luka’s hand, all he said was “Spass”, Kurdish for “thank you”, everyone knew, it was a 'passing the baton’, Luka was their leader.
The rest of the meeting was taken up with who would be doing what, Ashraf would take full charge of the feeding g programme, and also oversee the hospital, if he had any problems with the local health authority he was to let Luka or Azeem know.
Before the uprising, Ashraf had been a third year medical student, he'd hated medicine, but it was the path his family had chosen for him, his mother had been Christian, but his father was Kurdish and Muslim, he'd always felt like an outsider, and wanted desperately to 'fit in’ so, doing what the family said was the only way.
A couple of the guards were re- assigned, mainly to the hospital, Azeem was given the task of making sure all the vehicles were in working order. Unsaid at the meeting, but talked through with Luka before, Azeem was also tasked with finding the safest way through the mountains into Turkey, if they needed it. “Those routes exist” they'd agreed, “we just need to find them” and he had a good idea who to ask.
A new favourite of mine
Take a moment
"If you're going through hell, keep on moving.
If you're scared, then don't you show it.
You might get out,
Before the Devil even knows you're there!"
Awesome folks, my daughter shared this song with me today, and it's awesome!
A great read
My second novel, and another 'seat of the pants' adventure with the team from the first novel
The next few days were busy as everyone worked out what they needed to do, no real news filtered through from the East and Erbil, no one knew what was happening, but everyone knew something would, surely the west wouldn’t ‘just leave things there’ would they?
“Here’s the things you wanted” Samir couldn’t mistake the voice of the ‘little Turk’ as he’d begun to think of Turgut that way, ‘he might have an Iraqi ID, but he’s a Turkoman, that makes him a Turk’ he thought to himself.
Samir slowly slid himself out from under the vehicle he’d been working on, the package, a small parcel, had landed next to his feet, he slowly sat up, reached for the parcel and began to open it. “Thank you” was all he said.
“Cost us a few favours” Turgut replied, “but my boss’ made a good profit from the cars, and you’ve done good work for him, he said it was worth it” he crouched down, so that he could look Samir in the eye, “They’re German, and they’re legit, you’re a Turkish national living in Frankfurt, been home to the ‘homeland’ for a holiday, no need for entry and exit visas for Germans, too many Turks living in Germany to keep track of them anyway!”
“What about entry visas?” Samir asked.
“Just go through a quiet crossing, slip the guard a few ‘backshish’, by the way, they like Euros more than dollars for Germans, strange really, but that’s the way it is, don’t take Deutschmarks, they’re going out and the guards don’t like them!”
“Thank you” Samir said again, not quite believing what he had in his hands, three totally legitimate passports, one even had his correct name and place of birth, but said he was a naturalised German citizen of ‘Turkoman’ origin who’d lived most of his life in Frankfurt, he was almost weeping.