"We are here alive before you. But we are dead from within." Thus, the "Hamdaniya" groom, Revan Joshua, describes his tragedy and his bride Haneen, after the tragedy they lived, when flames consumed "in a few seconds" the wedding hall where their wedding was held. During which 107 attendees were killed, and about 150 others suffered burns of varying severity (according to official data).

The doomed groom told Sky News what happened on the fateful night when his wedding turned into disaster and a big funeral. Rivan said that while he was dancing with his bride, the hall suddenly darkened, and flames poured on them from the ceiling of the hall, which faded in the blink of an eye, to the cries and cries of the audience. Rivan, who lost 15 relatives in the fire, pulled out his bride, who lost her mother and nine others. He forcibly lured her, fleeing with her from the kitchen door, trying to free her from the scourge of running over her wedding dress, and the fugitives scrambled from the hell of the Holocaust, which caught everyone's clothes. The fire occurred in a wedding hall in the predominantly Christian town of Qaraqosh, in the Hamdaniya area of Mosul, Iraq, among other Christian towns that suffered from ISIS persecution of Christians when it took control of Iraqi areas (end 2013-2017).

20,<> fires. And the dead of the fires of Corona hospitals

Last Thursday morning, a mass was held to pray for the souls of the victims at the "Town Church", which is for Syriac Catholics. The report of the government committee to investigate the causes of the fire, confirmed that the fire is not planned, and that the number of attendees for the wedding is 900 people, while the hall can accommodate only 500 people, and attributed the causes of the fire to fireworks, building violations, and the use of flammable building materials, and blamed the owner of the hall. The tragedy sheds a strong spotlight on the corruption and negligence rampant in Iraq, the prevalence of nepotism, and bribery, in the absence of the "law", which does not lack controls and penalties. But it is the predominance of chaos, tribalism, sectarianism, and sectarianism that provides protection to violators in exchange for narrow interests and hateful bargains. It is known that construction work (whether public or private), since the US occupation of Iraq (2003-2011), is mired in violations. It disputes the established controls, and lacks "security and safety conditions", whether in terms of construction or its materials, electrical connections, or the availability of firefighting supplies. Such a catastrophic fire, in the Hamdaniya wedding hall. Iraq is not new, and I think it will not be the last, as the country witnessed, during the first eight months of this year, about 20,2021 fires (according to Iraqi sources). For example, a "fire" broke out at Ibn al-Khatib Hospital in the capital, Baghdad (April 2021), and another at Al-Hussein Hospital in Nasiriyah city (July 174), killing 220 people and injuring <> others, all of them Corona patients.

Americans. And awakening tribal and sectarian strife

Despite the demise of the U.S. occupation 12 years ago, the situation has only changed for the worse. The "occupier" created and empowered a vast base of corruption and a large class of "spoilers, thieves, and agents". It also exploded tribal strife and sectarian and sectarian tendencies, and ignited conflicts among all, resulting in the death, displacement and displacement of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis against the backdrop of sectarian and tribal conflicts. This tribal and pluralistic composition of Iraqi society coexisted peacefully under the regime of the late President Saddam Hussein, and those before him, despite his tyranny, and the dictatorship that characterized his rule. However, the "Americans", like any colonizer, sought to stir up strife by awakening these tendencies, luring Iraqis into clash and conflict, and falling into the trap of fighting and killing over identity, which cost the Iraqis high prices in lives and property, and they still are.

Successive Iraqi governments, despite the democratic form, with parties and parliamentary elections, are already subject to the calculations of interests, spoils, and quotas of sects and tribes, which made Iraq a failed state or quasi-state.

Sadly, there is no will to reform the country's deteriorating political, economic, social and security conditions, as the majority seeks to reap and protect the spoils and gains, even on the corpse of Iraq's people and state. The Iraqi government washed its hands of the disaster by dismissing a number of municipal employees, including the mayor of the town, and referring some of them for investigation before the judicial authorities. Prime Minister Mohamed Shia al-Sudani visited the town on Thursday's funeral to offer condolences.

Absorbing the popular anger that accompanies the tragedies. And the cheap life of the citizen

This Iraqi government's behavior is usual in disasters that befall citizens in many Arab countries, not just Iraq. That is, sacrificing a number of junior employees, by referring them to investigation or custody, in order to absorb the popular anger associated with such tragedies. Thus, ministers and de facto officials escape accountability and punishment. This approach of the rulers in dealing with "disasters" in Iraq and other similar countries (Libya and the tragedy of Derna for example) is due to the low value of the human being, in the eyes of these rulers, who do not care much about the citizen or his (cheap) life. What is important for one of these unjust rulers for their people is to continue on his throne, and if the homeland and the "citizen" are lost, the latter is just a number, his relatives can be satisfied with a little money as compensation, and there is nothing to prevent an official here or there to console the families of the victims with faint words and artificial feelings that will not bring the dead back to life. It is indisputable that the accused employees and the owner of the wedding hall in the stricken town of Qaraqosh deserve the most severe punishment, if proven guilty. However, would these accused perpetrators have dared to commit these crimes, which resulted in this painful human tragedy, had it not been for the fact that the general and surrounding environment from the top to the bottom of the pyramid of power could accommodate and tolerate these criminal practices? The answer.. Absolutely not, and that is the issue that needs to be addressed, nothing will change, and the conditions of our Arab countries that we are talking about will remain deteriorating, from bad to worse, as long as corruption, neglect, tribalism, sectarianism and nepotism eat away at our societies, and as long as the human being is cheap and worthless, in such tyrannical regimes of rule. Too bad.. Fires, disasters and humanitarian tragedies that the poor citizen pays for in a non-Arab country will be repeated through no fault of his guilt or crime, until further notice.

We ask God for mercy for the dead, patience for their families, and speedy recovery for those injured in the fire.