Is Al Sarafiya bridge Sunni or Shi'ite?

What happened this morning in Baghdad was shocking, not only for me, but for all Iraqis.

Is Al Sarafiya bridge Sunni or Shi'ite?

During the past 14 months, the media very often use these two terms, Sunni and Shi'ite, instead of using the term Iraq when they want to talk about the war in this country. What happened this morning April 12 was tragic for all Baghdadis (Shi'ite and Sunni).

Al Sarafiya bridge is one of the monuments in Baghdad. It was built with the money of Iraqis during the 1940s. At that time this bridge was supposed to be built in Sidney, but instead it was moved to Baghdad. At its time this bridge was the longest bridge in the world. This morning the criminals exploded this bridge with a car filled with explosions driven by a terrorist. Civilian cars on the bridge were smashed and thrown into the river. Today all Iraqis cried at the wreckage of Al Sarafiya bridge.

What happened today took me in history eight centuries back, to the first Mongol attack on Baghdad. The 12th and 13th centuries were essentially Muslims centuries. The Arabic language, which for a time became the international language of science, and the Arabic works and books began to be translated into Latin, that such knowledge passed to the West. Baghdad was the glittering city of the Arabian nights and of Harun al-Rashid the Abbasid Caliph, which in 1258 was destroyed by the invading Mongols. They reduced Baghdad to rubble, killing 800,000 men, women and children in the process. They emptied the shelves of libraries and threw all the books in the Tigris. Because of the writing ink the Tigris' water turned black.

This morning the Tigris water turned red because of the blood and bodies of Iraqis in the river. It is the second Mongol attack on Baghdad.

Naba S. Hamid is director of New Horizon for Women, a Global Fund grantee.

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