Episode 16 - "Across The River"

Ausama shows his favorite place in all of Baghdad.

Viewer Comments

That photo is unbelievably adorable! Such a cute kid. And the river looks so calm and beautiful. But that is horrible about the bombs and bullets. It's not fair that people should have to keep replacing their windows just so that the army can train.
Posted on: April 17, 2007

I liked the house too, nice view on the river. The video is defenatly better than the last one, keep up the effort. And i hope your granmother's prayers are accepted, for that we are praying for you guys too. Salam
Posted on: April 17, 2007

What a beautiful house. The garden and the view are amazing. It must have been nice to sit out there on summer evenings. The river is so peacuful looking. I hope your grandmother can live there in peace soon... hahaha, a little Ausama! You were very cute!
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Hey Ausama , I found out that you are my neighbor , Really it was so hard in 2003 when the snap on the other bank of Tigris , I swear by god the ground was moving under my legs , the pictures on walles were shaking and after that we got dust evrywhere in my house , never speak about the glasses coz ((it had gone with the wind)) . That X-tape which ausama was talking about wount prevent the glass from break but it just helps in collecting the glass as a whole unit so as not to be shattered for small piceces which would make it lethal . I dont know why we have seen all that , from 1980 till 1988 with Iran then in 1991 Gulf war , I was 10 year-old child and then in 1998 and the last one in 2003 and with a god damn 13 years of blockade on Iraqis . Its a hard life . Regards ,
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Hey all u guys! Just wanna say that the day I found your videos I couldn’t stop watching them until I finish!!! Pretty good! I also read a lot of comments from past entries. I think it’s really awesome what u r doin', opening the eyes of a lot of people who have no idea what a war can cause in the lives of common people … especially if they r from western countries!! I still cannot believe some comments I saw from people supporting US government… r u serious??? Don’t they know what their government has done before?!! Don’t they remember Vietnam, Salvador, Pakistan … etc … etc … ? And what they're "subtly" doing to the rest of 3world countries & every1 else!! OMG!!! I cannot understand people who think their point of view, their government, their way of life is the only valid one… from either side they are! Anyways… I hope you keep up with ur good work, I’ll keep watching and spreading the word around! Salam
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Zaid - Thanks for explaining the X's on the windows b/c I wasn't sure I understood what they were for. Ausama, Aside from the danger, I would be so angry every time a window broke. As if people have money to waste on windows all the time - and the mess. I'm just trying to imagine if every once in awhile some windows on my house were broken. It would make me incredibly angry.... And the US military makes no attempt to pay for this or prevent the bullets from coming over there??? ... This is definitly something we wouldn't see on CNN, huh? >:( The house is lovely. I'm sorry that such a beautiful place full of fond memories like your grandmother's house has been tainted with danger and other negative things. Praying for peace. Tracy
Posted on: April 18, 2007

I remember during typhoon season while growing up, we would put tape up on the windows in X's to make them more secure in the event that they would break. Ausama (and I guess to all the other "cast" members), were your parents okay with the filming? I understand that everyone involved in this project put their lives at risk, so I was just curious to know how supportive were those around you with all these cameras filming.
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Ausama, how nice to see your grandmother and mother praying. I also liked seeing the river. I have read many people mentioning the idea of sitting along it, playing music, etc. It's nice to have a visual.
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Ahh this video reminds me of my grandparents' house in Baghdad! I have so many happy memories in that house when I was little. I hope oneday things in Iraq will stabilize so I can go back and visit that house and all the other beautiful places in Iraq. Can't wait for the next episode! Keep up the great work, guys!
Posted on: April 18, 2007

It kind of sickens me that your grandmother could be killed by just sitting peacefully in her own home. It's thoughtless, disgusting and just plan sociopathic on the part of the US and it's military. It's funny how collateral damage is okay only if we aren't the ones recieving it. How many people would be for it if we were the ones getting our windows blown out and having bullets wiz by our heads as we tuck our children in to sleep at night? I hope for peace and that everything will be okay with the innocent families in Iraq. As an American I can't really fathom what it would be like to live in that sort of situation, I admire anyone's courage who can move forward.
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Just wanted to say that Hometownbaghdad.com was featured on Swedish national news today, as related news to the horrible carbombing earlier this morning. We have small headlines in the papers every day about people getting killed in Iraq. 25 people here, 50 people there. Only when death rates exceed a hundred or so does it get any serious coverage. But it usually ends up getting swallowed up by other news anyway, like in between reports of the 20-odd students who recently got murdered in the US. A national tragedy, Bush says. Anyone got any figures on how many students have been massacred in Iraq recently?
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Okay Richard I been nice on these forums so far it was 32 students that died in this tragedy in the US. Show some respect It was the largest amount of students to ever be killed in a school in my country. You said Iraq does not get serious coverage only American news does but you couldn't even get the number right of how many Americans died. This makes me think you like to read the comic section and spread false news. I don't see any Americans on here insinuating that American life is more important than one of an Iraqui? Whats going on in Iraq is not a tragedy its a nightmare and we have to make it stop. This can't be an American effort to much has gone wrong. We need this to be a world effort to restore stability. We stay until the Iraq government wants us gone plain and simple. I thought of something the other day if Every powerful nation in the world contributed aid and assistance to just one designated city in Iraq rather than critisize our government things could be a lot different. My words mean little and this is more than a war there is a Jehad going on in Iraq every terrorist in the ME wants to prove America wrong. We will keep fighting but until the world community stops pointing and laughing at us the more Iraquis will die at the expense of the USA. My prayers go out to the 183 people killed in Baghdad what a freaking mess.
Posted on: April 18, 2007

You need ALL your videos in American TV! They're so enlightening; and I identify with you very much: I'm from Colombia, and as you may know, it is a country where constant battles between the government and anti-government institutions (a.k.a. drug lords) "reign" over every other town and village. Although conditions never got as bad as when the women in your video "Exam" refused to go out with you because of safety issues, problems did hit our family so we moved to the States. I'm very glad you are taking your future far in Iraq--going to college, wanting to be a doctor and an engineer... It's great to learn of such stories. Your English is amazing and I only wish that you achieve all your dreams and become who you want. Keep leading such great lives and I can't wait to watch more episodes!
Posted on: April 18, 2007

James By no means did I mean any disrespect and belittle the tragedy at the University of Virginia by my post. What has happened there is horrible in its own right, and forcefully serves to show that there are many issues of humanity and violent behavior that need to be addressed within the United States as well as their effects abroad. My point was that whatever happens in the US gets a disproportionate amount of media coverage in relation to the suffering caused by the wars they wage. Since I didn't know any of the students at the university, and don't know any of the people living in Iraq, my sympathies goes out equally to all who have suffered violent deaths and their families. However, even though you are perhaps right about there being no Americans on this particular board that have expressed the idea that American lives are worth more than those of Iraqi citizens, I have to say the general media focus seems to indicate otherwise. The reason I did not get the figures right is not because I was reading comics (although you got it half right- considering the dark place the world is turning into, I do take greater pleasure reading the comics than the front page), but because I, like many of my fellow citizens, have become desensitized to news of violence and killing. The way the media is reporting of people dying from wars, famine and disease have the effect of turning them into statistics rather than actual human beings. I cannot bring myself to keep track of exact figures, what purpose would that serve? How about you? Can you remember, without checking it up, the exact number of people that died in the carbomb at the market in Baghdad yesterday? I simply compensate for a disproportionate amount of US domestic news by paying a disproportionate amount of attention to other news. Finally, regarding your comment upon the rebuilding of Iraq, I would like to add that much of the international frustration over US foreign policy stems from the fact that it seems highly arrogant for a country to demand aid in rebuilding a state that they are responsible for destroying in order to secure natural resources for themselves. There is no question that the suffering of the Iraqi people needs to be alleviated somehow, but you have to remember, the illegal invasion of Iraq was not sanctioned by the international community, and the actions of the US continues to worry the whole world as they are perceived as destabilizing an already volatile situation in one of the most fragile political areas on the planet. It is the obvious duty of every conscientious person to do what they can to help people in need, no matter who they are, where they live, or how their plight came into existence, but it seems to me that the American super-economy should have no trouble at all covering the cost of any and all aid the Iraqi people could ever wish for. That said, all of the fantastic people behind Hometownbaghdad.com have expressed a will to keep their broadcasts apolitical, so perhaps their comment-board is not the place to let this evolve into argumentation over the justification and effects of US imperial hegemony.
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Richard! Thank you 4 ur comment! I think u coulnd't possibly express in a better way the thoughts that are in the mind of a lot of people! (btw, my friend fell in love with u!) Cheers!
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Patricia Thanks! It feels good to be loved.
Posted on: April 18, 2007

Dear all , Tegan , lelly Thank youu for your comment about the picture .. :) . I was very happy to see this vedio as much as some people were too ... cause I was able to see my gramma house again , it's been more than 6 months I didn't go there ! Like I said there , it's one of my favourite places in the world , everytime I remember the house , I remember how me and my gramma used to sit in the after noon watching that view of the river , having tea.... or in another memory for the place where we used to sit in summer nights in one of the gardens there enjoying the wonderfull weather at night ! Zaid thank you dear for putting the explanation there , I think I should've explained that more , zaid I'm sure you understand then why and how do I miss the place :) . Tracy , we paid up to 2000 dollars each time ( when we replaced the windows ) not to mention the single windows that break everynow and then because of the bullets and not also to mention the hard work to remove the old ones and re-arrange the furniture ! Iza , it is and was dangerous to do that ... true , but we felt it's of our resposibilty to bring this out to the world , and yes my parents supported me , otherwise I would've never done it . Karenne ,thank you ... : ) ... actually some parties were held in those gardens , and we used to gather ( all the familly ) on the newyear eve. or on holidays in my gramma house ! Sarah ,Nikki, Patricia , James , thank you for your comments and richard , I really Thank you for all of what you said . I give my condolecence to all the famillies of the murdered students , I feel as much sorry for them as for the 180 Iraqi who died yesterday . Ausama
Posted on: April 19, 2007

Richard I agree with you on a few things were really not that different. The main thing that is debatable is if this is an illegal occupation. I had my beliefs then and today shows us a different story. If you knew Saddam was committing genocide and killing thousands of people. Is the best thing to do to ignore it or try and help things. "With Great power comes great responsibility" No doubt there were better ways to go about things. Now 5 years later we see things were better under Saddam. The damage has been done we are failing. Every life is precious and words can't describe how i feel about this war. If the USA goes down bring us down with the Iraquis. Ausama god speed my friend be safe as usual my prayers are with you. I hope things get back to normal for you guys so you can move on with your lives. Your Grandma has a beautiful home what a great view it has. Peace be with you,
Posted on: April 19, 2007

Another nice and touching video, never expected less from you guys....... I had this discussion with friends at college today about this video, it is the most amazing thing to see that life is going on. I think the shot of your grandmother praying is the most expressive, it says alot, no matter what happenes, there will always be our elders praying, the younger struggling through life trying to figure out why we are so god damned unlucky to have to live through this hell, but after all, we are normal human beings looking forward to living a normal life no matter what the difficulties we face are........ Ausama, I really admire your family, the fact that they agreed to have a camera following them inside their own homes, exposing their lives is the most respected...... I hope you get to visit that lovely house ASAP, i know i would miss it if it was mine :) All the love, Nadia. P.S it is up to 195 dead today, not to mention the injured+11 from today's bombings!!
Posted on: April 19, 2007

OMG Ausama you're on Alive in Baghdad! Good for you. You entry was a bit scary but very interesting. Do you know anything about the three mile wall the Americans are building to seperate Sunnis and Shias in Iraq?( baghdad I think)
Posted on: April 20, 2007

yeah, they are building a wall...... first they blow up the bridges and now they build a wall.... How obvious is that?!!!
Posted on: April 20, 2007

Lelly , yes actually that was my first real blog ... I hope it was good , although I didn't give any answers , I was just referring to some thoughts we as some Iraqis and I usually think of . yes I knew about that , honestly it's stupid and it will resolve nothing , just increase the gap between the 2 highway sides !
Posted on: April 20, 2007

Nadia - yeah, talk about ironic. Its so stupid. Ausama- It was good, yes.You should have your own blog. Israelis have done the same to Palestinians. Its not good. These gated communities are like ghettos. It was done in Germany.It means entire communities are surrounded and controlled. I wish there was some way we could stop it...anyway, keep up the good work. ;)
Posted on: April 21, 2007

Adel, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy watching and learning about you, your friends and your daily lives. Me heart goes out to you and all of your people. I hope and pray that things turn around in Iraq. I also hope yopur dream comes true and you get to come to America. You should try Chicago if you ever have a chance.
Posted on: April 22, 2007

Words can not express what I am feeling at the moment. I am outraged, I am angered, I am saddened. Even those words can not sum up the pain I feel for what is happening to the Iraqi people. I am an American and I wholeheartedly disagree with the war that we are waging upon the Iraqi people. All I can do is offer my apologies, my support and my prayers that all of you survive this conflict. I look forward to seeing more videos..and may we all be blessed with peace -very- soon.
Posted on: April 23, 2007

[...] “Across the River”, we learned about Ausama’s safe haven, his favorite spot in the world - his [...]
Posted on: April 24, 2007

[...] in Baghdad) im Haus seiner Grosmutter. Das Haus befindet sich direkt am Tigris und auf der anderen Seite des Flusses hat die US Armee ein Quartier. Er erzählt, wie das Haus von der US Armee durchsucht [...]
Posted on: April 24, 2007

[...] 26th, 2007 by techwoman2001 In “Across the River”, we learned about Ausama’s safe haven, his favorite spot in the world - his grandmother’s [...]
Posted on: April 26, 2007

keep it up Usama … bs deer balak 3la ro7ak 7ubee
Posted on: April 26, 2007

M Ayad , thank you dear ... I will inshalla Thank you again
Posted on: May 01, 2007

[...] links on the right side of this blog page is called “Hometown Baghdad.” It links to a documentary series and blog by a few educated 20-somethings who want the world to know the truth about what life is [...]
Posted on: May 08, 2007


  1. Brains on Campus

  2. The Dentist

  3. Forbidden Salad

  4. Powerless

  5. Songs of Pain

  6. Abdullah Leaves

  7. Symphony of Bullets

  8. Last Resort

  9. Iraqis Shooting Each Other

  10. Mentally F'ed Up

  11. Saif Heart Noor

  12. Exams

  13. Hidden Camera

  14. Barbwire

  15. Kiss and Tell

  16. Across The River

  17. Hubbly Bubbly

  18. Anger Pain Death Madness

  19. Security

  20. Liberation

  21. My Best Friend Zaid

  22. Sick of This

  23. Iraqi Man

  24. Troops

  25. The Palace Maid

  26. Beggar At the Gate

  27. Market Boom

  28. Tickets & Popcorn

  29. Nothing But Guitar

  30. Over Here and Over There

  31. City on the Sea

  32. Goodnight, Baghdad

  33. Out of War

  34. Back to Baghdad

  35. Trouble finds Its way

  36. Zaghareet

  37. One of Thousands

  38. Jimi Hendrix