Baghdad IRAQ (AL JAZEBRA) -- Last month thirteen year old Mohammed Dhafir was walking towards an Iraqi police station wearing a coat laden with explosives and ball bearings. "I was thinking about all those virgins waiting for me in paradise as I held my finger against the button that would trigger the explosives that would hopefully blow up a lot of Iraqi policemen. I thought of my dear father and all my brothers who dressed me that morning. But then, just as I got near my target, I realized that I was very hungry. I didn't want to go to paradise hungry."
Mohammed never made it to the Baghdad police station. Instead he walked down the street and walked into a new restaurant that had just opened the day before. "So, vot can I get for you bubbelah?" asked the man behind the counter. The boy looked at all the different foods behind the glass case, but didn't see anything that looked familiar. The man then said, "I know just what you need… how about a nice tall hot corned beef sandwich on rye with a pickle? You vant some mustard on that? Here, you should have a Dr. Brown's Cream Soda to wash that down."
The boy sat at a small table and ate the sandwich. He thought, "Mmm Mmm…this is really good! I've never had such a good tasting meal. By the time he started on the 2nd half of the sandwich, Mohammed was no longer thinking about the suicide vest or the virgins. He asked the man behind the counter, "How does one go about getting this kind of a meal every day?
During the next week the young boy underwent a ritual circumcision and had a quickly arranged Bar Mitzvah given by his father who was having second thoughts about having his little boy getting mixed up with a bunch of supposed virgins.
Word had spread all across Baghdad about the little kosher deli just down the street from the police station and business was booming. The deli-owner even had to install a drive-up window.
A few weeks ago a new synagogue opened up in what used to be one of Saddam's old palaces. The new "Sons of Insurgency" shul was packed every Saturday with former insurgents wearing prayer shawls and yarmulkes. The Chief Rebbe (a former Muslim cleric) said special prayers every Shabbas for the New Iraq and a special blessing for the state of Israel.
Peace once again returned to the war torn streets of Baghdad and slowly spread all across Iraq.