Last Wednesday I woke up with a man standing over me swearing, thrusting a screwdriver into my left eye and covering my mouth. Now, a couple of days later, the rope marks have disappeared from my wrists and ankles although my right thumb still lacks all sensation. Later they tied my wife up too, thrusting cloth into our mouths and leaving us helpless. After we were sure they had left I was able to call our oldest son so he could get a knife and cut us loose. I didn't want to do that as he will probably never dispel that memory from his mind, but there was no other way. It is truly miraculous that none of our three children woke up during the whole episode as God only knows what the thieves would have done to a screaming child.
As you all can imagine, we are totally shocked. We live in a closed housing development and this is the first break-in since it was built four years ago. We are sure they targeted our house thinking that an American must have lots of money or jewels. They were wrong of course but they made a pretty good haul, taking our computers, ipods, cameras, dvd players and even clothes.
Since then we have been running around doing all of the legal work and patronizing the security industry more than I would like to. Getting the police and the legal authorities to do their job is almost as costly as losing our stuff, but if we don't do all of this we will have no hope of ever bringing these guys to justice.
Speaking of the thieves, they were pretty ignorant. Of course, they got what they came for, which requires at least some brains, but they did not know what our credit or debit cards were used for, nor what the portable dvd player my wife had could do. They asked many questions that you would not expect a thief to ask. They also asked for our forgiveness, and explained that the crisis has really hit them hard and how they felt really bad about buglarizing our home. Haha, apparently not bad enough!
I had a pillow over my head the whole time, so I could not see the guys. My wife gave them a full tour of the house. She was very, very valient and mature the whole time they were there.I still can't decide if my decision to not resist the thieves was intelligent or cowardly, or both. Not resisting gave the thieves liberty to do what they wished with my wife and children, which made this choice excruciatingly difficult. But, I hoped that it would considerably raise the possibility that they would leave us all unharmed. It worked out that way, but that doesn't relieve my feelings of cowardliness.
Our oldest son commented out of the blue that at least this happened to us and not to our neighbors because the thieves might have hurt them. He named each of the kids that live near us and stressed how awful that would have been for them. He is such a special kid, and this type of thing really brings it out in him.
Even though this was really traumatic for us, I'd like to put it in perspective. That very evening I was writing in this blog and I noticed some news on my twitter feed that only now can I begin to understand. Apparently just the previous evening a mob attacked six Baha'i homes in the town of Showranyiah, Egypt, burning them all and forcing the Baha'is to flee. Click here to see more details. Although we lost many valuabe things, we were able to wake our children up the next morning and continue with our lives. Those Egyptian Baha'is have to remake their lives completely and continue living in fear. My heart goes out for them.