I think all the time about people who died in the ministry.

A young man named Saif worked in the Arab countries section. I wasn't that close to him, but sometimes we talked. He was a good fellow. He had just bought a car and said that at last he could get married.

For his funeral, they brought a trumpet and drum band to roam the city in a car, as if the procession was a wedding party.

Then there were my friends Hibba and Mayada, both of them pregnant. In the hospital emergency room, Mayada's husband shouted at me: "My wife is dead! Help me!"

I feel crazy now going to work, but it distracts me from what happened.

Every day, I worry that someone will plant a bomb on my car or I will drive into a suicide attack on my way to work. The other night at a restaurant, a waiter dropped a cutting board and I jumped. One minute Iraq could be the best country in the world, and in the next minute it could be the worst.

I don't know what to do. All my thoughts are about leaving the country. If I stay here with my parents, there is a possibility that I will face another attack and die. If I leave Iraq, I will lose my job and my family but I will probably save my life.

It's a very hard decision to make. It gives me headaches.

Sometimes, I see explosions on the street, and I turn to my wife and say: "OK, we're leaving. I made the decision. It's over."

Then the next day I think of my parents and change my mind.

After the latest bombing, my mother told me: "It's better for you to leave. We will provide for ourselves." Of course, she was saying this in agony because any mother wants her son to be next to her.

Before the second bombing, I was eager to renovate my home. I saw some political progress. But now I feel helpless again. The politicians blame one another and try to make one another fail, while innocent people become the victims.

This is the reality for me now.

Khalaf is a photographer and news assistant in The Times' Baghdad Bureau.