November 21, 2006

To an Iraqi Cowgirl .

Lamia was a beautiful looking Iraqi from Basra . She had long jet black hair , a smooth olive complexion, almond eyes and the charm of Shatt Al Arab, a lovely Basrawee accent and a great smile. She was also an amazing dancer . I remember when we fist met at some friend's house, she danced the Hacha'a* swirling her hair, moving so graciously.
I did not know her all that well , but from the little politics we talked , I could tell that she came from a humble background and was eager to see the Americans land in Iraq . That was back in 2002.
Not having much in common to talk about , I lost touch with her and as the years and events unfolded in Iraq , I simply forgot we had met.
Until that one day , not very long ago . Fate had it that we "bump" into each other .
She goes : "Awww my Gawd , Layla "
"Wow is that Lamia , did not recognize you , Salam "
"Howdee babes , you call me Loomee"
"Loomee ? Why what happened to Lamia ? "
"Babes (drawing even harder on the new accent) , Lamia is too difficult in the U.S"
"Oh so you live in the U.S now,do you ?"
"Yeah babes , I sure do , it's been 2 years."

She kept babbling on in her fake american accent , trying hard to keep up the act , telling me how fantastic it is to be liberated , how her life has changed, she has finally visited America " her dream place " and the usual refrain that we hear from the apologists for the Occupation.
The ones who deliberately turn a blind eye to what is really happening because their lowly, base, opportunism would be at a terrible stake if they did not .
I also noticed that Lamia , I mean Loomee , had also changed physically . Her hair is much shorter now with blond highlights , her clothes way too tight bordering on the vulgar, her cowboy boots tacky, her nails way too long with funny little designs on them ...
I also later heard from common acquaintances , that Loomee no longer dances the Hacha'a* either . It seems that someone in Baghdad's Green Zone, a blond blue eyed "authority " has been teaching her the Barn Dance ...Yee haa.

And so it goes for the " winds of change ". Gone is the Shatt Al Arab girl with the charming accent, gone is the free spirit from Basra.

* Hacha'a is a typical Iraqi folk dance.