A stroll down Haifa street...
Haifa Street in Baghdad was of course named after a Palestinian town now under Israeli occupation.
It used to be a street, actually a neighborhood, where all denominations cohabited.
It also had specially designed buildings overlooking the Tigris river, reserved for academics only.
Iraqi academics , from all backgrounds, "ethnic" affiliations, "sects" and "religion"and from different fields of specialization lived in those buildings on Haifa Street, rent free, courteousy of the Iraqi government. This was part of Saddam Hussein's government campaign to promote education and to encourage individuals to strive for a career in academic knowledge and teaching thereafter.
A letter was sent to me via e.mail , a letter of despair and tragedy written by an Iraqi professor who lived on Haifa Street. I am going to translate the whole thing for you.
" My name is Ahmed Kamal Nabil . I am a university professor since 1975. I live on Haifa street.
On the 7th of January, I went out to buy some food since we had been without anything to eat since the day of the Eid (30th december).
My wife, two daughters and one small grandchild stayed at home.
Since there was no transportation and in view of the military presence surrounding Haifa street, I was unable to regain my apartment fast enough. Moreover, an unusual movement in our neighborhood made me very suspicious . I saw some elements of the Iraqi militias shooting on the door of our building. I immediately informed my family by phone so they may leave promptly.
They tried to but the militias refused them exit.
What followed was even more brutal. The upper floors of the building where we lived were totally destroyed and my wife was informing me (on the phone) that she and my daughters were few minutes away from an imminent Death. What could I do ?
I begged a neighbor to help us. At first he refused, then he agreed to courageously face the American and Iraqi forces and come to the rescue of my family, thus helping them seek refuge in another building close by which was not targeted.
The following day, at dawn, my family discovered a dead street,in ruins.
My wife and my kids left Haifa street with the only luggage they had, the clothes on their bodies.
The militias raped our home . They ransacked and looted all of our belongings.
In the space of a few minutes, we lost everything we worked for and owned.
My books, my souvenirs, my diplomas, my notes, my research papers and my personal diary.
In sum, all of my memory carefully constructed over a span of half a century has gone out.
Gone to sleep for ever. Now we are back to zero.
My family is scattered, lodged by different relatives and strangers.
Throughout my career , I have never committed one act of hostility vis a vis the Iraqi authorities or the American occupation forces. I filed a complaint but the policeman at the station was unimpressed. He told me that my only crime is that I was living in a street of "terrorists."
If I had chosen to return to Iraq, my country, after studies in Europe, it was with the aim of bringing to my people the knowledge I acquired in the West. I have conducted and supervised dozens of Phd theses and I have taught thousands of students.
What happened to me on the 7th of January is tragic. Is that the destiny of Iraqi intellectuals and researchers?
Is that the reward for those who opted for neutrality, independence of thought, spirit and honor?
What crime have I committed by not wanting to give in to violence and terror and by insisting on continuing my work - that of teaching in Iraq ? "
Yes Haifa street, the street of academics and the brain drain of the New Iraq.
Over 500 university professors have been assassinated since the "liberation." 500 individuals who have spent years studying, researching ,teaching, forming, training, disseminating knowledge...
Last week, over 100 students were massacred at the gates of al Mustansiriyah University.
It is beyond the shadow of doubt that universities, academics and students are the favored targets in Iraq.
Why is that so, did you ever ask yourself ?
I think the answer is simple. Universities , academics , students are the last bastion of the spirit of critical thinking. The last line in the Resistance against political manipulation and terror of the new Iraq.
Universities refuse the presence of militias within their walls. Academics are the few who raise their voices denouncing the political madness that is surrounding them. Students are still young free thinkers difficult to ideologically control.
Moreover, academics refuse to be dragged in or sucked in the role of representative or mouth piece for the occupation or for its puppets.
Academics are targeted because people respect and listen to them when they dare speak out.
And academics are targeted because the New Iraq has become one big looting field run by mercenaries, thugs, politically corrupt opportunists, sectarian agitators, fanatical dark minds, and barbarians.
And they want it to remain that way. They want to make sure that Iraq will never raise its head again . Hence the "beheading", the brain drain of all intellectuals.
In the new Iraq, there is no place for knowledge. Knowledge is their antithesis.
Hundreds of academics escape to other countries or simply change careers.
Some have become grocers or taxi drivers as these occupations are less dangerous than being a university professor.
Those who have refused either, have been killed or have ended up like our professor above. Destitute, homeless and stripped of everything.
This hemorrhage of intellectuals is programmed, it is part of the American reconstruction plan.
In contradiction to what the Americans claim, the reconstruction of Iraq does not take place in big projects but starts with the" grey matter",that stuff between our ears and called our brains .
Can anyone conceive of a country without doctors, engineers, scientists.....?
Well Iraq has become such a country. The reconstruction of Iraq american style does not need this grey matter. It can dispose of it, hence it encourages the hemorrhage to continue.
To the point that Unesco is thinking of offering 400 bullet proof vests to professors who insist on staying on and teaching plus a direct telephone line for those who feel they are under threat of being killed. Unesco is also envisaging to offer financial help to widows of academics thus encouraging others to not abandon their jobs as lecturers. Something they do, from fear of leaving a family behind in need- should they be targeted and assassinated.
Today,over 50 people have been killed in Haifa street. People are under siege in their apartments, with no food, no water, no electricity and unable to venture out.
The occupation forces, the Iraqi "army " and the militias have forbidden the evacuation of the injured or the dead.
They are left to die slowly in agony or to rot away on Haifa street. Just like the academics who inhabited its buildings.
Yes this is what has become of Haifa Street, a drained,desolate, burning, bleeding Street...of the New Iraq.
Painting : Iraqi artist, M.Muhrradin.
Thank you, Layla, for bringing this to light. The mainstream media only writes about the 'brain drain' or professors getting killed - but the Truth is conveniently left out. k
1 - Empire grows,
2 - conquers the weak and takes resources from them,
3 - overreaches it's power,
4 - is hated by all,
5 - falls from within,
6 - is not forgiven,
7 - is destroyed.
It happened to the Romans, the Egyptians, the Mayans... every empire always falls and there is no pity at the fall but only celebration for the world.
Sounds like we Americans are at about the level 5 right now, with an akward impossible oil-dependency and a fiat currency that is doomed to devalue to zero and an overstretched military on an impossible mission.
We are economically not viable, militarily not viable, politically, socially... we are doomed folks! The US is going to fall.
Will the world treat us any different than they treated the last empire? I don't see any Roman noses around on the planet anymore, like the ones they had on the statues. I wonder what happened to the Roman race?
What the hell are people doing going to school, going to university, showing-up for their government jobs, etc. while they are under occupation and at war?
If you are not part of the Resistance, and you can afford it, then leave Iraq at once.
If you are not part of the Resistance and can't afford it, then leave the areas where there is military activity and move to the towns/villages that are not being fought over.
Civilians hinder the Resistance activities and they are an element of weakness that the occupation can always exploit.
This is like the carzies in Palestine who are forming a government and appointing ministers while their whole country is occupied and they are at war.
Kill/expell the invaders...Then sort out your careers and peacetime activity.
To view the film, copy the entire above link into your browser.
Send this link to everyone you know.
US is instigating sectarian violence. If video proof isn't enough for you, then you are too far lost to understand reality anyway... just continue your happy stay in Disney World until the sacking of Rome comes to the US.
The story reminds me of many I have heard about the jews as they hid and tried to survive the Nazi militias.
I have a hero.
A person I admire very much.
And he was born in the town of Haifa. He is well into his 50's now and his mother is a concentration camp survivor.
They came to USA when he was but eight years old.
He achieved the "american dream"
You may know him...
His name is Gene Simmons.
Back on topic, I agree and am seriously deeply saddened about all of this.
The poor man you wrote of.
Lost everything EXCEPT his family.
And I know there are many who did loose family as well.
I wish it would end, but I saw photos of the new "U.S Embassy" and it's enormity says to me that the occupation is indefinate...
Someday the ones who survive Iraq will seek redemtion as the worm turns and they watch on tv as USA burns in the same manner as Baghdad.
Thanks for your wisdom.
Stay safe & god bless.
Your suggestion that people keep away from areas of conflict is wise, but again, where IS there where there isn't conflict? Explosion, bombs, mortar attacks, kidnappings happen just about anywhere. Also, it would be impossible for people to stay indoors forever - they need to live.
The psychological effects of this on the entire population cannot be imagined, and sometimes, just doing the normal day-to-day things they did before the invasion must help them to keep their sanity and some sense of normality.
There does not seem to be a 'good' solution to this, but, yes, everyone needs to unite and expel this vermin and barbarians from their land.
Hey, I didnt realize you posted comments on my site ages ago (I'm an internet idiot, apparently). Anyway, I just wanted to thank u for ur kind words :) Really heart warming.
Sorry for posting this out of the blue. I only just saw ur comments now, and I was pretty excited.
Just one question..I've always wondered why an area in Baghdad is named after a city in Israel?
Anyway, take care. As always, your writing style is formidably honest and moving. People have noticed that about you so much, it almost feels cliche for me to say it again.
I was at a service station a few days ago and I overheard two americunt soldiers bragging about how they had torn an Iraqi man apart using two tractor trailers. They were very graphic and detailed in their conversation. They also bragged about shooting an Iraqi girl.
These americunt soldiers were black. No too long ago, blacks in amerikkka were up in arms about the dragging death of a black man in the state of TexAss. I marvelled at the genius of sending americunt niggers to kill "sand niggers." Fucking tools. Any black person "serving" in Iraq should be ashamed of themselves and have the decency to commit suicide, preferably by blowing themselves up on their comrades.
Random thought #2...
I listened to a news broadcast about how some movie star had an accident while filming another vapid, useless movie. The actress received what the newscaster called a "booboo" as a result of her accident. The same broadcast also featured a short blurb about two hometown boys killed in a helicopter "crash" (it is always a "crash", never a "shot down") in Iraq. Their "booboo" didn't get as much airtime as the actress's "booboo." Your husband is coming home in a body bag, doodah, doodah.
I have always felt very strongly about what was done to the African Americans, but I wonder if they deserve any sympathy or support now.....The oppressed becomes the oppressor, and how clearly we see this before our very eyes today. k
Layla has written a beautiful piece about the "hole in the soul." Black people used to have soul, but that space is now occupied by a hole.
It is the defining triumph of the western capitalist system that people will sell their souls for filthy lucre, and put an empty hole where that soul used to be.
I feel no pity for any americans killed in their foolish misadventures in the cradle of civilization...the land of Mesopotamia. I feel even less pity if those killed happen to be black americans. Right now they are reopening the case of two young black men killed by the KKK back in the 1960's. Their badly beaten bodies were weighted down with engine blocks and thrown into the Mississippi river...and all they were doing was taking a walk in the country. Thousands of black americans were lynched during the fifties and sixties, and to this day institutionalized racism exists.
Today, descendants of people who were lynched for so much as looking at a white woman are using bombs, depleted uranium, and other weapons of mass distruction to kill people in a far-away country who never called them "nigger"...and they are calling their victims "sand-nigger", "haji", "towel-head" while doing it. To compound the matter, they are coming home and bragging about their exploits.
Bread and circuses. The beginnings of the fall of empire.
You don't leave a stone unturned and for that I commend you and thank you. I have said it in one of my prior comments, your work is indeed that of the true faithful for God wants us to share not only what we have but also what we know...And you are continuously doing exactly that, God bless you and your efforts.
If I may, I'd like to reply to Echo and Layth above.
Echo, regarding Haifa, it is the name of a city in Palestine that existed long before the occupation of that land by Israel, thus Haifa street in Baghdad is named after a Palestinian city and not an Israeli one. In fact it is one of the few cities in Palestine that did not succumb to a name change.Although the Israelis do sometimes refer to it also as Jafa.
Layth, although I see your point very clearly and understand what your saying, your argument is a double edged sword however. We saw what happened in Palestine, people left their homes and cities either to other cities or abroad hoping that they'll return and ended up, and still are displaced,- over 50 years now...
In my opinion those who are courageous enough to stay and insist on trying to lead a seemingly "normal" life (for lack of better words)are already part of the resistance.Armed resistance is only one form...
(Algeria was a good example of that for instance).
Although civilians can be 'an element of weakness that the occupiers can exploit' an empty land is no better..although it's true that quite a few lives would be saved, I'll give you that...
I don't know I guess we're damned if we do and damned if we don't...
You are an angel that has been sent to all of us, and God bless you for your heart and willingness to teach us truth as it really is.
In reading the artical in this post, "Indvidualism and the dog" which is very true. But we must also remember that all things were givin to teach us and to enjoy with respect by our Great Spirit "God". But, it is so sad when people care more about other things and not show the same love and respect to the two legged. What ever happened to do unto others as you would want done to you?
In the Animal Spirit World the Dog stands for; noble, faithful, loyal, teaching, protection, and guidance. But saddly, some four leggeds have been tough by evil masters, yes.
I find that what Kathy has said to be very true, as always, about they have no choise for one reason or another, but as the whites done to my people when they killed the buffalo so we had nothing to eat and when we did go out to try and get food for our people we would get killed. It is to have control over others to have the power, it is greed! And like Rome it will have it's end.
I have another post in the comments, "You ain't nothin' but a dog" you may also enjoy with some deep meaning.
The Savage Americian Warrior is for Truth in all peoples, nations and tribes. God bless Layla and your people!
Here is one - http://www.theresistancemanifesto.com/
John Conner is the website master of the above. He did a very simple thing. He woke up. And now he opposes the war in Iraq with all of his ability. He is just a regular guy who is doing all he can to wake you other 9,999 Americans up (from each 10,000).
Watch him here try to wake up Rush Limbaugh, radio talk show host to 20 million people every day...
Too bad... Rush Limbaugh doesn't want to be awake.
God will judge his heart, so I release judgement even I know this war is criminal, illegal, immoral, sinful, genocidal and has nothing to do with Muslims or Khomenis or dictators or WMD or... ahem... Democracy... ha ha. Yeah, right.
Your comment that Iraqis have never called the African Americans 'nigger' is very painful..and true. Yet, they call Iraqis all the derogatory names such as 'sand nigger', etc. Makes me think that these 'macho men' have no courage or spine to deal with the magnitude of problems they have in their own country - where the largest percentage of prisoners is African American. I guess it serves them right. k
The above comment is typical of a Sunni Arab with only half a brain. Poor guy. Sunni Arabs caught with mortars - Shia soldiers beat them up (I would have beaten them more severely, Wallah El Adheem!) and the Arabs call it GENOCIDE of Sunni Arabs! Later in the video they show the body of a Shii baker in a Sunni neighborhood. After that they show a Sunni man, married to a Shii woman, talking to US troops about a letter (signed in the name of Allah the Compassionate & Merciful) he received from a Sunni militia warning the couple (final warning) that if they don't leave, they will cut their tongues out, behead them, and kill their entire family. But people are worried that Sunnis caught with mortars in their cars are getting beaten up by Shia. It's pretty fuckin amazing. The Sunni Arab mind is a wondrous thing!
Yes and tell them to watch the ENTIRE video! If it was Shia caught with mortars by Sunni insurgents, the Shia would have lost their heads and Al Jazeera would have ignored it.
Wallahi it is embarrassing to be an Arab these days!
US imperialiam, like British imperialism uses the tactics of divide and conqueor, They did it in the former Yugoslavia, now they are doing it with even more ferocity in Iraq.
Check out the book "To Kill A Nation" The Attack on Yugoslavia
This was a practice run for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
I think T and Kathy have answered you on the point you raised I will not add more. What they said makes perfect sense to me.
T has answered you about the name Haifa...I like your blog , you are good writer.
Yes this man did not lose his family yet but many have .
I don't understand why would black americans get so vicious with other dark people ? Another form of racism maybe ? Oh yes, the for ever lingering spirit of false orientalism.
Hi and I saw your other post. Thank you. Please write to me on my mail, see under complete profile (view profile) I would like to correspond with you and learn more about native americans. I may use some of your comments in my future posts.
The first crusades took place in centuries ago when oil was not discovered yet. I think there is more to it than pure imperialism.
You are not welcomed.
Tah hadhek Abu Uday!
I was quoted - "'Americans complicit in Shia genocide of Sunnis... proof on tape... illegal crimes against humanity... this must stop.'
Then Iraqi Mojo said - "The above comment is typical of a Sunni Arab with only half a brain. Poor guy. Sunni Arabs caught with mortars - Shia soldiers beat them up (I would have beaten them more severely, Wallah El Adheem!) and the Arabs call it GENOCIDE of Sunni Arabs!""
Well, Mr. Iraqi Mojo... I am an American living in Russia... about as far from Sunni Arab as you can get.
Some people really amaze me. I mean, is it really so hard to feel compassion for someone who is different from you?
Is it hard to see an injustice and support the victim even if your own people are the ones oppressing the victim?
Calling me Sunni was your first mistake.
Saying I was not logical to assume genocide is linked to kicking a prisoner brutally when he is down was your second mistake.
You know, I track Iraqi blogs and the news. I know about the death camps where the Shia Militia extort innocent taxi drivers and vegetable salesmen to hand over thousands of dollars or be put to death or both.
(I don't blame innocent Shia for this crime, so forget about calling me anti-shia OK?)
I know that US sodiers are complicit in the death camps set up by radical Shia militia becaue many times, their camps are on the other side of US manned military barriers. Sometimes, a victim must be driven through 3 American checkpoints to get from the Sunni house to the Shia deathcamp.
(again, I don't say all sunni are victim and all shia are guilty of genocide... this may be too much for your brain to handle I know, but anyway, I am explaining myself due to your wrongful accusation. These are multiple stories out there from many diverse sources... too many to be faked in my Opinion)
And one more thing, Iraqi Mojo, I know that US and UK "black ops" secret services are in Iraq right now instigating civil war. They have been caught with bombs, arab disguises, and they have been caught planting bombs into checkpoints and telling the taxi driver to "go quickly" to the police station for one reason or anther... multiple times... at least 10 that I read, from US media even, even a few that made mainstream... If you have trouble finding these, let me know and I will be happy to fill your email box with about 50 sources.
So when I see a victim (shia or sunni) and I see unjustice (US or Iraqi), I hope you will allow me to speak if you have the power to stop me. Allow me to live if you have the power to kill me. Allow the victim a chance to live a normal life if you have the chance to increase your status (on earth) by siding with the evildoer.
Americans need to speak out against their empire, as to the English. And if Iran is truly involved in the rape of a defenseless and battered and crying country, then Iranians need to speak out against their country. This is about being human. It doesn't matter if the victim is of a different religion or sect or skin or city or area or social status... even a dog, for crying out loud... even we can see that a crippled dog deserves to be defended and yet we can't see our fellow man deserves much more defense... we have truly lost our way.
ولك أنته عايش بأمريكا وبعدك على هالعقل الصغير مال الشيعه وسنه ومنو كتل منو؟
أي بعد وين يودوك حتى يسووك أدمي؟
Iraqi mojo can't read arabic...la ta3been nafssech.
I guess then, there are a million Layla Khaleds in Iraq. Regards.
i don;t think the yankees are asking for custody anymore.
u seem quite angry and maybe that has casued your thinking to be slightly fucked up but i am pretty sure pakistani generals have blood running thru their veins, and giving the bomb to either Hezbollah, Hamas or the Iraqi Baathist resistance would be highly irresponsible.....what exactly are they going to nuke?????
"Pakistani Army generals, are you Muslims? Are you masculine? Do you have any honour left?"
im not sure if any pakistani army generals read this blog, but i don't think such childish taunts are going to make them act any differently.....do u????
u seem to have a very childish grasp of reality, i suggest u start of by reading a bit of chomsky, read a few of my posts and hopefully, or inshallah for the more religiously inclined, u will be right in no time
enta kundara already :-)
Oh brilliant, love it, just love it.
A worn out kundara.