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Showing posts from March, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...

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Let me ask you something.
Are you as bothered as I am by not knowing the whole Truth?

If anything, the Iraqi "experience" has managed to raise so many questions not only about politics per se but also about perceptions, resilience, sense of belonging, emotions, impulses...in short about humans.

I do not wish to engage you in some phenomenological exercise. I am simply at a point where I need to corner that reflection in the mirror, I need to corner that Truth.

Moving from the political to the personal, from the outside to the inside...
Something about losing one's country is very hard to express in words.
I find myself constantly rummaging through concepts, phrases, trying to find accurate nouns, precise verbs and it keeps slipping through my fingers, evading me, eluding me...

The only sentence I found that is probably as close to what I need to express, came from a mail I received from a fellow Iraqi and this is what he had to say:
"Since March 19, 2003 I am a shadow of my…

Just a little "Gossip" ...

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This week was full of little pieces of "gossip". I like to call it "oral narrative historiography" not gossip.
But call it what you will...
Rumors, gossip, grapevine news, off the wires...does not matter...it's juicy and fits perfectly well into the overall picture...

The American ambassador, Khalilzad visited "Kurdistan" today. He was joyfully watching some kurdish folk dance and the american flag was waving next to the kurdish one in a tranquil pastoral scenery.
Everyone looked very happy and content. Mission accomplished.

I wonder why I have not read anyone from the "left" accusing Barazani or Talabani of being CIA agents propped by the American government? Ah, I remember they were oppressed...
Well,thought I would mention it "en passant"...just a detail, really.

Talking about the kurds again. My relative Mona came by for a cup of tea.
Mona is half kurdish, half arab. We talked about various subjects.
One of them, Kamel and Omar...and th…

Over 6000 Days of Solitude...

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A few days ago, I learned that Kamel, 56 years old, has been detained by the Americans.
They stormed his house at dawn, took him out in his pyjamas and since that day we have not heard from him or his whereabouts.

I have been unable to sleep. I twist and turn in my bed, counting the minutes...
I keep wondering what "they" are doing to him...
Are they torturing him? He is sick, are they giving him any medication? Are they brutally interrogating him? Does he sleep standing up amidst hundreds of others?
Are they giving him water? Do they feed him? Did they kill him? Is he dead? Where on earth is he? What has he done? Did he perhaps glimpse Omar in the crowd of the 100'000 prisoners?
And so it goes in my head, on and on...running in circles.

What I did learn though is that an "informant" blew the whistle.
But I know for a fact that Kamel being the quiet, pious man, is not involved in any "activity".
Sure, he does not appreciate and is not "grateful" for …

March...

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Vivaldi's four Seasons is blasting away as I am typing these lines.
Concerto no.1 "Spring" is now being played.

I usually like to view Spring as Nature ushering us into a new cycle, a new rebirth on the wheel of Life and Death.
Spring has been traditionally associated by various folks as a new year, the 21st of March to be more precise. A day where Nature's colors and brightness erase the dim, tenebrous memories of the grey winter sky...

In the Middle East this date is celebrated by Persians and Kurds amongst others as Nawrooz (the new year). This date is also Mother's day in this part of the world.

I find it more than coincidental that Mother's day, i.e the one who gives birth is also celebrated on that same date which corresponds to the Spring Equinox. Nature in fact gives birth to all living things in Spring.

Because this day is laden with symbols, my mind wanders automatically to Nature's mysterious and orderly ways.
Everything buds and burgeons in Spring. F…

"Our Brothers", the Kurds...

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I did say in my previous post that I should stop watching TV. Did not happen.

Could not miss this excellent historical documentary on al Jazeera about Mostafa Al Barazani.
Mostafa Al Barazani is the father figure "par excellence" of the Kurdish separatist (and I would add chauvinist) movement in Iraq.
This program interviewed many personalities who intimately knew and dealt with Mostafa Al Barazani and of course his son Massoud was there too.

They say in order to understand the present, you must know the past. And this is one of the reasons, I am taking pains to summarize this documentary.

According to this documentary and it was quite accurate in its analysis, Mostafa Barazani sought support for his Kurdish "cause" from nearly everyone and everywhere.

First it was the Soviet Union but their cooperation was short lived when Mostafa found out that the Soviets were arming Iraq.
Then he turned to the Iraqi Monarchy and that too did not work.
Then he sought Abdel Kare…

Out of the Box...

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I should stop watching TV.
I am not a TV addict by any means. I hardly touch the damn thing except for the news and maybe an interesting documentary.
Needless to say, I NEVER watch CNN or Fox and Co. Unless of course someone points a gun to my head and forces me to.
Occasionally I would switch on to the BBC. But the English never cease to irritate me. Must be some colonial relic in my psyche.
So am stuck with al Jazeera. Al Jazeera in Arabic not in English.
First I don't get the English version and when I did have the opportunity to watch it, I found it too "diluted" for my taste. Almost homeopathic dosages of real news. Of course, they were catering for their english speaking viewers.
Skip it and I did.

So, the other night, on the Arabic Al Jazeerah, there was this program called "Ma wara'a al Khabar". Basically translated "Behind a piece of news."

The night's subject was the "political escape" of Raouf AbdelRahman, the kurdish "judge&…

Enough is Enough !

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Everytime I read an article written by some american or english "analyst" on Iraq, whoever he/she is, I simply cringe inside.
Papa Chomsky, Hajji Mullah Chossudovsky, the Nabob Chris Floyd, the John le Carre Kurt Nimmo, Lawrence of Arabia P.Cockburn, the Romantic Orientalist Troubadour Robert Fisk, the Misinformed Juanito Cole and the Invisible Man, Investigator, Max Fuller ...
These people have got NO clue of what is happening IN Iraq. Or they have a clue and they simply REFUSE to see. Which of course makes matters worse...

I have read the latest two articles by Papa Chomsky. Your Allah and Guru.
One on Counterpunch and the other in the Independent. Same crap, same flavor.
Please tell your Guru on my behalf that it is about high time, he either sticks to linguistics or simply retires to some Kibbutz and grows cabbages instead...and spares us his insights.
Papa Chomsky is one of the most hypocritical "leftists" I have ever come across.

As for Hajji Mullah Chossudovsky, ei…

A woman's week of Independence...

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Today is supposedly International Women's day.
Has anyone stopped to think what this title means exactly?
Have you noticed how they have days for just about everything and everyone...
Mothers day, Fathers day, Friendship day, Lovers day, Workers day, Siblings day, Non smokers day, Vegetarians day, Army day, Independence day, Pets day...And you can just add about anything you want and call it a day.

Have you also noticed how in essays and articles, "they" refer to "women, children and other minorities".
What does it mean "other minorities"? And why should women be lumped with "other minorities"?

Last time I checked, women outnumbered men worldwide. We are indeed well over half of the world's population.
And sometimes when I read those silly articles that refer to women as a minority, I need to pinch me to remind myself that we in fact constitute way above a minority. We are in fact the majority.
What a wonderful way to keep us in a minority menta…

A Firework Dance of Red & White....

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I don't know know about you but I am a music addict.
I just love music and life without music is like a black and white photo with no chance of color at all. I love all kinds of music except Techno and Heavy Metal.
I don't consider these two to be musical. A cacophony perhaps but not music.

Have you ever tried scratching the bottom of a saucepan with a knife? Well that is heavy metal for me.
And techno is like a disharmonious zigzag in my head. It actually gives me a headache just thinking about it.
But apart from these two reservations, music in general gets my spirit soaring and I do not fear the heights either...
For instance one of my favorite classical pieces is Bach double violin concerto. A genius of a masterpiece for all times.
Since am on the subject of classical music, I played another of my favorites today, a series of Waltz pieces...
Of course the one I can listen to for a whole day and never tire of is D.Shostakovitch no.2 and naturally second in line would be J.Strauss.

W…

"Down there" in the dark, dark, Chamber...

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Some of you may have noticed, I have not written about Torture per se.
I simply could not.
I have said it before and will repeat it again. I am someone who needs to digest things and find that inner place of partial acceptance.
And Torture is that thing where I have not managed to find that inner place, to digest.
It is simply indigestible...No use trying to force acceptance. I will NEVER accept it.

For the sake of this post, I have watched tens of videos of Abu Ghraib torture.
And this has been going on for two weeks already. And every single time, the emotion is so strong, it paralyzes me...

I had seen them in the past and I have even met a couple of "survivors" and I was unable to conjure up that necessary "lieu" of objective detachment so I can write about it.
Even today, I am not capable of it.

So what you will be getting in the following lines is graphic and crude. As graphic and as crude as the reality of Abu Ghraib brought about by your own hands.

I have deliberately…