April 2, 2007

Sleep in Peace.

Did you know that the 28th of March was the 7th International Sleeping Day?
Yet another "special day" was celebrated by a cozy nap "en masse" in the rustic French town, Bordeaux.
A photo depicted dozens of people lying on their ritualistic little pillows specially carried for the occasion , marking the day with a wonderful collective siesta.

Who said the Arab world is behind in innovations?
We too had our special day of sleep and it coincidentally took place the same day as the collective snooze in Bordeaux. However, ours was called the Arab Summit.

For those of you who don't know what the Arab summit is, I will give you a brief description.
Heads of states, Excellencies, Ambassadors, Royalties, gather every few years to discuss the same agendas except at each Summit, you can be sure that the "Arab condition" has worsened.
The reason is quite simple. "They" are either catatonically asleep or in some profound "reverie".
Does not really matter, the end result is always the same - No results.

A good example was Jalal Talabani, our kurdish peshmerga turned buffoon, the president of the New Iraq. He was in full oneiric vagary himself.
Jalal Talabani corpulently collapsed in one of these opulent golden armchairs, flushed rosy cheeks, blushing with puerile excitement at the wonderful developments taking place in Iraq.
He stated unequivocally that the "liberation" of Iraq was the "best thing" that happened since the last Arab summit in 2002.

His indicators of overall wellness of the Iraqi population rested on the following:
- salaries have increased "substantially" from 150 $ to 250 $. Of course he forgot to mention two other indicators, namely over 150% inflation and an unemployement rate around 75%.
- there is a democratically elected government and of course he forgot to mention that his government ministries are made up of death squads and torture militias.
- that Iraq was now an open market economy and all the signs of an economic boom were looming on the horizon (no joke). And again our buffoon forgot to mention that Iraq is now considered the second most corrupt country in the world after Bangladesh.

I am sure Arab countries are already coveting Bangladesh ranking as no.1.
They will compete for first position in next year's survey and am certain the "ambitious Iraqi government" will win the top prize as the most corrrupt in the world.

His Excellency, Amr Moussa, the Ambassador of the Arab Leg - sorry meant League, having proclaimed the peace process dead a few months back, revived it.
The Pharaonic high priest who previously embalmed mummies suddenly gave them the secret elixir of life. Who said we can't resuscitate the dead ?!

"Al Rayess" Hosny Mubarak assured us on the other hand, that the region could not handle more turmoil and another war. No shit?
Al Rayess also forgot to mention that he (as well as the Saudi monarch) were the first to agree to the Coalition of the Brave Farts bombing of Baghdad on condition that this time around Saddam Hussein be removed from power.

H.M of the Hashemite Kingdom had his speech composed by Buckingham palace and Downing street whilst his charming wife was touring Oxford and mobilizing opinions against poverty.
I am terribly touched now...I am even a little teary.

Talking about tears, that reminds me of the Lebanese Government.
Two delegations were sent instead of one, each representing a faction. Fortunately however, they managed to deliver one speech instead of two saving Fuad Seniora more shedding of tears...

Syria's President Bashar al Capone al Assad was there too.
They tried embracing him back into the Arab bosom and he looked rather spaced out trying to figure out if his arms were wide enough to embrace the Arabs and the Persians simultaneously. Typical Syrian thinking...I was hoping he would surprise us with something slightly new this time around. But alas, nothing.

As for the Palestinian "freedom fighter" Abbas, he was all smiles. He walked in and out as if he had just won a poker game except his deck of cards were left behind with Olmert.

"Al Kaid" The Colonel, M.Al Qaddafi was absent and am not even sure he was missed.
After having rushed to destroy his WMD's as per the strict orders from Washington, he afforded himself the luxury of yet another white suit, mao style collar on which was pinned a striking green jade color map of somewhere. The African Continent? Palestine? Iraq? Lybia? Go figure...
The important thing is that the brooch was hanging there on his chest along with his slogans...
And in his typical megalomaniac fashion he kept looking from the corner of his eyes upwards as if awaiting further instructions....

Now His Majesty, King Abdullah, the Monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Don't you just love those long titles?) dared call the Iraq occupation "illegal".
Oh thank you your Highness. After 4 years of total destruction - I hope you did not lose too much sleep over it.
In any event, he was quickly reprimanded by the White House for erring from the herd's line.
But let us give the Saudis the benefit of the doubt. They did affirm that Israel may not be interested in peace after all. It only took the Saudis 48 years and 90% of Palestinian land occupied to realize that. Behind their times per chance?
Not really, since they too had joined al Rayess of Egypt in showering the American cowboys with money, logistics and blessings, profusely thanking their uncle Bush for finally delivering the long awaited promise. Regime change in Iraq.

After all, they are your moderate buddies. Their women are not allowed to drive, but they are moderate. So good to know that.
And no one can accuse them of not being true feminists. They do take orders from a woman and are eager to serve, please and satisfy...always. Ask Condi Rice.

As for the rest of the Gulf States, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Yemen - lots of yawns interrupted by kisses.
By the way seems that a prominent Qatari Emir has purchased a beautiful property in the southern part of Tel Aviv. A small detail "en passant".

Let me see who else was there... Ah right. Sudan, Turkey (sitting far away from the buffoon) and a representative from Iran. His mind was sailing in different waters though.

Meanwhile in Iraq...

Over 350 dead in less than a week and over 500 injured. The militias are back in full swing on a drill and kill rampage...

I,too wanted to have my Arab summit so I spent the whole day on the phone...calling relatives to wish them a happy Mawled Nabawee.(the Prophet Mohamed's Birthday celebration).

Spoke to Radhee. Remember Radhee? The man who got sacked from his job by his Sadrist boss.
Radhee lives in a very "sooooneeeee" neighborhood.

- Radheee, happy Mawled
- Thanks but it was on Friday.
- It was on Saturday.
- Depends on which neighborhood you live in.
- So how is the neighborhood?
- What neighborhood? You mean the Ghost Town?
All shops are closed, all pharmacies are closed, no one can leave the house, no groceries...I am running out of medication, heart medication, hypertension medication, asthma medication and it is getting worse from the sewage, the dust and the mortar explosions...I have no aspirin left, I have nothing left... Kamel's wife sits all day in the kitchen talking to herself, I think she has gone crazy...
"They" came again two days ago...searching. They said: how come you speak good English? I said I learned it from the days of the British. They offered that I "work" for them, they said I looked "smart". I told them I used to be smart, I was a chartered accountant, now am a taxi driver. They left promising to come back again. May God have mercy on us...

And I who thought that "sooneeees" were moderates? Did you not say so at the Arab summit?

Called Auntie Sameera, she babbles on as usual, pauses, catches her breath and rants some more...
- Oh by the way, "they" came again this morning.
- Again?
- But they were polite, they kept saying sorrrry, soorrrry
- And?
- Nothing, but...
- But what auntie Sameera?
- They walked into the living room (auntie has two of them) and said why do you have two living rooms? When did you buy this furniture? I said to them I've had this living room since 1973, we have no visitors, can't you see the dust? Well it looks brand new to me Ma'am was his reply...
Layla , by Allah tell me , what does my living room have to do with the security crackdown?
I am going crazy...Everytime they come, Randa screams for a whole week and you know Wafa'a has not one but two frozen shoulders from the tension...Do you have any Valium or Voltarene? Can't find any...

Called Zakariah.

- So what do you think of the Arab summit?
- What Arab summit? Come and see my condition first then talk to me about the Arab summit.
- But Talabani said there is an economic boom?
- An economic boom huh ? The only "booms" are his own farts and the explosions near my house...

Called Sahar.

- They are so lucky Layla.
- Who is ?
- The cats and the dogs in the streets....at least they can roam freely and no one shoots at them...

Called Munir.

- Do you have ducks I can borrow?
- Munir what ducks? Are you ok?
- Am serious, I want to rear ducks.
- Munir, you have no water to flush your toilet, let alone rear ducks...
- Who said? I have a beautiful pond right in front of my house and give it a couple of days and it will turn into a lake...
- Ah a pond!
- Yes the sewage has turned into a huge pond, so do you have ducks or not?
- Will "they" allow it?
- I guess you are right, I may get arrested for animal rights abuse...

Meanwhile in Northern Gaza.

300 people have fled from the sewage floods which killed two elderly women in their 70's, two toddlers and one teen age girl, injuring 35 others and destroying 100 homes.

Between occupied Iraq and its floods and occupied Palestine and its floods, who said there is no Arab unity ?!

You can go to sleep now, joining the lot from Bordeaux and Riyadh, but before you leave, let me offer you this poem as a lullaby.
It was written by the famous Iraqi poet M.Al-Risafi during Her majesty's colonial rule in Iraq in the 30's and is entitled :

"Freedom as understood by the occupiers"

"People, do not speak
speaking is forbidden.
Sleep, sleep, and do not awaken
victory is only for those
who are asleep.
Postpone in advance
whatever you are supposed to do
and leave behind all understanding
for it is best that you do not understand.
Take root in your ignorance
for it is evil that you become learned men.
As for politics, leave it aside
lest you regret..."

Nite Nite

Painting: Iraqi artist, AbdelAmeer Alwan.