January 12, 2010

To an Iraqi Grandmother...


I can already tell this post is going to tear me apart...just evoking the word Grandma engulfs me with emotions...and memories...

I absolutely loved my grandmother...for me she was always young and old at the same time...I have a hundred stories about her...I loved her paradoxes - her innocence and her deep wisdom, her hearty laughter and her suffocated grief, her frailty and her strength, her yielding and her stubbornness, her weakness and her force...

My grandmother for me was a source of soothing comfort, of warmth, of affection, of love, of power and of blessings...she would always pray for us, all of us, her grandchildren and she prayed for me...

I remember her at different stages of her life, including her old age, when she could no longer walk, she was not that old, just her early 70's, but she saw too much in her life and that had a toll on her...

She passed away just before 2003, and however much it pains me to say so - but I am glad she did...I would hate to think of her enduring this cruel, barbaric occupation, that has spared none, not even the elderly...not even our elders, our grandparents; our grandfathers, our grandmothers...

People have a short memory, but I don't..it is all printed in images in my mind, vivid, alive and scarred...

Elderly men stripped of their clothes, made to kneel in their underwear in front of their families... they, the patriarchs and guides of the family...stripped naked...detained, tortured, electrocuted...and in some instance killed...

Elderly women humiliated, traumatized, and in many instances left with no family to care for them...no sons and no daughters...they are still there, ever since their liberation, begging in Baghdad, Amman and Damascus, sleeping on the floor, on moldy old mattresses handed to them in charity, many of them sick with no health care, with no support, sitting with their solitude and torn memories in damp dirty rooms waiting for death...awaiting its final deliverance...

I am glad that my grandma did not live to experience any of that...

How death can be merciful at times...and how the "civilized" world has made Death into a savior...for some...while they shun it, in cowardice, in fear and in anxiety -- all drowned in alcohol, drugs and sex...

A "civilized" culture that only worships forms and bodies that can produce like robots... used, abused, then thrown, dumped away in the corridors of retirement pensions and old age homes, whom none visits and none cares for...

A "civilized" culture that worships youthful bodies, on the production lines of consumer goods and consumer pornography...in the industry of profit and extracting the most in the shortest possible of time...where women in their 30's look like worn out rags from too much exposure...and where women in their 70's are cast aside for having passed their "expiry date"...abandoned and alone...

The lands of faggots, perverts, juvenile delinquents and sadists who have not washed in weeks, armed with zits, porn magazines and weapons from the "civilized" world...they walk around like Rambos, masturbating to the sight of blood of the "dirty Arabs"... pissing, shitting and shooting their way through their civilizing mission...their mission of freedom...and democracy, like the old missionaries who raped the natives in the name of God. For these godless people have no Deity, they are the dirty, backward, lustful, ignorant people that you are about to free with your urine, shit, sodomy, rape, torture and killing...

Like you do in Baghdad, like you do in Mosul, like you do in the Anbar, like you do in Basra...

Basra ;

What has Basra not seen when her Majesty's faggots, when they came marching in...the bitch boys straight from Sodom and Gomorrah, finally reclaiming the glory of Britannia ruling the waves and the desert sands...

Finally, the old rotten collective aspirations of this once a month bathing syphilitic whores of the Empire, the partisans of buggery as a way of life, the holiday makers of the good old Common Wealth -- where we can have a jolly good time fucking the locals...

Finally the collective ancient aspirations have finally come true, once more, in Iraq...


Sabiha Khudur Talib, a 62 year old grandmother from Basra is a dead witness...

For no make mistake about it, our dead speak...and they will speak until the day of Judgment...they will recount your horror stories, just like my grandmother did on winter days, sitting by her stove, where Iraqi tea brewed gently on red hot silent burning coals...

Make no mistake about it, for they will testify until the day of Judgment...

Sabiha Khudur Talib - you can't pronounce her foreign name... a name that became foreign even in her own land...a name whose sound and  vowels escape you... running like bullets before and after you...

Sabiha Khudur Talib - Mrs Talib's body was dumped on a roadside in a British body bag in November 2006. There was a bullet hole in her abdomen and her face had injuries consistent with torture...I saw the body in a brown dish- dash [one-piece tunic], bare feet and hands with marks of handcuffs. I saw traces of torture on the body of the victim. I saw a non-penetrated bullet entry in the abdomen..."


Sabiha Khudur Talib - "An MoD spokesman said that she had been caught in crossfire during the raid and died later in a military hospital. But statements from her family, who were at home during the raid, claim that after the shooting they saw Mrs Talib being led away alive by British soldiers. "


Sabiha Khudur Talib - "My mother grabbed hold of me and pulled me into a corner where she cuddled me close. As the shots seemed to come from all angles into the room and we were both very exposed it was a miracle we were not shot. I did not dare move and recall that my mother began to pray...After what seemed like 20 minutes the firing stopped and British soldiers entered the house. One soldier pointed a laser beam at me and I immediately threw up my hands so he did not shoot me. A soldier grabbed me by my collar, lifted me up and threw me face down on to the floor. The soldiers had flashlights with them and at this point I saw my brother Karim sitting against the wall. He was still and I saw his blood all around. It was obvious he was dead...My mother began shouting and pleading with the soldiers and she was calling out mine and Karim's names. Although the calls pained me at least I knew that she was alive..."As I was kneeling on the ground I heard my mother shouting for me and Karim. I looked up and saw my mother being led roughly a couple of metres in front of me by four or five soldiers. I shouted to her. I could see my mother was trying to hold a blanket around her legs. I could see her body and I could see no signs of injury. I could not believe they were treating my old mother in this way...I was very worried about her, but could see she was at least uninjured. I then saw a soldier hit her on her back with a rifle butt. The soldiers pulled the blanket off her legs, wrapped this around her and shoved her into the vehicle. I had a clear view of this from where I was kneeling..." (source)


Sabiha Khulud Talib -- covered her legs with a blanket, out of modesty.. a modesty, a protection in the face of foreign barbarian animals...who took her out in her dishdasha, her night gown...

Grandma used to wear a dishdasha too, like most elderly Iraqi women... it was thick and soft, and smelled of amber and rose...but when a stranger came to the front door -- he was already in foreign territory...this was her house, her borders, her frontiers...so she would cover her dishdasha with something else...away from the homely and familiar...it was her unspoken uniform, her army gear...if you like, just like Sabiha Khudur Talib who covered her legs with a blanket...as she was covering protecting her loved ones, those left behind... in her home, in her territory, in her land...

We call that the "horma" of the home - the sanctity of the home and women, specially the elders have carried that obligation and duty on their shoulders, like a cross...till the day...till the last minute of their lives, till the last minute of their death...

And this "horma" that has been violated, by violating those who carry its cross, will never ever be forgiven nor forgotten...


I desperately looked for the old Iraqi folk song "Dishdasha neelee" (dark blue dishdasha) that my grandmother used to sing while sitting by her burning coals... but could not find it. So I settled for this one instead...

It is a song I really avoid listening to -- I will give no reasons as to why...but today, I forced myself to listen to it, at least 10 times...maybe I too, need to get to the sanctity of the home, around the elders, the source of wisdom, love, warmth and above all, continuity...even if it is through a song in a foreign language...

A foreign language whose vowels you do not master, and who run in front and behind and after you like bullets --- bullets till the Day of Judgment...