Showing posts from May, 2007

My Shrine...

As I was staring out of the window, I noticed the full moon. I remember when I was a child, I associated the full moon with my love for my grandmother. I used to tell her: " Bibi, every time I see the full moon, I see you. You are my moon." I absolutely adored my grandmother. She loved me kindly, warmly, with no strings attached... As benevolently and as gently as the moonlight. So naturally on a full moon, I remember her. As a matter of fact, I remember all my departed ones, members of my family, my great grand parents, my ancestors...Everyone I have ever heard of, even those remotely related to me. Remembering them gives me a sense of continuity...A sense of belonging. And now that Iraq is in pieces, their rememberance is even more of a priority for me. As a matter of fact, I dream of them often, or more like they visit me in my dreams ... rather too often, these days. And true to our traditions, every time they visit me in my dreams, I make it a point to offer food or alms

Confessions on a Sunday...

I must be somewhat of a masochist. Whenever I feel a kind of " blah" pervading me, I watch these "religious" TV stations, with the secret hope for a " pick me up" kind of feeling. The "pick me up" has to do more with a few giggles rather than a "moment of Grace" even though I would not refuse the latter. I have no particular preference. I zap from the depressing shia al-Forat channel to the equally depressing sunni Iqra channel and to the even more depressing "born again" Christian channels. And each time I do that and watch what these guys (and most of them are guys) have to say, I feel like flagellating myself afterwards. No, no, it is not due to some secret hidden desire to become a "sect martyr". It has more to do with a sense of guilt for having put my poor mind through so much torture. What is torturing about it is the way I feel afterwards... The subliminal message is almost always identical : " You are n

The "Savior" has landed.

Very distressing piece of news on al- . Seems that the man in black, the turbaned, psychotic, farce called Muqtada al Sadr has returned as the Savior of Iraq. He made his appearance in Kufa and this is what he had to say to his "masses". " The Iraqi government and other forces are trying to help the Baathists to return. (Is this bad satire or what?). We would not allow the Baathists to return and I will try to stop that." When talking about other "sects" such as sunnis and christians. Note the following : "Conversion threats. Al-Sadr also promised to protect Iraq's Sunni and Christian minorities from hardline "Sunni" factions, or Nawasib, such as al-Qaeda, if US forces would allow his fighters to deploy. He said: "I received complaints from brother Sunnis and some Christians about the aggressions of the Nawasib. I am ready to defend them and will be a shield for them, although the occupier would not accept that. I say

Aliens in Babel.

My very good friend called me today. She sounded a little frantic on the phone. - Did you hear the news? I just saw it on al Arabiya TV channel. - What again ? Who died again ? - Turkey is threatening to enter Northern Iraq and finish with the Kurdish "rebels". Seems a few Turkish soldiers were killed today. - You mean by the PPK or is it the PKK or the KKK ? - Yeah, another pipi/kaka story. - Is there anyone who has not entered Iraq? - Come to think about it, no. - Let me see, there are the Americans, the Iranians, the Israelis, the Australians, the New Zealanders, the Dans, the Brits, the Eastern Europeans, the Western Europeans, the South Africans, the Koreans, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Syrians, the Saudis... - Yeah and today I heard a lot of Latin Americans too. Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Bolivians, Chileans, Mexicans, Argentinians, Brazilians... (By the way, the Iraqi football team just hired a Brazilian coach, probably much to the displeasure of Muqtada Baby who fro

Under a Sky of Diamonds.

Only a few days ago, I quoted that song by the Eagles : " Hotel California". A friend who is a rock addict (as in music) told me that this song was about drugs. The hard shit. Well got news for you . That hard shit has reached Iraq. I did mention in earlier posts that drugs were virtually unknown in the Iraq of "before". I also did mention that since the "after", all kinds of drugs circulate in the market. I also noted that members from the death militias of the "nationalist", "patriotic", "anti-occupation"(hahahaha), loving version of Mahatma Gandhi - Muqtada Al Sadr and Co, are regular users of drugs. That may partly explain their total numbness when on their drilling fix. But now the "breaking news". Just read that opium is being grown in Southern Iraq. Under the agricultural expertise and auspices of Iran of course. Iraq turning into a poppy field, turning into an Afghanistan? Not far fetched at all. ( Read full

The Gates of Hell are wide open...

Welcome to Baghdad. Today 12 innocent Iraqis, dead throughout Baghdad . A mortar hits the "fortified" Green Zone - only material damage it seems. The "Iraqi" government will be signing a half a billion Dollars arms deal with America. The reason? The security situation necessitates more american weapons. I guess not enough Iraqis are killed so far... They really would like to apply Bremer's recommendation of bringing the total number of Iraqis to 6 million. "It is more than enough" he was overheard saying. Welcome to Gaza. Yesterday, 5 cowardly, criminal, nazi, Israeli air raids on Gaza. The last one was at 12 am (sunday). A whole family of 7 member killed on the spot. Carbonised bodies taken out from under the rubbles by "rescue teams" which are none other but the residents of Gaza. Today during the day, more air raids and more dead. Is it not enough that Gaza has nothing ? No infrastructure, no employment, no proper running medical facilitie

A Saddam obsession...

The online dictionary defines obsession as "a domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc. " and as "a compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion..." Now Sami (I never use real names by the way) is a prototype of someone obsessed. However, Sami's obsession has a peculiarity of its own. His obsession is Saddam Hussein (the legitimate president of Iraq.) I have known Sami for over 15 years now. I have known him "before" and "after". "Before" and "After" have become code words amongst Iraqis to refer to that cursed day - the day of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. When Iraqis discuss something, anything, almost always someone will ask this question: "Was that before or after?" Sami before and Sami after and his obsession has not ceased... Sami is originally from what is now called the Adhamiya Ghetto. Apart from our common attachment to this ghetto, we sha


I feel terribly sad today. A grey kind of sadness that is enveloping me, shutting out any rays of light, any rays of hope... Two things are weighing heavily on my heart today. And in no order of priority, the first is the in killing, in fighting between the Palestinians. I have always prayed that it will never come to this. Hoping against hope that reason will prevail. But it seems that reason has no place in the Middle East. Palestinians killing each other is a Nakba. A true Nakba. What will happen next? Will they divide what remains of the West Bank into statelets, to be shared amongst the tribal chieftains? Israel is behind all of this. Israel and Iran. I hate politics. I hate politics with vehemence. This is not the time to take sides. The side of Fatah or the side of Hamas. The Palestinians must take to the streets en masse and say NO to both! No to divisions, no to these corrupt political power mongers, no to the spilling of Palestinian blood... Which brings me to the second thin

The Sound of Silence

I don't know about you, but for me, every spring, I go through the season's motions best described as a frantic, quasi obsessive "mission" of cleaning, boxing, rearranging, disregarding "stuff". The urge takes me and does not let go until I feel I have "sorted out" objects from the past... Whilst on my spring "crusade" of infinite order, of un-cluttering my surroundings and hopefully my life in the process, I came across a dusty old box of audio cassettes. You know audio cassettes? I know these things are no longer in fashion, having been replaced by CD's, MP3's,Ipods... Well, I still have cassettes, hundreds of them and I have kept my vinyl records too...Some things from the past, I seem to have difficulty letting go of. By the way, people in the Middle East still use cassettes or tapes. CDs still remain a luxury for most... Copyrights of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) state that no cheaper CDs can be made...

A Bed of Roses, A Bed of Thorns.

What was that saying I had memorized eons ago? Ah right! Now I remember. "A rose by any other name smells as sweet". I remember as a teenager, I would repeat this proverb over and over in my head , when my first crush threw a wild daisy my way, plucked from the neighbor's garden. I held that daisy pretending it was a rose and it did smell as sweet - well sort of... I am sure Suzanne's roses smelled very sweet too. I received a zillion megabytes of pictures of her wedding. Suzanne finally tied the noose, sorry meant the knot. My cynicism occasionally gets the better of me ... So sorry Suzanne. Suzanne majestically dressed in the proverbial white dress, gazing with desperately loving eyes into her soon to be husband's. In the background, tons of roses , thousands of them decorating this eternalized picture and all the others... The wedding party , a "creme de la creme" gathering , in some super de luxe 10 stars hotel in some Middle Eastern capital... Every