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...

Everyone looks ecstatic at the sumptuousness of the surroundings and the decor and they look very jovial and merry - A kind of drunk merry - A strange thing since it was supposedly a "dry wedding"...
But if you look closely at the dinner tables, you would see lots of teapots, hidden behind the roses...
Tea with smoked salmon and filet mignon sauce champignons de Paris ?
Suzanne also sent me a scanned photo of the menu...

And more roses and rose petals covering everything and everyone...Tables, floor, chairs, singer, dancing guests, bride and groom and of course the teapots...
Enough roses to sink the Titanic.

Please don't get me wrong , am very happy for Suzanne, but why so much roses?
I mean, there are so many good causes, so many needy people around and instead of spending thousands of dollars on roses, give the money to someone whose wretched life has made it impossible for him/her to smell food let alone roses...For instance like in Iraq.

And what is this business of white dresses? I mean what for?
In the Islamic tradition one wears white when someone dies.
Does that mean that the bride is signing her death warrant on her wedding ?
Ok, ok, am being cynical again...
During the Hajj period, the pilgrims wear white too...symbolizing death of self in view of a new rebirth...
So I guess all these brides are going to be born again into matrimony...saying goodbye to "virginity" - metaphorically speaking of course...
But what is virginity?
Look at Iraq, she was a virgin and she has been wearing nothing but red and black since her "wedding " day...

If I ever get married again, unlikely with my cynicism (occupation do these things to you), I don't want any of this white dress business. I shall wear red.
Bright red.
The color of blood, the color of roaring, erupting volcanoes, the color of a dying sun, the color of passion , the color of Resistance...The color of Iraq.

Yes, red it is and red it shall be ...until we are born again.

Back to the wedding pictures.
Rose upon rose, it all looked so sweet.
Roses in the background staring at you, whilst the newly wed stare in desperado into each other's eyes...

Which reminds me of the desperate, hollow look of a Baghdad florist.
That courageous man who dutifully opens his empty shop daily, despite the snipers, despite the car bombs, despite the mortar explosions, despite the militias, despite the arbitrary arrests...

He says : " Business is bad, very bad. Nobody buys flowers anymore. I used to receive them from Jordan. Nobody can afford flowers, nobody cares about flowers, now I have nothing to sell...
People used to get married and have parties. Now it is a quick thing. A one hour job, usually between 1 and 2 pm. Security reasons. No parties, no weddings, no singing, no dancing, no white dresses, no roses.... Business is very bad, really bad..."

The shop next door is a coffin maker. He on the other hand is doing extremely well. Possibly the only lucrative "entrepreneur" in Baghdad who is prospering.
" Not enough time " he says. " Much demand and not enough wood ".
In fact coffins have become very expensive and seems that people have no time limits, like brides and grooms, when it comes to coffins...They are in demand 24/7.

I wonder if our Baghdadi florist will make it another day and if someone decides that he should "leave", will someone throw a rose on his tomb or will his neighbor give him a special discount for the coffin?

I don't think coffin makers run the risk of getting massacred ...People, whatever their allegiance, still like to bury their dead.
I have no special worries about the coffin maker...I just know he will be fine.

Imagine for one moment, that an American bride, or any other bride for that matter, cannot have a wedding for security reasons.
No wedding party, no guest lists, no church, no vows, no priest, no dancing, no banquet, no champagne, no wedding cake, no pictures, no honeymoon, no white dress and no roses...

Imagine for one moment that some American bride has to get married between 1 and 2 pm exclusively.

I mean prospective brides whine and nag enough as it is...and what if they can't have it all on that "very special " day? Oh my God, can you imagine the post traumatic effect...

Ok am sorry Suzanne, I really wish you and all the other brides to live happily ever after on your bed of roses.
Do forgive my wry sense of humor, the occupation has screwed up my " romantic" predisposition.
And since I am unable to offer you a wedding present , please accept these few lines from one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda, instead.

" Y fui como un herido por las calles
Hasta que comprendi que habia encontradas
amor, mi territorio de besos y volcanoes "

My very, very humble translation -
" And I would stroll the streets as a wounded
to understand in the end, that I have discovered
my love, territory of kisses and volcanoes " .

Oh yes, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet in my thorny territory of love and volcanoes...

Painting: Iraqi female artist, Semira Wahab.


Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
hmmmmm.......not much really to say on this piece
Anonymous said…
thought im sure little deer will have a 10 page essay on hand
Anonymous said…
the only thing i can say, n i dont mean to be rude layla, is that offering a few lines of a poem that is not even your own, is pretty a stingy to do.......i know if i was expecting a present n some1 offered me a line of poetry, ill tell them where to shove it
Anonymous said…
Dear Layla Anwar,
I spent hours last night reading your beautiful, haunting and thought provoking blogs. I am ashamed of the USA, my country. When the 9/11 attacks occured here, something was strange to me, these large buildings fell right in their footsteps. It was too surreal, too false flag. Bush
Most Americans didn't vote for Bush, Al Gore won the popular vote. This lunatic, fanatic, psychopath was placed in government by our Supreme Court that ordered the state of Florida to stop counting ballots. Little Georgie's brother was the governor of Florida and all TV stations declared Gore the winner and president, suddenly Fox news owned by Ruppert Murdoch stated that Bush had won. The man who called the election at Fox was a cousin of little Georgie.
Suddenly, the blame on your beautiful country. The first words of my mouth were Son of a Bitch and anger. I sat my young son down at the computer and tried to contact the U. of Baghdad with my son. We found a picture of a beautiful young woman sitting with her pet dog and tried to contact her. My computer was blocked. My son commented, they are just like us. Yes, that is what I want you to understand. They have never harmed a single American and now Bush and Co. are going to bomb their country. My son quit standing and reciting the pledge of allegiance. This created quite a stir at his school. The pledge if you are unaware goes:

I pledge Allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, One nation under God, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

As LittleDear wrote: This country has for over two hundred years persecuted the Native Americans and stole their land and massacred almost all of them out of greed, we have a long history of putting our noses where they don't belong under the guise of freedom and democracy. Two meaningless words as you can ask any African American if they feel equal.

Bush and Co. then went on a terror campaign against the American people, 'You are either with us or with the terrorist." We found our civil liberties removed. Debate was stopped. The news media reported only the company line, any critical analysis of war was placed in the back pages of a few papers. The American people are well off compared to the rest of the world. Inflation, long work weeks of 70 hours or more and mothers now unable to stay home and raise their children. Most people had a hard time finding time to gather evidence against this demon.

I received a call from school that my son was a disturbance as he would not stand for the pledge. He sits quietly in his chair and prays to Allah or God of us all for peace. He has been called a terrorist. I told the school that his allegiance should only be to his faith and his conscience, not an evil cabal, he was supported by his parents in his beliefs, and liberty and justice does not exist for all. In their infinite wisdom, they sent him to the library in the morning so he couldn't be an influence to others, but more kids are there than originally. As children began to ask him why he wouldn't stand, he explained about stolen elections on computerized voting machines created by a neo-con company called Diebold that had no paper trail, that 9/11 was a false flag operation, that the war was immoral and illegal, and not everyone is free and not everyone has justice. More children began to refuse to stand, this was the real problem. My son was 10.

Bush created a climate of fear here where anyone he wants to can be called an "enemy combatant", can't hire legal help, not tell family where they are. A much milder version of Iraqi justice minus the torture, but they have Haliburton building holding areas in undisclosed places in America. I wonder who they are for. I may meet Ike and Little Deer. Thomas Jefferson said, Those who would give up their liberties for security, deserve neither security nor freedom!

How can I even talk to you? I am so ashamed of my country. I protest and walk the streets. I call and write government and demand the end to the war and an investigation how we got there and Bush/Cheney cabal be investigated and tried as war criminals. I feel like banging my head against your cement wall. Walls!! They have never worked, will never work and how can one not notice the parallel between poor Palestine and poor Iraqi. They like walls. Walls that stop discussion of their horrid actions, walls of fear of being taken away for your beliefs, walls between different skin tones. I would love to destroy all of them. Crumble them to the ground.

How I wish if Bush/Cheney had wanted to drop something on your home, your beautiful country and people, your family and friends and neighbors, if his criminal gang couldn't stop themselves, I's rather thay had dropped roses. I can only say that I am so fucking sorry. The Americans want this war ended. They have finally learned that that Son of a Bitch has lied and will never listen to the people. We want and end to this war/occupation is better description.
I hope my words do not affend you. I want you to know that I meet weekly to try to end this insanity. The newspapers and TV do not cover our actions. You have to go to the internet. Your writings have enriched me as a person, even if my stomache turned sour as you describe the hell we have created for you Iraqi's to live in. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Someday I would like to meet you. I would like to volunteer at your hospital. I want everything rebuilt and electricity and meds and garbage pickups and every desire you have to come true. I too am in my forties. I would like to meet Little Deer and learn more about AIM and her history. We will learn from each other and grow, or we will continue to bully the world and wind up alone and the MSM news watchers will never understand what happened. Bush calls himself the "decider", this goes against our Constitution. Presidents are meant to be kings. Our govt. passed a bill in Sept 06, the "Presidential Powers Act", that states if there is an insurection of the people against him, a terrorist act, or an incident, the fool can declare martial law and imprision those who disagree, turn the military against the citizens, stop presidential elections so he can stay in office forever. The stakes have never been higher. Just writing to you will put me on a government watch list. Well, they can watch me all they want. I want u and the Afghani's to live in peace in your own country according to laws that you make. No one here seems to discuss what the Iraqi people want. That is not democracy, not freedom. I know we can never bring back the dead, heal the wounded or restore your country. All I can do is be the Angry American Woman and apologize, which I don't deserve, but I beg your forgiveness. My sons will never be in the military, I would rather see them in jail. Bush just vetoed congresses bill to set a timetable for withdrawl. It came across the TV as I write you. He dosen't give a shit about what the American people want.

Make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love: Where there is injury, pardon: Where there is doubt, faith: Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness, light: Where there is sadness, joy...Grant that I not so much seek to be consoled as to console: to be understood as to understand: to be loved as much as to love: For it is in giving that we receive. In pardoning that we are pardoned. And in dying we are born to eternal life.

I want you to know that I will work hard to end the suffering caused by these illegal, immoral, unjustifable wars (invasions)and will work for justice and peace and hopefully someday we might be forgiven. God Bless you Layla Anwar, you are an educator with a beautiful soul.


I would like to share your writings with the U. of Wilmington, NC and with my peace group and also on a poster when I stand by the road trying to waken the ignorant, the uncaring, the "unpolitical". The art on your blog is magical, beautiful, crushing and I am richer for it too. Thank you.
LostHere said…
No te toque la noche ni el aire ni la aurora,
solo la tierra…

An interesting take on this poem… the suppression of a coma gives it a new meaning. I don’t know if you intended that way, but its poetry, and why not reinterpret it?

Y fui como un herido por las calles
Hasta que comprendi que habia encontrado,
amor, mi territorio de besos y volcanoes "

My very, very humble translation -
" And I would stroll the streets as a wounded
to understand in the end, that I have discovered
my love, territory of kisses and volcanoes " .

I was listening to some poetry of a beautiful Panamenian, African-American woman the other day and wanted to send you one of her poems, but I have not being able to find the written lyrics. I send you another one that althought it is not about Iraq, it could very well be.

Unconquerable Sun
My Labor of Love
A poem by UVA

Blackened blossom of life
They fear you....
Your image has been tainted by a
lineage of them
Men and women cloaked in ignorance
and fear of your greatness.
They know your inherited place
in this space called human race
but live in denial of your ancestry
You: born in the Euphrates
and baptized in the Nile
Anointed heavenly child
They: jealous ... and fearful tried
to turn down the volume
of your splendor
The fire in your Serengeti-kissed
bright eyes
Only to realize you can't dim
the sunlight, and they
cannot break you
You Are Unconquerable!

The complexity of our time
urges you to bury your
smile while trying to survive
the hostile soil your grandfather
And his father

And his father's father toiled
Blood that soiled the tapestry of African ancestry
so that you might rise.

You must redirect dreams
deferred by those who once controlled your
destiny, emasculating your dignity.
At the cusp of your life's dawn,
kidnapped from the Kingdom of God,
your pride castrated before your Nubian Bride,
the Queen they deemed whore
to bruise your soul so they
might damage your mind.

Contemporary slavery tools
News clips and sound bites

The media chooses to profile
Celebrate your weakest times,
your crimes, and don't
show your regal stride.
Still, despite clipped wings, you fly
And they cannot break you
You Are Unconquerable!

They have contorted your essence
Eroded your confidence
And yet your monumental
opulence remains majestically
Spirit still unbroken.
As the last figments
of sand settle in the
pit of racism's hourglass
Abysmal and infinite
And despite the scars your
back still bares, and the
lesions your weary eyes
still wear, and the generational
wounds each fruit of you
nurses as racist curses
downpour yet fail to dampen
your spirit
God's heavenly lyrics
swing down on you like
Chariots Sweet With Salvation
whispering a choir of survive sun,
survive sun, survive!
While they attempt to eclipse
the light of your brown eyes
Keep your third eye
on hieroglyphs carved in
the walls of your rightful home.
Egyptian pyramid halls
are the griots, keepers
of your story, preserving you,
Oh, holy one
Oh, brown one
Oh, warrior man
Testament to God's Glory
You are unconquerable,
Unconquerable, unconquerable
And they fear you for
They Cannot Break You!

As I said, it is not about Iraq, but…
Enjoy it!
Anonymous said…
To Linda,
Welcome to the sassiest blog this side of the sun.

Layla and I will be selling all of our belongings and spending a year in Dafur, then we'll be going to Iraq and Afghanistan. Hopefully by then Americans won't occupy either country and we'll be safe to travel without a male companion. However, I will be packing a handgun..one can never be too safe!

If you care to join us, send Layla an email. She can fill you in with the details. Don't bring any food, we'll eat spiders and grubs. We've decided we don't want to live in a virtual world, rather get out and do something. Our departure date from the comforts of a 1st world country will be on October 1st, 2007.

welcome again,
Anonymous said…
"My son commented, they are just like us. Yes, that is what I want you to understand. "

i dont think layla will be 2 pleased with this comment!!
Anonymous said…
linda is little deer in disguise
Anonymous said…
i think this thread is going to be full of pretentious wankers spouting pretentious bullshit u bunch of pretentious fuckwits
Anonymous said…
sorry i got a little carried away there but the sentiment still stands
Anonymous said…
layla plz can u change the background wallpaper.......mnaybe a nice shade of red.....anything but this crappy brown one
Anonymous said…
Your post was excellent.
I am glad to know that people in USA are opening their eyes to the ugly picture of reality that has been painted for us....and on us.
A shameful burdon that "We the people" must carry for eternity.
A truth never spoken, I am glad you know your being watched. I'm glad you know they have prison cells and execution chambers that are waiting for us....waiting for the final call from the "Comander in chief"
Most ALL forigeners who live abroad see USA as The land of dreams, the land of milk and honey, the land of oportunity and freedom.
My wife is Filipino, so I know WELL how others see USA and what they think about how we live.
Truth being that USA is a sham, a joke.
There is NO milk and honey, NO opportunity, and freedom is being taken away day by day as the American people sit idle by and do nothing.
While the people do nothing, the powers that be inch closer and closer to their plan of slamming the doors on America as we have known it.
I hate it, but my wife and I often have words between each other because of the foriegn belief of how "wonderful" America must be.
Her mother still lives in the Phil's and cannot believe (even when told by her own daughter) that life here is not as easy as some would think it to be.
BushCo has devided USA into two social classes. The very wealthy and the very poor.
Once you become impoverished there is little chance of getting ahead financially.
At times I can rant about it, but right now I really do not feel like it. I am shamed because I feel I have problems, but then like you, I see that life could be much worse. I only have to worry about paying bills and feeding my family, I do not (yet) have to worry about death squads or being bombed.
But as you know.....THAT DAY IS COMING!

I just had to post a reply to your post Linda. You expressed a great deal of the entire countries feelings.
Yes. The people of USA are tired of the war/occupation and want OUT!
But as our gasoline prices now top $3.00 per gallon our government listens with deaf ears and blind eyes. Paying NO attention to the will of the people.
Linda, is there a web site or something where I can see more about your activities in protesting? I would like to get more involved or start a chapter her where I live.
I have never posted this but three weeks ago a young man was killed in Tikrit by an IED, he was 22 years old. He attended the same high school as I did and I knew his parents well. His death affected me.
This whole hideous mess affects me.

I do think it would be good if you allowed Linda to promote your blog.
People need to hear the things you write.
I believe you have been chosen dear one. I have watched you from day one and your following has grown tremendously.
Perhaps in some way you CAN make a difference.

Also know Layla, the hacking attempts and viruses MAY not be from Jr.
You have eyes on you every time you log on to the internet.
Possibly even more often than that.
There are people who want to see what you are writing, what you have in your hard drive and people who want to shut you down!
I may be wrong but I don't think Jr. is one of them.

Be you Iraqi, American, British, Russian or any other race....when you get on line and discuss things like we discuss here you are automatically labled and placed under a set amount of surviellance.

God (where ever you are) bless every brave soul who speaks the truth and does not cower in fear to the powers that be....

Bless you dear Layla.
And thank you.
Anonymous said…
Thank you, Layla. The barbarians expected to be showered with sweets and ROSES, remember?

As for you, Jr., you can get lost. How often do I write 10-page ESSAYS? There's other posters here who write BOOKS, and that doesn't seem to bother you. I think you're just jealous that others are capable of writing more than ONE LINE, as you usually do. I wonder if you stay up all night waiting for Layla's new blog to show up so that you can be first???!!!!! You are a big dope!
Anonymous said…
I haven't been here in a while, the hate rhetoric gets hard sometimes and especially from those comments folks. I hear you Linda and really appreciate what you wrote. Layla, you are a special lady and you will be blessed in the end.
Anonymous said…
Marriage: The Blackest Art
Anonymous said…
as I understand it's not out of cynism but out of realism you are writing from,
go on with your work, it has meaning!
thank You , t simen
Anonymous said…
I'm sorry, Layla, my comment is somewhat irrelevant to your blog but I am completely devastated by the daily sight of people dying every day and I really wish to pose this question: Is there anyone on this God-foresaken earth who can explain what is GAINED through the death and destruction executed by America, Britain, Israel and Iran in Iraq specifically, and by America and Britain in other countries: Afghanistan, Somalia and Darfur and Israel in Palestine? The thousands and thousands of innocent civilians DYING, DYING, DYING, BLOODSHED, CHAOS, DESTRUCTION at the hands of these butchers is mind-boggling, and all one sees from the citizens of these marauding nations is dilute and useless words - they are no consolation or a remedy. What is happening on this planet of ours? Isn't it time the entire world united against these animals? However, even animals RESPECT each other's territory, so these atrocities go far below the animal kingdom (the four-footed variety). How despicable, disgusting and blood tainted these nations are. Thank you, President Chavez, for standing up against these barbaric so-called 'democracies', whose only signature is bloodshed and devastated countries, each one of them so poor, it just makes one sick to the bones. One actually wishes for some God-sent purge to cleanse the entire world of this abomination.

To those who come from these nations and who post on this site, you have NO RESPECT. No prayers, no poems can absolve you of this. May God have mercy on your souls, if He doesn't decide to throw you all into the deepest recesses of Hell, which is where you belong.

And Jr., if you have any comment on this, please keep it to yourself.
Anonymous said…
Clarification - apologies to all South Americans - by America, I meant United States of America, and that does not include the poor marginalised American Indians.
LostHere said…
You mentioned Hugo Chavez, little deer, and I want to respond, or just maybe comment...
Of late it seems to me, that this so called democracy that we have in the USA has a lot of similarities with feudalism. In the other hand, it seems to me that the so called socialism of Venezuela has a lot of similarities with democracy, at least as I always understood it to be...
It's is a convoluted world we live in little deer, and without looking for sympathy or understanding on your part, I would like to mention to you that, us, the citizens of any country, are powerless to change anything that its "ruling entities" do, or at least I believe that to be the case in the short term... that said, I would not say the same for the military personal and mercenaries (it's possible that I consider missionaries to be also mercenaries)any way, I think that following orders or not, what they are doing in Iraq (and so many other places) makes them criminals. That is my opinion.
Another opinion of mine... In my mind I place leaders like Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro together... all dictators according to the loud press, but as much as I try I can not compare them to the likes of Franco, Pinochet, Somoza, Suharto, etc., and why not if they are all "dictators"? what comes to me is that some are Patriots, the others just opportunists and oppressors.It's interested to see with whom, historically, the western democracies have been allied.
Just thoughts
Anonymous said…
You are not posting Layla.
Obviously this concerns me...

Please let us know how you are as soon as you can.

Layla Anwar said…
Dear Linda,

Many thanks for your comment. What can I say , except I wish if 50% of the american people stood and felt as you do, maybe this "liberation" would not have taken place.
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Ike,

Thanks for asking. I have not been posting as I do not have access to a personal computer. Mine got busted thanks to the wonderful hackers...
And trust me on jr...even though he is not the only one.
Best to you
Layla Anwar said…
Lost here,

Many thanks for the wonderful poem.
Did you insert the bits about Mesopotamia or was it like that originally.
My spanish is not too good. So I did not get the comment about the coma changing the meaning...
Were you referring to P.Neruda poem?
G.Gar said…
@Lost here

Beuatiful impressive poem. But i cant see its link with Egypt and the pyramids
Anonymous said…
i hope when the real culprits are caught i will be given a full n frank apology layla
Anonymous said…
n plz can u hurry up with your next piece.......its taking forever
LostHere said…
What a tragedy!
... another case of liberators, I guess.
I miss your muse, but I am comforted knowing that it is your computer and not you who is ailing.

No, of course I did not insert anything into Uva's poem; that is what she wrote.She writes passionately about the African people and their "American" experience.
I happen to hear her several years ago performing spoken word with The Arpegio Jazz Emsemble... it was incredible. Unfortunately the CD that I bought was stolen from my friends car that evening and I have never been able to hear it again.

As for the change in meaning of Neruda's piece, I was not sure you meant it like that... coming from you, I thought you may have change it to express you and Iraq...
"...have found my love,
territory of kisses and volcanoes"

See, I would have translated slightly diferent than you
"And I walked the streets as though wounded
until I realized,love (darling), that I had found my land of kisses and volcanoes"

In any case, I was not sure if you did speak Spanish or not... you wrote a post a while back where you talked about dancing the tango, and I must tell you, you used just the right phrases in the right way... so I was not sure.

Thank you for all your previous posts, and please hurry back.
Stay safe!
Anonymous said…
Yes, I agree with you, Losthere, and I guess it's the feeling of impotence that is most frustrating - this blatant disrespect for the sanctity of human life is extremely distressing. As far as the loud press is concerned, they will brand as 'dictators' anyone who does not toe the line of the US, so however good a leader may be to his people, it appears that the US lays the 'benchmarks' for his/her acceptance at the global level. One cannot forget how Bush continually categorises nations: either with us or against us: a bullying stance, which will leave the US a pariah among nations.

There is nothing more admirable and commendable than to see a leader being patriotic to his nation, against all forces - not the Bush way: he may try to convince his people that he is 'patriotic', but patriotism is not about running roughshod over other nations (usually weaker) and lying to one's own people that 'it's better to fight out there': the world has not forgotten that his reasons for going into Iraq have changed every month, and anyone with minimum intelligence can see that it has never been, or never will be, in the interests of the Iraqi people. It is all about lusting/coveting for what does not belong to you, and if you can't have it the proper way (which means legal trading), then you take it by force, killing and destroying the people.

If one notes the common thread among the three leaders you have mentioned, you will see that each one of them, against so many odds, has tried to improve the lot of his own people, on the domestic front FIRST. Each one of the three (Cuba, Venezuela and Iraq) have put the education and well-being of their people as the first priority and have produced/are producing nations with educated classes. Despite terrible sanctions, President Saddam Hussein managed to provide high quality education and health care to the Iraqi people. These leaders may not be entirely successful, because they are human, and there will always be elements within a society which will disagree, and that is alright, so long as there is no third party (such as the US) always trying to stir discord within nations.

I also agree with you about 'missionaries', losthere, and, yes, those who are in Iraq ultimately have the choice, either to follow orders (which are already wrong) or to follow their conscience, if they have one. What most people may not see through their short-sightedness at present is that, yes, they may continue to destroy Iraq and kill Iraqis, but these animals will return home (those who do manage to survive): their entire psyche will have change, and the killing will continue on home turf because they will have lost their humanity. I am not a psychologist but I think someone more qualified than I am might agree with this observation. People sitting comfortably in the US, who believe the liar they have elected (stolen election or not) will eventually see this to pass.
Anonymous said…
About Bed of Roses this news bit caught my attention please read and enjoy

جنـــــة عــــدن في النجـــف الاشــرف
الأخبار آلاتية من العراق كثيرة ومختلفة, ولكن جذبني خبر منشور على الشبكة العنكبوتية في موقع يدعى " شبكة أخبار النجف" المنشور في يوم الأربعاء التاسع من أيار 2007
الرابط الإلكتروني للخبر هو آلاتي:
العنوان الرئيسي للخبر هو " زراعة مليار شتله متنوعة في النجف الاشرف"

انه عنوان جميل وخبر مفرح أن تصبح مدينة النجف جنـة عـدن في عهد الاحتلال؟

وجاء في لتفاصيل الخبر آلاتي:
"بجهود مبذولة من الإدارة المدنية في النجف الاشرف بالتعاون مع بلديات المحافظة تم الإعداد إلى خطة زراعة مليار شتله متنوعة من النخيل والورود المتنوعة والثيل الاويلي في شوارع وساحات والجزرات الوسطية والتقاطعات في المحافظة حيث الكلفة التخمينية للشتلات وزراعتها هو اثنان وسبعون مليون وثمانمائة آلف دينار ومن المؤمل المباشرة بالعمل بعد المصادقة عليها من قبل محافظة النجف الاشرف وتطبيقها من قبل بلدية النجف الاشرف"

توقفت عند العنوان الرئيسي وفكرت أن أتسلى بالحساب, فبحثت عن كلمة " مليار" وجدت تفسيرها حسب ويكيبيديا، الموسوعة الحرة آلاتي:

" مليار (Milliard) هي كلمة مشتقة من أصل فرنسي وتعني عدد يساوي 109 أي ألف مليون (1000000000 - 9 أصفار). الكلمة يكثر استخدامها في اللغة العربية ولغات أخرى إلا أن الكلمة لا تستخدم في الإنجليزية الأمريكية وتستخدم بشكل نادر في الإنجليزيات الأخرى، في الإنجليزية تم استخدام كلمة بليون بدل مليار في القرن العشرين. المشكلة أن بليون قد تفهم -حسب النظام البريطاني القديم- على أنها مليون مليون وليس ألف مليون"

فلو افترضنا أن نخصص خمسة دقائق لزراعة كل شتلة حيث أن الاحتلال جلب معه كل التكنولوجيا المتقدمة وخاصة أن العراق بلد تنتعش فيه الزراعة وخاصة جنوب ووسط العراق يعتبر سلة الغذاء للعراق لو استغلت الاستغلال العلي بجانب التكنولوجيا فسوف نخلص إلى آلاتي:

مليار شتلة× خمسة دقائق لكل شتلة= خمسة مليار دقيقة=5×1000000000

خمسة مليار دقيقة = 83333333.33 ساعة
= 3472222.22 يوما
= 496031.74 أسبوعا
= 124007.93 شهرا
= 10333.99 سنة

والانا ليس هذا رائع؟ إن الحساب يبدو متعة ولكن العراق تحت الاحتلال جعل البعض لا يقرأ ولا يكتب ولا يعرف الحساب.
Angel said…
Layla, your writing again is full of passion.

I could imagine an American bride, with no church etc. There would be tears and tantrums all round.

Really, not so funny for any bride. Sad. I wonder if 'they' ever think of how people cope with things like that in Iraq? How do they cope? More for your mental health, how do you not cope?

losthere, the last paragraph of your post on May 5, intriuged me. May I have your permission to use it, in your name, on an Australian blog?

Cheers Layla, I hope someone donates a computer, or a computer programmer, so you can be back doing your blog.
Anonymous said…
Salam Layla,

I just found your blog via another source.

JAK for your writings.

Inshallah I will remember you in my prayers.

I have many Iraqi/American friends who live with the uncertainty of the welfare of their family and friends in Iraq on a minute by minute basis.

With all the pain and misery Iraqi's live with day by day, words sometimes seem meaningless.

But with the truth you tell of in your blog I want to add my sincere love and appreciation for you and your family.

Take Care.

Denise (Muslim American)

P.S. The 'white gown' traditions are idiotic for Muslims to follow. They are derived from Christian concepts of purity, virginity, blah, blah, blah. I like the idea of red. Wearing red for weddings is a Muslim custom in the Indian subcontinent. Muslim cultures need to go back to their roots.
Anonymous said…
time for another article layla!!

I hope ur OK

Jr is a cunt for hacking ur computer.
I bet he drinks his beer warm.
Anonymous said…
layla ure becoming very lazy......its been over a week now!!!
G.Gar said…
salam Leila

I'm worried about you! Please make a post soon.

eih el hekaya belthbat
Anonymous said…
layla.......have you fixed your computer yet???
masnightflight said…
A bed Of Roses is layla's last
column - she's been dragged
off to gaol and is effectively
silenced behind bars!
masnightflight said…
A bed Of Roses is layla's last
column - she's been dragged
off to gaol and is effectively
silenced behind bars!
masnightflight said…
layla's in gaol,
most effectively silenced!
masnightflight said…
Layla's in gaol,
most effectively silenced!
masnightflight said…
Layla's in gaol everyone!
Very effectively silenced!
Anonymous said…
janice u stupid imbecile plz keep your stupid comments 2 yourself
G.Gar said…
lost here

what do the africn people has got to do with pyramids? the relation to pyramid is just like the relation of spaniards to el-hambra LOL
Anonymous said…
"Layla's in gaol everyone!
Very effectively silenced!"

I don't believe this is true but in the event that it is the entire lot of you will be looking to "silence" oh so many others...

Re-read my previous invitations to you.




Anonymous said…
masnightflight: In your dreams - keep hallucinating!!! Why should Layla be in gaol? Because she speaks the TRUTH????? Whose country has she invaded and destroyed? Whose blood does she have on her hands? There's plenty on the outside of Iraq who certainly deserve much more than gaol. Hopefully, the first barbarian will be in handcuffs and shackles (and the brown bag over the head plus orange jumpsuit) as soon as his official position of 'Prime Minister' (read 'Mass Murderer') comes to an end next month.

Welcome back, Layla - you have been missed.

Sweet dreams, masnightflight....you are pathetic.
Anonymous said…
erm......i hate to break this 2 u ike but i dont think anyone really cares abt u to be honest, u have rather a over inflated opinion of your own significance
Anonymous said…
no doubt american the savage wanker will surface to tell us the spirit of layla is amongst us or sum crap along those lines.

plz can u thick people understand that layla is the one who is allowing comments to pass thru so she is just fine.....my guess is its probably just a case of writers block...the telltale signs r in the detoriation of the standard of writing recently
G.Gar said…
Jr.....may i ask you where are you from?.......no need for bad mouthing........I'm just curious about you.........
Anonymous said…
hi layla!
LostHere said…
Amre El Abyad
Education is not my thing, so I suggest you read the poem, it says many things, alludes to many more, so do figure out what it means (to you).
As for the Al Hambra and the Spaniards… well, maybe there is a lot there that you don’t understand either. If the Al Hambra was build between the XIV & XV centuries, and AL Andalus was conquered in the VIII century, I would assume that it was built and inhabited by Spaniards. Yes, Moslem Spaniards, as were most of the populations by the 1300’s (around 80%).
Yes, even if you don’t want to accept it, the Nasrid Caliph that started construction of the Al Hambra was a Spaniard.
Of course most history books will refer to Him as a “Moor”, but to use Layla’s metaphor “A rose by any other name…”
Many of us Spaniards are still descendants of those old Spaniards. Lots of old Semitic blood still runs through our veins…
Layla Anwar said…
Hi everyone...
I missed some of you and others...hmmmm . Best left unsaid.
I still don't have a pc. But I will try to post as often as I can.
Take care all and it's good to see some of you again.
jr. Am sure you missed me!
Anonymous said…
sure did layla....i think its abt time i had became the moderater of the comments section....just to ensure my posts are made in a timely fashion
Anonymous said…
god i hate these pathetic hackers.....u dont deserve this layla.....makes my blood boil.....its not enuf they bomb your country, and then kill your people, but now they want to take away your crappy computer too......theres no level low enuf these evil bastards wont stoop too
Anonymous said…
Amre El-Abyad i am not bad-mouthing anyone who doesn't badmouth me first!!! i am a nice laid-back gentle soul who gets on with everyone as long as theyre not thick or nasty to me
Anonymous said…
whoops forgot to answer your question mr el-abyad.......i dont know really wot u mean.....if u mean where i live, its somewhere in the west
Anonymous said…

It is obvious your still mentally impotent (and we are asured physically as well). Simply unable, presently, to manufacture a mature and on topic conversation.

As you know, your queen, and we will refer to her as your queen because we all know how your people are. One nose full of the shit filled diapers that your royal family wears and you are on your knees at their beck and call.
As you know, your queen was to visit USA not long ago. Jr. come to terms that only a whore like lizzy and her ever silent philip would even consider such a public relations tour.
Do you not find comfort that, due to the tremendous price on his head, little shit fuck "harry" will not be going to Iraq after all?
Find comfort and revelevance in that.
He is a pussy....like you.
And don't be angry because his rosy cheeked big brother decided to dump such a beautiful young lady as Kate.
It is his choice if he wishes to date transgender individuals like his father.

And as for your attack on Ike, you know as much about him as he does you.
Actually less by all outwards appearances.

And you refer to SAW as "wanker".
JR. AGAIN we see your fixation with the penis.
For gods sake and yours, fight your repulsive impulse to bed with men and transgernder individuals.
I am sure it something that is humiliating for your mother, whom you live with.

In all honesty JR., at times I do not feel that you should even be exposed to the internet.
It is either your pornography habit or attacking people verbally on boards like this.

Please seek professional help for your sickness.
Do not be held away from life by your mother whom you live with...
She will be fine without you.
Go out and have a true life while you still have time.

YOU must find a way to control yourself.

Or I will continue my pro bono therapy until I do.

And due to the severity of your condition, all options are on the table.
A thinking man would consider this.

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