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 I know these things are no longer in fashion, having been replaced by CD's, MP3's,Ipods...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...but people do cheat and if they are caught they are heavily fined and some find their shops closed down.

Where is WIPO when Iraqi academics are shot left, right and center? What about their intellectual property?
Or when Iraqi antiquarian libraries are burned down to ashes?
Or when ancient archeological sites are polluted with stupid, idiotic, yankee graffitis by the pissing brave boys?
Graffitis on Mesopotamian ruins, like "Johny boy loves SueAnn", or "Michael was here", or "Hey Babylon"...
But of course WIPO and UNESCO are silent, snoring away next to K.Annan then, and now continuing their sleep next to Ban Ki Moon...

Don't want to get sidetracked by the U.N and its "agencies" as I can write a book about these bastards...So back to my old dusty box and to the harmlessly familiar.

I was so tempted to chuck it and all of its content away. I had not touched it in years. And principles of Feng Shui state that if you have not used something in 6 months, you are unlikely to use it at all.

I beg to differ with "Mr." Feng Shui, because my magic box had a different story to tell.

I have kept this box for over 20 years even though am no hoarder by nature.
Over 20 years of a hidden something...
I opened it like a child opening a packaged present, with all of the excitement of the world...
A box holding all the ominous possibilities maybe?

And what tapes did I find in it?
Old lyrics from old songs, songs from the post 60's, post-Vietnam era...
Songs, I actually took the time to tape from records. It must have taken me days and days of recording...

Songs from Carly Simon, Carol King, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Joan Baez, Art & Garfunkel and many, many more...
My, I had patience 20 years ago!

I listened to them all over again and am listening to them again on my walkman as I am typing this...Yes, I have no Ipod and no computer anymore.

Carly Simon is singing "You're so vain". This song reminds me of a certain category of pseudo-intellectual Arab men. The title is self explanatory...
Randy Newman's "Little criminals" is now playing. I guess that needs no commentary either...
Carol King is next with "It's too late". A song I dedicate to the Iraqis who danced with joy while dipping their fingers in purple ink...
Now it's Joan Baez turn with "Its all over now Baby blue" - Ever so accurate.
And now, it's Art & Garfunkel with one of my favorites, "The sound of silence"...

Have you ever listened to the Sound of Silence yourself ?
I have.

When cyber "well wishers" send me viruses, worms, germs and a whole panoply of "weapons of mass destructions", trying to shut me up for weeks - That is the sound of silence.

When journalists are killed on a daily basis, 4 last week in Kirkuk and when "Journalistes sans Frontieres" state that Iraq is the most dangerous country in the world for reporters (over 184 have been dead so far) - That is the sound of silence.

When militias from Iran, kidnap, torture, rape and slaughter what they consider "possible, potential" resistance voices - That too is the sound of silence.

When a people are walled in, made prisoners behind a thick barrier and not allowed to leave their ghetto after certain hours, 9pm to 6 am - That is also the sound of silence.

When over 122'000 Iraqi babies below the age of 5 have been killed since 2005 either through violence, disease, lack of medical care, or malnutrition and when 1 child out of 8 will not survive his/her 5th year - That is definitely the sound of silence.

When "liberation" forces massacre more children with their liberation, two of them last week - That is the sound of silence.

When a 80 years old man, diabetic and with a heart condition is detained in the middle of the night under the pretext that he is a "potential" terrorist- That too is the sound silence.

When an Iraqi woman fears walking the streets or is raped because she belongs to the wrong sect, and she then imprisons herself at home, suffocating her voice - That is the height of the sound of silence.

So what were the lyrics of the "Sound of Silence"?
"Hello Darkness, my old friend..."
Now followed by another Art & Garfunkel song "My Little Town" and the words are:
"Nothing but the dead and dying in my little town"...

Oh wait...I can't believe my ears...I hear my own voice now on this tape.
I have recorded over "my little town" this poem which I wrote over 20 years ago.
It is not such a great poem but do you want to hear it? I will share it with you if you wish. My poem from my old dusty box.

It is called "Poem about America"

The people of Hiroshima
are still crying
blind eyes, tears of blood.
The people of Chile
are still bruised,
mutilated bodies.
The children of Vietnam
are still burnt
skins falling
incinerated bones.
The people of Palestine
are still castrated,
In Lebanon,
the odor of the dead
saturates the streets.
In Guatemala,
the land is raped,
the stomachs empty.
In the Sahel,
the bodies are dry,
the eyes hollow.
In India,
the dustbins overflow
with corpses
and human decay.
Where to now my enemy?
Where to now my oppressor?
Your ghettoes are filled
with misery and suffering
Your prisons are filled
with hungry thieves
Your streets are filled
with headless bodies
Your brothels are filled
with torn women
Where to now?
Where to now?

As I said this simple poem was written by me when I was 21 years old.
Here I was a 21 young "internationalist".
And instead of day-dreaming of the prince in shining white armor, I was writing poems about America's oppression of the world.

Where to now my enemy, where to now my oppressor?
Little did I know then, that the "where to now", is Iraq, decades later...
Just replace each of the countries mentioned with Iraq and you are taken to the year 2007.

The tape is reaching its end...
Don Mc Lean is singing "Bye Bye Mr.American Pie"...

Maybe Mr.Feng Shui is right, I need to say goodbye to these post Vietnam "liberation" songs ...
Not much has changed since, except no one composes songs for Iraq.
I remember now, we have "failed to capture the American imagination".

Bye Bye Mr.American Pie and am back to " the Sound of Silence"...of "my Little Town".

Apologies to Mr.Paul Simon. It is Simon & Garfunkel and not Art &...
I did say once I was bad with names - So please don't shoot me.OK?

Painting: Iraqi female artist, Betool Fekaiki.


Anonymous said…

Iraqi children pay cost of occupation
By Amina Anderson
One in every eight children in Iraq will not reach the age of five. There are no medical equipment, no medicines, and no doctors in a country plagued by raging violence that have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

"Iraq’s child mortality rate has increased by a staggering 150 percent since 1990. Some 122,000 Iraqi children died in 2005 before reaching their fifth birthday. More than half of these deaths were among newborn babies in the first month of life," according to a recent report published by the U.S.-based Save the Children organization.

A nation of child murderers, busy killing its way to complete both the theft of Iraqi oil for a nation of gasoline junkies and land and water resources for the nation of homicidal maniacs known as "Israel." We should be ashamed to the point of asking for forgiveness from Iraqi's, but like the true junkie, we are willing to kill anyone or destroy anything that gets in our way of scoring our next fix. Even the slaughter of Iraqi children will not stop our quest to obtain another shot in our arms of the highest costing drug in the world, OIL. Luckily, we're a "GODLY" nation that likes to spout euphemisms, like "Love thy brother."
Just think how murderous we would be if we weren't a "Christian" nation. Now, excuse me while i go puke.
Anonymous said…
greg u knob
Anonymous said…
greg u grade A moron "Love thy brother" is NOT an example of an euphemism......if u retards r going 2 insist on using long words 2 sound clever can u plz at least look up the meanings to make sure u know wot ure talking abt!!
Anonymous said…
Layla Anwar:SUPERSTAR!

“The Color of Blood, the Color of Resistance, the Color of Iraq.”

By Mike Whitney

“If I ever get married again…..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”.
Layla Anwar; Arab Woman Blues, “A Bed of Roses, A Bed of Thorns”
05/14/07 "ICH" -- -- -I wonder what goes through Cheney’s mind when he visits Baghdad. Does he ever look out the window of his armor-plated limmo and see the wasteland he’s created---the burned out buildings, the pock-marked streets, the wretched orphans sorting through the garbage for something to eat? Al Arabiya news says that there may be as many as 100,000 orphans in Baghdad now. These are Cheney’s kids, aren’t they--the Vice President’s gift to the “New Middle East”? The next generation of terrorists?

What a horrible legacy. What a horrible man.

Congrats on getting into alternative american press, and glad you got your hacking problems taken care of. Take care and be as safe as possible.
Anonymous said…
n whilst im here can we also have a little less of this "we" and "us" business........ thankfully most of us arent dumb obnoxious americans and most certainly dont want to be bracketed wit u
Anonymous said…
"Where is WIPO when Iraqi academics are shot left, right and center? What about their intellectual property?"

good point layla, i will be sending an email to them to enquire why nothing is being done to this improper use of intellectual property
Anonymous said…
When cyber "well wishers" send me viruses, worms, germs and a whole panoply of "weapons of mass destructions", trying to shut me up for weeks - That is the sound of silence.


this paragraph seems a little trivial compared to the other atrocities
Anonymous said…
i will review this article tommorrw. it deserves my full attention before i subject it to critical analysis and i cant do that when i am half asleep!!
Anonymous said…
Things in USA are quiet as well.
At least if you want real news or good news instead or fear and hate mongering.

11 US Senators stormed into Bush's office and VERY CANDIDLY told him that they were facing defeat in the next elections as well as public out rage over the occupation (not the term they used) and they TOLD HIM....he had better get his mess cleaned up or face dissent, resignations, and mutiney. They were enraged also by the idea of the Iraqi "government" going on vacation for a month...

I am glad that this one incident at least made the main stream news.

People are starting to be more vocal not only about Iraq but the World Trade center theories as well.
You can only get bits and pieces of it on the mainstream but if you dig deeper and look underground you can find more.
To live here is to see the writing on the wall.
Or not....?

But it is not constant fear of death or loss...

Layla take care and I hope you can manage to find a computer somehow.
Anonymous said…
Lyla, what more is there to say, there is no sanctuary. Who will muzzle this beast, and finally silence this imperial thrust? I am surrounded by the mute, to those so absorbed by the moment that they cannot hear a child or a peoples voice. The darkness does not flee, there is no time of day, as the world slumbers through genocide. Inadequate expression, but none the less true.
Anonymous said…
No appropriate words, Layla. Just solidarity and love.
Layla Anwar said…
Little Deer,

Hello and thank you. Bless you.
Layla Anwar said…
superstar of the blogosphere academy? Will I get a prize?
Layla Anwar said…

Nice to "see" you again. I need a new computer and for the time being that is simply not possible.
Stay safe from the bugs yourself.
Bless you.
Layla Anwar said…

seems some things never change.
you mentioned you were half asleep, can you stay asleep like for a long while? Thanks.
Layla Anwar said…
P.S: Apologies to Mr.Paul Simon. It is Simon & Garfunkel and not Art &... I did say once I was bad with names - So please don't shoot me.OK? Much obliged.
Anonymous said…
Layla Anwar

مبروك قصيدة بديعة

Ike said...

Things in USA are quiet as well.

Ike, I think you need to read this:
Republican leaders in Washington have warned administration officials that if the Iraqi government fails to meet those benchmarks by the end of the summer, remaining congressional support for Bush's Iraq policies could crumble. Their impatience was underscored Wednesday by Vice President Dick Cheney during a visit here.

"I did make it clear that we believe it's very important to move on the issues before us in a timely fashion, and that any undue delay would be difficult to explain," Cheney told reporters.

But Iraqi lawmakers show little sign of bending to accommodate Bush on an issue as crucial as oil.

"We have two clocks — the Baghdad clock and the Washington clock — and this is a perfect example," said Mahmoud Othman, a lawmaker from the semiautonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. "This has always been the case. Washington has been pushing the Iraqis to do things to fit their agenda."

It'a all about oil, whoever in the house when its come to oil they thing with same head...
Anonymous said…
Dear Layla
I was walking today and remembered the song... amazing ! I feel the sounds of silence are different nowadays.. I would like maybe to hear answers ...I have not yet
My love and solidarity to YOU always
Salaam Sister
G.Gar said…
Salam Leila

"Not much has changed since, except no one composes songs for Iraq.
I remember now, we have "failed to capture the American imagination"

I dont know why I'm not surprised. Can anyone tell me why, of all earthly human cultures, Arab one is the most misrepresented in the west?

Your intuitive, innocent childlike poem, along with with the touching story you mentioned about the Bahgdad florist, makes feel infurated at what the barbers and the desendents of cave dwellers have done to Babylon and our dreams........

Grafiting: hey babylon!

leaping back to Arab culture, i dont want to seem an old fashioned, untrendy, conspriacy theorist hate mongering maniac.

But i have to aske: are they jealous?
G.Gar said…
I would like to tell you that layla is annoyed by your comments- maybe you think that nothing is wrong with them- unfortunately, she doesn share your believes, and that is what is relevent here, because that is not a public forum, rather, her own blog.

Jr you said that you are a gentle soul and i believe you. So I think to make yourself consistent, then you have to leave her alone and don't comment in her site anymore.

Now behave like a good decent Englishman or kind gentle hearted misunderstood lovely Jew and leave the lady alone

Thank you very much
Anonymous said…
layla anwar when can i expect to recieve an apology for falsely being accused of hacking and sending viruses????
Anonymous said…
JR, guess i'm just going to have to bow to your superior intellect.
Anonymous said…

Cleaning ones closets not only lets us go through our past but it also gives jr coyote space to hang his little manhood out. This is if jr is male. I must wonder, but I don't care.

We are learning new things today that our peoples and nations before us already knew. The brits are a strange brew, history has shown us time and time again they are all manish girls, ready to steal everything they can get a hold of.

I think coyote should spit the nuts out of its mouth and feed the rest of his fag brothers from his proud nation.

Peace up!!!

Anonymous said…
AMRE el-twat plz keep comments relevent to the posts made in the blog
Anonymous said…
n am i netiher english nor jewish u dozy cunt
Anonymous said…
greg bacon no problem, but plz in future, can u consult a dictionary before u use any long words.....that goes for the rest of the retards as well...thnks
Anonymous said…
savage the american wanker, plz explain the term "manish girls" and how this is a relevent description of a people who are "ready to steal everything they can get a hold of."
ed said…
welcome back layla,thanks for all your efforts

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