The Language of Open Wounds...

I've just realized that I will be "celebrating" two years of relentless blogging, soon.

It all started in July 2006, with yet another external "aggression" - Israel/Lebanon.

I was familiar with blogs and even thought of starting my own - way before, but something held me back. I am not sure what it was, maybe the timing was not right. I know I was way too raw, so raw, I felt I had lost my skin...So I just perused other people's blogs and thought to myself -- maybe one day I will start my own.

And interestingly enough, my first posts were not about Iraq. I simply could not get myself to write about Iraq.

You know, it felt like someone who had just lost someone very precious and when you meet that person, he will talk about the weather instead of his loss, or maybe she will talk around the subject or avoid it altogether and pretend nothing...
This usually happens when a person is too raw and simply cannot deal with the event.

This is exactly what happened to me. I simply could not write about Iraq at the very beginning of my blog. I wrote about the Lebanese war instead.

At first, I could not understand my avoidance, then as I slowly opened up to myself and to you - the reader, I realized that I was in a such a survival mode, that these powerful emotions of anger, sadness, grief...were so strong and so intense and they were so much part of me, I simply didn't have the necessary distance to be able to articulate any of it in a coherent form. Again, it was all too raw.

There was also the fear, a kind of persistent fear that if I let any of it out, I will explode...It's a very strange feeling. Survival means keeping a lid on anything that might make you tilt into an abyss of no return. Some call it self control...I call it - too raw.

At some point I was aware that I was playing games with myself and that I must muster the courage to tell it like it is, to myself and to the world.

I could have opted to hide behind current news. Linking to that or the other. Or, giving my "rational" analysis of events...But what happened in Iraq was beyond anything rational and using that rawness to expose it all, was the only way for me.

Many a times, after a post, I would feel so sick, so drained, so empty, so alone, it would take me days to recuperate...And recuperate is not a good word, because one cannot recuperate anything insofar as Iraq is concerned.

And beneath the fury, the injury, the outrage, the loss, remained/remains the terrible realization that Iraq is gone forever...changed forever...

I tried to convey to the best of my ability the extent of the destruction wrought on my country. On many occasions I felt words eluded me. I felt words were limited, constricted, flat, lifeless...At times I wished I could invent a new vocabulary, a new language...

At first I thought that language was a barrier. I thought maybe my use of the English language was not up to standard. I thought maybe my grammar and spelling lacked some essentials...I simply could not understand how can anyone not see, feel, understand the extent of the injustice done, the depth and repercussions of the damage, of the destruction...

Then, I understood that Language was not the barrier, but that minds were. Numb minds adding insult to injury. This is also when I realized and understood what an ignorant, arrogant, worthless people most of you are and this is when I decided to let the volcano roar in your faces, spit its fire...Whether you comprehended, approved of it...or not, it did not matter anymore. One does not take permission to resist.

It did not matter how many of us were killed, maimed, made orphans, made widows, made destitute, exiled...your minds were/are the greatest barrier.

Not only your government, your army, your society, your media, but your minds...

Your minds are the most rotten, corrupt, things I have ever encountered in over 40 years of existence. And that includes many of you -- be it left or right. In particular the left, the despicable Arab left to be added to the bloody lot.

I took off my satin gloves. The upbringing, the education, the injunctions, that taught me to "be fair, be nice, be kind..." were no longer applicable. They actually became a hindrance.

Here I was/am dealing with monsters who have lost their humanity eons ago, I, indeed, had to learn a new language - Yours.

The biggest challenge was/is to speak your language and not lose mine. The biggest challenge is to speak yours and still remain me...

But that will not be a formidable hurdle. As long as Iraq is occupied, I will learn all the languages, accents and dialects that need to be learned...

What have I got to lose, now that I lost it all ?

What have I got to lose, now that nothing remains but rawness...the rawness of open wounds.

Painting : Iraqi artist, Himat Ali, 2003.


Anonymous said…
Dear Layla,

I can't believe it is only two years, it feels like I have been reading your words for far longer.

You are a beacon to truth and freedom and I salute you and all the brave souls who take your stand against the scum of occupation.
Anonymous said…
Ditto Layth's comments. Layla, a woman of highest integrity, compassion and courage.
Anonymous said…
Dear Layla,
Not only do I second Layth's and Re- Kofi's comments above,I will also add that it is thanks to you that Iraq has stayed alive in me.I truly mean that...
Thank you and God bless you and your efforts always.
Anonymous said…
The question is: how far do your aspirations go, do you simply want to vent your sacrosanct anger on those imbecilic corrupt minds period, or do you also have hopes of changing them through your writings ?

Because, in the former case, you are indeed on the right "linguistico-expressive" track, but in the latter case am afraid that the still most-just invective tones might prove counter-productive as some people naturally tend to close their minds and "dig their feet in" even further whenever they feel attacked or questioned.
Anonymous said…
Iraq is not an abstract entity, She is all of you and each and every of you.

As long as even only one of you will remember Her and love Her and fight for Her, She can not be declared defunct.
Anonymous said…
Dearest Layla, I thank God for the wonderful gift He has bestowed on you - through you, we get to know and FEEL all of Iraq's pain, and you speak on behalf of all those who are not able to.

I don't believe Iraq is lost - it will rise again, stronger and more beautiful. Until then, please continue with your great work. I realise how draining it must be on you, but know that you will be blessed with the courage and strength to continue, however long.

Thank you for everything and I feel privileged to walk this road with you.

In solidarity.
Anonymous said…
I have read other blogs, and each bring their own wonderful expressions and truth to the table.

It pains me that we even NEED to have sites like these around. How pathetic we are to simply "read" about Iraq, yet turn around 2 minutes later to our instant coffees and SUVs (I have neither...I'm making a point), and not do much to alleviate the situation.

Layla, it's wonderful reading your blog. Your writing is beautiful. I just feel sad that it had to even come to this. I would much rather you had never started this blog, and instead be in Iraq living the pre-sanctions/occupation life you had amongst all the good people.

Until then, keep hoping. Keep writing. And most of all, keep pushing forward.

Anonymous said…
For all the "rawness", you're still capable of a few fresh limpid spurts of life enjoyment, curiosity and hope, not to mention your ever green undried gentle-heartedness, that make you the most endearing human I ever knew.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
American narcissism. $600 a session therapy. Americans want to remake the world in their own image. A plastic and McDonalds society. And kill, kill, murder, murder along with their Zionist allies.
Anonymous said…
The biggest crime of the 21th century is not ignorance, its the illusion of knowledge.

This is an iraqi man telling the truth, very important:
G.Gar said…
Salam Layla,

"Some call it self control...I call it - too raw".

That is a very special way of viewing things. Yes that is raw, though it quite wrongly appears that the converse is true.

Happy birthday to the blog. And thanks for for re-assuring your readers how resilent this nation is.
karlmarx said…
KARLMARX--I do not know when, exactly, I began reading your blogs, but, it was not in 2006. So, I decided to go back to read some of your entries from then. Very painful. For me. I only read a few, so far. You must never stop writing, thinking, expressing yourself.
Anonymous said…
Karl Marx, don't worry, our Layla knows that if ever she dared quit blogging she would immediately be dragged by her hair back to work. LOL
Anonymous said…
thank you layla. words fail me as always. just thank you.

Anonymous said…
I remeber watching a Vietnamees woman crying about the death of her whole family and the destruction of her whole country - she asked from whom she would get justice.

The strange thing is that I smiled for her and mom even laughed a bit, it was not cruel but we felt she would be very happy when she talked to God about it instead of the zionist MSM. She will get full justice for all that she lost, from God. Those that harmed her and hers will spend their eternal life in hell thinking of how stupid their greed, cruelity and murdering wars were.

You lose nothing Layal, you lost nothing - it is all God's - the Iranians want to kill Arabs? The Isrealis want to kill Arabs? The Americans want to kill Arabs? They say no - but they murder one million Muslims per year anyway - so let them enjoy there mean and measly short life on Earth, let them have their "glory" "Dominion" and Oil - watch them and learn - all your sins will be on their souls and all their blessing will be yours. Being hurt, raped, murdered is not nice, but God is Justice and they will pay a very high price for what they have done to you and yours.

Iraq is going thrugh a very hard time, hell on Earth - but all those Ayatollahs, Prieests and Rabbis who made their people hate, murder and steal will pay for it, along with all the Americans, Iranians and Israelis who justified and defended the murderers - Iraq is now haveing a very hard time - but those that hurt it will have to face God in the end.

English, Hebrew and Farsi are languages that do not have the Quran - so they do not know how to worship without some "guide" i.e idiot telling them who to hate and how to lie, steal and murder for the glory of their satan - so use your brain, and your language and read the Quran - it's the only thing Arabic is good for and the best way to teach Arabs to use their brains :)

You need not learn the murderers tongue, you might become like them and an easy victim to hate, greed and the other nasty stuff the Brits and Americans display - stick as much as you can to reading the Quran, listen to it - and it will help you a lot in putting up with this life, however much hate is pointed at you, it just means that God is testing you, if you become like them in any way you fail, if you poke fun of them and point out their mistakes and avoide them - you win.

Anonymous said…
Can you think of ANY language that can say this in such a lovely way as the Quran does:

They can hate Arabs and Arabic as much as they want, but you must pity them for not being able to understand Arabic enough to undersatn those lovely words.

Liman Khaaf Maqaam Rabih - Janataan - want to try teaching that to the poor English, Farsi or Hebrew racsits?
Anonymous said…

You are a fatalist, like too many Arabs and ALL males...

Men can afford this sublime luxury of a "destiny", we women can not lose time flying about the skies and philosophizing, we have heavy hearts and deep roots, we carry the burden of Life, our souls are solidly planted in the reality here and now - if anything we are nostalgic of the earthly paradise.

So keep your "maktoob" thinking to yourself and your brothers, and don't dare tell a screaming womb to shut up in awe of some incomprehensible unjustified pre-damnation.

Salam to you.
Anonymous said…
"the still most-just invective tones might prove counter-productive as some people naturally tend to close their minds and "dig their feet in""


You are a great writer. Hitler was a great orator. Both of you roar about the injustice against your people while demanding the same against the West.

Greg from USA
Layla Anwar said…
Thank you all for your wonderful comments - will reply to each, later. I need a strong cup of Arabic coffee to wake me up.
Anonymous said…
Am sure you know of Karen Hughes well, the Bush advisor and former Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy appointed to promote the American 'brand' image. You come across as someone who worked closely with her. Her platitudes and utter mediorcity were self evident to most as are yours. You are relentless in your efforts to undermine Layla but rest assured you will not succeed. People, and especially Americans like you are predictable and easy to see through.
Anonymous said…
And Greg, the Anonymous you quote and who writes about "invective tones" (11:57 AM) comes across as a pompous idiot also serving up platitudes. Perhaps she is a wanna be writer with an inferiority complex that she can never match Layla. Such people pop up on this Board on occasion and are boring.
Layla Anwar said…
Dear Layth,

Thank you for your kind words and all your contributions for the past 2 years. Best to you always,


I remember how your pseudo came about and it makes me laugh. We were discussing the UN remember?!
Since you have helped me a lot with your support, the links and all your great witty comments. Thank you for being there.

Dear S,

Many thanks to you. I know you don't always comment on this blog but when you do, your comments are always very articulate, smart and you always remind me of things that I might have temporarily forgotten. Bless you always.


Thanks to you too. I agree I would much rather write about other stories and I have plenty. But Iraq is and remains priority no.1 for me...until this nightmare is over. Hugs back.

Anonymous 1 and 2, thank you for the links...Truth will always surface, eventually, and will cut through the denial like a sharp knife...I am counting on IT.

Salam Amre,

Thank you for all that you do, your help, support and kicking back hard and strong when necessary. Plus you make me laugh.


Thank you for your contributions. I remember when we first met online...It's been over a year now. Time does fly...and tragically so.

Cave dweller,

LOL. Are you a relative of Fred from the Flintstones?


Thank you for occasionally commenting. I am aware that politically we may not see eye to eye on every single issue, but at least you are one of those few Americans who actually bother to find out and learn about the Truth - the truth of the occupation.
Layla Anwar said…
one of the anonymous,

you said :"tones might prove counter-productive as some people naturally tend to close their minds and "dig their feet in" even further whenever they feel attacked or questioned."

Are you trying to tell me that not only we are to be occupied but we also have to tailor our language to FIT your frameworks ?!, Are you also telling that people's minds are not ALREADY closed?!

Think again and open yours.
Layla Anwar said…
Iraq lives,

I absolutely agree with you. Those who truly LOVE Iraq, will save Her.

Dearest Little Deer,

We do go back two years I suppose. Thank you for your unconditional support, love and help to the Iraqi people.

I love,

Thank you for your kind words. Seems I am quite transparent ;-)
And even though I don't know who you are - I love you back.


Iraqi mojo can't convert to anything. Slaves don't convert, they just submit.
Layla Anwar said…
Salam Omar,

Thank you for your comment. You are correct in pointing out that the Koran is in ARABIC and will remain in ARABIC and surely there is a sign there for people who want reflect!
However, I will not turn the other cheek and wait...God works through people too ! I think that Aisha who also replied to you has a valid point. Temporary "Acceptance" of a certain reality is not to be confused with Resignation.
Layla Anwar said…

That was a well said. Thank you.

Grrrrrrrrrrreg from the United Asses,

I believe re:kofi has replied to you, I need add nothing more.
Anonymous said…
layola, fuck off to the hell-hole that you belong, opr to the point wher you cxan craddle YOUR CIVILIZATION!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whatever that means, you sick, rertarded peasant!! KISS MY KEMALIST ASS!!!!!!!KISS MY KEMALIST TÜRKİYE, and KISS MY KEMALIST SOUL, you idiot!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
and, no, we donot need another saddam, he has absolutely ruined middle east, he liked italian high heels, but we donot like perverts!!!!!!!!
Oh, so sorry, layla!!!!!
Anonymous said…
kiss my KEMALIST ass!!!
Anonymous said…
Thank you for sharing your world. I will continue to keep Iraq and the survival of its people, culture and land in my prayers.

V from the US.

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