Taxi Blues...


I don't know about you, but whenever I get into a cab, I almost always fall on some driver who will go through a litany of woes. It is either an expose of his financial problems, his family problems due to lack, his fights with his nagging wife on money, his sister in hospital, his great grandmother suffering from some incurable disease, his rheumatoid arthritis and how difficult it is for him to continue driving, cost of living and not making ends meet, what horrible drivers others are and how he can't repair his own car - of course, he will invariably fail to include himself as one of the main contributors to reckless driving.

I don't exactly look like Mother Teresa nor like Dr.Ruth nor like some diamond covered Gulf princessa, so I simply don't understand why these cab drivers feel the need to get close and personal. I suspect 9 times out of 10 there is a always a ploy to extract more money. In the past, I used to fall for it, but not anymore. I decided that I was not a social worker, that I had my own financial issues and realized I needed someone to listen to me and "save" me for a change...

Just the other day, it happened again. I got into a cab and he started with the usual -- where are you from ? your accent is foreign, etc...

Believing that he had sussed me out, (and I always mislead cocky ones), he changed the subject to money and inflation...I thought to myself OK this is a classic, he wants to squeeze more money out of me. And it will not work.

He kept staring through his back mirror, and seeing no reaction whatsoever from me, he changed the subject again, this time to religion and charity. Again I did not budge. Another classic.

Then he went into a monologue about Arab history, Amr Ibn Al A'as - a historical figure (not to be confused with Amr Diab, the baby faced Egyptian singer -- for those who are historically challenged, that is) the Islamic Empire, Hadiths from the Prophet, Arab Disunity, Amerikka...

And whenever any Arab talks about Amerikkka, the topic of Iraq has to re-surface like some vomited froth, like a floating amputated limb, like a prickly thorn, like a stone, a rock that refuses to sink into the depths of the water...

So he continued...

" You know ya Set (Madam), The Holy Koran is in ARABIC, the Prophet, Peace and Blessings upon him was an ARAB, surely this is a sign for us.
Look what they did to Saddam Hussein, the ARAB, they presented him to us as a present for the Eid, and we stood there watching. They all stood there watching...
And surely this is a sign for us. He was a TRUE ARAB and a TRUE MUSLIM. He stood fearless, facing death, reciting the Shahada -- there is no God but God and Mohamed is his prophet...And we stood and watched. And do you know why they did what they did ? It is not because of the oil, oil can be acquired through deals, it is because he was the only true Arab leader who stood firmly against Israel and Zionism. Whether I personally like him or not does not matter, what am telling you is the Truth...."


Upon these last words, we reached our destination and I continued " And we are still standing watching, aren't we ? "

I gave him his fare, what we had agreed upon, and he looked at me as if to tell me-- give me more, after all I did say some truths during this ride...And I looked back at him, as if saying -- these kinds of truths are a given, they are not to be remunerated in money.

He left with a frown of disappointment and so did I...

P.S: Forgot this bit - He also said, " We need another Salah El-Deen Al-Ayubi to unite the Muslims and fight the Crusaders " and he added " Remember Salah El-Deen came from Iraq. Surely this must be a sign too."

Painting : Iraqi artist, Waleed.Al-Qaisi.

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Layla Anwar said…
Hi JR!
Layla Anwar said…
Would anyone kindly explain to me why is it that this blog attracts nut cases ?

Much obliged.
nice post. i am sure you also know but Salahudeen not only came from Iraq he came from Tikrit, he was born there, the same city where president Saddam R.I.P was born.

history says that Salahudeen was a kurd. frankly speaking, i personaly dont believe it. the bravery and courage Salahudeen had could not come only from an arab.

and about the nut cases. its simple, they are jelous. it can be an act as a result of racism too. that abcdefg guy could be an american, a turk, or a persian, or simply anyody that hates iraqi and doesnt like what you are saying. but surley these nut cases are a sign of your success.

keep up the good work Layla
Anonymous said…
hi layla.....how r u??
Anonymous said…
Layla Anwar said...

Would anyone kindly explain to me why is it that this blog attracts nut cases ?

Much obliged.

---

sorry layla that was me....i was bored and got a little carried away....sorry
Anonymous said…
layla plz cud u provide all your readers with a quick update with what has been going on in the region since u went on a break......what political machitations have been taking place that we should know abt?, how is the iraqi resistance doing??, has the evil hand of qum been up to their dirty tricks as usual??, etc etc
Anonymous said…
also can u tell us who u r siding with in the georgia vs russia battle??
Anonymous said…
and on an unrelated note, did u watch the opening olympics ceromony?? george bush looked very uncomfortable when the iraqi delegation was on parade......he had guilt written all over him
Anonymous said…
nice post. i am sure you also know but Salahudeen not only came from Iraq he came from Tikrit, he was born there, the same city where president Saddam R.I.P was born.

---

i watched a documentary on tv on him and the actor that played him looked like a big fat faggot
Anonymous said…
This blog attracts nutcases because it is written by a lunatic.
you know what samantha PENIS hunter. i suspect that you are one of these people commenting here without leting people track you like bloggers that comment here, but who ever you are samantha PENIS hunter, or donna, or lucy, or bitch either way i came to a bottom line conclusion that is also followed by another conclusion.

conclusion #1: you hate this blog or hate the author of this blog i may say only because she is a patriotic Iraqi that loves her country, loves her president and refused to follow the occupiers of your fucking culture.

conclusion #2: your blind hatred to this blog comes from your hatred to Saddam Hussein, not because you believe what they say about him in the media, NO NO honey thats not why you hate him. you hate him because he fucked you both sides on your mother's chest and fucked your mother both sides on your father's chest and did not pay for the fuck.

yes thats why, you hate him because he didnt pay you 5$ dollars for screwing your holes.

try another politician, perhaps he may pay you more for screwing up more holes of yours.
Anonymous said…
Edan


Samantha approves of Saddam (RIP)

Layla is a lying slut.

Not about Iraq that I believe is true.

She knows what her lies are.
annie said…
Dear Leyla

I had my share of taxi adventures in Dimashq; the driver who had ten hungry children (why ten ?) and had no money to fill up (I paid), the toothless one who extorted a triple fare from me and adding offense to injury asked me for a date, the one who praised Israel and when I protested told me he had wanted to know what I really thought.
There was also the one who gave me his k7 of the music I liked; the one who refused my money. The one who said : what ? you are alone in Syria ? Without your family ? Listen, all of Syria is your family. This to an old European woman, not even a Muslim.

Salah addin was a Kurd; anything wrong with that ? What is the difference ? He got rid of most of the Cruisaders.

Who is going to come and cleanup this present mess ? Where is the Iraqi Nasrallah ?
yes something is very wrong with that. they forged history and said he was a kurd just to show that arabs are cowards and leave the victory for the kurds and with this forgery they want to make that the kurds owe the arabs something.

and about the iraqi nasrallah you claim, i think iraq needs cleaning i agree with you, but i dont think that iraqi needs another imama man (another nasrallah) that will increase the zawaj mot3a rates (anal marriage).

and there is a diffirence, answering your question. kurds are not arabs, they dont speak arabic, they are arians, they came from caucasian land. that is the diffirence.
Anonymous said…
Hello Layla, colleague ;-)
Glad you enjoyed the run. The taxi driver is actually my personal chauffeur here in Beirut. I thought it'd be nice to send him to you boosting your morale :-)
"New Salah El-Deen" is presently completing his "training"...rising soon.
Hugs.
Sameera
Anonymous said…
I don't believe the above commentator is really who she claims to be.

That Shahbandar woman was SHIITE, she couldn't possibly be friends with Layla.
Anonymous said…
Dearest Layla,

It's great to see you back - didn't want to be in the company of the lunatics who have been visiting lately.

Thanks for this post.

In solidarity.

P.S. Hi Jr.- You haven't changed one bit!!!
Anonymous said…
"We stood there watching"

This goes for the Resistance too, especially for the Baathist part of it, the one that boasts in its communiqu├ęs on Albasrah.net about having o so "sophisticated" military and Intelligence systems and being always o so "in control" of the situation.

God only knows how much hope I had set on them, how long and hard I had prayed that those who claimed to be his loyalists and fighters for his cause would storm into that Konzentrationlager "Camp Cropper" and FREE him from his jailers before it was too late.

Why didn't they ever even try ???
Anonymous said…
Ok, they were platitudes, but a good starting point of Pan-Arabist attitude nonetheless.

Instead of shutting yourself up in your lonely awareness like an oyster, you should take these everyday "banal" encounters with discontent Arabs as golden opportunities to cultivate and refine through discussion their passive, helpless anger into fully mature and organized struggling spirit.

Some "labours" are more difficult than others, some "mothers to-be" just can't make it on their own and need a little surgical help to give birth to their fruits.

Wherever you go from Mashriq to Maghrib, be a "midwife" of revolution.

Best.
Anonymous said…
KMWR--Hardly noticed you were gone! Has anything changed? Actually, when you disappeared coincidentally on August 1, I had decided you were really in Europe and you would be gone for the entire month of August. Or, perhaps, you found a new job and were hired to replace some of the citizens in Europe who disappear for that month. You know, the only people in Paris in August are tourists. Your reappearance has diavowed me of the above hypothesis. However, computers are ubiquitous. So, my above hypothesis could still be true. Or, perhaps, you are a computer composite, an internet apparition. Who would know the difference, these days? People can hardly distinguish truth from fiction about most anythings. So...???
Even if you are an internet apparition, welcome back. At least you are an interesting apparition.
Layla Anwar said…
Edan Larson Mc Neill,

Hello and welcome to my blog. I suppose you are a new reader.
I agree with you, it is not sure what Salah El-Deen origins are, some say he was a kurd, others say he was an Arab. I would go for the latter hypothesis.
Layla Anwar said…
samantha and olivia, the same person, aka Janice the aussie freak. Go to hell girl !
Layla Anwar said…
ibm,

I am not into the olympics, I frankly don't give a damn either.
As for the machinations, don't get lazy, read URUKNET regularly and you will have a clear idea. Suffice to say that the US has given Arab Iraq to Qum. How's that for "international relations"!?
Layla Anwar said…
ibm,

I am not into the olympics, I frankly don't give a damn either.
As for the machinations, don't get lazy, read URUKNET regularly and you will have a clear idea. Suffice to say that the US has given Arab Iraq to Qum. How's that for "international relations"!?
Layla Anwar said…
annie,

Am glad you got to get bits of the royal treatment, fancy that, a cab driver gave you a nice music cassette and syria became your whole family. Very kind indeed. I am not sure I can relate to that.

As for Salah El Deen, I do not think he was a kurd, and if he were anything close to what today's kurds are all about, then the future looks terribly bleak.

and last but not least, kindly spell my name correctly. It is LAYLA and not Leyla.
Layla Anwar said…
sameera and no way,

you're both being stupidly silly.
Layla Anwar said…
Hiya Little Deer,

Hope you are well. I fully understand your not wanting to be in the company of the lunatics, this blog is turning into an asylum.
Take care
Layla Anwar said…
michel aflaq ?

You are starting to sound like Condi Rice with all this midwifery business. Thanks for the advice and will brief on the labour pangs too.
Layla Anwar said…
KMWR,

A one week break from blogging hardly warrants such hypothetical assumptions on your part.
And you are right, I am most likely a figment of your imagination.
Anonymous said…
Layla et al,

I need your help understanding something. And please, before anyone jumps on the unpatriotic bandwagon, I am Iraqi and nothing I or you will say can change that, so let's avoid that fire before you start fanning the flames.

What is it about Saddam that makes you (et al who agree with your point of view) think he was such a great leader? Perhaps I grew up in a different era and saw a different side to this "president", but there is plenty of footage of the atrocities he and his cronies conducted onto the Iraqi population. The mass graves, the poisoning of rivers, the bombings, the gassing, the torture of "detainees" (sound familiar?)...

Can someone please explain why any Iraqi would stand up for this? And btw, I'm looking for an intelligent response, not a "you motherf***king idiot, it's so obvious!" response. I'm already aware he did lots to "enhance" Iraq with respect to education and health care. But I don't understand how anyone can negate the awful aspects of his dictatorship and simply choose to remember him as "our beloved leader".

Thanks
Anonymous said…
Glad to see your back Layla, looking forward to more of your posts.
Anonymous said…
B for "Brainwashed" ?

Saddam Hussein never laid a finger on any decent, law-abiding, civilized Iraqi.

All he did was in defense of the national unity and identity - AND THE REST IS COLONIALIST PROPAGANDA.

If anything, he was too kind to those criminals, crooks, spies and terrorists who opposed his enlightened rule and are now in "power" by America's and Iran's grace, helping destroy a whole civilization.
Anonymous said…
Disappointed said...
"Why didn't they ever even try ?"

Why are you asking this to Layla ?? She's no spokesperson for the resistance, that I know.

Besides you're being childishly unrealistic there. If the resistance had had the means to break into the most heavily guarded American camp two years ago, the whole occupation business would be a thing of the past by this time.

The sad truth is, those who fight back in Iraq, be they Ba'athist or Islamic or whatever else, have neither the means nor the international support (thanks to Iran's treacherous little games) to do any more than what they are already doing.

For the time being...
Layla Anwar said…
to b, the so-called Iraqi,

An intelligent person deserves an intelligent response, but you obviously don't fall in the former category...

You say you are an Iraqi huh ? You mean like the Ahmad Chalabis and Allawis ? or like the Iranian scum that are ruling Iraq today ?
In either case, you are rolled on with the American tanks, if not physically but then ideologically and morally....Morally is a big word here, because people like you have no morals...they are corrupt to the bone.

And when one is a corrupt to the bone, one is a spineless mother fucker --- a sponge that will suck up and absorb any dirt, be it ...Sadly you are no exception.

Not only are you a dirty mother fucker, and an prime idiot, but you are a deceitful piece of shit too. You talk about gassing and polluting rivers huh ? and you have the fucking audacity to talk about torture too....

You don't deserve a reply, you deserve to be spat on like the duplicitous dog that you are.

TFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH.
Anonymous said…
Layla, I am disappointed in you. What I was looking for was an intelligent response to a somewhat bewildered Iraqi who didn't understand your position.

Thank you for your kind and understanding response. May the kindness you exude unto others come back to you in many wonderful ways. How you do anything is how you do everything. And this "answer" to my question explains a lot about the kind of person you've become.
Anonymous said…
One more quick thought before I go. I've been reading your posts for almost 2 years now, and because of your response to me, this will no longer be the case.

Your response made me think of the way an abusive mother speaks to her child when asked a question she doesn't feel up to par to answering - she does it with hatred and malice and compels to make the child feel like an idiot for asking. But the point is, the question is never answered. That's the way your responses are designed.

It also reminded me of the way an American soldier would talk to a completely innocent Iraqi stuck in a prison cell for absolutely no reason (one of their many "justified" tactics). Your response to me really echoes that same language. Makes me realize how similar you are to them. No matter who the "aggressor" is in this case are (the Americans or you), you still use the same tactics to enforce your opinion unto others.

Shame on you.
Anonymous said…
layla that was a bit harsh.....poor guy was only asking!!
Anonymous said…
B,

You dare spit your slanderous venom on the immaculate grave of a noble martyr who sacrificed his life rather than betray the homeland, and you still expect others to be kind and understanding to you ??? !!!

What planet do you live in ???
Anonymous said…
Thank you IBM, I'm not sure why I came back to see if there was any retribution for Layla's previous post. I'm sure the urge to check will subside soon enough.

The more I think about that response, the more I wonder why Layla began this post. If it was to vent her feelings about the Iraqi situation, there are online diaries that are kept private and can be just as therapeutic. If it was to share and educate and encourage conversation, then this has not been achieved. And not because of the means, or Layla's writing, both of which are fantastic and deserve applaud. It's because of the inability of Layla or anyone who sides with her specific opinions to actually allow conversations on the topic. In reality, it seems Saddam's days are no different than what these people preach: don't question, don't annoy, simply sit there and praise like sheep.

Intelligence without apathy, without kindness, and without humility are NOTHING. And this Layla, is where you stand to learn something. You are an intelligent person, it's the following attributes that stop you from connecting and educating and having a decent, human conversation with others without spitting your hateful vile.

Take that spit and throw it back on yourself. Because in all of my language to you, I have NEVER insulted you with vile, 10-year old tactics. That is the sign of intelligence. Otherwise, you're just as bad as the American/Iranian aggressors who just yell the loudest, but don't lead by example.

Gandhi said it best: you have to be the change you want to see in the world.

Clearly you have a lot to learn.
Anonymous said…
hi little dear......its good to see u r still going strong despite the detoriation of this blogs comments section in my absence.....plz keep it up, iraq needs people like u
Anonymous said…
B said...

Thank you IBM, I'm not sure why I came back to see if there was any retribution for Layla's previous post. I'm sure the urge to check will subside soon enough.

The more I think about that response, the more I wonder why Layla began this post. If it was to vent her feelings about the Iraqi situation, there are online diaries that are kept private and can be just as therapeutic. If it was to share and educate and encourage conversation, then this has not been achieved. And not because of the means, or Layla's writing, both of which are fantastic and deserve applaud. It's because of the inability of Layla or anyone who sides with her specific opinions to actually allow conversations on the topic. In reality, it seems Saddam's days are no different than what these people preach: don't question, don't annoy, simply sit there and praise like sheep.

Intelligence without apathy, without kindness, and without humility are NOTHING. And this Layla, is where you stand to learn something. You are an intelligent person, it's the following attributes that stop you from connecting and educating and having a decent, human conversation with others without spitting your hateful vile.

Take that spit and throw it back on yourself. Because in all of my language to you, I have NEVER insulted you with vile, 10-year old tactics. That is the sign of intelligence. Otherwise, you're just as bad as the American/Iranian aggressors who just yell the loudest, but don't lead by example.

Gandhi said it best: you have to be the change you want to see in the world.

Clearly you have a lot to learn.

---

layla's the best
Taliba al-Quran said…
Why do you attract nutcases? Well, it happens when you are effective at what you do. You become infamous. I am 'infamous' on yahoogroups. lol. In fact it's hilarious sometimes, take it as a compliment Layla. But listen, on my blog (freedetainees.com) I sometimes moderate comments. Not lately - the type of blog it is - I don't get a lot of comments.. but it might pay to do that here. Or maybe require people to have a membership? Don't allow anonymous whatever you do!

And .. when you have a minute, I need to talk to you about the Iraqi detainees. :) I'd give you my email here but.... lol.

So keep doing what you're doing - a great and effective job. I have been reading a while, but never commented til now - I couldn't resist! The next full moon is in 5 days.. yikes! LOL!

Maasalaam
Linda
Anonymous said…
Mr. B,

Fair enough, we won't call you "motherfucker" anymore, we will use the proper "adult" terminology to define you: ANTI-REVOLUTIONARY, RETROGRADE, SHORT-SIGHTED, EGOIST, TRAITOR TO THE PEOPLE.

Now please be so kind as to go away.

Much obliged.
Layla Anwar said…
b, the so- caled Iraqi,

You are a shameless thing. You come to this blog and threaten not to read me again - HA big deal, as if I cared.
The word fuck bothers you huh ? So tell me when the motherfuckers were raping your iraqi brothers and sisters were you as bothered ?

You spineless piece of junk, you come and talk about the alleged crimes of Saddam Hussein and you make not mention of the continuous bleeding of your own country and you expect me to respect you ?!

You are the typical two faced Iraqi who has brought our collective downfall.

And you talk about Ghandi, so sweet of you...I bet you, you have not set foot in Iraq and I bet you anything you have been living in North America for as long as you can remember and in the typical colonized mentality of yours, you are there to please your masters with your peaceful change...

So do go and explain to the Iraqis walled in ghettoes and rotting in prison without charges about peaceful change... Go and tell the 1 million families of the dead about peaceful change and tell the 5 million orphans about humility and love and explain that to the 3 million widows and preach to the 5 million iraqi refugees...

Your Ghandian heart is as blind and as diseased as your eyesight.

Shameless and disgustingly shameful. Don't read me again and don't visit anymore.
Layla Anwar said…
Linda,

Hi and thank you for visiting and for your comment. I had a quick look at your blog and will take the time to read it more.
Please do email me, arabwomanblues@yahoo.com.

I shall give your advice some serious thought...I have no time to moderate the comment section, but will consider other options.

Looking forward.

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