Showing posts from September, 2010

A Necklace of Jasmin - A Necklace of Fingers

I remember when I was kid, one of my purest moments of joy was to pick Jasmin flowers, late in the evening, hoping to catch the fragrance and contain it, seal it in a box, for ever...I did all of that in secret, as my grandmother did not like anyone messing with her Jasmin tree. I would hide a needle and some thread and after my "kill" - picking Jasmin flowers - I'd disappear in some dark corner and make a Jasmin necklace... I felt slightly guilty doing that - killing the Jasmin flowers, and threading them into a necklace...but the fragrance..oh, the fragrance... I just wanted to possess the fragrance... mummify it, embalm it, for my nostrils... __________________________________________________________________________ Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs During his deployment to Kandahar...kept a water bottle with two wads of cloth wedged into it. Wrapped in the cloth were fingers that he chopped off two corpses...One of his fellow soldiers said Gibbs wanted e

My Family Photo Album

This is one of my Family photo albums, the nicest I've got...I have other ones, of close "brothers and sisters"...but I am keeping it for some other time. This one dates 2003-2004 I don't have words anymore...I packed them every morning early at dawn and sold them on the market...proved to be a bankrupt business - now you can relate to that - bankrupt. So I decided to share some photos of my family instead...after all, you've all been very curious to know what I look tonight, I will assuage your curiosity and quench that thirst of yours. The Savage hoards arrive at my door. Now they are consulting Jesus as to which door to knock next Blond blue eyed Jesus is invoked My beautiful home burning... Iraqi Desert Sandstorm - can't stop God's Wrath. Winning Iraqi hearts and minds My family greeting you with flowers and candies Martyred President Saddam Hussein's Palace - beats your 2nd hand Kentucky couch don't it ?

Torturous, Agonizing Words.

I am hesitant, almost timid...I am hesitant to words knock on my palate, trying to push their way through my lips... My fingers oscillate, they roam a keyboard, feeling its texture, holding some pianist who would love to play that final sonata, a final say, a final spectacle, a final concert. I write and I know this is not the final concert...I know that more audiences will queue, I also know that the hall is very empty, it looks very empty from where the pianist is seated, right there in the darkness of that hall, a long corridor, with no exit signs... Maybe am bashful, maybe am fearful, maybe am numb...the numbness of too much, an overdose from a powerful, violent drug... The whispers, the secrets, the faces, the screams -- all are shoved in a cupboard, the cupboard of my mind...the attic, the cellar...right where you store the wine bottles to mature, so their aroma can filter through your nostrils -- unbroken bottles. Mine is just a crowded cupboard.

The little boy who couldn't see.

It has been an excruciatingly painful 3 days. I keep the mask on, go through the motions but inside I am ripped apart...again and again... Z (a young cousin), his wife and their little boy arrived from Baghdad a few days ago. Z. has some very serious health problems, ever since he was illegally arrested and imprisoned for over 3 months, on no charges. Since that day, he developed a grave illness - the doctor wrote in his report : "patient developed symptoms following shock..." His wife W. had much difficulty conceiving, doctors blamed it on "stress", "stress due to environmental circumstances." She finally got pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. A sweet little thing, a withdrawn, fearful, quiet, sweet little thing. They are on a medical visit here. Other people travel for leisure, but Iraqis travel for medical reasons - medical "tourism". Little A. is unwell - very unwell. Now a little over 2 years old, he can't see no more..

Short Reflections on the Roots of Islamophobia and War on Terror.

In a general atmosphere of bans, cartoons and Holy book burnings, I find it necessary to revert in Time as History is almost always an honest Witness. One needs not write long essays on this subject, at times (more often than not) a few lines are sufficient. And these are the lines I shall present today. A quick trip back in Time. In order to make the travelling more secure (you know, with all these terror threats everywhere), I will use a proven medium of transport - summarized extracts - with my emphasis in bold and in brackets - from a sound, balanced, reputable and brilliant contemporary scholar of Islam - Sayyed Hossein Nasr. With the hope that the "intelligent" reader will take time to ponder on the ongoing historical parallels... " The study of Islam in the West began in the 10th and 11th centuries. Because this was a time in which Europe was thoroughly Christian, Islam was seen as a Christian heresy, and its founder as an apostate. Soon the imminent thre


I've cried for you beloved, just as you've cried for me, we've been in each other's lap for an eternity ever since you and I remember our memory is one. You are part of me and I part of you indivisible... I carry you everywhere I go in my handbag in my suitcase wherever I rest my head on every pillow, every sheet of paper just like you've carried me along with you, in your streets, alleys and gardens in your ruins and the circuits of your wounds... We are indivisible the gods are jealous, protect us from the jealousy of the gods you who needs protection I am a greedy lover a beggar of hope I take your crumbs and ask for more you who have nothing more. Layla Anwar. 14th September 2010.

Ground Zero in Red Ink...

Where does the line between Reality and the Surreal fall ? This eerie feeling of the Surreal follows me everywhere I go...I am not exaggerating. On more than one occasion, I have pinched myself, making sure am not dreaming. I have many instances of the Surreal hanging on to my sleeves, refusing to let go, like little children clinging, demanding attention, demanding to be heard... 2001. One of the first surreal images that comes to my mind was when I saw 2 airplanes flying into buildings. At first I thought this was a trailer for yet another Hollywood action film. I waited patiently to see who was starring and co-starring in this new film, to be released worldwide... But it was no movie production it was real. Then I saw a CNN anchor, within minutes, waving a passport dug up from the piles of rubble and cement turned into dust - a passport intact, bearing the name of a certain Mohammed Atta. I pinched myself hard. I was not dreaming. My phone rang, the first thing I said -

Vomiting Perfidy.

Since yesterday I have been vomiting my insides out... My first bout of vomit came after I read a transcript of your President's speech, his speech to the "nation". Because you consider yourselves a nation ?! It started off with an uneasiness felt in the pit of my stomach, then quickly transformed itself into a queasiness, then into a foul nausea, only to erupt like a dammed out volcano into violent throes of pure vomit... I have over the past 20 years or so, developed a high intolerance to perfidy and you throughout your history have excelled in perfecting what I am most allergic to... You literally make me sick. Change - you clamored like a herd of sheep, while munching, ruminating like cattle every word that is fed to you...Black and White, even those retards who call themselves American Arabs and Muslims rejoiced at Uncle Tom's arrival to the White House. Oh the "principled", "moralistic" prudish puritanical perverts called American