21st March 2011.

El-Iraqiya means the Iraqi She. The female, the woman, the mother, the grandmother, the aunt, the daughter, the sister, the friend, the wife, the partner...

21st of March is a good date to write about Her, about She. It happens to be the first day of Spring and Mother's day in the Arab world, in Iraq. And all women are mothers in the making...and not just biologically so. The latter would be a very limited, reductionist, simplistic usage of the term Motherhood.

And the she that I am, can only talk from my perspective, from my studies, from my observations, from my experience...

The Iraqi women I have known, the Iraqi women who raised me, the Iraqi women who nurtured me, the Iraqi women I have met in my lifetime...this is to them. Excluded are the female syphilitic sores and discharges of the Occupation.

It might come across as an Eulogy, and a well deserved one in my opinion.

In my eyes, El-Iraqiya is very special. The countless Iraqi women I have met were and are.
And without wanting to sound too arrogant, I can tell you that El-Iraqiya is like no other.

Am not talking about individuals here. Am talking about the women I grew up with, the society of women I have experienced and who have marked me.

So in my own personal experience, I have not come across one Iraqiya who was not strong. Not one. This may be due to historical and political reasons, not divorced from the history of Iraq.

Mesopotamia, Iraq has known numerous invasions by barbarians...this is something that has left its imprints on the Iraqiya. This is something that has shaped her and made her into who she is. Both on a personal and collective level.

We are not your standard run of the mill Middle Eastern girls. Nor God forbid, your Western girls.

Our ambitions and aspirations went beyond the crass, pop, understanding of the Feminine.

The Iraqiya through her struggles, trials and tribulations has been in a constant search for new understandings of what the word Feminine means. And she has experienced all the facets of it.

From - Resilience, to Patience, to Endurance, to Perseverance, to Struggle, to Battle, to Survival, to Love...

Do not ever underestimate that. And since you have done so already, I am here to redress the Balance. And I don't really care about the thousands of images portrayed of us. I know what mud we are made of and this is all what matters to me. Because you see, El-Iraqiya knows who she is and where she has come from...

Again am talking about women of my generation, a generation more and a generation less...I am not including in this conceptualization, the females who participated in any shape or form in the invasion of our homeland. Nor do I include those idiotic substance less females living in the West and elsewhere, who can't even talk the language anymore, and who have swallowed the so called "feminine" images of what a woman is or should be from video clips made in Lebanon and Egypt.

We had no video clips to emulate. No Rotana, no Mazzika, no Melody and no MTV. We had more important things to do. We had more important things than boob jobs, silicone implants, lip augmentation, and landing the right guy who will look after us. We had more important things than looking out for a bank account, a man's wallet and what kind of car he drove...

We were too busy creating, constructing and re-creating, re-constructing ourselves.

We studied, we worked hard, we managed, we led, we participated, we fought and we raised families all at once... The Iraqiya I know is no trivia and no nonsense...this we left for other females who have the luxuries of idleness...the mental, ideological, political idleness...

We buried our children and our men long before thinking of our own obituaries, and we scrambled with ingenuity when humanity forsook us through "intelligent" embargoes. And we ceased not...despite your perpetual violence and our perpetual -- fear, grief, losses, neglect, abandonment...

So who can you compare us to ? No one.

It is no coincidence that the first myths and legends were born in our land, it is no coincidence that Goddesses ruled with mercy and with wrath...it is no coincidence at all.

That was all but a preparation for the Iraqiya...

And to Her, this is my humble dedication.

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