Saturday, August 20, 2005


At last Salary !!! Halleluiah.
Ohhhh.. I love money I really really love money .
The Boss of All Bosses shamelessly delayed paying us for two weeks.
- No cash people you will just have to wait . Well, it was Ok with us, kept us from spending it after a few days anyway , actually it is quite a good idea to save our salary for us.
He handed us our ludicrous salaries and was all smiles we thanked him too.

I wanted so badly to go to Al Mutanabi Street. Haven’t been there for 2 years now. Kept on delaying it . When ever I decide to go something happens and stops me. Besides you can only find good bargains on Fridays. Yet, on a Friday there are always postponed duties .
Also I only enjoy going there with someone else .
The family ?.. out of question everyone wants to lay about . So it has to be friends. Twice I arranged to go with a friend and each time something came up. And also coincidently explosions took place somewhere near so everyone declared that we were so lucky we did not go after all.
It got absurd : me begging every Thursday for someone to go with me.
We have an adorable old man where I work . He heard me once thinking loudly about my inaccessible dream , so he offered to take a list of the books I want and fetch them , “I haven’t’ been there for ages too” he said.
He went one Friday and came back empty handed the next day. He said there were very few people in spite of being a Friday and the books are not what they used to be, mostly religious books and not very serious types he remarked.
When I was there last time I couldn’t make up my mind between (Mind Parasites) by Colin Wilson and (Sttepenwolf) By Herman Hesse. I took Colin Wilson, and as it often happens with addicts like me, after reading Colin Wilson I started craving for Hesse.
- No Hesse My old colleague said .
- Didn’t they offer to get it for you sometime later they usually do that, I asked hopefully .
- No, it has changed over there you know.
That is really hard for me . That street is the place I will always carry with me where ever I go . Thousands of book set on pavements it is the book junkie’s paradise . Sacks torn open and books tumbling down like an avalanche in the middle of the alley : “Please help yourself 250 Dinars per book , don’t waste the chance ” .
- Do you have any thing by Hemingway ?
- Er…..hmmmm , no but may be Abbas over there has … Hey Abbas Hemingway ( the last syllable pronounced as “why” not “way”) for the dears over here ….
- What? Kafka sure; Franz Kafka how could we live without him , pessimistic stuff real pessimistic stuff.
The great thing is that the sellers actually read everything they sell, so sometimes they actually advise you on what to take or what may be of use to you . Some of them are ex professors selling there libraries or seekers of profit that acquired education from selling all those books and listening to all the literature discussions held under their noses .
Months and Months of good Fridays spend in that street.
Another thing is that it is so quite there; like an out doors library, all those people and making no noise in comparison with other places involving trade.
And now it has changed they tell me . I don’t think so, I don’t want to believe so . I will not go there until everything is back to normal and if things don’t go back to Normal …. Al Mutanabi Street will be preserved inside me as it was .

Clashed near Baghdad International Fair today . Rumors of a car comb in the area of the Jordanian embassy.

The Birth of the Constitution is difficult, convulsions but no sign of the Baby yet. The Americans are present to assist with a cesarean if labor doesn’t result in anything of use.


Er….. sorry I guess !!!

25 workers were killed on a roof of some building in AL Alawi area .
There is a vital garage in that area , and lots of very cheap lodging places, when I say cheap I mean really cheap. Poor workers usually spend nights there for as little money as possible and they go about the capitol during the day looking for jobs (builders mainly) . Their wages are small so these places are suitable .
People from there said, that the workers were sleeping on the roof because ; Yeh , no electricity and they were about to fold their mattresses when they were spotted by an air craft that opened fire on them.. . Suspicious movements they thought ….
The other version was that these 25 workers were walking around the streets of the area in the wee hours of the hellish hot morning in spite of the curfew so .. so the rest as they say is history…. . the mistake was admitted by the Americans .

Al Nahdha garage suicide attacks , a horrible massacre . One explosion: people were killed , other people gathered : another explosion to catch the rest ,then a car followed the injured to the hospital and exploded near the gate to finish the job .
I think this is the first one of it’s kind . Carried out with such hate .Three bombings to kill , “exactly” to kill and make sure no one of the victims got away .
Rumors suggest that the government had information about this attack in particular . A very high ranking officer is threatening to disclose evidence according to which the government had information beforehand but for some mysterious reason did not take action.

AL Sader - Remember Saed Muqtada - is threatening to carry out a general strike in the cities of Iraq protesting the deterioration or rather the absence of services .
A smart Arabic journalist asked an Iraqi writer in an interview I watched -Why are people leaving the important event of the constitution and discussing services .In other words why are your people so shallow, your people are soooo third world , they should be celebrating freedom and instead they are moaning about services .
I do not think any one, including the Iraqi government itself realizes the state of services , the states that our streets have reached too. Maybe they think we have always lived like this .
This reminds me of a situation my Friend told me about just after the war ended .They held their first meeting with an official that came from abroad . My friend is a doctor and she said that the official was babbling about freedom and democracy , so after exchanging usual pleasantries the doctors demanded a raise, cause their salaries were pathetic. The look of culture was wiped off the official’s face and he roared - well what did Saddam use to give you 5000 Iraqi Dinars and you use to jump up and down for him when ever he snapped his fingers, now you are receiving much more and complaining about it too .
I think the explanation is that these nouveau politicians think that we should be grateful no matter what .


One step forward two steps backwards

Gun shots over petrol again .A brilliant decision by the Minister of Oil, you know him Bahr al Ulum Junior the wonder kid .The petrol problem sort of normalized recently. But the decree came : All vehicles with new numbers (so called manifest numbers locally) may get petrol according to the -even numbers and odd numbers system like before- , Next all old cars may get their need of petrol . So now there are long long queues and gun shots on the day of old cars .He did not think there were so much old cars around , well of course how would he know that stupid me .

The Mobalization of the Whole Country!

A fellow that works with us came the other day with such a tragic expression of loss on his face that I decided someone has died from his close ones . I t turned out that his cell phone better known to the masses as the mobile had been stolen.
He loves his mobile, he even borrowed money to buy it . We all reproached him when he got it at the first place, it cost him about 400 $ , he certainly did not need such a posh one, any one would do. He used to just sit for hours fiddling with it’s buttons , playing appalling tunes, showing us dim-witted jokes he usually received from his mates, interrupting any conversation to show us a new feature he discovered .
He used to evaluate people according to their mobiles . - He is cool he has a “Dub” …. she is cheap she has a “Tabooga Nokia” …. he is a big bird he has a Hammer with a camera too .
It is not a rare view to see policemen, salesmen, employees in offices and Ministries holding their phones showing each other what they posses , and the ritual of hanging a phone on one’s belt - I don’t think any other nation shares us with this one-. Even the word mobile has become and Arabic word and is subjects to laws of Arabic grammar ( mobailak for the male singular , mobailich for the female singular , mobailkum plural etc). . I really don’t get this obsession , what does a cell phone tell about you anyway , why should a person feel so proud of his phone . True it was forbidden in Saddam era . People joke that Saddam disserves death penalty for preventing Iraqis from satellite TV , Cell phones and free e mail accounts .
I agree that this disease is a ‘psychological form of compensation' . But it is time to move on mobiles are old news now. . .
- May God grant you comfort we said laughing as we shook his hands compassionately … may God compensate you with another good mobile … it is always sad to loose someone or thing dear but life goes on, buy a cheap one next time OK.
- I will and I’ll hang it around my neck they’ll have to cut my throat to get it this time.
- Wise decision, good idea, wise decision, we all said in one agreeing voice .


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker