Sunday, September 11, 2005

Staying alive.

Baghdad has been recuperating with difficulty from the tragedy of the Bridge. People are fearing that things are going to worsen . New measures are being taken, many of them are quite silly , no one can actually figure out what they mean or understand them, not because they are sophisticated but because they are .. well as I said silly .

I woke up with a morbid disposition. The moment I opened my eyes and realized I am still alive, I felt tired already .
The mere thought of getting up to face the streets with all the black cloth signs hanging on the walls mourning the dead made my heart bleed . Going out to work is like walking in a mine field , you just have to keep your fingers crossed and hope you return safely .
When ever you hear a bang ,you automatically rush to your phone , you dial the number , blood freezes in your veins if there is any delay , you hear the familiar voice at the other end “ thank good you’re Ok , where was it don’t you know?” , you sigh with relieve … for the time being at least.
I pulled myself out of bed and sat watching the news. I watched Madam Katrina’s grim fandango on the stages of Mississippi . My despair became unbearable .
At least hear in Baghdad I can blame the Americans, Saddam , the government “the least I can do” , But there in Louisiana ,who can I blame for the misery.
A scene that really made me want to rise and salute the human soul, was an elderly African American man ,who stood on the wrecks of his house playing the blues on his trumpet.
I went dragging my feet to work .The Boss of all Bosses has been acting suspiciously kind lately , I thought: may be he understands life more philosophically now , may be he realizes that it is not worth the fuss he makes on daily basis , may be finally he understands what the Arab poet Abu Al Atahia said : “ Man, yet is a mortal, son of a mortal ,descendant from a deep-rooted tribe of mortals ” .
But Naaaaa , that was not the case actually . My mates told me that he is considering leaving the country and closing everything down : -To dangerous to go on- .
I swear I could hear a sad violin tune play somewhere .
- What ? where, shall we go then? .
Silence engulfed the surroundings ...
- I repeat where shall we all go then ?
No reply .
I went in and unveiled my computer, slaved for a couple of hours .
We spent the whole break turning the matter in our heads . What is there to do any way !. According to statistics that no one actually is bothered to confirm : unemployment has reached 80% of the population in a country that has so much work to do . Everywhere there are buildings to be built , services to maintain and establish , things to be imported and exported, patients to be treated,children to taught ….
The best chance that anyone can dream of now is to get a job abroad , no matter how or where . The sign of well fare is that if you have some one who is abroad - in Amman for instance- .
Now it seems like the whole idea was to find a substitute country ,where business could be run from well, from “not so wealthy Amman” , while “wealthy Iraq” is converted into a war zone . There seems to be no hurry to solve anything over here yet.
So, what shall we do ??? Try to get a job in a governmental establishment ? No way all the places are grabbed by people with connections , endorsed by some influential party members ( it used to be the Baath party before , now I’ve actually lost count) .
Ok, lets see , no foreign companies or embassies around and if there were it would be to risky , I mean there are things worth dying for I don’t think a job Is in the list .
What is left , private sector companies . There are a couple playing in the extra time of the match, but not for long as made clear .
So, what is left to do yes, yes.. wait for the fairy god mother to grant you your wish and hand you a job contract in Amman, more better in the United Arab Emirates, and if you are really disparate in Egypt.
For the time being “Allah Kareem” :( a typical phrase said in Iraq meaning God is generous , in other words there is always hope).


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