Saturday, February 25, 2006


Wednesday 22/2/2006

To say that my day started as usual wouldn’t be quite accurate, cause shortly after I reached work and sat down to toil , we heard very loud shooting noises.
We all rushed to the windows to see what was going on, of course, we suspected that someone was being killed “as usual” but this time right in front of our building .anyway, that was not the case . From our office window we saw the police trying to get a man to evacuate the spot he had occupied unrightfully, the man sells kebabs on the pavement everyday from a primitive iron cart . The Kebab seller was not obeying the orders and was making a scene:- “where the hell do you want me to go,- he was shouting - this is how I earn my living .
His cart had an iron shed over it , so with the assistance of a shuffle-truck they bashed it , the man was hysterical and started running around , cursing and people gathered from all over the street . The police started shooting in the air to break up the crowd .
- As if everything is excellent in the country, and that poor man is the only problem that is left . Our streets are immaculate and only this wretched kebab seller is disfiguring the beauty of our capitol, said the old man that keeps us full with tea and coffee very angrily.
- Cheer up uncle , you don’t eat from his cart anyway , M .. once had a sandwich there and nearly died after it, he had to go to the hospital for a stomach pump” we told him trying to calm down ,our knees still shaking from the shock of the bangs.
I went back to my work for some time ,when I was phoned from home - what ? I couldn’t make out what was being said exactly… the Holly shrine in Samaraa; has been destroyed , how come, may be it is a rumor I thought .
I told my colleagues, they were jus as puzzled , then the “Boss of all Bosses” confirmed solemnly – I just read it on the internet .
- Oh , my God do you know what that means?, said my friend
I had made a promise to myself a couple of weeks ago never ever to talk politics again, no matter what , so I sat resuming my work trying to remain positive , or rather wishful thinking .
We usually try to break the ice by joking about it , but this time everyone was beyond that stage , my colleagues were just mumbling between their teeth “May God save us all , Allah Yestur” . We all knew that the streets do not need extra tension, it is just waiting for a spark to explode .

Thursday 23 /2/2006
As soon as I opened my eyes , and of course switched on the TV , I saw the news about the Young journalist Atwar Bahjat, who was murdered on her way back after covering the events in Samaraa . It is a tragedy that sheds a little light on what the daily routine is like in Iraq . Her colleagues and family were devastated , and when they showed her younger sister on TV, I reckon there was not a dry eye in the country. She kept asking amidst her tears : Why , Why she is only thirty years old , I don’t have any one else in this world, no other sister or brother , I will cry for her the rest of my life.
And as if that crime was not brutal enough , the funeral was targeted on Saturday. The family members and her colleagues were surrounded and shot at on their way to burry her , as a result three were killed others wounded . AL Arabia Journalist was broadcasting all these events live and calling for authorities to rescue them .
The curfew is going on in hope to alleviate the situation, apparently it is not working all that well. Today; there was a suicide attack on a market in Karbala that caused serious casualties , in Baghdad mosques are being burned and shot at, and every morning the night harvest is obvious for everyone to see on the streets in the form of dead IRAQI bodies .
I would be a liar to say that I really ever prayed for anyone but myself and my family and loved ones when things get tough , but this time I am actually sitting praying my heart out for my country. The country that I know with all it’s filthy streets , lousy services and angry people, whom I don’t even know or care whether they are Shias and Sunnis. No one will loose as much as us in this whole thing , to slip into a civil war is not hard at all , but to get up from such a fall is impossible .

Sunday, February 19, 2006


The Evil men do.

The great French philosopher Albert Kamu said bitterly, when horrors of WW2 shocked all civilized beings “ The reign of beasts has begun “ . Not the less great American writer Ernest Hemingway said concluding in despair “ Men die like animals” .
When we were kids parents did not talk about the horrors going on in Saddam’s chambers of death in front of us in detail , but we were all warned seriously never to say anything bad about “Ammo Saddam = Uncle Saddam” OR ELSE … I remember being told that they take people who do so and they “ torture them “ , back then I was not sure what the word –torture- implicated exactly .. “ Pain .. unbearable pain” I was told . The best my imagination could come up with was an image from a pirate film I saw, where the Captain tied a mutineer sailor to a pole and bared his back and whipped him , I remember asking what is the Captain doing? -I was about six- , he is torturing him I was told ,so torture became a synonym to whipping for me back then . I grew older and friends and even relatives told me more about torture , speciously when one of my cousins got into trouble with the ( Amin = the security forces), he was locked up for 2 months after that he withdrew to a self-imposed solitary confinement for the rest of his life, he never went anywhere, no one visited him, he just used to stay in his room watching the life of everyone else but his own go on. I imagined what happened to him , although no one ever talked about it . Yet Yet Yet all those years of imagination do not compare with one image from Abu Ghraib and the streets of Basrah, proving that an image is better than a thousand words . Children now are seeing and talking about these images as a matter of a fact , although not fully understanding what is going on: “ why are those men stripped and why are they laying like that ?... “ what is that American so pleased about? why is that auntie dragging that man like a dog “ , these images are even being reflected in their games , ‘putting a bag on each others head is a new game lots of parents are complaining about nowadays ‘ .
Well well welcome to the new republic of fear . We all went through these images before, and there is nothing much to say any more .
Only one thing, Many of these torturers will go back home as war heroes I suppose , but our consolation “as helpless as we are as a nation”, is that Americans will have something to worry about each time a war hero comes to live in the neighborhood , each time he sits peacefully, medals shining on chest and all, in a park watching little girls and boys play or ride their bicycles , each time they will have to worry, what could be going on in that hero's head, is he seeing those obnoxious images again , nostalgically craving for the good old days in abu Ghraib??? Ernist Hemingway also said "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter."

This reminds me of a story I read once about a Russian serial killer . He was caught after slaughtering 50 or more people. When they investigated his biography they found out that he was a sniper during World War2 and he was rewarded of course for hunting down ( those Nazi bastards) , but the war ended and the euphoria was over, and even war heroes had to go to work for a crust of bread , so the sniper had a bit of a hard time making ends meet , therefore he decided to do what he did best ; kill, and kill again till things got better.
A person that can rape , torture and humiliate another human being in the line of duty is not expected to go back to normal as soon as the war is over, “if he or she is normal to start with, that is ! “ .
As I started with the great French and American men I shall finish with - I don’t really know if it is a joke or not really- they say that the great Egyptian national leader Saad Zagloul said upon his death bed : There is no life with desperation and there is no desperation with life. Another great Egyptian leader Mustafa Kamil said upon his death bed in that loveable Egyptian accent ( Mafeesh faida : there is no use ) , may be evil is the natural status of man kind after all.

It seem that the last day on planet earth is approaching . I was personally planning that that day will surprise me when I’m in my late eighties, sitting in my front garden eating something soft (no teeth ) and then Bang !!! I’ll find my self in a queue waiting my turn to be punished by a sooty faced guy with a pitch-fork . Never planed it would be so soon .
Is there going to be a massive horrific war, that would wipe everything from the face of earth, leaving the survivors if any to start at year Zero . Not that it would make much difference to Iraqis. We are already there . A bit of rain floods us and leaves us out of civilization’s arena, when we go out hunting ,I mean to work or to school there is always a possibility that you may get munched by a dinosaur for lunch . But honestly I do not want life to end on the planet, I refuse to vanish in a puff of smoke even if it is high quality nuclear smoke . Iran is being extremely naughty , Hamas is on the lead and stone agers are about to rule over here. And as it has always been, when there is going to be a major war, there must be an Incident !. May be the Danish cartoons are that incident ?
I really don’t know ? Or may be that incident is Iraq , … and from Iraq it will all start… Genesis : The Iraqi Roulette .
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