Wednesday, January 10, 2007

10/1/2007

As time goes by.

What a New Year's day! , and what an Eid! .
They just had to do it on that occasion. The nation waited for 35 years, yet it just could not wait for a few more days, could it? .
I guess he had it coming long ago. He determined his fate with the first murder he committed, when was that?. Well, historians disagree on this matter. Some say it was when he was twelve . On one ordinary school day a teacher scolded him, so little Saddam decided to give his teacher a private unforgettable lesson. A teacher can learn from a student too you know. Other historians say his first crime dates back to the early sixties, when he first started sieving his opponents and friends with the same proficiency.
Whatever the truth is, he had it coming . He was old enough to know, that good boys don't kill , good boys don't use chemical weapons to wipe out villages, good boys don't lead nations to destruction and good boys do not chop off tongues and ears .
I remember back in the stone ages , like all Iraqi families when getting together , we used to talk about him and even tell political jokes, keeping of course our voices reasonably low , -all Iraqi families will identify with this situation of course-. On one of those occasions, my cousin, who spent an extensive part of his life in the army and the front, "it was as if he was drafted till further notice" , asked us ; What would you do if you had the chance to punish Saddam , what kind of punishment would you suggest ?. He answered his own question saying , that he and Saddam would switch bodies, so that Saddam would go to the front and suffer fear, hunger, and have to deal with crazy officers . My Dad said, he would invent a special one-seat space shuttle, place Saddam in it and launch it towards a galaxy far far away for ever, depriving him thus from the thing he enjoyed most in life; Interfering with other people's lives . Someone else suggested an exile to a deserted Island , to which we all objected, saying that Saddam would soon find a way to rule the island and invade other islands … I said -and I really think that it was a good idea- , that I would sit in front of him , look him in the eye and ask him one simple question; WHY? , and I would keep on asking him that question for years if I had to, till I got an answer . My cousin “The eternal soldier” looked at me as if I was a lunatic and said: ‘Those books have really messed you up haven't they?. What kind of punishment is that ?.
As a form of revenge I just hummed the tune of Status Quo's song " In the Army now " to torture him . That tune always did the job whenever he needed sorting out.
Or there was another way to torture him, which my younger sibling used to resort to . You see, there was these special items and gadgets that they used to force people to take in various ways back then. These items included: Saddam's broches , Saddam's T shirts , Saddam's watches, Saddam's wall clocks and in later years, his compulsory bestsellers. Once my Dad bought a book, it was called, as I recall "The assassination attempts on the life of the president" , written by Ian Fleming, no, no I am joking, written by Barzan Al Tikriti Saddam’s half brother. My Mom looked at my Dad with astonishment: ' Don't look at me like that , they made me buy it when I was filling the car with petrol at the gas station’ , he snapped at her . ‘Oh, yeh , I guessed so. ' said my Mom in relief, cause she was worried, that my Dad had finally lost it .
Anyway, one year, I don't remember what year exactly , they distributed in the office where Dad worked Saddam's T shirts, which all the employees had to buy . Dad bought one of course . Nobody was going to wear it , so my little sibling who was in the kindergarten back then used to wear it at home as a nightie , it was so big on her it reached her ankles and the neck used to slip over her shoulders all the time . One Evening my cousin the “perpetual soldier” , -who was on a short leave, after a ferocious attack on his division- saw her wearing it , and he started chasing her all over the house with a pair of scissors he grabbed . She was laughing her head off running from room to room and screaming ;
-'na na na na catch me if you can .'
-‘Do you want to kill me, take that bloody thing off , who was the donkey that bought you that thing?, as if you have nothing else to wear, I'll cut it into pieces , just let me get my hands on you ‘. he said trying to catch her.
- ‘ Aaa, Dad, oh Dad, come over here at once , do you know what he just said about you .’ she said grinning as wide as her mouth permitted her.
- 'What's all that screeching?' shouted my Dad from another room .
- 'Nothing uncle, they were just making fun of me' replied my cousin turning pale.
And that became our amusement for quite a while, whenever he came to visit, she used to threaten;
- 'I will tell, if you don't buy me an ice cream.', or 'No you can not change the channel, I am watching Sandy bell' .
- 'It is a stupid girly cartoon, let us watch something else on the VCR, be a good girl'.
-' I will wear the T shirt and tell , I am warning you here!' she used to say standing with her arms folded , barely 100 cm high . Yeh, the front was much nicer than visiting us .

After all those years, when I woke up to images of the execution , I saw before anything else an old man being hung. I don't know why is it that children and old people in trouble instantaneously invoke pity? . And I still want to ask him the same question; WHY ? . Did it really have to be that way ?
He had choices, many choices , we can even say , that it was he who put that noose around his own neck, no one else can take the blame . Evil is another form of stupidity after all .
Someone may say: No, he had no choices, and he had to kill and torture all those people to rule a country like Iraq .It is the name of the game, and the game is power .
Well, every game takes wining as well as losing, you can't win all the time can you ?.

I personally prefer that no one at all gets killed. Yeh, right! as if I am living in Norway! nobody gets killed indeed . Here human lives are cheaper than a piece of bread .

Enough walking along memory lane and let me land flat on my face on the broken pavements of reality lane. On the first day of the year a relative of mine was kidnapped , he is 17 years old. They took him after shooting a couple of bullets in the air to drive people away, he was taken directly from the street in which his house is . The shock was staggering to us all . His parents are such nice people, the father is a doctor, the mother a professor . The abductors called the father and told him that they are from a militia and they have their reasons for the kidnapping .
What do Iraqis do now when such an incident occurs ? They do have a number of guidelines to follow, cause human beings are blessed with the capability to adapt .
So, the board of the unfortunate Iraqis agree on the following instructions when a dear one is kidnapped
- First, wait for the phone call , if you don’t receive one , the general morgue is the place to wait for the body .
- Second, try to find out as subtly as possible without infuriating the callers whether they are Shias or Sunnis.
- Third, Once you find out , try to hit the appropriate cord. since all Iraqi families have usually a Shii or a Sunni in them , try to make the most advantage of that; if the caller is a Sunni you say something like ; we are practically Sunnis too and call the relevant party in the family and vise versa if the caller is a Shi'i.
- Fourth , In the meanwhile try to contact the most influential people you know that correspond to the above mentioned criteria; the sheikhs of your tribe, your local militia leader, if you happen to know any gangsters who have became militia men recently, and use as many names as you can during your negotiations .
- Fifth, Show that you are serious in paying and remember time is not your friend nor your classmate nor your high school sweetheart, so Hurry .
- Sixth, prepare yourself for the worst. Most kidnap incidents end tragically .If the abductors are actually militia men 75% of the cases end with murder cause their agenda is usually political or to make a religious point. If the kidnappers are average criminals you may have a chance if you mange to deliver the sum properly
- Pray your heart out if you believe, if you don't believe deem it a random occurrence of nature .

So, my relative followed everything as best as he knew . His brother in law carried out the negotiations, since he was from the same sectarian origin as the kidnappers . Lots of names and titles were brought up . The sum was named and they let them talk to the young man . Of course , I need not mention what kind of night the parents had to live through .
Relatives went to support them as accustomed . We have this little cousin she is about five years old . And she understood that something terrible happened to Hamoodi ( nick name for Ahmmed) . She understood that burglars took him and they may kill him and was naturally very upset .Her parents came over to their cousin’s house to offer support . As they were all sitting telephone calls were being conducted and the brother in law was telling the father of Ahmmed that they want 10 "defters" . The word “defter” means note book or copy book , but in the financial slang it means 10 thousand USD , after further negotiation they reached to two defters .The little girl , who was listening terrified , asked her Mom how many defters do they want?
-'Two honey.' replied her mother.
- 'I’ve got lots of copy books back home. lets go get them 10 defters so they will free Hamoodi I don't need them.' She said with her tiny face lighting up with hope.
I tell you, there was not a dry eye in the house, as if every one was just waiting for an excuse to burst in tears .
Anyway, they delivered the money. Then the spiteful law of probability started, cause if you give the sum that still does not mean a thing . Next evening at about 7 o'clock PM Ahmmed called his father to come and collect him from an area near a bridge in al Seleikh area . The gang threw him from the car and started shooting randomly as they drove away, so that no one could chase them obviously . People came running thinking that it was a corpse, when the boy moved they all came to his aid, they gave him water, a pair of shoes and their cell phones , he was badly beaten up and bleeding from his head and limps.
Thank God I really thank God indeed .
Later that night one of the gang members called the father from Ahmmed’s cell phone , the conversation went something like this, Just to give you an idea that we are living in the land of topsy-turvy
- Doc, has Ahmmed arrived yet ?
- Yes he did, thank you.
- Don't mention it , See we kept our word because we fear God.
- Yes, of course, thank you, may God save you.
- And how is his Mother? I hope she is all right. Convey our greetings.
- I will, thank you again.
Now analyze this, they actually should be thanked and the father was sincere when he thanked them for not killing his son, cause there is nothing more easy and risk free nowadays than killing . It is wonder land, where the police men have to be avoided like the plague and the criminals cajoled, so as not to hurt you .

When I went back to the office after the holiday . My boss's relative had been kidnapped , Abu S.. told me that his area had been attacked the pass few days with mortars , and an old friend , who visited us to congratulate with the Eid and the new year told us that she had moved to the south cause she was threatened and had to leave her house .
Yet, when I was asked ' And you, how were you the last couple of days?'
You know, I just did not have the heart to tell them, that a car exploded a few houses away from my place in the middle of the night and we avoided death only by a few meters, and that my relative was kidnapped and nearly lost his life. I just couldn't, I felt luckier you see. So I just said: ' nothing new the usual, fine, Al hamd lilah alathi la yuhmadu ala makroohin siwah ( Praise the almighty Allah , for he is the only one to praise even for misfortunes ).

10 Comments:

Anonymous at the discretion of the soul said...

Thank you for your words -- they quench a difficult need on the part of this reader.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Solo said...

I.R. I'm glad your relative was returned alive. So many haven't been. Too many good people in Iraq and Afghanistan have been lost, too many sons and daughters of America have been laid to rest. I wish I had answers, but I don't. I do know, that from bad, good can come . and it will. Anarchy can never last. Realize it or not, you N.I.W. and many others, are part of the solution, not the problem, and you will prevail. Stay safe my friend.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Zeyad said...

I'm relieved to hear your cousin was returned safely. Take care, my friend.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous The Iraqi Roulette said...

at the discretion of the soul Always glad to be useful ;-)

Solo,
Thanks very much , I sincerely hope we will live to see the end of all this, and not the opposite, I mean all this living to see the end of us ;-)

Zeyad,
Thank you very much friend , I really appreciate your kind words.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Buster George said...

IR

Nice to see you are still with us, hope this year improves for you and your country

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Marcelle said...

I discovered your blog last evening and stayed up all night reading your entries. Your writing is so descriptive and moving. I was mesmerized until the wee hours of the morning.

I could almost imagine myself in your office with the 2 Abu's drinking tea lamenting and laughing.

I hope that the tide turns soon for you and everyone living there.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous the iraqi roulette said...

buster george,
I am also glad that I am still around ;-). Thanks friend for you wishes. Take care

Marcelle,
Thank you so much for your encouraging words , I am glad you like my writing , Keep on reading my friend , but don't stay up toooo late.
Take care

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Sall said...

New years new starts, the old gets washed away and we look forward to a better year, I decided as a new look to buy new homebase furniture to make the home seem like a new place for the next year.

3:47 AM  
Blogger santia said...

I like Dinar.and its revaluation of currency.
Dinar

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

تويتر شعر انستقرام ضحك انستقرام شيلات

10:17 AM  

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