Thursday, October 28, 2004

Evolution, Religion, Colonialism, Magic, and Superstition

I think it's mildly interesting that in a matter of a couple hours I made errors concerning both Evolution and Religion. Once on Emigre's blog having to do with this absolutely insane and perhaps ground-breaking find in Indonesia of the "Hobbits" (Floresiensis). Another here concerning my curiousity about Laylet il Qadir. I was existing in a world of Hobbits and Christian calenders in my sleepless mind. Pardon me.

I also believe ihath posting about Ghosts is a coincidence. I was just thinking & writing about ghosts and spirits (Also, with Halloween coming up it's especially cogent). So, I would like to ask, 1) who believes in which of the following: evolution, religion, magic, and superstition. 2) Are evolution and religion mutually exclusive? 3) And what does colonialism have to do with the four?

I find that in my family many believe in all four of these things, which is completely bogus if you were to adhere to logic. But is it? The tradition of supersition is extremely strong in the Arab world. And what, pray-tell, is magic? Shamans and voodoo? Well, duh, of course. Michael Taussig wrote a brilliant book that threads the needle through these topics. Shamans, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing. Please check it out.

In the meantime, what do you believe in? I believe in Hobbits now. And I believe in a higher being. So, I'm probably agnostic as opposed to being an atheist. And because superstition is contagious, in certain circumstances it slips into my mind. I believe in all four, then. Perhaps this is personal. But I'd appreciate anybody's feedback regarding these subjects.

Trying to learn from my mistakes and conjure up more dialogue here. Please drop your opinion and answers in the comments. Thank you!


Ghost Story

You might find this video interesting. The story is that while filming this car commercial in Germany the filmmakers inadvertently captured the image of what some say is a ghost. They didn’t know this until it aired at which time they pulled it from regular rotation. If you watch carefully as the car is winding through the country side you might catch a glimpse of it; it took me a couple of careful viewings to see it myself!

Laylet il Qadir

I know that most of my Iraqi brothers and sisters are celebrating Ramadan right now. And I was wondering to those of you celebrating on the IBC if you could help me understand more about Laylet il Qadir which is supposed to have happened tonight. Well, on the 27th if I'm not mistaken. (This might post as if it was on the 28th) It was the night the Prophet was first visited by Gabriel. I know this much. But as most of you know by now, I'm Iraqi yet ignorant to many things about Islam. It will also give a chance for us to discuss Islam in this very important time of the year. Again, Happy Ramadan and my best to all of you.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

in DC

Did you miss him? He is baa-ack. Again. And with only two things on his mind; food and soldiers wearing desert fatigues. Oh, well ok then. Make that three things. And Iraq.

It didn't work out as well as I thought it would. To start with, the Foggy Bottom detour was a waste of time. It seems the gods here don't think much of circumambulation rituals: you can't walk around the White House. So I just stood there and gawked.

While I was meditating on the whiteness of the White House, four American soldiers wearing desert fatigues came and joined the gawkers, and the only thing I could think of was how much I missed home. I mean, how sad is that: I see soldiers in combat fatigues and go all gooey...

Credit, for noticing; Eclectic Chapbook (yes i still disagree with you).

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Disturbing Trend

Another aid worker in Iraq held hostage (abducted last Tues). This one has been playing out in mainstream news outlets for a few days now, although bloggers don't seem to have picked it up. Perhaps there is growing hesitation among bloggers to give "air" to stories like this. When it becomes apparent bloggers do have some impact on mainstream events, however minor, it makes publishing something that might affect another's life an uncomfortable thought.

As "unconfirmed" reports from Margaret Hassan's husband put it;

... an Arabic satellite news channel quote her husband as saying the British government and the prime minister should not comment on her case because he feels that could damage the effort to secure her freedom.

Do bloggers want to become part of a larger machine, merely reflecting events and following the mainstream queue. Do bloggers want to become leafleteers? Standing on the local blog corner, handing out the latest pamphlets, the latest "tips"? This blogger does not but nor does this blogger enjoy watching people (notably aid workers who have spoken out against UN sanctions, war and the subsequent US occupation of Iraq) disappear in mysterious circumstances.

British journalist Robert Fisk got to know Hassan after his newspaper, The Independent, raised about $250,000 to provide medicine for Iraqis six years ago. Hassan "did an extraordinary job" distributing the drugs, he said in an interview on Irish television. "She managed to browbeat the authorities, the UN and the Americans, to get these medicines into Iraq. ... She is an extraordinarily energetic woman."

Fisk said Hassan speaks fluent Arabic with an Iraqi accent. "She was very careful not to involve herself in any political discussion," although she "was very much against the UN sanctions," he said.

Paul Wood, BBC, notes

there is no insignia or banner on the video. In an unprecedented move, there is no identification of the group in the video.

Allawi says

"She is a very fine lady, she is a very dignified lady and she has helped Iraq a lot and it is a very shameful thing that this happens in Iraq."

And yet Allawi is not willing to make deals for Mrs Hassan's freedom, while an 18 year old Iraqi teenager is.

I am so not into heads rolling, I don't care whose head or by whose hand.

Update; Falluja insurgents say they are not holding Hassan and condemn her kidnapping.

Update update; Self defeating commenters who proclaim "no negotiation" is possible deserve to go and bury their heads back in the sand. You think bloggers blog because they hold self-defeatist views like that? You think Martin Luther King and Ghandi told themselves no negotiation is possible? You think Bill Gates sweet talks multi billion dollar contracts after telling himself negotiation is not possible? Get real.

Friday, October 22, 2004


There is this odd resurfacing rumour that webloggers make a habit of "debunking" mainstream media. I would like to "debunk" this misconception. Look, here is someone trying to apply the misconception to Iraq bloggers;

...editors are cruising to be scooped by such local Iraqi blogs as Iraq the Model, which last summer debunked a Los Angeles Times story on the departure of Coalition Provisional Authority head L. Paul Bremer. The Times told its readers that Bremer had fled abruptly, "afraid to look in the eye the people he had ruled for more than a year." In fact, as Iraq the Model reported, Mr. Bremer before leaving delivered a television address that gave a moving account of his tenure and his hopes for the new...

Is it just me or does nobody else have "television address" leap out at them like an orange jumpsuit at guantanamo bay? Come on people, it's not uncommon to pre-record telly and radio addresses. With all due respect to the bloggers at Iraq The Model, since when did pre-recorded telly announcement's qualify for "look in the eye" bravery?

UPDATE; Comments on this post switched off. Have said it before, will say it Again. This site was not created so that people could swear at and stir each other up. If you'd like to present your opinion here try to do so without being an arsehole. That applies to comments from all political positions.

UPDATE UPDATE; Ok. I have relented and switched back on. How many people are really scrolling all the way back here just for this thread anyway?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Why some people see 'auras' around their loved ones

Just wanted to change the mood around this blog

Why some people see 'auras' around their loved ones

Do you see 'auras'?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Update on donations..

you can now use paypal to donate, you can use raed's account (its jarrar_raed) incase you cant see the ( _ ).
for those who dont know, raed is my brother:)
i want to remind you, that every $5 dollars really makes a defferent, if everyone donated only $5 we will collect alot of money in just few daysm it will save lives of so many families, men women and children.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Short Report

Riverbend sums up weblogging;

"So you have two choices- take a valium, or start a blog."

Salam does America. AnaRki13 suppresses himself for Ramadhan.

Ibrahim Khalil (noting an ongoing problem) reviews recent fuel shortages;

"The crisis started two days ago when all the drivers stopped bringing the fuel here, and the government had no way to resolve. And since yesterday (Saturday the 16th of October)... "

Oh, some rebuilding. Khalid is working on hospitals and Wow, Ihath has totally reconstructed but neurotic iraqi wife still needs suggestions on how to make hubby make out. My condolences to you iraqi wife, I really wish I could help some way. If I could end the war and return your husband safely I would but i'm afraid the best I can do is borrow this piece of poetry from Fayrouz.

Update; have a click around streamtime for (more) iraqi poetry, look carefully and you might even find a salam pax audio file.


This is an apportunity to everyone who doesnt agree with the military operation against civilians in Falluja, families still live now in farms, open fields and mosques to hide from the heavy bombing on their houses and streets, the hospital is in a terrible situation, i asked you all for help, and some of you offered to send medicince, but it takes alot of time to ship it to iraq, and at the same time it costs alot to ship it to here, so i asked raed, my brother to let us use his bank account o receive donations, i will keep receipts for everythign i spend.i ask you all to help with what you can, we need expensive medical equipment, but t the same time, every $5 buys alot of cottons and antibiotics and suf like that, every $1 makes a defference, if everyone sent just $5 we will have alot of money by the end of the day.
Raed Azzam Kamel Jarrar
the housing bank for trade and finance
account number: 001 578228 0210
swift code: HBHOJOAXXXXAmman, Jordan
i will personally supervise the way this money is spent.
khalid jarrar*

Monday, October 18, 2004

May I recommend -- Poetry

One of the advantages of being an arab - and there aren't that many advantages to being an arab most of the times in sucks being one - but one of the great things about being an arab is arabic poetry. I speak 4 languages and each one of them is beautiful in its own way. I am not gonna tell you that one language is more beautiful than another, because I think each language contains its own special beauty that needs to be appreciated on its own without comparison to another language. However till this day, arabic poetry has the ability to move me in ways that no other poetry does. The music in the language, the magic in the rhythmic words is enchanting. The problem is how to share arabic poetry with people who don't speak the language. Most of the time when I read arabic poetry translated into English, I feel like I am reading something completely different. Same meaning but the magical part is gone. However there are a few notable exceptions that I would like to share with you.

The first is "The Prophet" By Khalil Gobran. This book is not a translation because Khalil Gobran wrote both the english and arabic versions himself. It took him 3 years to finish it and while he was working on it he carried the manuscript with him everywhere he went. When you read the book you can sense the intensity and measured precision that is contained in each word. I think that both the arabic and english versions are equal.

The second example I would like to share is, a collection of traslations of arabic poetry that samples the best of the best from a long list of poets. Because it is focused on the free verse movement in arabic poetry the translation is easier to capture the intended original effect. I also like that on each page you have the arabic poem in its original form on the left hand side and the english translation on the right handside, so if you speak arabic you can enjoy both. It contains poems by Al Sayaab, Nazek al Malaeka, Ehsaan Abed Al Qudoos and many others.

I would be interested to hear from others about their favorite arab poets or poems.

p.s. normally I get offended when people call me a capitalist pig, but from you Politburo Diktat it is a compliment.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Last men standing...

Hi! I hope that you all are fine, and that your day was good this far. Ramadan started, I love this month, teaches you patience, self control and discipline, and you loose weight, and best of all, its a booster for your faith, a lot of quran, a lot of praying, in Ramadan you can smell religion in air, everything looks so pure and peaceful, all people try to be nicer to each other...Besides the regular 5 prayers a day, we have an extra long prayer, lasts for about an hour everyday, it refreshes your soul, and fills your heart with peace and serenity. peace and serenity? GOD knows how much we need them... few days ago, a bit before 5 am, a land mine exploded few meters away from our house... the explosion was so strong, 10 windows fall in our house, and dad broke number 11 while he was trying to fix the aluminum frame of the window, which used to be rectangular, but its a dome now. my bed is right in front of the window, and my head is in the window side, my head is about one foot away from the window, which fell immediately after the explosion, the curtain and the enforcement we made for the window earlier saved me, probably saved my life, thank GOD. the sound of the explosion lasted for at least two or three seconds after I woke up, each second was, believe me, as long as a whole minute, during the first second I tried to keep my body as flat as possible to avoid the glass shrapnel, and at the same time I was praying just to survive till the next second only, when I made it to the next second I was relieved, I was hoping to make it to the next second and started to think where the rest of the family is, as soon as it was over I jumped off the bed and ran out of the room, me mom and dad met there at the same time, when I found that they are safe I went back to sleep at once, it was obvious that its a close explosion, and that we are all safe, what else is there to discuss? I went back to sleep. as soon as I reached my bed, dad called us, come come see what happened!! we ran towards him... we found that most of the windows were broken, and since the explosion was so close, we didn't only receive the air/sound pressure, but also all the sand in area, inside our house, it was a mess. three doors are damaged, one of them is a metal door, it was twisted, and I can barely close it now. my neighbor next door was sleeping on the roof, the poor guy chose the wrong day, he is safe, but he says that a tank passed by the mine when it exploded, and eye witnesses said that at least three soldiers were killed, of course since no media were there, the accident wasn't mentioned by the American side. I went out next day in the morning, I saw everything, and I found a helmet of an American soldier on the ground, covered with blood, and punched from one of the sides, his name is written on it. I stood there watching it. I felt sad for him, and I thought that somewhere 1000 miles away, one wife become a widow, one child became and orphan, a girl friend, a best friend, so many people, lost a beloved one, and they don't even know about it. next moment I remember that he is one of the occupation army, the army that is still killing my people everyday. but then I couldn't think of anything but the blood, its the same I have in my body, he is a human just like me. then I started to blame him, for coming to Iraq, for joining the army, and tried to hold him responsibility for what happened to him... but then I thought: he probably doesn't want to be here as much as I don't want him to be here, if he found a better job, another way to get a scholarship, another way to get a green card, whatever, he would have not come for sure:( Bush, grrrrrrrrr.. I was so angry. I took pictures for everything. yesterday we sent someone to Falluja, to see how the situation is there. he is from Falluja originally, and he goes there often, but this Time when he went he came back depressed, although he is in his twenties or early thirties, he had a drop in blood pressure and went to the hospital. he said that he never saw the city like that, "its a ghosts city" he said, families, women and children left the city and they are hiding in the open fields because they are too afraid to get back to their houses... there isn't a single shop opened, men are preparing their weapons and ammo to defend their city, everyone in Falluja says the same thing: we invite the goverment, anyone, to come make a full search to see if this Zarqawi exists. the city is surrounded from all sides, and its being bombed from all sides, beside the air crafts. 13 mosques have been set to the ground in Falluja and Ramadi, the most famous restaurant in Falluja, Hajji Hussein, who makes the best Kabab in the country, was set to the ground too, people make jokes and say that Azzarqawi must have been having lunch there, some laugh for that, but I cry. its one of the ugliest mass murder cases that happened, in Falluja, and will happen again soon, and you will read about it, and the whole world will read about it, and no one will do anything about it, cause you all believe that Big foot, Santa or Azzarqawi is hiding somewhere isnt hat small city, and you all are ready to sacrifice the lives of women and children, of a whole city, to see if that is right or not. there will be one day when the American administration will understand that violence only makes more violence, and that people will never stay in their house waiting to be killed, they prefer to die fighting, they are gonna die anyway right? my friend who I sent to Falluja went to the hospital of Falluja, and found a unspeakable situation, the hospital is run by volunteers, they lack medicine and instruments, dead bodies are crowded to the point they don't know what to do with it, injured people numbers are way over the hospital capacity, and the few ambulance cars they had, most of them were attacked by the occupation forces and destroyed, my friend told me that in the hospital they have to clean the ground every now and then to allow people to walk through the blood. the following are medical equipments urgently needed, this list is from a doctor in the hospital, they used to have some of these equipment and machines but they were in the ambulance cars, and were distroyed with them. I urge everyone of you to make all you can to provide us with any medical equipments, and specially these in the list, I cant read them all, I cant understand them all, but I will write what I understand till I ask a doctor to read the rest for me: they need: 4 D.C shock machines 4 cautery machines as much as possible of : tracheostomy tubes air way tubes endotracheal tubes I will check with a doctor as soon as possible, and correct the mistakes, and add the items I couldn't read, you know how doctors write inscriptions, no one can read them. please...Help. Khalid

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Still want to learn Arabic ? .....#2


Although Arabic is descended from the Aramaic language, Arabic evoluated through the time for several reasons;

Foreign words in Arabic language and I mean the effect toke place in both dialect and classic Arabic, here are two examples for the both
In Iraq we use the word “CHAI” for “Tea” which originally a Chinese word pronounced the same as in Iraq, for classic Arabic the word “INGEEL”"أنجيل" which is used for the first time in the Quran as the name for the “Bible” is originally a Greek word for sacred (there are many others).

The marriage between the north Arabic codices (Middle East) and the south Arabic codices (Arab Peninsula) had a result which is modern classic Arabic now and that can be differs also between the Arabic regions, the word "sheep" is written in Jordan and Syria as "KHAROUF""خاروف" and in Iraq is written as "KHROUF""خروف", notice the absence of the "A""ا" in Iraq which is considered as a vowel but in Jordan and Syria as a letter.

Early Arabic writings had no vowels and no diacritical points (nuqaat)"نقاط" which makes it very hard to recognize the real meaning of the word, in the 8th century Arabic scholars felt the need to introduce rules for the Arabic writing so they went back to the Aramaic ancestor language and borrowed the diacritical points and the vowels making it much more difficult to write in Arabic but reading Arabic became much easier (the writers can deliver their accurate message to the readers).

Academically speaking, writing a perfect Arabic text (scripta plena in Latin) is a combination of three processes;

1- The basic or the drawing, the shape of the letter.
2- Diacritical points (nuqaat) which can be put under or above the letter to give the letter a function in the word.
3- Signs for vowels and this time to give the word a function in the sentence.

Perfectionate the three processes is something semi-impossible even for the Arabic linguistics especially with the last process, making one mistake in signs of vowels changing the whole meaning of the text.

If the readers getting bored or they find it too dry subject I will delete this post, please let me know and if I get enough feedback I will write ....#3 about the Arabic writers and teaching language in schools otherwise I will post it in my Blog.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Still want to learn Arabic ? .....#1


A phenomenon in which distinct formal and informal varieties of a language are used in a given society. The variety used depends on social context (e.g., using one variant at home, and another for more formal purposes).

Diglossia presents one of the more interesting aspects of learning Arabic; the spoken dialects of the language differ substantially from Modern Standard Arabic.

In the vast area where Arabic is spoken, various dialects or colloquial forms have developed. These dialects of Arabic are the mother tongues of all native speakers of Arabic. These colloquial languages can be quite different from each other, and might be considered different languages, as different from one another as Italian is from Spanish.
For example if you are in restaurant in Egypt and you ordered a chicken you need to say "FARKH'A" "فرخه", in a restaurant in Jordan you must say "FARUJ" "فروج" while in Iraq you need to say "DAJAJA" "دجاجه".

SO if you still want to learn Arabic you have two choices;

1. classic Arabic; hard to learn and you can't use it to communicate with people or you can communicate with one layer of the Arabic socity.

2. Dialect Arabic; you will be able to communicate with the people who used the same dialect only.

Think about it

To be continued...#2...Writing

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

English speakers have feelings too you know.

Hello Dudes and Dudettes,
I am glad to announce that I have started blogging in Arabic at ihath-losing myself bel arabi. Thanks to Muhammad for providing the inspiration to get me to start writing in Arabic. Before I started this blog I tried to search around for other Arabic blogs in order to get inspiration, sadly I found very few. The only one that I found and liked was moodless, a blog of a young Kuwaiti fellow. His writing style is poetic and reflective in nature...very interesting. Through his blog I discovered the Kuwaiti Blogosphere, who knew? Exploring that a bit, most of the blog are in English as well.

It seems that we Arabs suffer from englishites blogarism, the uncontrollable desire to blog in English. Perhaps one of the many, many doctor Iraqi bloggers can prescribe a cure.

I also have been exploring the Iranian Blogosphere and found a bazillion of blogs and most of them are in Persian with only a few in English. A good starting point to the Iranian blogosphere is hossein derakhshan. It seems that Iranians are less prone to englishites blogarism disease. Must be all the chello kebab they eat.

Monday, October 11, 2004

New Blog

Individuality streak broke out. Am still checking in and will pop over to count new countable things/Iraqiana. In meantime, will be hiding here (as inspiration dictates).


I used to watch A LOT of movies, that's how I learned English.
in these movies I saw humanitarian stories, social issues, beautiful pictures from nature, and a lot of comedy, which is all nice and cool, but what really annoys me is the that most of movies, show countries and cultures other than USA, as less educated people and less important cultures (less important? i am trying not to use terms like Barbaric, premitive): labels, you can see labels everywhere...
whenever there is a Russian man, he MUST be either a terrorist or an ignorant.
watch "the red corner" and see how it shows China.
watch that movie that I cant remember its name and see how it shows Thailand, these two American girls going in a vacation to Thailand and the police found drugs in their bag (its not for them, some guy they met used them to get it through the borders) and puts them in jail, the rest is another version of the Red Corner.
watch "talented Mr reply" and see how it shows Italians, they sure didn't forget to add remarks like: I will call the states, if I could find a phone working. And small remarks like that.
when there is an Arab, he is either a terrorist or rich man from gulf surrounded with girls...If they want to show Arabs, they show them in the dessert with a camel and a tint!! ( I saw few camels in my life, and I see the desert only when I go to Jordan, the high way goes through the desert)...
I don't know...Just notice next time when you see a movie about other countries, it just puts labels on EVERYONE, its sad.
other than that, I saw this movie few time before, its an old one, which I also don't remember its name O_0 (sorry terrible memory), in that movie, the devil himself, in a body of a women, comes to this clumsy guy and offers him seven wishes, in return of his soul...
well, two things I want to talk about here:
the first is the girl ( the devil ) : awww myyy GGODDD...She is incredibly, unbelievably, enormously, beautiful, I mean...I am sure that none of those who watched the movie understood a word of anything that was said while the camera is on her, OOOHHH MMMYYYY GODDD...I want to make a whole blog just to describe how beautiful she is, and that British accent she has, I mean....I meannn....If I was blind I would marry her the first time I hear her talking, aww myyyy God, I am so in love:))))
wake up khalid wake up, ok ok I am so sorry I cant get rid of my shallow manly roots, excuse me for that:)
lets get back to our subject:
its about tough choices: Seven wishes (which can bring you all what you want in this life, and much more) or your soul? (as she puts it: what is it anyway, you cant smell it or see it!).
its mean isn't it?
wait, let me explain, imagine that this guy is standing on the edge and about to fall from the top of a mountain, just the moment he lost his balance and was about to fall, a wizard appears from nowhere, freezes time and offers the man to give him a hand, if he promised to give him his soul, that would be mean don't you think? taking advantage of the man's volunorabale situation?
please be patient with me for a moment.
what if this wizard helped the guy, without freezing time, and AFTER helping him, and while the guy was about to say "thank you" and walk away, the wizard said: sorry I saved your life, you must give me your soul, its not an option, I saved you and I think I have all the right to take your soul!!
wouldn't that be just the meanest?
this is exactly what happened in Iraq!
The American adminstration invaded Iraq, without freezing the time to ask Iraqis whether they want to be "liberated" or not, they did it anyway, and after they "saved" us and took Saddam off the power, we were about to say "thank you! see you around" when they said" sorry we saved you we have every right to occupy you, so just act like you don't see us, we will build just six military bases, leave 140 000 soldiers, and leave right away! And don't you dare make us troubles you ungrateful terrorist baathists, we liberated you!!!"
aw, did I forget to mention that about 13 000 civilians died in the process?

New blog from Iraq

A new Iraqi blog have just seen the light by Dr.Saif called Iraq Humanity, well he is not doctor yet a semi or half doctor :P

he write diaries about his daily life in hospital:
9:30 am there was a voice of many ambulances reaching the hospital loaded with civilian victims of explosives that happened in Palastine St. & I knew they were 17 victims; I was very upset for that situation bcz I am a semi-doctor & I can't help :( .

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Emigre's election experience

Live (more or less) from south pacific.

Could bore you with in depth analysis but you can read about that anywhere else and anyway final results still unavailable. So, bringing to you instead a diarist's account.

Fri 8 Oct: Read pre-election poll results, flick through minor articles of interest. Swing to co-alition. Greens will cream third party vote. Labour not going to bum out as badly as they could have. Somebody threw stale cheese at prime minister.

Sat 9 Oct: Did household chores. Went to polling booth in afternoon, slid past remainder eager campaigners, ticked box etc. (Noted eraseable pencil provided in booth. Hope Afghanistan didn't use pencils, already enough trouble with indelible ink). Cut and buffed toenails. Listened to 15 mins Abc in evening, switched off, listened to this weeks theme album. Looked for consolation, bad connection (dial-up) kept dropping out and couldn't access some sites (including at one point this one) must've been lot of traffic jamming stuff up. Went to bed.

Sun 10 Oct: Woke early(ish). Bought papers, confirmed worst fears/greatest hopes. Greens garnered substantial swing which again i can't give figures for because counting incomplete (so far looks like 7% of vote with 2% swing). Remembered to finish cold coffee. Laughed at news reports. Lol, nobody, online or off, can quote figures yet. Consequently lot of hazy pre-pared articles in Sunday papers (probably written based on Friday's poll results). Damnit, have to wait till Monday for stats. Dead quiet neighbourhood, even quieter then after 2001 elections (we don't celebrate democracy with gunshots over here, we stuff the the paper in the ballot box and go home to mourn). Abc site down late afternoon, probably knocked out by everybody else looking for unpublished results.

Ok favourite bit ~ predictions. Government is in for a shocker this term. In fact Labour ought to be thankful they're not "it" (you know what it's like after all the sugar coating's been licked off, just a goopy mushed up mess that no-one really wants to swallow). Traditional media winner over next three years will be, surprisingly, radio. You can listen to it while you blog. I guess the converse is true too, you could, theoretically, weblog while you talkback. Radio hosts (probably because they have such small and discerning audiences) tell almost more kooky jokes then webloggers.

Sorry to digress. Will go and look for blogs to count now but before i do, leaving you with a tune (had controversial lineup but ended up going with this one);

Shame ~ PJ Harvey

I don't need no rising moon
I don't need no ball and chain
I don't need anything but you
Such a shame, shame, shame
Shame, shame, shame
Shame is the shadow of love

You changed my life
We were as green as grass
And I was hypnotized
From the first 'til the last
Kiss of shame, shame, shame
Shame is the shadow of love

I jump for you into the fire
I jump for you into the flame
Try to go forward with my life
Just feel shame, shame, shame
Shame, shame, shame
Shame is the shadow of love

If you tell a lie
I still would take the blame
If you pass me by
It's such a shame, shame, shame.

Saturday, October 09, 2004


doesn't the logic of pre emptive strikes create the perfect justification for Binladin's attack on the WTC?
guys wait wait...
you got me all wrooong!!
what I meant is that, the whole idea of pre emptive strikes is so stupid and un understandable to the point that, if you want to say that it justifies the war on Iraq, a country that is an enemy that was attacked with no evidences on is involvement with ANY attach against the states, if we are going to accept that the war on Iraq is justified, then we will have to accept that Binladin, who I totally don't agree with, totally don't support, actually did the same thing, he attacked an enemy, But at least he was attacking the actual country that was responsible for the things that were pissing him off!
what I meant to say is that both of these two assumptions are at the same level of stupidity and ignorance.
Stupidity and ignorance? To quote comedian Dana Carvey (Saturday Nite Live) " I only want to know one thing, what is all our oil doing under their sand?"
Arrogance and greed.....yes.

Friday, October 08, 2004


Well I never. Must buy cotton buds. Ears need cleaning, glasses need wiping. I swear I just read Dean Esmay conjoining the words "oil" and "atrocities".

Oh and Dave continues, despite his distress, to manage link duties. How noble the weary blogger, bravely bringing all these things to our attention from the confines of worn chair and pc.

Getting it off my chest , finally

Elections looming here, here and here. Oh and perhaps in Iraq, "three quarters or four fifths".

Which reminds me, 75 to 80% elections are not acceptable. In western democracies elections are won and lost in the marginal seats, comprising at most about 33% of the vote (suddenly a proposed 20 to 25% non-voting portion of Iraq looks very signifigant).

Holding elections in only 75 to 80% of a country makes a mockery of a system once based on the freedom to demonstrate. A 75 to 80% election in Iraq now will only serve in the event of future, full, elections to turn at least 20 to 25% against US/foreign interests forever. A 20 to 25% block of voters is a big deal when poll results in democratic countries illustrate elections hanging in the balance of percentages nearer 5 to 7.

A government that is "elected" by a popluation who are only entitled 75 to 80% shares in freedom is going to continue, strings attached, struggling against perceptions of puppetry. 75 to 80% elections are a weak and short sighted attempt to shore up support not within Iraq and middle eastern populations but amoung the citizens of western administrations. "Partial" elections in Iraq are little more then an attempt by western governments to justify to western/westernised citizens the use of violence/warfare in resolving conflict despite rapidly evaporating evidence to the contrary. For the war in Iraq, sadly, was sold to a western audience on the premise that Saddam harboured weapons of mass destruction and was thus a threat, not to his own people but to foreign interests. "Democracy" only became a secondary motive when it became apparent that liberation in some qaurters was not rolling over waiting for it's belly to be tickled.

Well and good, i am all for democracy (mindfull of my own countries unraveling democratic institutions) but i am not for some halfhearted boobytrapped makebelieve mockery of freedom. If Allawi supports Rumsfeld's proposal for 75 to 80% elections he is either one, or both, of two things. One, a fool and or two another tinpot dictator in the making. Pray tell, since when did "prime ministers" allow their people's political structures be dictated by adminstrations with more firepower? Or is this neo-mokeracy the new political avant garde? Why, only months ago George Bush was telling my own country which leader we ought to be electing.

Is it enough to make one make one take ones own head in despair? Get thee to a polling booth. I am voting tomorrow here.

Seems to have been a spate of publishing recently, scroll down for more.

Blog Counting

New. My Thoughts by Sami.

Source; Little Why.

New Today: 1
Total: 82

Disappearances Today: 1 (who'd have thought this would turn into an accounting excercise, must do another blogger casualty report soon).

Disappearance of a blogger

Mustang in Iraq was an american working for a big company doing so called construction work in Iraq. Shortly after he started to blog about the rampant corruption at his employer's company his blog has suddenly been taken down and his email address in bouncing.

I can only speculate about what had happened to him.

Things that make wanna go "Hhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!"

Mustang in Iraq if you read this: "Don't let them drag you down."

Thursday, October 07, 2004


I just wanted to say hi and bring your attention to the new post at Life in Baghdad, just in case you've forgot about it because of its long absence..

I have no new blogs this time.. But I will soon :) I hope! I'm still working on it.

Okay, wanna read me? Read me in my blog. Bye for now...

Hey! :)

i posted some stories on my blog, enjoy it:)
why dont i post it here?
cause the reguler copy-paste makes the whole post one continious paragraph, and i have to read it again and remember how is it supposed to benad cut it into paragraphs in the right places, so since i dont have internet connection at home lately be a bit patient with me:)
have a good day..

Monday, October 04, 2004

May I Recommend

I have a confession to make. I am a book addict, I love books. Here are some of my favorite books that I would like to share with the rest of you.

My favorite arabic novel is "Cities of Salt" by Abed Al Rahman Muneef.
مدن الملح - للكاتب عبد الرحمان منيف

I love that novel so much that I read it both in arabic and translated english and enjoyed both because the English translation is of a high quality. The story is a fictional account of modern Saudi history. It is a sharp, witty and humorous. It criticizes that society strongly yet makes you fall in love with it. When I finished reading the novel I felt a great longing to go live in the desert. It's a great shame that the author was stripped of his Saudi citizenship and forced to live in exile.

The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq
By Hanna Batatu
I consider this book the bible and ultimate source of information about modern history of Iraq. It is academic and slightly boring to read but it well worth the effort if you want to understand the history of iraq. It has been translated to arabic but I only read it in English.

Guests of the Sheik - Anthropology of an Iraqi Village by Elizabeth fernea
Short, very readable and touching story of an American woman who lives in an Iraqi village in the south of Iraq in the 50's because of her anthropologist husband.

Women of Sand and Myrrh
By Hannan al Shaykh
Stories about women in the middle east. Very approachable. For some reason I found this book very touching. I could relate to all the characters in the stories. I also have read both the english and arabic.

I would be interested to hear what other people on Iraq Blog Count like to read and if they have books that they could recommend.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Some things just sit right under your nose... Counting Askari Street, having been blogged by writer and historian Hala Fattah since May this year. Ok, so we got here a little bit late. Hala has left Askari Street and is heading towards you-know-where. With a busy schedule she will be co-posting on Cliopatria instead (probably worth filing under "inside info" and keeping link in blogroll, watch for Hala appearances).

Finders credit: neurotic_wife
Intrigue factor: LadyBird

Update; Iraq sport, this one posted from Johannesburg, South Africa by Maithem Al Anbari. Quoting (deadpan) Maithem; "I'm from Iraq. This blog is about sports news. For Iraqis sport is the only source of joy nowadays."

New Today: 2
Total: 81

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