Monday, May 31, 2004

Embedded Reporting

A reporter in Iraq ~ photo album via Tom.

Minor Mundane Fraud Update

*Sigh*. Another one. Read about it at Faiza's here. "asmar" claims to be publicity aid.

(Wonder if "asmar" ever made anything of blogads. Wonder if the generous "asmar" would consider donating all profits to noble Iraq bloggers cause).

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Heard a curious thing last week...

A former Anglican bishop quoting an Israeli poet;
The Place Where We Are Right

From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the spring.

The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.

But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plow.

And a whisper will be heard
where the ruined
house once stood.

Richard Holloway reciting Yehuda Amichai June 2001.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

More Journalist's b-logs.

Iraq Dispatches ~ correspondent Dahr Jamail reports from Baghdad, he's in league with David Enders who gossips all the way From Ann Arbor to Beirut.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Link Special Featuring...

Palestine and Israeli weblogs. "What has this to do with Iraq?" you well might mutter. Well, probably only as much as that I felt like freshening up with a bit of diversity and a few links about something(s) a little bit different...

Abracadabra... Be ready, these really are all quite different from each other...

The Israeli Young Nudist's Society it might not be good for melanoma, but it sure looks good for world peace... (warning; do not click if nudity offends).

Raffah Kid Rambles "Diary of an ISM'er. Israel Palestine conflict & slightly Rafah-centric Blog".

Aron's Israel Peace Weblog posts an interesting piece about a recent peace gathering in Tel Aviv attended by approx 120,000-200,000 who came together, and then merrily embarked upon an exercise in podium dissent (sounds like weblogging), free speech how sweet the sound...

This from Aron's post...

These people were motivated by two major events of the past two weeks: the so-called referendum, held by Sharon among the registered members of the Likud Party, which had the intolerable result that some fifty thousand people - less than one percent of the Israeli citizen body - decided a major national issue, and that the settlers and extreme right acquired an effective veto even over a partial and half-hearted withdrawal such as the one proposed by Sharon. Hard upon this came the shock of the unexpected blows suffered by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip. The army learned the hard way that invading Palestinian towns and refugee camps inside armoured vehicles does not always render the Israeli forces completely immune. The general public came up with the word "Lebanon", which for Israelis carries the same connotations as "Vietnam" for Americans.

Kufia "a collection of images, artworks and words". Open to contributions from collectives and individuals world wide. Some confronting images, but worth spending time and looking at all the pages. Raw, very truthful, youthful, images. These artists aren't holding anything back.

Not a Fish by Imshin; "The meaningless chatter of your regular split personality Israeli mother trying to make sense of current insanity".

And Finally The Muslim-Jewish Jewish-Muslim PeaceWalk... "Abdul Rauf and Rabbi Lynn engage in creating peace walks, Muslim-Jewish dialogue and text study groups, youth work and interfaith workshops and services. They recently participated in a Fellowship of Reconciliation Interfaith Peace Builders trip to Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine."

More Blogs

Just for a bit of a change, here are some other links;

Kuwait Unplugged ~ Zaydoun, with random thoughts, commentary & gossip from Kuwait (has switched over to a new blogger template too, and is figuring out how to post in arabic next...)
Moblogging from Kuwait ~ snapshots, lots of snapshots, hundreds of...
The Islamic Feminista ~ a live jounal community.
My Journey ~ it's all about faith...
Muttaqoon ~ the joint blog of Hijabified*, Umm Layth, & zremmas; who say; "InshaAllah we'll post beneficial articles, ayah, & experiences upon which to reflect. =D so... have fun."


The Arab Street Files (which you might have already found because Zeyad linked it a while ago). "Occasional reflections & musings on what is really said on the mythical "Arab street", by someone who lives there..." + a good link list.

New Blog

Raed & The Irani; a conversation between Niki (the Irani) and Raed (m-hm, that Raed). Synopsis thus far; Raed asks the questions and Niki gently breaks all the rules.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

New Look

Blogger has new templates, I chose this one and changed the colours, what do you think?

(This also means new look comments. But it means any old comments from other comments providers will be lost. At least that's what the instructions are telling me, beautiful memories, but you can't see them anymore, sorry).

The page seems to load faster now too.

Blog counting on hold.

New Blog

Another one from the prolific Jarrar family.

Pictures in Baghdad; think photo album.

New Today; 1
Total; 44

New Wiki

Sorry this is a rehash post, i almost gave up blogging and became a parasite commenter on Dean's World. I even considered making a squat claim on one of his old threads and turning it into a temporary weblog. Then I wondered if that might be stretching his accommodating nature a little too far. Anyway, here is a rehash of bits of recent conversation;

Dean Esmay's warwiki has been created, and is showing promising signs of evolution.

This may prove to be an excellent opportunity for people who have argued both for and against war to finally come together and arrange their ideas without slinging insults at each other.

Even Dean concedes that;
"There are, I believe, anti-war positions that are thoughtful."

Ironically, this could be a small step towards peace, it is just too bad that while some of us are in the fortunate position of being able to discuss such things, there are people right now in Iraq who are not.

Anyway, it's fun to have contributors from different points of view bringing together facts in this way. It seems to put people on their best behavior, being careful about presenting facts, and even considering, if not agreeing with, each another's information. So far it seems to be developing a nicely weighted feel, serious, even perhaps a goodnatured undercurrent.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

What should ye doe...

Just chanced upon this verbose nugget, oh flowry verbosity, let me count the ways...

What should ye doe then, should ye suppresse all this flowry crop of knowledge and new light sprung up and yet springing daily in this City, should ye set an Oligarchy of twenty ingrossers over it, to bring a famin upon our minds again, when we shall know nothing but what is measur'd to us by their bushel?

~ John Milton, Areopagitica (In Defense of Freedom of Printed Matter) 1644

Friday, May 07, 2004

New Blog

Baghdad Update; Weblog as survival tool, a "hi, yes I'm still here, I miss you" type weblog. Kind of a check-in phone call type log. Simplicity and survival rolled into one. By Suha, who has been logging from Iraq since 25 March and seems to be on her way back to the US now. She gives a description of her work in Iraq here and a news link related to the same work here. As introduced by Zeyad here.

New Today; 1
Total; 43

Pool of thoughts

There's an old theory about thoughts that just float around in the ether, waiting for people to pick them up and make them real. There's no telling who will pick up these thoughts, or what exactly they will do with them. A whole lot of people might pick up the same idea at the same time without even knowing or meeting each other and do completely different things with it. Some people might render a thought in a fairly benevolent way, and other times, well, some people are just not benevolent at all. Like the time I was serenading an undisclosed reader and got a bit carried away by publishing the lyrics to Sarah Jones Your revolution, and then about a week later Fallujah revolted. Spooky. I stopped singing for weeks afterwards.

Then there was the time I became a bit bored and pretended to be a nice lady soldier offering re-educative services for these stakhanovite heretics, within about 48 hours those photographs hit the headlines. Creepy. I stopped impersonating female soldiers for days afterwards.

Coincidences aside, the collective-pool-of-thoughts idea has been around for awhile, and I suppose that it is part of the attraction in weblogging.

Well, this is all a bit of a round-about way of saying that someone is setting up a War Wiki, a pool in which thoughts about the "war on terrorism" may collect. Yes I know Dean sounds like a biased hound, and he probably is. The point is that in a wiki anyone can change or add or edit anything they like. Dean gives a good description himself; "What is a Wiki?" (Thank-you Dean). So basically, if Dean writes an article about "the Wondrous Beneficial Leaps in Evolution that May be Implemented Through Creating Depleted Uranium Environments, and How Great it Would be to Give Birth to Children with Three Legs to Help Them Walk Faster" then later on someone could go and rewrite the whole thing to help him say what he really meant; "depleted uranium sux". Of course, if someone wrote that, someone else would probably come along and edit out the profanities... so that, eventually, a quite reasonably accurate article studying the effects of depleted uranium might evolve.

Sorry. This is getting a bit long. Here is some wiki background info for anyone like me who wasn't really sure what it was till about a week ago (coincidently just a few days before reading Deans post) another What is Wiki? blurb and Deans original War Wiki post.

This could be fun.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Iron bloggers

The comments in some Iraq blogs have been, at times, a bit of a battlefield. There is even a blog, published by a former military psychiatrist, dedicated to driving the wedge even further between Iraq bloggers, hammering in the pegs between already imagined divisions. "Imagined?" I hear a hallucinatory voice query. Yes, imagined. For what else but imagination builds such impenetrable walls from words.

Dialogue, queer beast, at one moment driving apart the similar and at another bringing together the disparate. What cannot be shared with it? What peace there might be without it.

Well, fear not gentle bloggers, here it is; Iron Blog, the gameshow blog to take the heat out of your comments (if you are lucky enough to have generated any at all). What is Iron Blog? Whatever it is, perhaps it might help soothe the sting of the afflicted, ease inflammations, present an alternative for the authors of certain email discharges. Why heckle Iraq bloggers? Why self-immolate in haloscan? You could be an Iron Blog challenger! (Or at least, part of the audience).


And here is one of the "Iron Bloggers".

Tuesday, May 04, 2004


See Fri 30 April update to footnote 3).

Monday, May 03, 2004

In the wolf's mouth

Firstly, technical apologies; sorry about that activetopic comments box that used to sit in the sidebar, it's disappeared again this week. Seems to be an occasional activetopic dalliance, it usually shows up again, eventually.

Secondly, off topic as it might appear;

An email arrived on Friday, from a woman in Italy with a screaming baby and a job and not much spare time, and she ended her message with this expression, an expression just asking to be blogged;

"in the wolf's mouth and in the whale's bottom" (translation from Italian, meaning good luck).

I think it is may be one of those phrases where you throw up your hands in the air, tossing all three caution, hope and gravity to the wind at the same time. And then you just smile, because luck ran out years ago, and it's the only thing left to do.

Sunday, May 02, 2004


See update to Friday Apr 30

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