Monday, January 31, 2005

Fabric ~ The Underlying Structure

I am officially in exile. Let this be a lesson. Never go thinking you can change the world on bread and blogs alone. I have been banned. From a blog about elections. From a blog all about democracy. Oh yes. We knew we were outing grim realities that no-one was in the mood to face. Yes we did. And we were surprised that we survived the several weeks we managed. Rising early in the mornings for our 6 o'clock bowl of news and cup of cereal. Neglecting our other duties. Not cleaning our bathroom in preference of tuning into the abc hourly news broadcast. Letting the hairs on our chin grow long as we feverishly composed blasphemous issue after issue.

Oh yes. We knew we were living on the edge. And yet we felt compelled. By what I cannot say. Perhaps secure in the knowledge that no matter what we wrote somebody would flog us for it. We had nothing to lose. So we just posted what we thought. And what we saw. And we answered our detractors sometimes. And we were even Madame LeFarge. For a wee while. And we maintained our humor despite the rampant petulance of our tormentors. Yes. We were quite heroic actually. We even nearly cast ourselves into the heaving seething furnace of Mount Doom at one point. Or perhaps we were nearly pushed. However. Matters not. We were reborn. And we discovered our inner complexities. Our multiple facets. Our lighter side and our side that is willing to face shadow, being shadow itself. Oh yes. We became quite phrasaeic at times.

Alone. One even campaigned for the release of ones fellow exiles. And one was successful. For one was not the only banned member. Oh no. One was one of four. Including the ubique Jeffrey Schuster (who would have thought). Oh yes. One was quite successful in campaigning for the release of ones fellow inmates. Or should I say, ex-mates. For ex-iled they all were. But one cannot really be bothered petitioning for ones own un-exilation. For one would rather put up ones feet and have a wee rest after all that tireless seeking of truth and exposing of things that cannot be spoken.

So. What did I do? What possibly could that two-bit one pixel upstart emigre the meek have done? Oh dear. She posted about untouchable subjects. Yes. She did. And why did she do that? Yahweh only knows. Perhaps it was holocaust remembrance week that did it. Perhaps it was the trip to the Sydney Jewish Museum that day. For she went there, in her searching for answers. And what she found was disturbing. What she found, was how difficult it is to stomach frank bleak honesty. Yes. It made her wince it did. And it confirmed my convictions. Never again. Never again war. Never again torture. Never again in any form. It is not excusable to any degree. No matter whose army, whose government, whose blade or whose bullet. None of it is acceptable. An election alone cannot protect us from these things. A tick in a box on a piece of paper is not in itself enough if it is not accompanied by the denouncement of all tortures. And she said these uncomfortable things, to greater and lesser degree.

But did it end there? Oh no. She exceeded herself. She dug up history good and true. What was in it for her? You may ask. Well, nothing. Nothing but her conscience (she always was conscientious). For she remembered the last gulf war. In which Saddam Hussein was to have been overthrown. But was not. She remembered her stunned silence as she opened the Daily News one day in 1993 to find Saddam Hussein had suddenly become a paragon of hope for international relations within the Middle East! She was confused at the time. And dismayed. Something was terribly wrong. But she was a meek and mild artist back then. And she kept her misgivings to herself. Because nobody would probably want to hear them. And she went on indulging herself in the arts on her meager cleaners wage (which was really all anyone needed back then) living on art and bread and cheap red wine. What a hopeless idealist she was.

Anyway. This time around she decided to take action. Oh yes she supports democracy alright. To the end. But she is aware that to keep democracy alive and well, it needs to be strong enough to accept dissent. It needs to be gentle enough to for-go it's detractors. It needs to be brave enough to admit it's failings and supple enough to smile.

So what did she do? Well. She just went about observing all the tears in the fabric really. For the fabric is torn. Oh yes it is. When a fabric has threads running all one way it only has weft. And without warp when taken off the loom, the fabric falls apart in our hands. Unbound threads. We must reweave this fabric, or we shall all perish.

Anyway. After surviving three tormentous weeks in a thicket of polar opposites she did see a few small changes. Although she would have liked to have seen more. She saw someone confess that war is not all peaches and cream. She saw someone denounce violence, once.

Ah well. In the meantime Iraq Blog Count has reached 100 blogs. Almost without fanfare. 102 actually. And guess what. That makes being in exile all worthwhile. Because, I would never have started reading blogs if I hadn't been reading the Sydney Star Observer in a Sydney Pub one evening. And I would never have been in that pub if my seventh great great great (greats x7 generations) grandfather had not been exiled from somewhere for offending someone and landed of all places in some small village... and etc etc till several hundred years later there is me sitting in the pub reading an elitist free rantmag published on newsprint in one colour with the ink smudging in a puddle of con-joined beer-rings. Yes. If all that hadn't happened I may never have read about Salam Pax. And I may never have read his whole blog in one sitting. And I may never have read Riverbend's first post, or G's photoblog or Raed's return, or Zeyad's epiphany. And that's the way it is really. Just a bunch of people sharing their greatest dreams and their darkest hours. That's all blogging is about.

Oh damn. I have done it again. Taken up too much space. Somebody ban me.

Baghdad Journals

Steve Mumford's Baghdad Journals are bound to be something many visiting here might enjoy. It captures the exploits of a painter and his artist friends in Iraq. For example:

The day I get back from Baqubah, my Iraqi painter friend, Esam Pasha, insists on playing an episode of Friends for me on his computer. It’s a late episode, in which the humor seems self-referential, the characters tired. It’s a show I love to hate, but my teasing leaves Esam unimpressed.

There’s something else he really wants to show me, however. He produces a large tube from under his bed, sealed at each end with a U.S. army rations bag, and carefully withdraws a big roll of paper. We roll it out on the floor -- it’s a huge Mir? aquatint that was stolen from the Saddam Arts Center after the invasion. He’s been tracking it for months and bought it for a pittance from a seller in the Bab Sherji marketplace. Mir? is one of his favorite artists. The print measures perhaps three feet by four feet, and is typical of the late work, with loose black marks suggesting stars or moons, and simple, bold overlays of yellow, red and blue. It is beautiful and I can see why Esam loves it: it has the kind of simplicity that he strives for in his own painting.

He’s made no secret of his trophy, which has been recently valued at around $20,000. He intends to return it to the art museum when it’s rebuilt, and has already been interviewed by several journalists about his find.

72% ???

Today, was full of explosions.
i didnt leave the house, and the same goes for so many families.
i saw the press conference of the "highest commission for the elections" who organized, supposadly, everyting in the elections, right after the voting centers closed, 5 pm this afternoon.the journalists asked the executive director: how did you know that the percentage of the voters in iraq is 72% like you announced?
he asnwered: "well, the head of every voting center estimated that basing on the length of the line of the voters as he saw it!"
hehehe! see how sceintific? how accurate? he actually said that!
the way the voting happened, is that you go to the voting center, and you go to the man that is your ration dealer, the one that you take the ration from him every month, so you tell him that you are gonna vote, he marks your name on his list, and then you vote!!!that way the goverment will know exactly who voted and who didnt, two dealers said that the next years' card won't be given to those who didnt vote..hmm...Tara, my great producer and wonderful friend, designed a joke, i gave it to a freind of mine here in baghdad to draw it but i couldnt scan it because no shops are openned in baghdad, anyways, its for Bush removing the curtain and producing the new Iraqi president, Mr. 245
( a number only, the president doesnt think its safe to reveal his name) and the picture of the Iraqi president, wearing a cover on his face, like the national guard.hehe:)well it's very much possible in Iraq today!there is a very funny thing that i noticed in baghdad, when you face a police check point, you find a small street to the right, right before the check point!well, its in the manual, if you dont know, that check point should be put in a palce where you cant neither turn back nor go anywhere once you see the checkpoint, so once you see it its over, you cant avoid it, but the Iraqi police understand that so many people carry personal weapons, and maybe some of the resistanse people would be going from that road loaded with PRGs, if that's the case, they are willing usually to attack any check point to go through, so the police just want to go home safe, why go through all the trouble? put the check point after a tun to the right! so then anyone with weapons goes to the right, anyone without weapons goes through the check point, and everyone is happy and satisfied!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Crystal Light From Baghdad

He deleted a blog, and started a new one.
Let's welcome Kais, Raghda's brother. He promises to post every two days!

Emigre, please update your link, It was fantacy wizard before.

The Feel Of Paper

Anyone with a penchant for the romance of papyrus? Feel like writing? Amani would love to hear from you...


My name is Amani. I am a 34 year old black American woman with 3 kids living in Germany. I am married to a German, so I am here for the long haul.

I am looking for a real PENpal. There is something about the feel of paper. Looking to discuss anything from family to politic to religion with someone who won't get mad if we disagree.


If you'd like to write to Amani, just send a short blurb to titled "Amani Penpal" and it'll be forwarded to her. You can make your paper arrangements from there.

(Oh, and this can't be linked enough).

Friday, January 28, 2005

Slideroll... Online slideshows

Slideroll is online slideshow software that allows people to create smooth, video-like slide shows and publish them on the web. Slideroll is unique because it has all of the power of a desktop application, plus all of the connectivity benefits of being online. Slideroll even allows you to easily put Flash movies on your site without having to learn Flash.

It's just great, I used it three times till now, it doesn't slow down the blog!!
You can join it for free too..

Here's an example.

The Tigris
View Slideshow

It took me about 10 minutes to make.. Including the time for uploading the photos!

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I'll have to tell you, and I have to tell you fast..

Okay, first, a new blog from Mosul.. The writer informed me about it in an e-mail, I don't know if he's a relative or not, I'll have to figure this out myself.

The link: The days of our life

And, SURPRISE.. My uncle is posting, check out his new post..

I'll write tomorrow..

New Today: 1
Total: 102

(Update: Okay, now I'm having a HUNCH that people will start yelling at me for taking an important post's place.. So, please read the next post).

Are you into Art?

I know I know….I missed you all too!
I am so sorry for being away for such a long time. I have been very busy, then I thought of you poor people, there must be millions of you opening their eyes every morning hoping to find a new post from me, so I thought, why don’t I blog and make you all happy?
Hehe I know, I am so great, and so modest too;)
I know what is it that you want to talk about…
Oh, wait that is what I always love to talk about, I am sure you want to know about boring stuff like art and stuff right?
Hoofff…ok, what can I do, there are so many of you and only one of me! I will do
What you want;)
Are you into theatre?
Cause you are all about to witness one of the biggest and most expensive ones in the history: The Elections in Iraq.
If you're asking me (and I am sure you are, since you took the effort of remembering my URL and actually came here, again!), I think that the elections are nothing but an American game to give some kind of legitimacy to their presence in Iraq, by creating a government that supposedly is a legal Iraqi government, that is authorized "legally" to ask them to stay in Iraq, and will justify then, the much harsher attacks against anyone that resists their presence, the excuse will then be that: The elected Iraqi government asked us to do so and so.
Well, the same thing is happening now, but since the Americans are getting more and more embarrassed everyday for the shameful results of their occupation, what's better than giving Iraqis the "democracy" and "freedom "to the point that they themselves can ask the Americans to stay?
Very funny ha? Haha? Well I don’t think so.
This is the biggest theatre and the lowest one I ever saw, the first elections in the history were people don’t know who is running, and the ones that are running never announced any political or economical agenda, we don’t even know their names for crying out loud, they are too afraid to announce their names!!!!!
I am making documentaries for CBC, the Canadian channel, and I have been interviewing people, less than two weeks before the elections, and asking them: what are these elections for? And so many people think that it's to choose an Iraqi president, not a parliament! People don’t even know what these elections are for!!
Wanna hear something people don’t know too? These elections are not only to chose a parliament, they are also chose a municipality!! people will go to vote twice, two deferent ballots and two deferent boxes, in the same location and the same day, and no one knows about this!
Here is one new information for you!
Did you know that the "ratio" card of year 2005, that allows you to take sugar, flower and few other things too, which have been the main resource for Iraqi families' food since early nineties, will not be given except for those who will vote?
When you go to the voting center they give you a paper that allows you to take the card from the ratio shop in your neighbor!
Freedom… democracy…yahhhhoooooo! cheer up Iraqis and live happy!
The way the elections will happen is that people will write the number of the "list" that they want to vote for, that lists contains so many parties and people that no one knows their names, EXCEPT!:
The Shea list, which is now a religious duty to vote for, that is more important than praying and fasting, as Sistani said when he "ordered" Shea to go vote, and I am sure he didn’t mean that he wants people to vote for the communist party, do you?
And the other one that we all know is, guess who? Yes! Allawi! He, unlike all others, had the chance to declare his name since people already know him and he has all the American protection, so there is nothing to be worried about, or is there?
Well Allawi is spending like crazy on TV promotions on satellite channels, he also got 6 hours on air with Arabiya channel that seems to be rewarding him for his struggle against Aljazeera, anyways, Allawi has posters in the streets, but none of them survives for more than few hours, a day sometimes, before people tear them apart, I wonder where does he get the money for his campaign for? I will give you three options to test your brilliance: 1.Santa 2. His own many 3.our friends in the states?
And to tell you the truth people in the street are very sure that his list and the Shea list are already winning lists, voting and stuff is only the boring routine work.
I am sure that these elections came very much this way:

Condi: good morning Mr. preeesident
Bush: good morning Condi have a seat...
Condi: Mr. preeesident.. I think that we should make elections…….
Bush: come on Condi for God's sake again? I am still so tiered of the last one! And weren’t we supposed to have them only once every four years?
Condi: no Mr. preeeesident... I meant elections in Iraq!
Bush: ohhh! They are officially a part of the states now? That’s great! But ia m afraid we will have to some tricks again, Kerry will do his best to win Iraqi's votes, I hate this guy!
Condi: no no Mr. preeesident….I meant Iraqi elections for an Iraqi president!
Bush: other than me?
Condi: yes sir! We need one that can speak Iraqi!
Bush: hoofff! I should have learned that earlier!
Condi: don’t worry Mr. preeesident you still have a good chance, start learning Persian, sir!

Hehehe very funny right? Well I don’t think so.

I am afraid that the danger behind these election isn’t only in all what I said before, but I am afraid that it will be the bullet to kill the national unity, Shea want it and willing to defend it, Sonna don’t want it and willing to stop it, add to that recipe a lot of weapons and you will get a civil war.
I am for the elections as a principle, of course, but not these elections, not before so many thigns are cleared and discussed, I don’t even mind a shea government if shea are the majority, that would be their right, right? (there aren’t any kind of statistics, official or not, about the percentage of Sonna and Shea) but once shea take most of the votes, what would prevent them from ruling iraq with a Sharea law based on the Shea principles? What prevents that knowing that shea voted basing on a fatwa from Sistani that makes voting a religious duty? Will the Sonna agree on this? Will the Kurds agree on this? What about Kirkuk? What about the national revenue, how is it going to be distributed? Now you cant have a job in some nay governmental ministries and agencies if you don’t have a recommendation from a Shea party, how do you think will it be if there was a really Shea government? How do you assure al the parties, other than Shea in Iraq, that their rights will be saved and guaranteed?
Sonna, Kurds and of course also Christians and Turkman?
What guarantees the integrity of this elections while its held under the occupation?
Once all that is discussed and cleared, we will hold elections very smoothly, and we will all protect it against any foreign parties.
The Americans are stupid, but they aren’t THAT stupid, they must know that a civil war is really close if they continue along their present path of divide and rule, so they must, therefore, WANT this result, I Ask God that Iraqis continue to resist this idea by all means possible like they have been doing for the last two years, say Ameen!
Did I tell you about ballots? Besides the rumors that they are for sell if you have the money, I discovered that a ballot was sent to the ratio center to be given to all people, even Arabs! I can go take one! And I will only need an Iraqi ID to go vote! And you have no idea how easy it is to make a fake one hear, most of Sonna, about %80 basing on the survey made by the Islamic party, and about 90% basing on a survey made by a commission that works for the ministry of internal affairs, are not going to vote so they didn’t take their ballots, where do the ballots go then?
Today I interviewed some people that are running for the elections (as a part of my work for, and they said that they have no guarantees that this process will be honest and fair, they just said "we hope so!! At least we will try to keep close to try to expose the tricks if we could!!"
So if that’s what the candidates think, what do you expect from an average Iraqi to think?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


My oh my oh...

First, my apologies to Duraid. I have actually known about the election blog he's running for a little while, but for some reason I thought it was already listed. My fault... It's called Iraq Election Blog. He's also doing a great film journal blog, duraid's Journal.

Second, we have Hassan Blasim thoughtfully blogging in Arabic!

Welcome, welcome to you both!

Fayrouz gets the credit for these. Thanks Fay!

Indeed, that puts us above 100. And there are probably more out there that we have yet to find. Please drop me a mail if you know of any out there we haven't picked up yet. liminalsymbol[at] is where you'll find me.

Congratulations everybody! We've reached a milestone in Iraqi blogging together!


New Today: 3
Total: 101

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Thief of Baghdad

Lets welcome Habibi, The Thief of Baghdad to IBC. He's Iraqi-American and he's just begun. And his blog is already shaping up to be very unique! And hey, just because you've got sexy pictures on your site it doesn't mean that you have to be discriminated against! (wink, wink)...(Note to parents with younger children...because my parents would kill me if I didn't mention something. Sorry Habibi, no offence!)

Besides, he likes NY underground film and he's got a great sense of humor (*if you're an adult). And thank you for challanging the neutrality of Iraq Blog Count like no other.

Much peace my Iraqi-American brother,

;) Liminal

New Today: 1
Total: 98

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Ishtarria, if only there were a name other then "blog" ~ perhaps Romantiary or Diamantique?

The stars are dispersed, shining, and guiding
The loving heart
That might have lost its warmth,
And the memory
That might have faded

Visit Liana for loves perhaps lost and recollections perhaps unrequited ~ includes Arabian beauties, Knights, galloping and immortal rivers ~ read more here.

New Today: 1
Total: 97
Via: ihath

American soldier blogger dies in Iraq

Dear all,

To be quite honest, I don't really know how to approach this matter entirely. I learned about this soldier's blog randomly at Mark Kraft's blog when surfing around yesterday. I realize I am rather critical of American designs and methods in Iraq. But it is only because I care about both Iraq and America. I see both headed for a terrible future and I don't like it all. I am a firm believer that if the truth is not confronted head-on in this specific matter that reconciliation will be impossible after all the dust settles. And quite frankly, will the dust ever settle? I still have a strong faith it will. But I'm not all that happy these days.

Anyway, here is Mike's (aka wolfmoon98) last post. It is so sad given both the gravity of the title of his blog "too f---ing scared to create" and this last post dated 3 January 2005.

regrets, i've had a few

so i've been thinking a lot lately.

that time at the college... nope...

those countless times in the car... nope...

the party? you guessed it... NOPE

i know i've always said i don't regret anything i've done in my life, but i think i found one.
it's time to call my dad. it's his birthday today
beauty and the beast is such a great movie
i need a day off

that is all...

missing you

and all of you too


He also mentions some telling facts and gives perspective about his experience in Iraq.

well, here is a longer one than normal

well.. i know i haven't been updating much, or really talking about my time here, so i'm going to have a run down of some things.

1. don't ask me if i've killed anyone. i don't like this question. just know i've done what i've had to, to survive, and this doesn't mean i have or haven't.

2. this is a run down of whats happened to me personally since i've been here.

a. been the victim of 3 roadside bombs (IED's) but haven't been injured in any of them.
b. been in 8 firefights. i was shot in one of them, but it only went through my cargo pocket, didn't hit my body.
c. been mortared more times than i can count. our unit is the most heavily mortared unit since the start of the war. but we've had no casulties from them, except for some vehicle damage.
d. i've been in more iraqi homes than i can count, and the people seem nice, some of the time. i've had lunch with one family, and i've detained another.

that is about all i can think of right now. if i think of more, i'll update.

3. if any of you are thinking about sending care packages, i have thought of something you can throw in there that would make me very very happy. Cloves. Djarum Blacks to be precise. Lots and lots.... actually, not lots, since they are expensive. but one or 2 packs would go a long way. thank you all in advance.

also, i've become somewhat of a star wars nut, so any little trinket would tickle my pickle.

well, just know that i'm alive, and i'm thinking of all of you. i miss you all so much


(sigh) I believe it is time to reflect more. I wish Mike's family all the peace in the world. This must be an excruciatingly difficult time for them. On behalf of Iraq blog count, I offer my sincerest condolences. I wish there was some way I could express the mixed-up emotions I feel about accidentally running into Mike's blog in this manner.

Please, please support the truth coming out about Iraq by any means necessary. Please give an encouraging word to all individuals, strangers or not, who risk their lives in Iraq. To say that I feel mildly awkward about being the one bringing such news to you is an understatement.

Peace and Grace,


too f---ing scared to create

Iraq Enterprise Blog

All sorts of interesting blogs popping up...

I'm not sure who is blogging here because in the 'about' section it lists many people. But it is on a website to a company called Iraqi Enterprise. And it's safe to say it's a blog by an Iraqi or Iraqis. There is commentary and links. In fact, the way I found out was by going through my referrals. If I'm spacing out and somebody knows more about them, please do tell in comments or email me. I'm jet-lagged at the moment. So, I could be a bit off mark. I'll call it the Iraq Enterprise Blog for now.

Here's a fascinating bit from an author on the blog. Perhaps it's a bit long, but it raises too many interesting questions. Maybe this is a golden opportunity!

Iraqi Beliefs, Myths, and Puzzles
Puzzle one: Most Iraqis (including Saddam Hussain !) believed that USA would never enter war to dislodge Saddam. We all believed that weakened Saddam was serving USA very well and was prepared to do what ever required of him including many things such as peace with Israel and opening Iraq for American companies. Most Iraqis believed that Saddam was of USA making and it could never find a better servant than him. He has all the qualifications required: Secular, anti Islamic, ruthless and efficient in providing his services to the west. The two bloody wars, which devastated Iraq to the ground, were waged with USA backing or permission. So the Iraqis believe.
This however raises the great first puzzle! .
If Saddam was so useful, why then did USA take all the trouble and risks of war knowing very well that there were no WMD’s? .
Most Iraqis believe that the war was not waged for the goodness of Iraqis but to serve Israel but this contradicts the above mentioned also well held belief ! Could the neoconservatives with their many think-tank institutions be so naïve, stupid or misinformed as to think that democracy in Iraq would bring a pro-western regime and not a regime which is at least more friendly to Iran, truly anti-Israel and anti-western ? Or, were they merely aiming to destroy Iraq and create kayos in the region to serve their own selfish ends (what can these be??)? Did they intentionally mean to create a breeding ground for terrorists?(what for??) Do they intentionally work against the interests of USA??? .
What are they (the neoconservatives) and USA gov. up to? Could it be simply a huge miscalculation, which, with all the great suffering it brought, might also bring some good to Iraq at the end of a long tunnel?

I'm gonna go eat something delicious now.

much peace, lim.

New Today: 1
Total: 96

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Ghost on the internet...

Recent article in the nytimes ...

Published: January 18, 2005

When I telephoned a man named Ali Fadhil in Baghdad last week, I wondered who might answer. A C.I.A. operative? An American posing as an Iraqi? Someone paid by the Defense Department to support the war? Or simply an Iraqi with some mixed feelings about the American presence in Iraq? Until he picked up the phone, he was just a ghost on the Internet... more here.

The article primarily features Ali, who has so far not commented on this latest portrayal ~ although some others have. Personally I feel Jeff Jarvis's vitriolic response is more sour grapes over not getting a mention then in keeping with any sense of responsibility that he apparently expects from others. How anyone can demand responsibility from the media while at the same time posting vehement wrath of his own raises eyebrows higher then I could ever tweeze.

However, Jarvis rent spleen aside, the stark reality of media attention does cause many people discomfort. Time after time the complaint I hear from artist and writer alike, regardless of ethnicity religion or talent of choice, is how misunderstood misquoted and misconstrued one can end up feeling after the press interview. It's not that journalists intentionally set out with malicious intent, it's more that in seeking an angle or storyline a sort of gulf opens up between the featured artist/writer's values and the journalist's concern with maintaining reader interest. Which is where the blogger and the journalist diverge. For bloggers I feel have a vaguely endearing yet narcissic quality where readership is less important then the merry clatter of ones typepad and the glittering reflection of ones thoughts onscreen.

Personally I read S Boxer's article as a relatively harmless piece written with fairly sincere intention. Thanks Stephen IED for mentioning it in passing (ebb prepared to fall of you seat when you see who's been linked in the nyt).

Oh and btw, Jeff Jarvis needs pulling up for inaccuracy. Quoting

"... the first Iraqi after the war and after Salam Pax to start blogging." ~ Jeff Jarvis

The first two Iraqi bloggers after Salam Pax (and his respective blog partners Raed and G) were actually - Ishtar Talking who blogged briefly in Arabic and Baghdad Burning who blogs to this day. Both women. It's hardly surprising to read Jarvis citing another man's blog before these two (although I very much respect and appreciate the blog Jeff did cite).

Monday, January 17, 2005

Yes, he is my dad

Some thought he was, some were sure, and some didn't notice.. For all of you, he's really my dad!! So, as my friend has said before, now, you have more ways to check if I'm alive :)

I've also received an e-mail from a new Iraqi blogger, he's 46 years old, and he's a writer.. He blogs in Arabic, and this is his blog: A free writer.

I'm writing a post now that I'll post later which will explain why I didn't tell you about dad before.. I'll be in Baghdad tomorrow (God's willing), enjoying my break with the big family.. And in case I didn't have a chance to write, Happy Eid everyone in advance..

Oh, and I want to draw your attention that Harith Kharrufa has decided to delete his blog, he's not writing and he won't! No enough passion in blogging.. Hasan, his brother won't blog too (He's forgotten his password and coulding delete his blog like his brother).. Kais, I'll ask him when I see him in Baghdad.. I just thought I should draw your attention to this, maybe they should be deleted from the list on the right?

New Today: 1
Total: 93

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Iraqi blogs go nuclear

Everybody should welcome Dr. Imad Khadduri to the blogosphere at his Free Iraq. [not to be confused with Saleem's Free Iraq] Dr. Khadduri is an Iraqi nuclear scientist who wrote the book, Iraq's Nuclear Mirage. I'd like to thank River for making me aware of his blog. Visit her blog for some words about her latest news from Iraq.

New Today: 1
Total: 94

Free Iraq

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Comments on Iraqi elections, Kassem, and more

While we're on the early tip...

With 10 posts on Iraqi Comments and scores of images on Iraqi Witness, Purgator, aka A. Al-Khafaji represents from the Netherlands 14 years out of Kerbala.

Calling all Iraqis...

Let's give a warm welcome and some TLC to all the new bloggers. I believe we've reached the hallowed number 93. I love counting the voices. I feel like a child in a candy store.

Everybody, and I mean every last one of you, keep up the fantabulous work. And to Iraqis out there interested in blogging: Please join the club and help us reach 100 then 1000.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Citizen of Mosul

Had a feeling this might happen. Bit of a blog implosion going on as elections near. Anyway, here's another new one ~ A Citizen of Mosul, a whole one mysterious post long.

What is that leg-pulling propagative feeling I have? Read it for yourselves, see what you think. As ever, be a bit skeptical huh, especially in spirit of election. For what election can't pass without a bit of democratic cynicism?

Am a way too forgiving linker. Used to be subtle about it. Ah well, subversivity works so much better when exposed. What is that scorching smell? Could be sense of humour warping in the noon-day sun.

Forgive me if thee hast been misjudged.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Iraq Out-Of-Country Voting Program

NEW !!! Official Iraq Out-Of-Country Voting Program site. All you ever wanted to know about the Out-Of-Country Voting Program.

Iraq Out Of Country Voting Program ~ Arabic
Iraq Out Of Country Voting Program ~ Kurd
Iraq Out Of Country Voting Program ~ English

On 11 November the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This MoU authorises IOM to conduct an Out-of-Country Voting (OCV) Program on behalf of and under the supervision of the IECI. This program will enable many Iraqis living abroad to participate in the Iraqi National Assembly Election scheduled to take place on 30 January 2005.

Found at Streamtime.

Responsible Commenting

Hammorabi suspended comments several weeks ago. I am hardly surprised.

For some time we noticed irresponsible comments which insult others by many ways.

Some time disrespectful pictures or sites published without our consent.

We therefore, find it more suitable to block the comment section until more suitable way found.

Despite recent comments attempting to undermine this site, comments here shall remain. If you disagree with a sentiment of mine, fine - just say so. I challenge others from time to time myself. I'd rather you disagree then hold your tongue and boil away inside. If I have time and think you're sincere I might even reply. Request - please try to minimise foul language.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

New Blog

The Liberal Iraqi - Ali in Baghdad, he answers readers questions and tells a little about himself here.

New today: 1
Total: 90

(Note to bloggers - your messages are welcome. If you're asking to be blogrolled, please email as we don't always read the comments, cheers).

UPDATE: Ali changes blog name and tells more about himself here. Let him speak.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Iraq Election Link Special

What you've all been waiting for. What Iraqi bloggers have been saying about elections.

(Sorry if missed anyone, have like 89 blogs to read. Did me best with a bloglines feed but if you've posted "Iraq election" lately and it's been overlooked just shout and I'll do an update)

Abbas Kadhim posts that Abdul Aziz al-Hakim survives assassination and notes;

the Islamic Party withdrew from the elections, leaving the Sunni Arabs with a bunch of secular candidates. Very bad news for those who count on the elections to be meaningful.

Faiza writes of people's fears

The Iraqi elections are drawing near, and people are afraid of what will happen. There are daily threats against whoever distributes the election cards, of killing, and the burning of his house and workplace.

Rose shares her thoughts

I don’t want to vote based on religion. I want to choose what I think is right and best for my country.

Zeyad is concerned

The Independent Electoral Commission in Iraq has been far behind in educating Iraqi voters on the details of the voting system. I fear this can have catastrophic consequences on the whole process.

Ays has tough news from friends and family but still fits in a blog or two

the terrorists are threatening to bomb the elections' centers especially the Shia ones.
If the situation continues like that, I think the elections must be postponded.

Abu Khaleel is refreshingly frank

The problems in Iraq cannot be solved by just by having elections. They can be solved by democracy. Elections will not work. Democracy will.

Mohammed. at Iraq The Model bless's all the lists and says

First of all, lots of people and parties try to speak on behalf of Iraqis and I tell them "we're capable of expressing ourselves and no one can do play this role other than Iraqis themselves".

casts a vote of no confidence

I will NOT vote because :

* A report published by the Kurdistan Regional Government's Human Rights Ministry, announced that this year 130 Kurds have been beheaded in 2004 by terrorists. ( Voting for Iraq, means more Kurds killed in Iraq.

(And that's just the first reason).

Fayrouz provides valuable information with a list of candidates. She notes

Searching for candidates' names is like searching for a needle in a haystack. I guess most running parties are keeping a low profile for security reasons.

blogs expat low-down

Last Friday a conference was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE. A panel of Iraqi professors were present to inform us and educate us about the process of elections and explained how we, the Iraqi expats, can vote.

Raed doesn't sound impressed with sub-divisions

Federal Iraq is at the core of the US project in the Middle East, the dream of the bush-administration. Cutting Iraq apart, turning the country into small administrative cantons...

And Khalid barracks for honest fair play

without real guaranties that the elections will be clean and honest, without giving all parties a fair role in the poletical game, this elections are only a dor to hell.

Too right. In fact, that sums it all up rather well - wouldn't anyone in any country ask for that? A clean, honest election where all parties have a fair role in the political game ! (Oh damn. Who opened the door?)

UPDATE !!! Ali (Liberal Iraqi) makes lucid observation

I think that most Iraqis won't vote for the existing 'major' political parties in the future. This may not be so evident in the 1st election but I have no doubt that with the ones that will follow these parties will lose a lot of ground for the small more democratic and liberal parties.


Re Comments

My intention was to post a short excerpt from each blogger that might make a reader curious enough to follow the link and read the whole thing.

You might not like hearing it Jeffrey, but these excerpts belong to other bloggers who are entitled to speak freely and I'd appreciate you showing them and me some respect.

Iraq Election Blogs

Two new blogs that have sprung up around Iraq election coverage;

Iraq Elections Newswire - simple clean back to basics blogger template with atom feed and an oddly familiar sounding poster. Short posts. Pure news. Zen-like, and somehow soothing (no comments no blogroll no endorsements or verifications).

Iraq Elections Blog - wordpress, several co-authors, lengthier items, commentary and occasional image. Tone; hmm, hard to say. Mixed (comments, blogroll).

Looming Elections

A few blogs are springing up around Iraq's Election in January. I'll post some links to them shortly. In the meantime, a note on the election. While many in the media, both mainstream and blogstream refer to The Elections as "The Elections" (I do it myself all the time) it is probably worth mentioning that the main task in this upcoming event is too;

1. Elect a 275-seat National Assembly.

I am sure there must be some other main task but so far that's all I can find out. Have been scouring the web for procedural instructions but not much luck so far.

Anyway, then the elected 275-seat National Assembly will draft a constitution that will "lay the foundations" for a permanent government (it says so in this article somewhere, about six paragraphs down).

So the task for voters is to elect candidates who can be trusted in drafting a constitution which is going to form the basis, if all goes well, of Iraq's complete and utter future, politically, human rightly, and reconstructively.

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