Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blog Counts !

Here it is! Arabic Blog Count ! With a last known total of 146 blogs in Arabic! (Imagine illuminated numeric animation - 146! 146!) .

Where will it end (will it ever). Blog counting has officially become an identifiable trend. Never missing an opportunity to squeeze in a few more links, the Lebanese blogger forum has blogrolled 53 Lebanese blogs within two short months and is still regularly quantifying the shape, colour and "texture" of the blogosphere.

There is no doubt about it, people love blogs.

Arabic Blog Count is counted by ihath and Mohammed, please contact them if you would like your Arabic blog counted.

Carnival of the relatives

Dad posted a very interesting post that he's been notified about in his e-mail.. Mark Manning, a California documentary film maker who was recently in Fallujah to talk with some of the Iraqis who managed to live through the U.S. "clean-up" of that city, wrote it..

Mom posted about life after 1991..

Hassan posted talking about a practical joke he was going to make on his friends.. It didn't work! He promised to post photos if he can. Just a reminder Hassan, I wish you could see your face when we made a practical joke on you.. I couldn't see it because I was too busy laughing at you :)

HNK posted updating about her life..

I posted about children of today, and how war is affecting their innocence.. I can say that war has affected me very much. All my ideas of "people are all good but the ones who are forced not to be" are vanishing, because too many things proved me wrong.

Monday, March 28, 2005

New look

It is done. Recent comments linked to the sidebar, two sidebars and a new header.

Credits; header collaged images from Faiza and FreeFoto, recent comments from BloggerHacks and Mohammed who said where to find it and Khalid who suggested it. Instruc's for two sidebars and building own header here and here. Encouraging noises; Aunt Najma (great find) and fjb.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Two sidebars, balanced blogging?

Ever wondered what Iraq Blog Count might look like with two sidebars? Visit the test blog ~ ibctest, to see what Iraq Blog Count looks like with two sidebars.

What do you think? It means that all the blogs are linked in one roll, and the handy nifty tricks and archives and recent comments are linked in the other. I kind of like it, but the margins in the middle are still a bit squidgy (there was a bit more of a gap between the main body and each sidebar originally, but for some reason what I see from the blogger preview button is not what I see after publishing).

That test link one more time ~ ibctest. What do you reckon, two sidebars?

UPDATE; consensus so far - two sidebars it is. Review in progress here.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Puzzle for code genii

Somebody asked if there was a way Iraq Blog Count could add recent comments to the sidebar - so that visitors can tell at the click of a mouse which threads are live. Which is an excellent idea really. Except that it doesn't seem to be one of Blogger's standard features. So instead of pestering Blogger about it, I thought maybe we could have a go first. I had a look at the code for "previous posts" and thought that code for "previous comments" would probably be similar.

The closest I could get was this;

{h2 class="sidebar-title"}Previous Comments{/h2}
{ul id="recently"}
{a href="{$BlogCommentNumber$}" title="comment permalink"}
{$BlogCommentDateTime$}{/a} {$BlogCommentAuthor$}{/a}{/li}

But I am not a genius, and it doesn't quite work. Please don't laugh - I trained as an artist not a code writer. If anyone can come up with something else, preferably something that works, that would be wonderful. Wouldn't it be great to think we helped improve blogspot in return for all Blogger has done (free) for bloggers.

Suggestions welcome, the thread is all yours.

(Replacing <> with { and } or [ and ] so that we can see it. If you're logged into blogger, the How do I show a list of previous posts in my sidebar? blogger help item may or may not be useful).

UPDATE! Thanks to Mohammed, BloggerHacks and a mysterious (or not) agent of change, Iraq Blog Count now has "Recent Comments" linked to the sidebar. It takes a wee while to load, so for now it's down the bottom of the page with the "Previous Posts" and "Archives" links (blogroll getting a bit long, working on an alternative solution for that too).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Carnival of the relatives

Dad posted three times, one talking about how we missed the spring, it reminds me of how we used to make lots of picnics and trips from school.. Last year, the only picnic was to the next school's garden!
And another post is an interesting update over the same issue of everyweek, the confessions.
And he also posted his grandfather's photo.. Which he'll be using as his profile photo for now and on.

Hassan posted about how small-minded some people can be.

HNK posted today, I'll read it after I post this..

I posted three times, one about what's happening, with a slideshow of Aya.. Another one about the terrible news from Basrah, that are still not so clear.. And the other is just an announcement for updates on the previous story.

Okay, seems like Raghda and Dalia are too busy with homework.. I'll hopefully write something in the next couple of days, if you're interested.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

New Iraqi Blogs

Hello. First time to post here.

Just wanted to bring your attention to two Iraqi blogs that have been online for a while.

First, Beth-Nahrain, by Nancy, a Chaldean Iraqi girl who lives and studies in the US.

And Dr. Najeeb Hanoudi, who might as well be the most senior Iraqi blogger! An esteemed 70 year old ophthalmologist living in Baghdad, who has been offering his views on the Iraqi scene for quite some time now.

Please welcome the latest newcomers. Also, you might want to check out my Iraqi Blogs page on my main blog, right under the flag on the sidebar. It is the most definitive list of Iraqi blogs that you can find on the internet, and does not include non-Iraqi blogs.


New today: 2

Monday, March 21, 2005

Christian Iraq

Here is a new Iraqi blog. I need some rest. I need some privacy. I need some peace of mind. Why do I get this way every 20 March?

Read Zeyad's post.

Happy belated Palm Sunday to my family inside and outside of Iraq.

take care,

New Today: 1
Total: 109

Friday, March 18, 2005

A War in Words - An Iraqi Family Diary

"A War in Words - An Iraqi Family Diary" on CBC Newsworld (channel 26 inToronto) at 8pm Sunday March 20th, is the result of long hours of work, here in Baghdad, in Amman and in Canada.
Its the last and longest peace that CBC did about me, and my family.
I hope you like it:)

Carnival of the relatives

Welcome to the third carnival of relatives.. Let's start from the oldest.

Dad posted twice, A joke (Two cows' tale) and an update over the TV programme about the criminals cought by the police.

Mom posted another post, part three of her life story!

Unlce Ahmed posted as well, talking about his own story, since 1988 till now.. War after war after war, a never-ending story.

Hassan posted about flooded baghdad, he also included some photos..

I posted about Saddam, things he's done and I wanted you to know.

HNK posted as well, updates about her grades and school problems.

We've been having electricity problems, the neighborhood's generator was broken but it got fixed today.. The electricity wasn't enough for me to write a post.

Our new school is ALMOST finished! A student told me that they'll open it in about 5 days, and the American soldiers will come to do that.. We'll see.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Beautiful thing

Oh, and we have 108. Noooon, who posts about tolerance ~ a beautiful thing.

New today; 1
Total; 108

For those times when you need to discuss something

The Kurdistan Bloggers Union blog has revamped and now features a forum.

At No Northern Iraq, Iraq Politic Forum ( you can discuss Northern Iraq, Southern Kurdistan and Iraq. Very equitable, considering it's founders prefer Southern Kurdistan.

Kurdistan bloggers invite you to introduce your blog, register or not register (again, highly equitable choices) and generally hang out. Kurdistan bloggers seek answers and er...hmm. What else might they be seeking... I noticed a topic discussing the relative virtues of Lebanese and Iraqi women, but couldn't find the one about Kurdistan boys or men, I guess it must be there somewhere.

Actually, it seems like pretty much an anything goes forum with usual etiquette requests, run by some young guys who understand the need for outlets where our minds can dribble.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Iraqi goverment supports Mojahideen!

Good morning, afternoon and evening, wherever you are...
Its a beautiful shiny day here in Baghdad, its Saturday morning, and it hardly stopped raining since Thursday morning, or the night before, and till last night, the rain was very beautiful too: it brings hope, and it smells beautiful, and it cleans everything, including the sadness in my heart, I love rain! its one of the romantic things in life. I took two long walks under the rain, and went back totally wet, but happy, still, it would be great if they invent something to auto clean the glasses while raining, this is the only thing I missed during my walks;)
Today... The sun is strong and proud, its not hiding behind any clouds, I feel like it can't wait to enter every house and meet everyone to say good morning, with a big smile on the face, what a beautiful silly sun:)
Its important, to learn to get happiness, from the small things in life, I had to spend a lot of time with a friend that can't appreciate the beauty of what he sees, if we are in a beautiful garden, he would only notice the broken tree on the side and talk about it, if we see a beautiful house, he only notices the dirty window and talks about it, if we have a great meal, he only notices that all the spoons aren't alike, and that one of them belongs to another set. my friend, suspects everyone, and never trusts anyone, I know people that work with us, that have hearts of gold, that refuse to take money sometimes in return of their work cause they love us, that are willing to offer anything they have if we need it, but yet, he doesn't trust them, and thinks that they want to rob him somehow, one day.
I can't help not to feel sorry for him, he is lonely, and will always be, no matter how many people are around him.
Never mind! I am just mumbling in a loud voice:)
on one of the Iraqi TV channels, a governmental channel, there is a daily show that started recently, where police, interrogates real criminals that were arrested in Iraq, in front of the camera, we don't get to see the police faces, we only hear their voices, while the camera is focused on the criminals' faces, zooming in and out, all the time.
those criminals are "terrorists" that the Iraqi police and the un-national guard arrested, and they are the ones that are doing -supposedly- the beheading and the killing of the national guard and police operations, and also the kidnapping and stealing, rape and thefts, and every other thing that you might think of.
The police ask them: why do you do that?
For money, sir!
How much are you getting paid?
100$ for an operation, sir!
And what do you do with that money?
We buy alcohols and drugs, sir!
What is your advice for all the terrorists that are still fighting?
I advice them to surrender, sir, and to cooperate with the authorities, sir!

This is exactly what each and every one of them said, since the show started, and till today, showing many of them a day, and then you learn details about some of those criminals: they confess that they kidnapped girls and raped them, then slaughtered them. One of them, has a big beard, and then they tell us he is gay and was caught having sex with another man inside the mosque.
Another one, confessed that his mother is a pimp, and that his friends used to come to his house to "have fun" with his sisters.
And the story goes on..
And while these "confessions" are about to be over, this question should always come:
where does that money come from?
from the Syrian intelligence, sir!
and then the policeman voice, preaches them, telling them how low they are, and what kind of disgusting creatures they are, and how they stained the word "jihad" and how hypocrite they are, pretending to be mojahideen while they are hardly humans, and the policeman would also say: if you were real mojahideen we -police- would have been the first to follow you, you are thieves, rapists and thugs. Can you see dear audience? Those are the mojahideen that you hear about in your country, those are the ones that are fighting, those are the so-called resistance, low scum that worth nothing, real Iraqis should help capture them whenever you see them, they deserve more than just killing, they deserve to be killed a hundred times, if they attack only Americans, if they were honest, we would have been the first to follow them!
end of story, Khalid's turn to speak :)
people in the street talk about this show, and they have different opinions, a lot say that its all a theatre just to discredit resistance and to blame Syria, the Iraqi so called government is waging its tale to the Americans and trying to find more things against Syria to support the issue of their masters, other think that those people are real people and that all what is said is true.
I believe that it might be true, and it might be a theatre, but its obviously a "designed" show for a particular purpose, to discredit resistance and attack Syria, and that all those chosen to be on TV, are actually scum and deserve all punishment for everything they did, they are mercenaries that are paid to kill, and attack national guards and police more than Americans, and beside there acts, they kill civilians and rape women and kidnap people, so they deserve all the punishment that they will get, but:
what about the rest of the resistance, that aren't put on TV? The honest people? The ones that are dedicating their lives to fight the occupation? The ones that volunteer all their money and time, and risk their lives without getting paid? does that mean that, if someone, was fighting the Americans while he isn't gay or a rapist, and wasn't paid by the Syrians, and doesn't kidnap people, and fights the Americans cause he have faith in his cause, if someone fights for moral reasons, and kills so many American solders every day, would he get the full support of the Iraqi government? :*)
Another question: if the police would follow any real mojahideen at once, then why don't they start their own mojahideen squad and fight the Americans, to be a good example for the rest of the Iraqis? :*)
man this is funny! Such a naive propaganda, with bad broadcasting quality and horrible shooting too, I could have done much better work myself, with the small experience I have in the film making world! Man they can't do anything right even the propaganda!but what is even more funny, is the position that the Iraqi "government" finds itself in:
they want to make a show that effects people, I mean, real people, people in the street, so they cant just say the crap that they always say in the media cause they know that nobody would listen and nobody would watch, so they forgot that Americans are our liberators and all, and the modified their attitude to be acceptable in the street, and to do that, they adopted a totally anti American/occupation attitude, supporting attacking the Americans, in order to incriminate those who attack the national guard basing on that they are fighting the wrong enemy, and that national guard and police are Iraqis! And at the same time, they are honoring mojahideen by saying that jihad is a very honorable value and that those criminals couldn’t be mojahideen (which i agree with), which means that they support the others that they don’t show on TV, who are the real mojahideen!
The Iraqi government, through this show confessed without knowing, that the regular Iraqi person, is anti American and anti occupation, so they tried to look anti American to attract viewers.
And at the same time the government confessed that jihad is a very legitimate and honorable thing, as long as it's done right: by attacking the American soldiers only.
Thank you very much propaganda makers!
You know what else is funny?
A joke, I received by email that I would like to share with you, hope to draw a smile on your face:)
An old Arab lived close to New York City for more than 40 years. He would have loved to plant potatoes in his garden, but he is alone, old and weak. His son is in college in Paris, so the old man sends him an e-mail. He explains the problem:
"Beloved son, I am very sad, because I can't plant potatoes in my garden. I am sure, if only you were here, you would help and dig up the garden for me, I love you, Your Father"
The following day, the old man receives a response e-mail from his son:
"Beloved Father, Please don't touch the garden. It's there that I have hidden 'the THING'.I love you too, Ahmed"
At 4pm the US Army, The Marines, the FBI, the CIA and the Rangers visit the house of the old man, take the whole garden apart, search every inch, but can't find anything. Disappointed they leave the house. A day later, the old man receives another e-mail from his son.
"Beloved Father, I hope the garden is dug up by now and you can plant your potatoes. That's all I could do for you from here. I love you, Ahmed."
Thank you Katie:)
Have a good day all of you :)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Carnival of the relatives

Let's start from the oldest, dad posted a nice real story about the man who turned to a donkey.. Really interesting! Reminds me of my grandpa, the person who named me by the way!
Dad also posted about those criminals being shown on TV almost everyday.

Mom posted twice, in our family's blog, introducing herself. She seems to attract grandmothers a lot.. It's really nice to read what my parents write! (Read: Part I, Part II).

Hassan posted three times, one about Giuliana Sgrena, which I talked about too.. But my post was mainly about the daily victims of the same accident.

The second, about the advantages and dis-advantages of moving with grandma and grandpa. For me, last time grandma came here, we used to have at least one fight a day! I myself had a difficulty understanding anything of what Hassan says when he came to Mosul, he had to repeat and repeat!!I feel pity for all of them.

The third about the need for speed.. An attitude of average Iraqis.

HNK was so busy this week with her homework.. She posted three lines only this week(If we counted the title)

I wrote three times this week, one about Giuliana Sgrena, one about our family blog, and one about my neighbor's getting arrested.

Dalia wrote a great story.. Wise men always make nice stories. While Raghda, as always, is asking you to SMILE.

Okay, no more.. Till Aya starts blogging, Raghda, you're the cutest in the group :)

Monday, March 07, 2005

Baghdad Bacon & Eggs

Shaggy treats us to his perspective with Baghdad Bacon & Eggs. I'm surprised we let this one fly under the radar for so long. Welcome Shaggy!

New Today: 1
Total: 107

Sunday, March 06, 2005

A Family from Mosul

We made a family blog for the whole family so that mom can blog with us.. She says we don't give her enough time to write, I think she's too afraid of the reactions.. I shall warn you not to write harsh comments, I don't think anyone will like it, especially mom. I invited her to Gmail and she has her own e-mail account now.

All the family will be blogging in the new one, temporarily until mom gets used to blogging, and maybe then, she and dad will be blogging there.. I'm a little bit afraid of the comments' section there, it's on. It'll be a trial for me to know what will happen if I put it back here..

I also am talking my oldest cousin in Mosul into starting his own blog.. He seems to like the idea, I think he'll start one as soon as he can. You won't get bored of seeing more of my family blogging, because each one has his own perspective of what's going on.

Okay, enough staring at the monitor, I can't think of anything else to write but this little joke that only Iraqis will understand.. It actually is an SMS I received from my aunt, I liked it ALOT.

When you are alone, when you feel cold, when you are in darkness.. I will come on a white horse, under your window and say: "Kaaaaaz... kaaaaaaz...".

Little notes for non-Iraqis: Kaz is what you call kerosene, and those who sell it shout at the top of their voices while passing through the streets, on a horse dragging a cart: Kaaaaaas.

New Today; 1
Total; 106


Administrators are working on comment spam prob. Most rubbish has been removed. In meantime, if visitors see odd comments please ignore or check user profile before replying - some twit has been posing as members of this blog using fake profiles to post in the comments.

This is an admin message and as such requires no comment provision. If you have an issue, just email.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Phew, been busy elsewhere. Came back to find almost the only commenters with any sense of decorum are the teenagers. The rest of you, the "ones" who have been creating multiple user names and posing as other posters - your behavior is shameful. Thanks to the visitors who emailed about it *rolls eyes*, those boys are pitiful.

Anyway after cleaning up a few fraudulent imposturings in the comments, thought I'd follow through with a pithy entertainment break for anyone whose interested. Here's Lindsay Moran's site about her recent book "Blowing My Cover". Link to Lindsay (click).

You can read chat transcript from a recent Washingtonian chatback session with Lindsey by following this link. Contains great reply commentary from Lyndsay, who does "dumb-blonde/brunette/brick" admirably.

Lindsay Moran: I can say that I was completely baffled by our administration's insistence on going to war and was left, like many people, to wonder what were the ulterior motives. Oil? Revenge? - Washingtonian transcript.

Lindsay Moran worked with the CIA for a few years but had a gutsfull of all the corny crass subterfuge and quit shortly after US administrators declared war on Iraq. Why? Not hard to see really, the case for war was a shonky case all along. If a few hundred million ordinary pro-peace civilians saw through war propaganda, it's no surprise a few agents cottoned on too. I mean as far as excuses go, the current justification for mashing up a land with explosives and poorly executed counter-espionage in the name of "human rights" is pretty weak.

Oh yes and while we're on entertaining, be sure to keep an eye on Najma's new weekly feature. "Insider info", so to speak.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Carnival of the relatives

Yes, this SHOULD be useful.. I think it'll be a great idea if I made a list of my relatives' post of each week and some thoughts on them. I'll post this on my blog too..

HNK, posted today. She talked about her latest exams, her friends, and her GREAT, PERFECT and GENIUS sister :) It's LUCK sis, two of the few things I'm really good at are teasing you, and torturing my little niece!

Dad posted twice this week, both are e-mails he's received from those Yahoo! Groups he's joined.. You'll get lost in his e-mail inbox, it's full of those stuff!

Hassan posted twice this week, I get happy whenever I see a new post, he's the only one of my cousins who really blogged, and not just posted ones or twice! CAN YOU HEAR ME QAIS? Where's your serious blogging?
On Hassan's first post this week, 22 DOWN, he talked about those terror groups being caught in Mosul. We see a bunch of them everyday on TV, they make me disgusted. The someone who's interviewing them constantly ask them why they call this Jihad. They mostly get to the state in which they answer, when asked what they are, "I'm scum sir", "We're doing this to terror".. I think dad is preparing a post about those too.. In his second post, he explains what I think is the reason behind Raghda's absence from posting!

And, my favorite blogger, Najma, has posted two times this week two, one is this, and the other is mostly whining.

That's all this week, I hope I'll be able to continue doing this..

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Relevant issue related to recent commentary

Disturbing. The Whitehouse has been trumpeting away about bringing freedom and democracy to the world, but is at this very moment trying to block UN documents that ensure women's freedom.

The US Government has insisted a United Nations document on women's equality makes clear that abortion is not a fundamental right... smh

This latest infringement on human rights has implications for women everywhere. The UN is, or was supposed to be, representative of many nations. If such a document is passed by the UN, it effects not only women in the US but women all over the world. And this is indicative of a, eek, general conservative global trend. Women's rights are quietly and insidiously under fire. Women make up just over half of the worlds total population, a huge group of people that encompasses all ethnicities, all nationalities and all religions.

It is not hard to see why a predominantly male administration wants to control women's lives;

Women now own about 2 per cent of all land but produce half the food grown, according to UN figures.

In many societies, the right for women to own and inherit property is neglected and in some countries it is forbidden.

So, a male administration seeking to "rebuild" the world is using the old "bash the girls" card to try and garner support from other men who would otherwise be in opposition to US administrative "democracy plans".

Another reason why we should be writing 50-50% govt gender representation into our worlds constitutions. Otherwise we just end up with boys trying to pass off trash like that, flanked by girls who only manage to stay "in with them" by agreeing with everything the boys say. Like Sauerbrey and Rice.

Anything less then 50-50% gender representation in governing bodies signals a pattern of imbalance, which intensifies over time. Until we invariably end up with war. I'm really sorry all you peaceful men out there - but you are just going to have to campaign harder to get your sisters into parliamentary, governmental and UN positions. Otherwise we will see what we see happening all over the world right now; a handful of male powerbrokers flanked by a few minority representatives who survive by telling the boys what they want to hear; "oh my, what a big war you have" and "goodness! How huge is your revolution!". Flanked by tokenism.

(Yes, you revolutionists need to give this some serious thought. Just look at the Ukraine, still has a male president. And how many females in his cabinet aye? Exactly. What was the point in going to all that trouble of overthrowing the old regime if people are just going to recreate the same old thing. Now change can be good so I'm not knocking that, I'm just saying - how are we going to replace the things we remove? And what are we going to replace the removed things with?)

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