Sunday, May 29, 2005

New search engine - search in Arabic

Sort of new anyway, it was copyrighted sometime in 2005.

UPDATE about domains

Nothing really new to say here, as Najma and Haidar point out, .iq domains are still not available for your average non-corporate blogger or site builder (although blogs are). According to this can register .iq domains but only if you are an institution or business. Marcaria .iq FAQ; "in Iraq, a private person cannot register a domain".

I'm sure a wayward lawyer could tackle this one for loopholes, after all bloggers have their own share market, trade daily in words and broker link deals all the time. Blogging is a business. Blogging is educational, heck it's an institution. Bloggers (whether in Iraq, Iran or California) should be able to register a domain name under those specifications.

But really, why are .iq domains not available to anybody in Iraq yet? Two little letters? Can't be that hard.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I expect we can expect a bit of opinion polling targeting constitutions in the next few weeks/months.

US Steve has already sent a link to a blog he's set up with his notes for constitutional discussion.

Bearing in mind that middle eastern politician on the mountain top with his flaming passion and stone tablets etching out his ten commandments while in communion with his lord. Well it seemed easy enough at the time; thou shalt not kill, steal, rape or pillage. What happened? Why, over 2000 years later, are we still coming to terms in writing with what our inner gods tell us (or would if we listened).

Anyway, Steve's email would suggest this is a discussion the whole world should be having about it's respective constitutions (or lack of). So, am throwing this wide open for anyone who happens by. Iraq needs a constitution, Australia needs a bill of human rights (bit of a disconnect between here and here) and the US govt needs to be held accountable to it's original document and stop torturing people and breaching international human rights conventions as well as it's own constitutional obligations. Seeing as it has the largest armory in the world and the potential to cause more harm then any civilian in Iraq ever could.

Questions !!!

Can a constitution disarm a nuclear warhead?

What is a constitution when our leaders deign themselves above it?

Is property more important then having your fingernails pulled?

How many constitutions over time have wound up subverted by scurrilous self-appointed deities?

Does Iraq have, buried in it's history, a founding document that encompasses equality and freedom?

Do we all have, buried in our psyche, a founding blueprint that encompasses the same?

Can a constitution ensure these things?

Or is a constitution simply a path, along which we trundle our subconscious carts, our bound and packaged ideals.

And if a constitution is a path - what lies at the end? Is it really Utopia? How do we get there? How do we get there when we have traveled so far and so long and for so many centuries and have still not arrived?

Update; net constitution.

Iraqi blog hosting service !!! NEW !!! First Ever !!!

Someone sent a link to a new Iraqi blog hosting service. No idea who's behind it - could be anyone. Anyway, it's here, the blog service is run from here, there is a sort of a messagey board thing here, some news feeds, some info... and a bit from the "about Iraq" page...
Iraq enjoys a very important position, as it has been cradle of inspiration miracles and virtues throughout the history of Prophets, Imams, and self denying pious men.
Part of me wants to say yay yay woohoo Iraqi's are doing it for themselves, and part of me is saying hang about - this could be the perfect front for almost any kind of scurrilous activity. Just like blogspot. Which is also a cradle of inspiration miracles and virtues, prophets and self denying pious men.

What do you think? Am still waiting to hear from Haidar, and if he has a blog too.

Implications; new blog spike, might have to start counting again.

UPDATE from Haidar;
Some informations about our blog hosting program:

users can automatically have profesinal blog addresses like If they want they can email me and have blog address like and if they like I can give them UNLIMITED email addresses like for free, So they can give these email acounts for free to their users. Also users can upload photos directly to their blog. and can have some categories in their blog. ofcoarse our blog hosting has all other regular features that are in other blog hosting services.

I am 26 years old Iraqi guy living in Iran for many years. designing websites and services like this are one of my interests.


Happy Birthday link to Najma, who just outlived Anne Frank by two years. She's right of course, their diaries are completely different. Although I'm not entirely sure how innocent Ann Frank really was, she devoted entire diary entries to drooling over her only available love interest. Poor girl. Shudder to think what she'd have been like with a blog. (Lol, just having a read here, omg, Albert Dussel was a dentist).

Anyway, new leaf for Najma;
I don't want to satisfy my readers anymore, I am not seeking for perfection, nor entertainment, I'm seeking for satisfaction, going to bed feeling that I have told you what I had to tell you, not what will please you...
Congrats, the only way to blog.

Rambling wife roams...

I wonder if she is gonna write when she gets there...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The real life numbers

This is turning into a bad habit - everytime the site looks empty and I go to post Najma beats me by minutes, will make this short so you can scroll down to the carnival; just wanted to draw attention to A Free Writer who is drawing attention to the Iraq Living Conditions Survey.

Most other news sources quoting abysmality of situation (and it is) but I can't help noticing the length of the questionnaire - 50% of interviews took between 60 and 105 minutes each to complete, with a medium interview length of 83 minutes.

The people who took the time to answer those questions must really be keen to see change, and after several decades of war, sanctions and marionette regime it's little wonder. So let's not let them down eh, it's up to media hacks (small and large) to keep on keeping on about this one - support Iraq in it's right to freedom, health and nourished children by abolishing war and fiendish string-pullers (various factions).

Carnival of the relatives

Here is the latest posts of my relatives this week:

Dad posted a small post about AL-Qaim, which as most of the latest post are now, is getting lots of comments and discussions.. A Micro Version of Falluja.

I posted about a day we (I, HNK and Aya) spent alone, at our house, in the middle of the war.. A Day from Hell.

HNK changed her e-mail, and posted about the same day I talked about.. The Nightmare.

Raghda posted photos of her cat (Bushbush)'s new kittens.. And another post of some proverbs she liked.

Sunshine posted about one more adventure, and a new way to spend the Eid.. Leaving The House.
She, however had to stop posting for a while since her exams started.. But she reminds us "The sun will shine again".

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Good News

Latest further update on the Douglas Wood saga;
Hopes for the release of Douglas Wood soared yesterday after the hostage was allowed to make a phone call in which he assured the Australian cleric Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly he was alive and well.

"I'm all right," said the hostage of 20 days, before repeating the Arabic term for thank you: "Shukran, shukran." more.

Current Australian prime minister John Howard says;

"We'd all hope that it's right. But we'd also be aware in a situation like this, there are always people who may be representing to [the mufti] things that are not correct."

(Stop laughing, this is not the place to bringing up WMD's, and Doug's life is still at stake).

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Update - Baghdad Stock Exchange

Looks like the Sheik found Doug.

Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali;
"While everyone I meet is being very careful with me, I have been assured that Mr Wood is safe and well and that the deadline [for Australia to pull out its troops] has now been extended indefinitely.

"While I am told the conditions for his release are likely to be strict, I am led to believe they will arrive in one or two days."

Ever the mindful vendor, the Shura Council of the Mujahideen of Iraq have been checking fine-print and reviewing Sheik Alhilali's trading history;

"They have now had time to access some of his speeches and work. They know everything there is to know about him.

"But reading between the lines, they are also very aware he will be debriefed at the end of his mission, if he likes it or not.

"As a result of this, information from the kidnappers is now reaching him, but at the same time, everyone is remaining two steps back." more

Summary; It's probably advisable anyone trading on the Baghdad Stock Exchange invest prudently - it's a cut-throat high risk market out there, loaded with volatile commodities.

I'd say the Shura Council of the Mujahideen have bargain power so long as their commodities are fresh, the Mufti has researched his options but understands he could lose consumer confidence by being over speculative, and Downer - well telling Downer to button it was priceless.

Further Update; as usual, nobody knows what to believe anymore.

Further further update; Canberra Times (paper edition) issues further statement. Mufti;

"I ask god that Alexander Downer and his office make no statements".

Unclear if new prayer or Canberra Times repeat of Paul McGeough Sydney Morning Herald updates last week. Am not religious but, extra prayer wouldn't go astray. Paul McG is getting fustrated. Everyone else getting bored. When will war end. Sorry to not be tactful this update.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Iraq's insurgency, death with no rules

Iraq's insurgents decided that Iraq would not be governed by the elected government. After the elections of January 30, they also determined that a government elected under the American occupation would not govern it. But how are they are going to impose their will?
You can see the complete post on my blog

Carnival of the relatives

This is going to be a quick carnival.. I have an exam tomorrow (The Arabic teacher LOVES exams).

Mufti operates independently on Baghdad share market

I shouldn't laugh, it's not funny, peoples lives are in danger - but here;

Meet "Sheik Taj el-Din al Hilaly, spiritual leader and would-be rescuer". Sheik Hilaly has been sent to Iraq with a donation to (hopefully?) secure the release of hostage Douglas Wood.

Paul McGeough;
The sheik hopes to make contact with the hostage takers... he said he was treating Baghdad's criminal and insurgent world as a market in which he had to find the right trader.
You really have to read the whole thing.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mufti tells Downer to be more less helpful

Comments by Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer on Al-Jazeera may hinder efforts to free Australian hostage Douglas Wood, Australia's Islamic spiritual leader has warned.

Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali told SBS radio last night that it would be helpful if Mr Downer did not make comments to the media.

Downer to Al Ja zeera;

"You know, killing people and hurting people - it's just not going to help Iraq"
Al Ja Zeera to Downer;
Why, then, isn't there a light at the end of the tunnel and the coalition forces determining a date for that departure and maybe that would help pacify the situation?
And now, taking the advice of mufti Sheik Taj Aldin, I'll refrain from further comment (not easy).

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Abu Khaleel on super-patriotism

Letters from Abu Khaleel.

Over the past year, I was frequently taken aback by the ferocity of the attacks (and, sometimes the abuse) directed at me when criticizing the policies of the present American administration in Iraq. I was fascinated by those people. I began calling them 'American Saddamists' because they cannot distinguish between country and government.... or leader. more

I just felt like linking the guy, he gets a lot of flack yet somehow maintains an admirable philosophical approach throughout it all.

I'm guessing there cannot possibly be that many mean people in the world, so at least half of our 'ferocious loyalists' are probably frauds. If that's any consolation (and I'm not sure it is).

Friday, May 06, 2005

Carnival of the relatives

I know, last week I missed it.. I was too busy in Baghdad to write it, I wouldn't have posted any way if I had time cuz they don't have Internet at grandma's.. Anyway, you won't miss anything, it's all here, carnival of the relatives for 2 weeks:

Dad posted: "Letting in the draft", in which he put an article he wanted his readers to read.
He also posted two posts in the family blog: One is a definition of the Quran, while the other is just links he found interesting..

Uncle Ahmed very quickly updating, sent us about 10 lines..

Hassan posted once in those two weeks: Fire arms in Iraq.

HNK posted: "I will not wait anymore", and another post summarizing what she's been doing these days.

Dalia posted a video of a kitten she's found once.

AND, I have a new relative ONLINE.. Let's meet, sunshine in days of my life. She's got pretty good adventures.. She's the niece of aunt Rose.

I posted a "No more Mr.Nice guy" post on my birthday, another one planning the journey to Baghdad, then what I did in Baghdad in "Talking to myself"..
AND also posted a link to the news about the trial of the Abu Ghraib woman, with my personal view of the judgment.. Which reminds me of this: Marine cleared over Falluja death

Video of the killing last November, which was taken by a US cameraman, was flashed around the world. It came during a bloody operation to recapture the rebel-held city. In sworn statements, the unnamed marine corporal said he had shot three insurgents in self-defense in the mosque on 13 November, believing they posed a threat to him and his fellow marines.

Which brings up an important issue, a reader of my blog mentioned it accidentally in an e-mail.. If an Iraqi soldier(or let's say a mujahid), shot an American soldier (Or a citizen) who he thought was holding a gun although he was lying helplessly on the ground of a MOSQUE (Or a church, or a temple).. Would any of you be satisfied if the soldier was not even judged? Even if you said yes, I wouldn't believe you, talking is much easier than doing.

Tell me now, a soldier, holding a gun, pointing at you, you can't see what's in his mind, what he's been through, or what he has come here for.. What you know is that he's a foreigner, holding a gun in YOUR country, and might kill you at anytime since you're always a threat to him.. Is it wrong to kill that man? Is it wrong to defend yourself? Self defense?

I'm playing on both sides now, convicting the American soldier in the news and defending the mojahid, yes, the one who fights for HIS COUNTRY and not for money.. Both for self defense. What's the difference?
A uniform (The soldier wears), an order (The soldier has with nothing to worry about if the order was cruel since the judgments are almost nothing), a country (The mojahid defends).. They both have families, the soldier's and the Mojahid's both will worry about them..

Anti coalition as a whole, pro some individuals, remember? This soldier, this soldier, this soldier, and much more, are not included in the individuals...

Note: I AM defending someone here, the mujahid (Read this link if you can't remember), the person who rarely exists now..

Galloway update

A post about the UK for change, just to be multi-cultural. Galloway won a seat from Blair.

The Guardian;
London and the south-east delivered the heaviest blows to Labour, heightening the party's fears that it has been seriously damaged by the Iraq war and signs of its vote being eroded by the Tories and Lib Dems.

The most extraordinary result was secured by the maverick former Labour MP George Galloway, who defeated the Blairite MP Oona King, the culmination of a bad tempered campaign in Bethnal Green and Bow.

In a seat with a large Muslim population, Mr Galloway's party, the Respect Coalition, contrasted his opposition to the war with Ms King's decision to support the government.more.
Ok just to quit fooling around - Galloway is an ex-Labour MP who was tossed out by Blair for his stance on peace.

Can't say I know a lot about Galloway, but I guess, someone who is prepared to speak out against his own party's line even when it means being ex-communicated has principals. The guy sounds stubborn as. If he wasn't a politician he'd probly have ended up a blogger, I mean, the man named his new party "Respect".

Well anyway with the international intervention all of the interest in Iraq elections, US elections, Aus elections, Ukraine elections, Polish elections and UK elections, there is no doubt about it, the world is a global community now. All of our actions are interwoven. Every one of these elections had participants in other countries attempting to not barrack for least preferred candidates - regardless of eligibility to vote. And why? Because the policies of our governments impact on people in other nations. War, trade deals, Kyoto emissions - our actions impact on others more immediately and devastatingly then ever. Which means, we must find solutions without physically ripping each other to shreds. We just have to. Our world has shrunk, it cannot sustain us if we don't. And if we can't get our governments to understand this, well, then maybe we need to carry on thinking up ways of our own. Yes "we". Universally.

Don't be diappointed,

because, here it is, blog number 131!!

A relative of mine :)
Sunshine from days of my live!
talk about daily live of ateenaiger girl in iraq .and days of suffer and success.
The niece of aunt Rose! A blog so far, full of adventures..

New; 1

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Inside the military uniform - Mosul observations

My recent post was published on streamtime :

While today is Liberation Day in The Netherlands Iraq still has a long way ahead in gaining some daily peace.
From Mosul blogger Free Writer sent us this: Inside the military uniform - Mosul observations
To read the complete post go to above link of my blog.

A Free Writer

131 !!! ~ or maybe not

Oop, nearly missed one

Free Iraq ~ Imad Khadduri

New; 1
Total: 131 130

Update - double count, we already counted this one (thanks for noticing) can't get away with anything 'round here these days !

Count 130

Iraq Rising ~ Akbar

*The Junior Bushra's Blog* ~ Happy Bushra

The Junior Bushra's Creative Side ~ Happy Bushra

The Words That Come Out
~ ZZ

New; 4
Total; 130

Source; Fayrouz

(Naj, must have had same idea at same time)

One more..

Another one of HNK's classmates started blogging..

Her blog is: Best3sisters

She's 15, a moslawi, a female, a student and a classmate of HNK, that's all I know! Maybe she'll post more if you encourage her..

Let's see who's the first to comment there!!

New; 1
Total; 126

After the lull...

Lack of blogging might indicate apathy? Hah, not likely. Very dedicated individuals out there have been very busy...

The Jarrar family have been working with the MPT (Muslim Peacekeeping Team) and CPT (Christian Peacekeeping Team) in delivering medicinal aid to civilians, visit Raed's blog for more info, many pics of bags of medicine, receipts etc.

Ihath, Mohammed, "R", and Khalid are promoting bilingual blogging (language is too precious to lose ~ take it from someone who lost their parent's lingo thanks to "integration").

Streamtime are broadcasting and have started posting Arabic translations too.

Film-makers are making films, dentists could be busy tending teeth, and Niki, unsung behind scenes moderator, even finds time for a blog of her own (or two).

And speaking of reality based

I suppose you've all read this really weird post on
When George met Salam

"I know who you are," said Mr Galloway, warily eyeing Mr Pax, whose weblog gave the world an insight into the lives of ordinary Iraqis in the run-up to the US-led invasion...

"You welcomed the invasion of foreign armies into your country. I opposed it. So we are not going to agree on this, which is why I didn't think it would be productive to have a discussion with you and I do have to go now."
Que pasa? But, but, but...
But Mr Pax - whose real name has never been revealed - pressed the point. Galloway: "I just want to be honest with you. You can not demand that our armed forces occupy your country - that's a matter for us.
I suppose it was just all a very strange dream then, where this guy known as Peace Truce wrote about being bombed and how it quite sucked. And then he got famous and hung out with those rebels at the Guardian and sought out peace marches and stuff and was like, totally bent.

Yes, I guess, I had a dream. And now that I am awake, sigh, I am back in Kansas.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Baghdad family avoid limb loss by green grocer;
...Three minutes later, an explosion rocked the house. The windows rattled momentarily and a door slammed somewhere upstairs. I was clutching a corner of the living room rug where I had pulled it back to assure my aunt that there were no bugs living under it... more Riverbend
And more carrot relief from The Healing Kitchen;
Carrots are a highly nutritious vegetable with great restorative properties. Carrots can bring relieve to both constipation and diarrhoea. It can be used to expel mucus from the chest. A raw carrot poultice can be used to help the speed healing of wounds, varicose ulcers, burns, whitlows, boils, and abscesses. A broth made with half a kilogram of carrots to a litre of water, blended is good for chilblains, chapped skin, cold-sores and soothing itching from eczema.
The world could be a better place with more carrots.

Morale and controversy

This actually caught my eye in a local rag on the train today, it's splashed all over the place now (if you can call filler headings and bottom of page eyecatchers "splash").

Bad morale at the office? Letter shows terrorists have it, too

The military says U.S.-led forces have recovered a letter they believe is addressed to wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The letter was found during a raid in Baghdad a few days ago.

The military says the letter complains of low morale among Zarqawi's followers and about the incompetence of leaders in his terror network.

It says the letter is addressed to "the sheik" and praises him for being "a thorn in the mouth of the Americans."

I was all ready to write a post about how authentic the letter might be, and how struck I was by the literate and democratic approach these disgruntled insurgents have taken.

I was going to write a post that went something like;

It kind of sheds light on a few things really, and calls a few preconceptions into question. Far from the popularpolarised "terrorists driven by merciless and irreproachable leaders" hype, these guys have equitably just gotten together and written a letter to their commandant, a bit like you might do if you were a union member. I mean, how many other armies in the world cultivate foot soldiers with the gumption to question command center operations? It sounds almost democratic, which is more then can be said for certain pro-combatant armchair bloggers who ban guest-posters the moment "friends" question "the party line" (remember the days when blogging was supposed to all be about independence and saying what you couldn't say anywhere else?).

So what does "the letter" say? A few things really, whoever wrote the letter isn't afraid to discuss difference or air grievance (openly expresses leadership incompetence complaint) has enough political savvy to soften dissent by appealing to it's recipients ego (letter addressed to "The sheik ~ Thorn in the mouth of the Americans") is literate, vocal, and rather then tossing arms in the air and walking off the letter-writer has outlined, in print, some areas that could do with a makeover. The letter-writer is committed to making improvements. And understands bargain power, implying a politically and economically astute letter-writer.

Well yes, I was going to write a post all about that. Then I started reading various versions of the story and returned to my gut response, which leaves me wondering if the whole thing wasn't just a fraud afterall.

And I seem to have company there. Today the Boston Globe headlines "Possible letter to Zarqawi eyed" the San Diego Union Tribune publishes "US-led forces recover letter believed for al-Zarqawi" while the Long Beach Press-Telegram writes "Letter may have been to al-Zarqawi" (and with four short paragraphs has managed to A not waste space and B pad out the two paragraph press release everyone else published). The LBPress;

"The US military released (?!) a letter it believes was addressed to terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi... The letter's authenticity could not be independently confirmed."
The Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar) is going with US military authentication, helpfully pointing out that "An English translation of the letter was posted on a US military website." Apparently the letter urges Zarqawi "do not hear from just one side, even if that person was close to you. But hear from all sides so the facts will become clear to you." Which just seems a bit weird if you ask me. A bit weird, Gulf Times, noting;

"the letter was captured in a US raid in Baghdad on April 28"
Plus The Washington Times says the letter is "dated April 27".

Letter dated April 27? Letter captured April 28?

As to what has happened to the letter writer or where he/she might be now, nobody is saying.

The letter was apparently written in Arabic by Abu Asim al Qusayami al Yemeni, but all the press releases seem to be in english and include such statements (translated) as "We have leaders that are not capable of being good leaders," and "We are not accusing them without reason, but we have tested them and found them incapable." Assuming Yemeni is talking about cell leaders. Go figure.

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