Monday, June 18, 2007

Being, the oppressed

NOTE: Original post by Salam Adil restored after a little "Konfusion".

They say "If you go looking for trouble, you will find it". April Girls goes looking for beauty and finds it in abundance. She introduces herself as:
I believe in God, in humanity, in non-violent communication and in a global-unity-in-diversity that allows each and every culture its own specialness, while setting them all in the context of a universal care and fairness that honors the uniqueness of each.
And she takes a unique perspective on world events. Here she writes about the second bombing of the Samarra shrine:
There are 6,601,676,326 ways to God. (Right now.) That many ways to worship, to think, to talk, to act, to take in this world. Has that not been realized? So what is with all this 'holier than thou' attitudes running rampant? And on a universal level I have to add! What is going on? Do you not believe you are walking on the One True Path? Is that not enough? Does your path force you to hurt, rape, murder and destroy this planet?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More Blogs

1. Last of Iraqis: Iraqi dentist who is a relative of Zeyad, still living in Iraq, and that's a big plus. A solid blog with perhaps the best blog-coverage so far of the 2nd Askari incident, as well as an interesting video of Adhamiya. Blogs dilligently.
2. Kurdistan Diary: Okay, don't flame me for this but Kurdistan is still part of Iraq at least nominally so far, this one anyway has interesting stuff to say, starting with this unusual post about wanting to fight for the troublesome PKK.
3. Check out this another Kurdish blog from an engineer in Irbil, The World Has Another Face, however if he didn't say he is Kurdish you would hardly recognize it, filled with the same emotions and sentiments for Iraq as any other normal Iraqi, this blog is mostly poems written in Arabic, he has another blog, which is mentioned on his sidebar, which is filled with interesting pictures.

I also added the new blog URL for 3eeraqimedic, who deleted her blog on a panic moment but we managed to persuade her otherwise.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Most Sectarian Blog Ever - Revisited

Following on from The Kid declaring The Shaqawa to be 'The Most Sectarian Blog Ever' it is time to revisit this award in light of the last blog I reviewed.

Having written a positive post about Layla Anwar's blog An Arab Woman Blues it is time for some balance. When I reviewed her blog for the previous post I just read through a couple of posts and thought "she has issues but that's OK." Then I wondered ... this blog has been going on for a year now why on earth has no other IraqBlogCount member picked it up.

A short scan through her archive and I realized... Layla Anwar represents a part of Iraqi society that most ordinary Iraqi's would rather block out or pass on as not Iraqi. Her blog blatantly and crudely embodies the fanatical pro-Saddam sect that dogged the existence of nearly every Iraqi with ties to their country. And sectarian she is. You see, during the thirty years of Saddam's reign he built around his personality cult his own sect just as fanatical as any Shia or Sunni extremists that makes life in Baghdad hell for ordinary Iraqis.

What interests me is that our two most-sectarian bloggers have much more in common than they would like to admit.

A reverential love for their sect leader....

Here Layla is writing to Saddam:
I will address you as Saddam Hussein, Sir.
Even though I still consider you to be the legitimate President of Iraq, allow me not to use any formalities here. Let us forget titles , ranks and the rest . ... I don't care what they say about You . The misuses and abuses of power, the Dujails, the Anfals and the rest of the well knitted pieces of grossly exaggerated melodramas. I know one Truth Sir,You stayed in Iraq and did not run away like the rest.
And here is Shaqawa writing about Hakim:
Hakim is of course the leader of SIIC, the largest group of the largest list in parliament. So he is very powerful. He is the son of the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohsen al-Hakim, who was the most important leader of the Shi’a before Sayyid Abul-Qasim al-Khoei and Sayyid Ali al-Sistani. ... Of course there are so many sad stories in Iraq. Hakim getting sick is just one thing out of very many... I think there are some very good things about Hakim and also if Hakim is not acting as a leader for Iraq because of his health, it is bad for the Iraqi people
A pathological hatred of the opposition...

Tawafuq MP Adnan al-Dulaimi ... this son of a bitch is suspected of crimes far beyond his most visible criminal act of wearing a stupid hat.
Seems that the man in black, the turbaned, psychotic, farce called Muqtada al Sadr has returned as the Savior of Iraq.
And the irony that both bloggers do not consider themselves Sectarian. Layla talks proudly of her Shia roots while Shaqawa will write of his objectivity.

But, the real question is who wins. Well, after Layla's fawning letter to Saddam and labelling of Basra as an Iranian enclave; I am sorry Shaqawa you are going to have to hand over your award!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

An Arab Woman's Blues

Layla Anwar gives the world a piece of her mind in beautifully powerful prose that leaves you simply awestruck. One commenter summed her blog up in one word - "wow". Here are her words on the plight of Iraqi women:
You know what woman battering is don't you?

It is basically when a man beats, strikes, punches, kicks, pounds...a woman and sometimes severly enough that she ends up in hospital and sometimes severly enough to bring about her death.

It is interesting to note that the verb "to batter" is also used in cooking i.e to make a dough. The French have similar anologies between battering a woman and food. They would say he turned her into a "compote".(compote is cooked fruits). Ditto for Arabic expressions. They would say he broke her bones, they became like "soup"...

Am sure other "cultures" have more analogies of the same sort. I will leave it to you to dig up some expressions that you are familiar with, along the same lines...

Did you notice something here? A common trait in the use of words, in the use of language?

It is as if they allude to render that "thing" liquefied, easily moulded, soft to the palate...
In sum, easily mixed and easily digestible. I will also leave it to you to make further associations on the same theme.

No society is immune from woman battering. I will not dwell on figures now. All societies are guilty of it. East and West, equally guilty. And R.Kipling was wrong when he said that East and West shall never meet. They do meet. They met. They met in Iraq.

They met in Iraq, the land, the earth, the Mother...
They also met and agreed on her daughters bodies - Iraqi Women.

That body which, since the "liberation", has become a public commodity. A public thing. A thing to be veiled, a thing to be controlled, a thing to be ordered about, a thing to be disposed of, a thing to be battered, moulded, shaped into a liquefied, soft, yielding thing. A digestible thing.

Yes, batter, pound, strike, punch, beat, rape, torture, imprison...that "thing" and ultimately dispose of it, annihilate it.

Both "East and West" are bent on the destruction of Iraqi women.
It is as if, plundered, occupied Iraq has become the center point, the "lieu" where these forces can pour out their venom, their deep hatred, their frustrated instincts, their perversities...In sum their collective misogyny.

Danger Zone

A new technology blog from Iraq! Everything is here from controlling USB devices without kernel modules in Linux to finding good cheep hotels and Internet access in Basra.

Hasan worked in Qatar and moved back to Iraq after his contract ended. He chose Basra because Baghdad is just too dangerous. Good luck and keep posting we need to hear more from that city. He writes:

unlike Baghdad , Basrah is full of life. The streets are always crowded and you don't have to take the same cautions like in Baghdad.

Police are army checkpoints are everywhere in the city which makes you feel safe , I saw some British patrols during the day there , I tried to avoid them. But they looked more friendly than the American army.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bad to the Bone

Just what the Iraqi blogodrome needs another young woman with attitude. Glory Rose gives us the stream of conscience that passes through her mind from day to day in her blog 3adma (which is Arabic for bone). She introduces herself as "a half Iraqi half Egyptian girl living in Cairo, studying medicine, having a pretty much messed up life".

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