After communism and capitalism, there is asterism.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

The day I lost my hair
mother had dragged me out to shop

the wait for lulls in incessant crossfire
had not come to a stop
and the children were hungry
for more than just candy

check points where faces
had traces of
trashed deaths
dying answers in stillborn questions
struggling to extract
the last breath of a meaning
for the wait

it was then that the shots hailed
into the skull of a walking doll
and life stopped
right there in the remaining footprints
of the once skipping child

it was right there
that her hair came down
with a thud
on the dirt

And I walked home…
Without my mother
Who was still shopping, not stopping

and I sheared my head
and shred the tresses
into the waiting mirror…

Thikra who was once Iraq's # 1 ballerina still lives in Iraq with her mother. This is what happened when they shot a child at a checkpoint 'by accident' in front of her...poem by ZZ in The Words That Come Out

If you read no other post this week read this one:

Gligamesh goes for a night out in Dubai and finds the people empty:
The demographics were plenty, people from all races, lots of Brits and Arabs though, and it was amazing how many Arabs were congregated in one place, I don’t experience that much often, but nightclub guys I do not know why, all look the same, most of them have the same look, either in Canada or UAE, its almost I try the impossible to read how stupidly from their faces, but I do not see books, I am judging, but they do look like that, they look vain, empty, pleasure worshiping creatures, I figured out at one instance, if we people try as much as we try to be happy, try to help my country or other countires, it would have been that way, if we tried to study political thought process, and its applications, the world would have been a different place, but we all commercial, and all the people who do come to these commercial hubs, do what they have to do, and they are the ones who do things, who make the planet go forward not really as in forward probably forward in emitting CO2, all those people do things, but the people who really advent politics, people who made and are making political theories are only in books I read, the rest are politicians with agendas killing my country.

Just like we have money poverty, we have intellectual poverty, we have activism poverty, all those people who do philanthropy in politics are so small in number to people who do philanthropy and good will to entertain their penises, veginas, excuse my acute vulgarity but I felt he world is vulgar, insensitive, and superficial, it makes people who love and are couples smart, really smart! It makes married couples for a long time, geniuses.

Explosions and explosions

When your country has been torn apart and the world turned upside down beneath your feet, it is the familiar that you cling on to. A bridge in Baghdad destroyed by an explosion raised widespread mourning from Iraqi bloggers yet other exlopsions barely raise a few eybrows.

Iraq the Model explains: "This was an attack on both a vital infrastructure of the city and our morale, let alone the innocent lives that were lost in this vicious attack. What we lost today was not just a bridge, it was a piece of the Baghdad history." Zappy adds: "This really was a blow to each Baghdadi, they managed to break our Hearts by blowing up the Oldie st bridge in Baghdad the Sarafiyah Bridge also named "Al jisr al-Hadedee" the Iron Bridge.
Many people had been effected emotionally as another Major feature of Baghdad has been destroyed."

Konfused Kid now understands how Shia felt after the Al-Askari shrine was bombed. He writes:
a friend came and told me about Sarafiya Bridge - and as I saw the picture of that great strucutre on which I tread upon many days of my life, I just couldn't take it anymore. I'm really afraid of what might happen if structures I really care such as Imam Ali in Najaf or Abu Haneefa in Adhamiya are destroyed, now I can understand how Shiites felt when al-Askari was destoryed, it's horrible, just horrible i tell you, I pictured myself wearning the same armed belt, the same grenades and going around here to find where ... does that sick ... Harith al-Dhari lives so I can just give him the taste of his medicine once and FOR ALL. What use is us? All we do is just sit around and do nothing as our country is destroyed by those pigs, those monkeys, those apes, Remember why I was so pissed off about that Star Academy bimbo? Because when al-Askari shrine happened I was really optimistic about the Sunnis and Shiite finally proving to the world that it doesn't matter ... So when I watched those 7 million asses voting and lauding it as some big deal I get a serene sense of Deja Vu... I'm beyond hate, beyond insanity now, beyond everything.

A&EIraq feels the same about the bridge and those behind its bombing: "I don’t know what to say, it was not only a bridge; it’s a symbol. Symbol for Baghdad, for love and for the ancient days. It was just a nice thing we had and yet, we lost. To everyone who likes to defend whatever he calls it; resistance, Jihad or what else, I really wish you loosing everything, I wish you suffer forever, I wish you see whatever dear to your hearts being destroyed while you’re helpless."

aNarki-13 feels nothing for the people blown up in parliament but more for the bridge:
Three politicians wasted, So What?
Three dozen are already lined up to replace them.

I feel more hurt by a big pile of rusty steel falling in the river Tigris, than by the death of flesh-and-blood human beings, "elected" to govern us.



all said and done, God have mercy on the dead.

And Baghdad Treasure is haunted by the image of those that died that day:
I kept thinking about how did the people who were on al-Sarrafiya bridge feel when they found their bodies riddled with shrapnel... Driving, going to work or school, thinking of death while driving and then Boom! Everything is gone, the bridge and themselves. Images of people’s bodies falling in the Tigris haunted me. What were these poor people saying to themselves in the distance between the river and the destroyed bridge as they were falling? ...

When is this madness going to stop? Oh Baghdad, my heart breaks for you with every brick falling, with every blood dropping, with every tear flowing, with every Iraqi dying.

There is News and There is News

Some times you cannot be sure who to believe and you realise that the mainstream media is just one source like any other.

The report of demonstrations against the US presence by the Sadrist movement vary widely from one source to another. Omar at Iraqi the Model watches the demonstrations on television and calls them "pitiful". He writes: "His aides were hoping to gather a million marchers for yesterday but all they could manage were less than ten thousands, that's even when they bussed people from Baghdad and Basra."

On the other hand Zeyad has taken a different impression from photos on his IraqSlogger site.

And then there is the bombing at the Iraqi parliament cafe where the media reported eight dead including two MP's. Yet Baghdad Connect a blog not known for exaggerated reports gives an eyewitness report that conficts widely:
38 people have been killed and 18 have been wounded including 8 Americans in the blast of what appears to be a suicide bomber. Amongst the instantly killed are 8 nos Sadrists, 3 nos. of the Mr. Mutlaq’s list including Mr. Mohd. Awad and 4 MPs from El Tawafuq (including Al Jabouri and Al Jumayli). Other bodies were taken folded from the bombing site.

And as for the reason behind the bombing of the parliament the mainstream media only gives vague answers. Raed fills in the picture by actually bothering to ask the MP's themselves:
The official spokesman of a secular group that lost an MP in the explosion announced that the attack was aimed at silencing "nationalist MPs who are against splitting iraq and against the oil law". Looking at who was killed and injured in the attack, it seems like they were ALL nationalists. Also, considering that the parliament was just about to begin debating the oil law this week, the timing of the attack was very convenient

Now there is an original concept.. actually quoting the targets of the bombing as part of the news report. Mainstream media please take note.

And Finally...

You get a call from your aunt to help set up her new computer. As any self-respecting blogger knows it is their duty to help out even if the rewards are just a 'Thank you' and a sandwich. aNarki-13 gets that call but things are not quite as they seem...

A13: "its no problem, everything is color coded, blue into blue and green and so on.."

B: "What colors? there are no colors!"

at this point i'm thinking that the mouse and keyboard have black connectors, and henceforth the trouble in "putting the pc together"

B: ... i saw FULL PC prices and they were so expensive, 700$s and more, the one i bought cost me much less than half that.. i bought it from Company X.."

at first my eye-brows attempted to leave my face, then came back with her explanation, i thought: she didn't buy a Brand-Name system, the guys at Company X (which is very famous and very reliable around here) must have custom-built it.. at least she seems smart enough to buy cheap..

i put the monitor on the desk (a nice LCD -17"ish?- she got it for like 200$.. one day i'll get one of those, they look and display nice) connect the cables and route them thru the back of the desk, then i put the keyboard and mouse in place, speakers as well, then i ask for the case itself so i can connect everything and leave early..

her little daughter (age 12) comes in, carrying the case single-handedly, as if carrying a cellphone or something similar of weight (i'm in shock for like 3 seconds, this girl is half my age, yet she's already carrying cases in ONE HAND?? Scary little girl!) .. in her other hand, a power supply.
i realize the case is empty...
At which point things start to go downhill.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shada, Shada, Shada

So chanted Nibras Kazimi on the victory of the Iraqi Shada Hassoun, winner of Star Academy Middle East. What better than a trashy TV show to unite a divided country and get the blogs buzzing.

Today I have a mixed selection. A lifetime in a week of Iraqi blogger Konfused Kid, Bloggers getting quoted by President Bush, and of course Shada.

If you read no other post this week read this

Konfused Kid has a fight with his father and learns more about life, friendship and people. He writes:
It all started when my father hit me with his fist.

at about 5:30 PM today, my father came out grumbling, and then began to reproach me for talking too loud on the phone with my friend, as always when he was reproaching me for something, my father was cathartically relieving his frustration and anger... However, this time, he was too angry, I usually know that any dialogue or reply whatsoever will not satisfy his craving, so I tend to murmur something about not doing it again and then I just freeze. This time, after the first few yells, his fist came POW on my head...I played it perfectly, I didn't reply or do anything, I just calmly endured his fists, until my mother came and told him to stop, he stopped but his yelling did not. He went to the kitchen, I came back, sat on the half-broken plastic chair, and finished my work on the computer, after half an hour, I took my passports, my money, and hit the streets.

Now homeless, the Kid goes for a walk with a friend who nearly gets gets arrested for not having the right papers. But being a good talker and a Sunni saves him. The Kid ends his day with this:
and so here I am, homeless, about to start my life as a single person, posting this to you from an Internet cafe which I am going to spend the night in, I called my mother and assured her I am all right, and then I went out with my friend to get dinner, the street was filled with policemen setting up checkpoints, the contraption our Iraqi lives seem to fearfully revolve upon.

The following day brings better fortune but not after a hard night.
My friend left me at the net center he works in about 10 PM that day, a Palestinian dude, Alaa, was in charge of the night shift, he was a friend of mine too. We got dinner and then, at about 1 AM, he whipped out a jodarya (like a very thin mattress), and said, "Dude, sleep on this side cuz there's, like, oil on that." Unfortunately, the other side was filled with what can only be described as a life supply of the smell of sweat, which has come to be the most distinct smell that reminds me of Iraq now, if I tried to put my head on the other side of the jodarya there is a much worse smell in there, dirty socks that might have been worn by dead cats.
Anyway, by 3 AM the guy locks up, and I am left to solemn darkness to enjoy my first night all alone, I could not sleep until 5:30 AM.
At 7:30 AM my friend barges in like crazy, he was afraid that the owner of the internet center would come in and caps his ass

Later his father calls and they patch their differences up. But the whole experience leaves the Kid understanding new things about himself and his friends...
This experience was interesting in many ways, a lot of Iraqi kids have problems with their dads, and some even fight back, but this was my first - I was just thinking about it today, you see I happen to know this friend who orchestrates what he believes is a 'True Friendship Test' every once in a while, it's a pretty interesting concept except that his idea of it is bizarre, he digs up all his friends and becomes a real jerk with all of them to see who stays with him. In a way, what happened to me was a meter of friendship,- the reaction I got was very heartwarming, I got a lot of emails from concerned friends all over the world, and i was really amazed when some bloggers I barely know and some who I even fight with called me up repeatedly called me to check on how I was doing and offered requests from help, their kindness and understanding is something I hold dearly and which I would truly commit to memory, what's ironic is that this dude who conducts those friendship tests I told you about was the single person who knew about what happened to me and didn't bother to call. You don't need to make synthetic experiments on your pals, we're not in a warzone, goddammit, those kinda things come by themselves.

Quoted by the President

Getting quoted is a big thing for a blogger but nothing is bigger than being quoted by the President of the United States. But Mohammed of Iraq the Model is not letting this go to his head (links added by me):
First of all we're proud of it....Second I would like to make clear one point to bloggers like dailykos and some MSM supported blogs who seem so upset for some reason that the voice of some Iraqis is being heard.
I've seen some of them publish stories full of lies and accusations they can't support and I think it's pathetic to throw the "you're a sold-out propaganda" accusation at people just because they don't share the same point of view…This only reflects their lack of knowledge and the bankruptcy of ideas they suffer.

We speak the language of facts, supported by images and statistics and more important, we live here while they don't. We write about the good days as well as the bad days in Iraq's journey to a better future.
You don't even have to search in this blog's archives, just scroll down this page and you'll see both good and bad news—we witness an explosion and we write about it and we see progress and we write about it.
If they can't see that it's their problem, not ours.
Now a cynic may say that Bush must be really desperate if all he can do is quote bloggers for proof that his policy is working but I would say that this truly shows the power of blogging and its ability to match the mainstream media in its access to news and to the people that make the news.

Shada Shada Shada

She is the winner of Star Academy and has made a big impression on Iraqi bloggers. Zeyad says she "succeeded where Iraqi politicians failed. One out of every four Iraqis voted for Shada." Roads to Iraq goes further. She says:
"Seven Million Iraqis voted for Shatha And that is more than Maliki’s votes including the forgery votes...

Special congratulation to:

The occupation forces, this girl in four minutes destroyed for years of effort to split the country."

Marshmallow26 actually voted for her. She is beside herself with Joy:
Congratulations and million hugs to you Shatha, you improved your worthiness...Your Iraqi brothers and sisters’ votes crowned you the STAR. Yap...Yesterday was one of my best days ever!! I really jumped, laughed cried and felt happy from the bottom of my heart...

Well, we spent the whole week know what? I'm not that kinda person who used to use the phone for vote in any show, BUT since Shatha attracted my ears before eyes and the same happened with all Iraqis, and since her competitors have big fans too, I said " why not, lemme vote, just like any other Iraq wants his compatriot to win this competition and draw the smile on every single Iraqi's face!"

...We all proud of you Shatha, and I'm proud that all Iraqi reunited on this issue, the south celebrated as the north and east and west, hope this will be a good prelusion for Iraq and Iraqis... I was supposed to write about my picnic and post some pix here but sorry I got overwhelmed by this happy ending...I even forgot about my eye when I was watching the last prime of LBC star academy 4's life.
Again congratulation Shatha and Iraqis, thank you for your votes and thanks for every one who supported the Mesopotamian daughter...WOW I'm so happy

Nibras Kazimi analyses the phenomenon:
1-She reinforces Iraqi identity; she's never been to Iraq, and is half-Iraqi by parentage, but because she chose to identify herself as Iraqi, she was embraced by Iraqis. It shows that Iraqi identity is still alive and kicking.

2-She successfully markets herself as a role model of the secularized and westernized modern Iraqi female; my mom and aunt were making phone calls from Baghdad yesterday celebrating Shada's victory as a big show-up to the mullahs. Maybe they're reading too much into it, but there's something to their instinctual reaction...

However limited the influence, this younthful frenzy over Shada and what she represents will definitely leave a mark on political issues (...popularity of religious based and sectarian parties in upcoming elections) down the road

Konfused Kid is not impressed to say the least. In a post entitled "Daughter of my Ass" he goes on to sum up his feelings about the show:
I must say that it is with a feeling of pure and utter disgust that I feel I have to include such cotton-candy corporate whoredom show on my blog. and this contempt is now only compounded by the recent manufactured event of having the winner of the show, an Iraqi of Moroccan mother who's spent almost all of her life in France, to win the show and be trumpeted as the symbol of Iraq's unity. I could almost feel the blobs of vomit boiling up right now.
It is not all about grand statements, the Kid has a serious point to make.
regardless of my own feelings about the show, I have no problems with her winning, or of the people who voted, but my beef is with all that thing about her becoming a national symbol...

we are too much afraid, and we only graze and polish our external image to prove to our dear Arab brothers how much strong we are, while inside our houses and ourselves, therein lies the roots of separation, of hatred and of discord, planted deep within, we are afraid to go deep there and solve them, instead, hey, here's that snotty lady that looks like a beautiful pig swagging around on that show, she is Iraqi, so let's give her a help....Iraqis have gone and done it yet again, proving how pathetic they really are, when we continue to insist on such frail people as symbols for our unity...

What good did this victory do for a mother who lost her son, or a family who lost their house. I can't believe our stupidity! I don't think any air-headed nation, even America, would do such a stupid thing when their country is being demolished and tattered piece by piece, this is not a time for celebration, it's a time of mourning. Don't cry all day, but still, respect the lost souls.