Saturday, December 31, 2005

Christmas in The Darkness!!

New Year's Eve is tomorrow, and it seems that everyone in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq will have to spend it in the darkness! There is no electricity at all. NEVER AT ALL !! Adding to it the lack of water and the freazing weather!

How cool can that be?! Very promising !

The whole family planned for a big xmas party this year to be held in my Grandparents house. My cousins planned to sleep over in our house after the party to have some fun. One of my cousins decided to wear Santa Claus custom and to make us some games, another cousin decided to play the D.J. and he started to get the Xmas songs. But none of this will happen!

My aunt's husband's Mother died yesterday. It's not respectful to make any party while he is mourning his mother, even my cousins won't be able to do anything cuz they are sad for their late Grandmother. So, no Xmas party this year.

I don't remember that much about the begining of this year, but its end seems dreadful to me now with all those bad events! I just want to bye-bye it as soon as possible.

This is a quick post, but I have to end it now cuz the electricity is untrustable at all !!!

Good Night everyone. Enjoy your Christmas :)

Friday, December 30, 2005

Sick \ Miracleously Alive !!

Hello everyone,

I hope that people are still visiting my blog cuz I haven't updated for sometime now! I've been sick lately and couldn't check the blog or even the emails. Flu time!!

It happened three days ago. On Monday exactly. The weather got very cold in Baghdad starting from Sunday morning when I was at college. I go to college once a week to see some of my friends and to have fun. I woke up on Monday morning at 10 o'clock feeling sick. Then after an hour I decided to call Mom on her work to ask her about some pills to take, but I was shocked to hear my Mother saying to me "Hanoona, a car exploded in front of me, I'm coming back home now. Don't tell anybody!!" .. WHAT??!

I forgot all about my sickness, and kept walking back and forth inside the house waiting for my Mother to get back home. I was alone at home and I didn't call anyone to tell them about the news cuz mom told me to freak anyone out cuz she's alright. The time between home and Mom's work take about 15 minutes, but it took her more than 45 minutes this time! There was a heavy traffic jam, and the road was closed cuz of the car-bomb.

I imagined everything. I was afraid to open the door when she nocked cuz I thought that I would see her wounded like what we see on T.V.!! But thank God, she was ok. She was shaking, her voice was shaking too, and all what she said that she saw the police car burning and a man lying dead down the street.

The car-bomb was only few meters from her, but she was inside the building which saved her from the fires. She was standing near the front windows of the shop (her working place). And she said that everything was calm and normal untill suddenly she heard and sensed something unusual, something like an earthquack maybe. The door and the windows all fell down out of a sudden, and dust and smoke raised up in the air. Mom said that she was shocked and couldn't believe what happened that she stayed in her place looking at the glass falling down! My aunt and other two or three women were with Mom in the same place. They all ran to the back and started to scream and shout out of fear, they called for Mom to go to them but she said that she was scared to look back at them cuz she thought that the ceiling was falling down! She asked them if they were ok, and they said "yes", so she went back to them and stayed at the back of the shop.

The street was all showing in front of them cuz there was no door and windows anymore. Just like a movie theatre! Mom saw a police car burning in the middle of the street along with another car. The police car was the target. She thought that the other car is the car-bomd which exploded, but it wasn't. There were people inside this other car whom they burned inside! The car-bomb was on the right side of the street, and there were some other cars beside it which were all burning. There is a I.N.G. station in the same street, all the guards hurried to the "crime scene" to rescue people and to pull the cars to avoid more explosions. They could get Mom, aunt and the other women and people inside the building. They took them out to another place in the same building but far away from the fires. There police car kept burning for long time, and the bomb-car was fully loaded, so it kept firing! Mom says that the sound was horrifying and it's never like when we hear it from afar!

The policemen died inside their car, a Janitor of a school which is located right in front of the fires died, a teacher inside the school also died, and some other people were injured. The screen windows of the shops were all damaged, the street itself is damaged and is never the same again!

Mom was just few meters away from the car, and only few inches away from the windows which could have hurt her so bad! But she got out of this miracleously with no single injury. I thank God every single moment that she is still alive.

And that was another day in Baghdad !!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas Everyone :)

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year.
Glad tidings we bring
To you and your kin;
Glad tidings for Christmas
And a happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Meeting The Fulbrighters

Hello everyone,

First I would like to thank all of the people who helped me and gave me their opinions about the the Fulbright Writing Sample I made. I made some changes, added more details and applied all the other suggestions. Thank you all :)

I have been fighting with the blogshpere lately. My blog disappeared suddenly, and I had to get it all back in some time! It's ok now and I hope it won't happen again although my blog disappeared for three time so far.

The good thing that happened this week was that I met the Fulbrighters for the first time since we have been granted the scholarship. The meeting was yesterday, and it was quick but awesome. We faced many difficulties getting into the Green Zone cuz the meeting was at the Convention Center. We were surprised to know that we were not allwoed to get into the Convention Center, and we had to wait outside in the bad weather.

The meeting was supposed to be at 10:30 in the morning, but all of the Fulbrighters came way earlier than this time. In Iraq, when you have an important meeting, you have to get out of home on an early time cuz you don't know what to face down the streets at any moment. The streets might be blocked or maybe you can't get to your meeting on time. So we go out early to avoid such accidents.

The Fulbrighters were from different regions from Iraq, mainly Baghdad, Basrah, Mosul and Kurdistan. Some took a hard and long trip to Baghdad for this meeting. The big surprise was
that we had to meet our principal in the Center's garden instead of the hall !!! Now the garden is an open space for everyone and everything. Iraqi, American and Georgian soldiers were passing by all time listening to our meeting. There were some gunshots and far away bombings in the Zone.

The meeting was a big disappointment for some of us. We were kinda "rebuked" cuz some of us did mistakes in their applications or something like that! Anyway, the meeting was kinda good, although it was too risky to get into the Zone! Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to talk to all of the Fulbrighters, the time was short and we started to go one by one. The most people I was looking forward to meet were Hala and Ardalan, and again, we hardly talked together!!! I kept searching for Hala but I found her just few minutes before I go! And Ardalan didn't tell me that it was him at first, he just told me that he reads my blog so I had to figure it out by myself. And maybe we talked for less than one minute!!

I don't know what really happened that made the meeting very short and quick. I'm sure that non of the Fulbrighters wanted it to be in this way, but the place was dangerous and we were all "standing" for long time in the garden. But all in all, it was great to see them.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Blog Retrieved !

Hello my friends,
I don't know what happened in the blogsphere last night cuz I woke up this morning and saw that my blog was gone!! Nothing was showing in the page except the black bar. So I had to change the template, but my Chatting-Box is gone!!!!

Anyways, the Fulbright asked me to send them a writing sample of any topic of my choice cuz they say that it will help my placement officer. So I wrote this and want to ask about your opinion before I send it. I'm not totally convinced in it so I'll wait for sometimes and ask about opinions before I send it to the Fulbright office!

Man and Society

No man can live or survive alone in the world. A human being needs to live in communities in order to survive and fulfill his needs and goals. The social life consists of different societies, and people who live in those societies give the shape and character of a certain society. In life, a person gets to meet many people different from him and from each others. They are different because every human being has his own character, way of thinking and point of view about every aspect in life, and those views differ from one person to another. Those people help each other and fulfill the spiritual, physical and emotional need of one another. That’s why no one can live alone.

The happiness of an individual lies in his existence among special people like family, friends and loved ones. So, a person’s own society starts with those people. Life is a journey in which we do different tasks and assignments, meet many people, know many things and get through many periods of easiness and difficulty. In most of the times, a person may die without accomplishing all his dreams and goals, and without seeing every phase of life.

Family, friends, faith and love are essential majors or pillars in life. We can get through many difficulties and make our dreams come true with the help of family and friends. We can make the world a better place when we spread the love in our hearts to the whole world starting with the closest people to us. And above all, faith in God can get a person through many hard times, and it gives a person a mighty strength and peace of mind that can help build a perfect community.

A person can be creative when he lives among people. Isolation and loneliness are destructive means which destroy the human beings’ lives and wills, and prevent them from enjoying life. Loneliness causes misery and depression to people because people can’t go on with their lives if they are lonely.

People need to live in large communities and interact with each other to live and accomplish their missions in life. That’s why no one can live alone.

Do you think that I should add more?? Help !!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Books Day!

Hello everyone,

Today I got my first book from This is my first time I order something online!! And since we don't have an access to credit cards in Iraq, I had to ask someone to order the book for me. This someone is an American works in Iraq, and he used the U.S. military mail to get the book for me. But I paid for everything, I only needed the credit card.

I wasn't intending to buy anything online before. Just two weeks ago, I was searching for some materials and articles on the internet about my M.A. major, and all what I did was I typed "Modern American Novel" in the search bar. The first thing I got was a title of a book that sums up the American literary achievment from Henry James to the present time!! So, in my case, this is a must-to-read book. The books title is The Modern American Novel by Malcolm Bradbury.

I received the book today. It costed me about 16 Dollars only. :)

Then later this day, my aunt's husband came for a quick visit with a small and unexpected gift for me! There were three books for me!!! The first book is the Holly Quran with English-language explanation. The second book is The Ideal Muslimah, The True Islamic Personality of The Muslim Woman. The third book is rather a booklet, A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam.

Now I don't know how many books I have, but I don't mind having more!! It's good to smell them sometimes. I'm about to finish To Kill a Mockingbird, there are only three chapters left for me to read. I wonder if Boo Radley will ever show up!!

I thought the peaceful dream will last for a longer time now, but the bombings and explosions are back in town again!! Many explosions took place in Baghdad today. Dad sawa bombed car been dragged from "the crime scene" when he was on his way back home from work. He said it exploded on a police station. God knows what might happen tomorrow!

Till we meet again, much love and peace for everyone...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

This is my finger with ink! Posted by Picasa

In The Elections Day

Hello everyone,

So it happened. Many Iraqi people went to vote today, the process ended at 5 P.M. The day was somewhat peaceful. The news reported some explosions inside the Green Zone and other places in Baghdad and other cities in Iraq. All the Iraqi channels are broadcasting live from voting centers in all over Iraq. It's showing people well dressed up as if going to a festival and walking down the streets, all happy.

Last night, while I was still online at 2 A.M., the phone rang but I didn't want to answer at first. It kept ringing so I decided to see who was calling us in that time. The phone machine showed my Grandparents' phone number so I freaked out and regretted that I didn't answer the call from the begining. It was my Grandmother's voice on the phone, I asked her what was up and she told me that the mosques are calling people not to drink water from the water-pipes cuz it's poisoned in all over Baghdad!! I knew they wouldn't let the day pass peacefully!!

I ended the call and ran upstairs to Mom who was sleeping. I was bare-footed, and I felt that my feet wouldn't move as fast as it could. Lots of images came to my mind in that moment. Images of dead people poisoned cuz of the water, scenes like the ones we all saw of Halabcha Massacre, people falling on the ground. I was saying to myself that the Secret of Life has turned to a deadly beast in Baghdad. I called my Mother and told her the news, she ran down stairs with me to call my aunts and tell them the news. It was 2:30 when the news spreaded all over Baghdad. We kept receiving phone calls one after the other, and the mosques kept calling and warning people not drink from the water pipes.

I went to bed after 3 o'clock but I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking of what might happen in the next day and how many people would die cuz of this. Then heavy gunshots started near home and it lasted for a long time, and American helicopters came after a while. The sky was up all night.

In the midest of that nightmare, I was very hungry!! I tried to remember when was the last time I drank water, but I couldn't remember.

I woke up at 7:30 this morning, and I saw an SMS from Blueman telling me about the news. And he also informed me that T.V. channels say it's a lie!! The water is not poisonous. My father went out to the supermarket to get us some water bottoles. All the bottoles were sold out! My grandmother said that their neighbor who is a shop keeper got out in the middle of the night and opened his shop cuz many people asked him to do this so that they buy bottoles of waters from him before they vanish from the markets in the next morning! And so it happened, all water bottoles vanished before 8 o'clock in the morning. Dad had to buy us Pepsi and Miranda instead of water!!

The Minister of Health announced that water is all fine and it has no poisons at all, and no cases were reported in Baghdad's hospitals. People started to use the water normally, but I couldn't drink water since yesterday. I grew scared of it now! I even faced difficulty when I brushed my teeth in the morning! I thought that water would eat up my face.

Some people say that it was a rumor to distract people from the elections, and some others say that members of a family in a certain area in Baghdad were poisoned cuz of something they ate or drank, and they thought that it was cuz of the water. So the mosques started to warn the residents of that region and the news got all over Baghdad. It all happened in less that one hour!!

My family and I went out at 11 o'clock in the morning to vote. All my neighbors were heading to the same place. My region is somewhat small, so there is only one voting center in it. I could see almost everyone there, I saw some of my old teachers in primary and secondary schools. Some of them were very old and could hardly walk. I also saw some girls whom I rememberd their faces as they were with me at school as well. I didn't know them personally but I could remember them. I saw two elderly couples walking out of the center, they were helping each other to walk among the masses. They were very old that they both had walking sticks to help them walking steadily. I looked at them and I was amazed to see such old people coming to vote, it must have been hard on them to get out of home and walk for long distance to cast their votes, but they did it.

After that, we went to my Grandparents house and has lunch there. The channels were all talking and showing scenes about the elections in Iraq. I came back home, took a photo for my finger with the ink.

Now the process is over, and there is another stage we have to go through, which is to wait and see who is going to win.

Much peace for all

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Counting Down

Hello all,

Everyone is counting down towards the elections' day. I'll go to vote, and I hope that all of the Iraqis will do just the same. People started to stay at home preparing for the elections since today. My Mother didn't go to her job, and my Father came back early saying that the roads are almost empty. I think that if I could go out today I would see nothing down the streets but the so many posters of the lists and the elections!

Something new happened in my neighborhood today. There were some men who were distributing plastic bags contain posters and some other stuff of the elections. And the way they distributed those plastic bags was kinda fun; they threw them into the houses over the fences! They didn't even knock on doors. My aunt who happens to live in my area called us to say not to freak out if we see a bag flying in our garage! Anyone might suspect it to be a bomb! So, Iwaited, but I got no bag!! My aunt got one with a poster of Iyad Allawi's list.

I went to college on Saturday to meet some of my friends and to have fun. Everyone was talking about the elections and whom to vote for. Posters were everywhere of course, except inside the campus. A big explosion took place in a neighboring area near the university as I was walking into the building. The university's entrance was full of students going into the campus as it was 8 o'clock in the morning and all of them had lectures to attend. And when we heard the explosion everyone went saying "Oh my God, Allah Akbar".. I hear bombings very often since yesterday,and it's growing bigger this week. I think the reason is the approaching day of the elections. People want to go to vote for their future, and the terrorists are trying to stop them!

Talking about the explosions, I was chatting with my friend Blueman last night when he suddenly told me that a strong fire took place near his house. I didn't know what was going on, and I got the news from him this afternoon saying that fires and bombings were up all night in his region. He lives in an area in Baghdad which became one of the most dangerous areas lately. He said that it was exactly like war! And earlier this night, he told me that they have no water in the water pipes!! Sometimes when fightings happen in some areas, those places get disconnected from electricity and water for a day or two!! It happened alot in Aadhamyia where one of my aunts lives. Whenever a strong explosion and gunshots take place, the whole area gets cut off from electricity, and sometimes water too.

Now there are no schools and no universities, and there is a night cerfew from 10 o'clock till 6 o'clock in the morning starting from Tuesday night and until Saturday. I hope and pray that the election's day will pass very peacefully and that people will go to vote. I hope the best will happen to all of us.

Do you want to know for whom I'm going to vote??

I have a bad habbit of teasing people!!! ;) But hey you are my friends.

See the photos of the so many posters down the streets...

Well, it seems that somebody didn't like this poster, or let's say the man in the poster, and so he decided to do what he did! ..... "Democracy"

I'm voting for 731

I'm posting other pictures about the elections in my other blog, I hope that I will be able to publish it before the electricity goes off.

Good Night...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Friday in Baghdad

Today is a Friday. I can say that I had an unordinary Friday this week. There was a lunch festival as usual, but it was outdoors this week. I woke up pretty early this morning at 8 o'clock. I had a deal with my uncle that he comes and pick me up in the morning to go get breakfast from another neighborhood by car. The breakfast was the fameous Iraqi "gemar & kahi".

So I was asleep and the mobile was on the table next to my bed. The mobile rang with haithem Yousif's song "a7bab al roo7" [The Soul's Beloveds]. It was a missed call, and I knew from the song that it was my uncle. He said that he would make me some missed calls to wake me up so that I get ready to go with him. So, I called him back and told him to come over and take me. When he came, I saw my grandparents with him in the car. A tribe going for breakfast !! We took the high way as usual, and I was amazed to see so many soldiers and I.N.G.'s down the streets and on the high way. Check points were almost everywhere. My uncle waved to one of them as we were driving in the car, and they waved back to us. The weather wasn't cold at all, and it seems that they'd been there for sometime, probably since 6 o'clock in the morning.

We arrieved at a shop in an area called "Raghiba Khatoon" to buy what we came for. It was early in the morning as I said, but the place was full of people. Some people were having their breakfast there, and some were just buying food. Some came by cars, like what we did, and some others came on feet. I was feeling kinda sleepy and I said to myself sometimes what brought me here!

Anyways. Then I came back home, had a delicious breakfast with my family, watched T.V. for some time, then we got ready for lunch outside.We had lunch at a resturant on the Tigris River side (See photo above). The weather was very nice as if it was spring time. Yes it's considered spring in Baghdad in the current time!! I don't know how or why, and I said it many times, but it seems that Winter is still upset at Baghdad that it refuses to come this year. Well, I can consider it as a good thing that it's not winter here yet, but everybody needs winter. We need rain!

So, we came back around 3 o'clock. Oh, I forgot to mention that we had fish for lunch. Having fish on the river side is cool and enjoyable. Although I don't like fish that much and sometimes try to escape it by ordering something else, I enjoyed it this time. After we came back, I logged in to the internet to check the blog and emails, then I read few parts of To kill a Mockingbird. I reached the part when there was a dog walking down Maycomb and everyone closed the doors thinking that the dog was a mad one. I reached here, I still don't know what's next.

Then I called some friends and agreed to go to college tomorrow for some fun. The electricity played hide and seek as usual !!.. I'm writing this and watching part two of Harry Potter now. They played this part on some channel like three weeks ago but I missed a great deal of it cuz there was no electricity. Tonight, I watched the parts I missed, and now I'm writing this hoping that I would be able to publish it before the electricity goes off again.

I was just of bombings! And now I hear some!!! I don't know how did that come to my mind, I was trying to count how many time I heard explosions today. Two or three times in the morning when I was at home, a big one when we were at the resturant, and now some. And I hear some helicopters flying in the sky now. How cool !!

That was my day. Wait for more tomorrow if you

are interested to read ;)

Good Night...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A Day in Baghdad..

The electricity is killing me!! I'm sorry that I'm not posting frequently.. So I started with Diary project, here's what I wrote as a first test.

Tell me your opinion :)

Tuesday, December, 6th 2005

It’s morning now, I’m heading to my university n the car. The high way is kinda empty now because it’s still very early in the morning. It’s 7:30 A.M. I always go to college early in order to avoid the heavy traffic jams down Baghdad’s streets. Besides, much of the explosions take place during the rush hours. There are two exits in my neighborhood, but the high way is considered the safest one because the other exit which is called The Army Canal is a very dangerous one because it is located among farms and can be a good hideaway for insurgents or even gangs, and also many bombings against the American envoys took place in this road.
I’m still in the car, I don’t take buses for transportation because I’m a girl and I’m afraid of taking a bus or hiring a taxi alone because of the kidnappings stories we hear in Baghdad. Also, because the bus takes a long time to get me to my destination. I can’t drive a car either because it’s not safe for a girl to drive by herself in such a terrible situation. We lack a great deal of safety in Iraq, and especially in Baghdad.
I always hire a private taxi that takes me to college every morning and brings me back home at afternoon. The driver takes me from my house’s door right to the university’s gate, and so on…
I see envoys of Iraqi National Guards everywhere this morning. It’s probably because the Parliamentary Election’s day is approaching, and maybe because of Saddam’s trial that took place yesterday.

Being graduated from university, I don’t have lectures or study anymore. But I still go to my college more than once a week. I go there for several reasons. One reason is that I got a Fulbright Scholarship to study for my Master degree in Modern America Novel in the United States of America, and I need to get my certificates and papers from my college to send them to the U.S.A. A second reason is to see some of my friends who still go there for fun and spend some time together. A third reason is that because there is almost nowhere else safe to go to for fun! There used to be a lot of amusement parks in Baghdad before the war where families can go and enjoy their times. But now those parks are either abandoned or located near or inside the Green Zone. Therefore; no one can go there anymore!!

We do have a lot of restaurants here, but we can only go there for lunch because it is dangerous to stay out of home after six or seven P.M. it’s a life risking going out at nigh I Baghdad. Besides, we have curfews here most of the nights starting from 10 or 11 P.M. until the next morning.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It’s 10:30 A.M. now. I’m sitting at the college’s cafeteria with two of my friends students are everywhere in the cafeteria, we could barely find empty seats to sit on. The cafeteria’s building is not a very large one, there are other cafeterias in the campus which are way larger than this one, but I like this place the most because I spent so much time of my university life here with my friends studying, eating, talking and laughing. Sometimes, if we didn’t like to attend a certain lecture, we used to skip it and come to sit in this place and drink hot cappuccino in winter, and cold Pepsi in summer time. I wish if I can take a photo for the place and the students here, but unfortunately cameras are not allowed in my college campus anymore! The security guards at the campus’s gate didn’t allow me to take the camera with me inside the campus, and they told me that I can take it back from them when I go out. You may wonder now why cameras are not allowed inside the university, and why do we have security guards at the gates. It’s all for security and safety reasons.

A person can do anything with a camera. Anyone might take photos to students, professors or certain buildings inside the university and use those photos to locate a certain target to be hit, or a certain person to be killed! It’s not safe here at all. Everybody is scared of everything; we always suspect the worse to happen. If I want to take a picture of something, I have to take it secretly and as fast as possible in order not to raise suspicions about me. Even when I know that I’m not doing something bad or illegal, but we have to be careful and watch our steps and anything we do that can get us into troubles.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Now it’s 6 P.M. I came back home at 1 o’clock, I had my lunch and took a nap. We usually take naps after lunch. Mom and Dad came back home from their works, and they went for some shopping. They said that the roads seem calm regarding with some other days. Everything looks peaceful today. The good thing that happened is that we didn’t hear sounds of any near explosions. Everyone is waiting for the elections these days. It will take place on 15th of December, and there will be a break from schools and universities starting from next Sunday or Monday to prepare for the elections. No, the students won’t prepare anything by themselves, but some schools in each neighborhood will be taken as a voting center for people to go and vote at. I’m looking forward for that day to go and vote. Cameras are not allowed in such places either, so I won’t be able to take any photos there. Even mobiles are not allowed in the voting centers for security reasons.

I just heard my father talking about one of his friends whom was about to die in an explosion in Baghdad yesterday. My father’s friend, Abu Muhammad, was out with his wife to buy some groceries and stuff for home. His wife went into a shop to buy some things, so her husband waited for her inside their car. There was a police car in the same street near them, and there were cars and people shopping and doing other things. Suddenly, a group of insurgents or terrorists popped out from nowhere and threw a bomb on the police car! A huge state of fear and disorder happened there, people freaked out and ran away with their lives. My father’s friend ran to his wife who was inside the shop and they stayed there for sometime to protect themselves from the fire that occurred as a result of the bomb. The police car which was hit was very close to their car, so they couldn’t ride it and go back home like other people did. They had to wait inside the shop until another police car came and cleared the way. The damaged police car was pulled and the road was opened so they could go back home. But they couldn’t know if the policemen were killed or just injured as they couldn’t get any closer to ask the other policemen who came after the explosion.

The electricity went off! That’s a very common thing that happens in Iraq. We lack a great deal of electricity, clean water and other necessary supplies. Now I can not do anything when the lights are off, we do have a small electricity generator which we use in such cases... and almost every Iraqi family has a generator at home. The electricity has a schedule of being on and off, but this schedule is never stable! It’s currently two hours on and four hours off, and so on till the end of the day.

It’s 10:30 P.M. now, so I will go to sleep. I usually stay up till late hours at night when there is electricity, but my family decided not to turn on the generator in order to save some fuel because it’s expensive here. We have to tolerate living in the darkness at nights. And the good thing is that it’s winter time now, so we don’t have to worry about a hot weather and the air conditioners... I’ll sit in my bed listening to the radio till I fall asleep.

This is a typical day in Baghdad. There is no day here empty of bombings or stories of this kind! We always try not to go out as much as possible in order to avoid such accidents. We just don’t know when and where something like that can happen. Tank you for reading so far, and wait for more to come tomorrow.

Until we meet again with another day in Baghdad…

Monday, December 05, 2005

Starting With The Baghdad Diary Project..

Hi to everyone who is reading my blog,

So I will start with the Baghdad-Diary project very soon, probably next week. I got an email from the journalist telling me to send them a diary of one day as test, and to mail some packing papers of chewing gum, milk, food.. and such things. Luckily, I always collect packings papers and stuff! So I will send them soon inshallah.

The journalist also wanted me to see if I have a friend in Baghdad who can write about his\her daily life for the magazine in an interesting way, but the diary detailes should be different from mine. Well, the first friend who came to my mind is Attawie, but the Journalist replyed me saying that they want contributers from Baghdad only! I don't know who else to choose. I have my friends here in Baghdad but I know that they are not interesting in such things, they don't like to write about they daily lives in public.

I know, I have been very lazy lately with blogging! I don't like to be lazy, I always had ideas about what to write about. But I feel that I have nothing interesting to tell about these days. I'm having the same life every day. I'm still waiting for my Dubai visa, but it seems so hard to get it!!! I'm still praying and hoping for it though. I even see that not many people are visiting my blog lately! I have to post more and more in order to keep my blog alive.

I reached chapter four in "To Kill a Mockingbird". The novel seems so amazing from the very first page of it. It's full of details, and the events are connected in a very beautiful way.

Saddam's trial has been on T.V. since the morning. I watched some of it, but then I got fed out and left it. My parents are still watching it till now.

Untill we meet again...

Friday, December 02, 2005

Yesterday's Post

Well, I should have published this post yesterday, but I was disconnected from the internet for all morning and the afternoon time. And when I finally got the chance to get online and started writing the post, the electricity went off before I hit the "publish" bottom! That's so usual here!!

Anway, yesterday was the first of December. Before the war, this day was the Iraqi Martyr's day. I don't know if it's still the same now or th governement had removed it with some other memorial days. I remember one day at college, I was in the second stage, it was very cold in the morning and raining. The first lecture was this usualy subject we used to take at every grade in schools and universities that talks a little bit about the Iraqi history and so much about Saddam and Al Baath Party. Nobody in my department liked this subject, first cuz it wasn't of our field of study, and second cuz the professor who used to give that lecture was so boring! She had a Ph.D. in History, and she knew very well about the subject, but no one liked her! Even me.

So, in that day, we didn't take the lecture cuz there was an hour of silence in Baghdad, or maybe in the whole country, for the Iraqi Martyr's Day to remember the Iraqi soldiers who died in the so many wars we had.

The Martyr's Monument in Baghdad is one of the greates monuments in Iraq, now the government wants to remove it with other monuments cuz it's of Saddam's time! Well, I don't agree that it should be removed cuz it's our history and has to stay even if it remindes us of bad times. Check Photos From Iraq to see the monument's photos and other Iraqi monuments' photos.

Back to the first of December. It's not a real winter in Baghdad yet!! It seems that Winter is upset at the Baghdadis this year that it refuses to come! It rained few times here, and it was cold for a while, but it's not the real winter as it should be in this time of the year.

Again, the first of December, it was the AIDS Day. Or what it shoudl be called? Iraq is reported to have the least cases of AIDS among the other countries. That's a good thing.

On the first of December, I started reading a second book of that package I had from an American lady by mail. There are twenty six books ranging from fiction, non fiction, hitory, self improvement and other genres. The first book I read was "Personhood, The Art of Becoming Fully Human". I think the title can tell the book's contents. It was a very interesting book and worth to read. The second book is an American novel "To Kill a Mockingbird", it's a fameous novel which I have heard about so many time before, and I was so happy to see it among the other books I got. It's considered as a Modern American Novel written in 1960. That's my major for the Master degree :)

All the above was yesterday, and now we're back to the Present. What happened today? -Another lunch festival took place today, but it wasn't Dolma this time :), it was Kubba festival! Well, we can only gather for lunch at Fridays cuz everyone is either at work or university and we don't meet for lunch except for Fridays. So, on Fridays, Mom cooks for us anything that comes to our minds. Last Friday my mind talked and wanted Dolma. This Friday is Dad's turn, and he wanted Kubba. We were only three at lunch though, Micho was invited at her friend's for lunch.

Now I'm writing this and I see that time is passing. I'm listening to my MP3 songs which are all saved on my PC. The previous song was "Don't Speak" by No Doubt. The current song is Hotel California. The very previous ones were some of Chicago's old songs. This band remindes me of V.O.Y. F.M., the Iraqi radio station which used to broadcast songs and shows in English language before the war. Now the station is gone, I miss it! I used to listen to it all time although I never participated or called in any program in the station. It was fun and there was a specific time for each music genre. I liked the time between 10 P.M. and 2 A.M. Love songs like of Chicago, Westlife, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton and so many others.

Now I'm listening to Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You. It's one of the so many songs that also remindes me of V.O.Y. F.M.

Good Night

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Booooored !!

Hey all,

How are you doing?? I feel that my mind is empty! I've thinking of something to write about in the blog, but my mind is suddenly out of ideas. I have written a long post lately, but I haven' published it cuz I decided to save it for the Baghdad-Diary project with the German magazine. I will post the diareis here as well as soon I start with the project. I got an email from the same journalist asking me to send some photos (not personal ones), but rather photos of interesting places or things near home and university. Luckily, I am a "photo-ist"! I have dozens of photos to almost everything in Baghdad as I like to take my digital camera with me everywhere I go. Sometimes I think that I should have been a photographer or something like that!

I applied for a visa to Dubai. Mom will go there this month, and I want to go with her cuz I have nothing to do here except for staying at home all time switching between the national and the generator electricity! And also cuz I want to see my friend Attawie. I haven't seen her since October 2003 before she leaves the country. But there is a problem! I might not be able to get the visa cuz first, my passport reads "Student", and they might not agree to issue me a visa!! A second reason is cuz it's so hard for an Iraqi to get a visa nowadays, especially after Amman bombings


But I want to goooo!! Pray for me that I will get the visa easily!

Another thing, we got an email from the Fulbright lately telling the students who will take the Official TOEFL Test to prepare themselves to get scores higher than 575 cuz the High American universities will look first at them when accepting the Grantees in the colleges. Ta da!! My Official TOEFL scores are 557!! Can't I flip the numbers to make it just 575 instead of 557 ??!! I thought of retaking the test to get higher scores, but the deadline for registration was two days ago! Now this doesn't mean that I will lose my grant, it only means that high rank universities might not look at me!! Mom says that any university will be ok and I should not feel bad about this. I don't know!

I have some sort of obsession these days which is getting to each website of an American university! I'm checking all the colleges to get an idea about, and to see which one is better for my major field of study "Modern American Novel". I still have no clue! There might another test which the Fulbrighters and I should take. It's GRE Test. Some might take GMAT according their fields of study.

Dad was in Germany on a bussiness trip for two weeks, and he just got back home two days ago. So now you can imagine what did he bring with him ;) SHOPPING IS SO GREAT!! Especially if it's from a place like Germany! He's been talking about his trip telling every detail. Many photos were taking.

What else?! As if there was anything in the begining! Sorry for bothering you with this piece of junk called "post"!

Good Night, and please keep commenting!! ;)

Friday, November 25, 2005

Dolma Festival !!

Yaaay! We had a Dolma festival for lunch today!! Dolma is one of my favourite dishes. I wait for
it every Friday, and ask for it on every occasion or family gatherings! Dolma is a Turkish dish from where it originated, but it is found all over the Arab world.Each country has its particular way of cooking.For instance; the Turks line the base of the pot with cleaned pigs trotters, the Lebanese with lamb chops, while the Jordanians make each Dolma so small, each one a mouthful. My Mom makes it kinda large, and my Grandma calls it "pillow-like Dolma" !! :)

Basically any vegetable that can be stuffed is used; usually onions, vine leaves, courgettes, tomatoes and green peppers. In Iraq, we also use chard leaves instead of vine leaves [See photo above], onion, green peppers and any other vegetables that can be filled. Once the vegetables are stuffed they can be cooked, or even frozen until they are needed.

Check out more info about my favourite dish here

Want some Dolma recipes?!

Enjoy the photo! ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving to you my friends and to everyone who is celebrating this holiday. I hope that you are enjoying your turkey!:)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Baghdad Diary

I received an email today from a person who is working as a freelance journalist for the German magazine NEON. ( And here is also a translated page of the magazine's website )The journalist is organizing a story for the magazine about the daliy life of five or six Baghdad citizens for one week. The diaries are going to be published in the magazine as episodes for a whole week. So I was asked if I could participate in this project to write about my dailt life and the difficulties I face everyday in the "most dangerous" city in the world.

Doesn't that sound cool?! I never thought that would come a day when I can write about my own life in a foriegn magazine!

Baghdad bloggers, did anyone of you get such an email ??

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Meowing Cat

Just trying to blog from Flickr.

I don't like cats! But I've been chasing this little one for days trying to take pics for it.. It's been meowing non-stop all time for five days now!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

A Question

Hi all,

A new post is coming in the way, but there is a lack of electricity these days in Baghdad, and I also didn't finish writing the post yet. So it might take a couple of days to be published. So, while waiting for the new post.. here's a question for you. I will be glad to get some detailed answeres.

- If you were to choose one of the following, what would you choose? To hurt someone's feeling, or to be hurt ?! Why?

See ya :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Some Random Stuff

I finally had the chance to watch Harrp Potter tonight!! I've been waiting for years just to watch one part of that movie. I searched for the books but didn't find them. And there is Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory on TV right now It's the old version of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. I guess the new version is more fun, especially when there is Johny Depp :)

Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, I guess that was the first movie. I was sitting before the TV set all time, and didn't say one word.. Just watching and enjoying the movie. The good thing is that the TV set is kinda "huge" one, so I could watch every little detail.

What else.. Yes. I went to college two days ago and saw some of the classmates. There are no lectures yet! Can you believe this? College started almost two months ago, and still nobody goes and attends the lectures!! However, the M.A. students started with their study. Farah, my classmate who applied for the Fulbright with me but wasn't accepted, is one of the M.A. students in my department this year. She said that her first assignement is to study a play and discuss it next week. The play was "Everyman". Good luck for her.

So when I got to college, I saw the names of the M.A. students who have been accepted this year. The names were hung on the wall at the entry of the college. My name wasn't there for sure. I applied for it, and had the competitive exam in an oven-like place. I did well in the exam, but I knew that I wasn't going to go on with my study here! I had the feeling that it's going to be Fulbright.

Everyone was saying "sorry" to me cuz I wasn't among the "lucky" students of this year. Well, they don't know that I got what everyone wants to get! They don't know that I'm going to study in the U.S.. So who is the "lucky" here??! MEEEEEEEE. And in fact I went on with it and said " It's ok, I can apply next year!" I didn't tell everyone about the Fulbright. I was told during the interview I had in the embassy that I should not tell anything about it for my own safety.

Some news from college: Very few students found a job, and it wasn't within their field of Study! Abdul-Raheem, a Sumalian student and a classmate of mine, got out of Iraq and went to another country..but not back to his home. He's been here for six years, or maybe more. The big shock for me was some news about Ali Hashim, my classmates whom I wrote a post about, and put a photo for. His girlfriend dumpd him for a "richer" guy!!!! I remember that they were together all the time since our second year at college. And last time I met them they were extremely happy together, and they even talked about some planes they wanted to do together. And they said that they would get married in a short time after they both start with their M.A. study. They both applied for Master degree, but Ali gave up before the competitive exam cuz he knew he wasn't going to make it. Anyway, what I knew is that some guy who seems to be a rich one, or maybe a little bit richer than Ali asked for Alaa's hand for merriage. And she said yes! her reason is that she got a better chance! But Ali wasn't poor. She told him to be in her shoes and think about it, he would surely say yes. Where is the love?!

I'll go watch the rest of Wonka movie. Good night for all...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Eid Mubarak to all of you, may we spend next Eid in a happier world free of wars and terrorism

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Nuts in my blog !

Hey all, I recently noticed that there are two types of attacks in the blogsphere; one is the spam attack, and other is the anonyoums comments attack! Now I can see why most of the bloggers decided to close the comments section in their blogs! I swear you have all the right to do this.. it's killing.

Well, the spam attack can be stopped easly by turning the Word verification on. But what to do with the other attack! Ignoring is not a good solution for it, I guess.

I had been attacked twice by anonymous commenters. One was telling me not to go to the U.S.A., and the other one was telling me to GET LOST cuz I don't deserve to study there! He claims that I support the carbombings in Iraq and that I want Sunnis to illegally rule over Kurds and Shiites. And who knows what's next! He might give me the title of a "Terrorist"!

I have to admit that he made me go back and read all my previous post all over again to check what the hell I wrote! I really don't wanna close the comments section in my blog, but I do expect respect from commenters. Simply, why do you read my blog if you don't like what I write?! Nuts is the last thing I want in my blog!

I could recover the sidebar finally. Thank you guys for the help.

John, I'm sorry that I didn't email you till now! I'm just being busy, I found you the tavern's photo.

See you all.

Monday, October 31, 2005

!!! !! ?!?!

Why the sidebar in my blog is going down the page!!?!

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Eldest And The Youngest Cousins in The Family!

I have a new cousin !! A very cute and little boy. He's the first son of my uncle's, and the first cousin I have from an uncle ( the mother's side ). Everyone went to see him in my grandparents' home this evening. And since I'm being crazy with taking photos these days, I took my digital camera and vedio camera with me to take pics for him. He's the youngest cousin in the family, and I'm the eldest one! Wow! I'm 21 years older than that little pink creature.

My other cousins were there, we all gathered around him taking pics as if he was a VIP!! Then my grandma saw my camera and asked me if I'm collecting photos for the family to take them with me to the U.S., and I said yes. Then I told her that the eldest granddaughter is going, but a new grandson is coming instead ! I remeber when Mom called her to tell her about my scholarship grant, she cried over the phone and said that she might die without seeing me again! And I kept telling her that she would see me again and with the M.A. degree.

My uncle doesn't want to go to his work tomorrow cuz he wants to stay with his son! and he kept saying " How will I go tomorrow! I want to keep looking at him".

All the cousins I talked about now are from my Mom's side. My other cousins who are from Dad's side live in another city far away from Baghdad, and I get to see them very little that I almost don't know what to write about them. I don't know about the personalities and their perspectives of life and view points, so I don't know how to mention them. They are so far away.

Good Night

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Tagged to an Assignment

I saw some Iraqi bloggers doing this assignment. Then Hassan sent me an email telling
me to do so as everybody is doing it. Seems fun indeed. So I thought of giving it a try and see what happens.

So here it goes...

Seven Things I plan to Do:
1. Go to the U.S.A. and study for my M.A. degree.
2. Apply for another study program for my Ph.D. while I'm in the U.S.A.
3. Read the 26 books I received from the United States lately. I started with the first book in fact.
4. Lose some weight. I'm not fat, but I want to lose weight.
5. Go shopping for my travel.
6. Start packing, after shopping.
7. Be someone that my parents can be proud of. They are already proud of me, but I wanna do things that make them be prouder.

Seven Things I Can Do:
1. Get online from 10 P.M. till 6 in the morning continuously.
2. Blog daily.
3. Watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S. over and over again.
4. Stay alone at home or anywhere else for a long time.
5. Stay sane in an insane environment.
6. make everyone feels hopeful and O.K.
7. Listen to music all time.

Seven Things I can't do:
1. Be good at politics.
2. Stop making friends.
3. Drink the necessary amount of water, cuz I forget !
4. Stop forgetting to do things.
5. Stop blogging.
6. Wake up early every morning.
7. Remembering new people's faces!

Seven things I say most often:
1. Is this the generator or the national electricity?
2. Who's online. ( I always as my sister this question whenever she's online).
3. Ahooo! When I get diaconnected from the internet.
4. I'm going to U.S.! (I say this alot these days.)
5. I forgot! .. I often forget.
6. Beeha al kheir. ( to end a conversation)
7. Cha shinsawee! (I make everyone angry with this!)

Seven bloggers I want to pass this tag to:
1. Micho La Jolie Fille
2. Attawie
3. Little Snippet
4. Anarki13
5. The_Kid Himself
6. AC Blue Eagle
7. Children's Voice From Iraq

Let's see more of those assignments.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Yes or No!

Well, I've been thinking of the referendum and the voting issue since yesterday. I could email any of my friends and talk about it, but I finally decided to write it here. I don't want to make anyone dizzy with what's in my mind. I was wondering why some people are with the constitution and why some others are against it. For me, I'm not with and not against! I don't know how, but I feel indifferent about it.. as it is the same for me about politics.

I admit that I didn't read the draft as many Iraqis didn't read it. And if you want the truth, I have no clue about its contents. Maybe it's because I lost hope in this government..... NO, NO, NO, I didn't have any glimpse of hope in it since the begining, I didn't even vote for it during the elections in January, I chose another list in that time.

We, people in Iraq, heard many stories saying that this constitution is already determined whether we voted for or against it.... And many stories like these! I asked this question "Why yes, and why no?" Here are some answers: Yes cuz we want to settle down. Yes cuz we don't want to re-live the passed year with it's bad circumstances. Yes cuz we don't want to the American troops to stay for another year. Yes cuz it's already pre-determined, so there is no use of saying no. No cuz the sinna didn't participate in it. No cuz it is made under the occupation. No cuz it is not a good constitution. No cuz of the federalism part in it and other points which are not good. Yes yes yes, and No no no... and many other reasons. I collected those reasons from different people, family and friends.

I had an arguement with blueman about the whole issue today. We talked about politics. Being from different sects, we didn't agree on each other's points of view. He said " I want this constitution to fail cuz I want to laugh at the government for its great faliure and false promises". I had my daily tour in the Iraqi blogs and the non-Iraqi blogs which talk about Iraq. All of those blogs are talking about the constitution. And I noticed that most of the Iraqi bloggers voted "No". I liked Zeyad's post about it, only three words! " I voted against".

As a matter of fact, the news were kinda astonishing today; knowing that so many people voted against the constitution. This wasn't expected at all, at least in my mind. I thought that many people would vote for it after all the hard work of advertising for it! You can clearly see the advertisements of filling the streets of Baghdad and the other Iraqi cities, all saying yes for the constitution. We still don't know the final results yet though.

I don't know what else I should say, but I know that I still didn't get it out of my mind. So in your opinion, why is it yes? and why is it no?
Another question! Supposing that this constitution failed, and now there are other processes to make a new referendum. What makes us think that this other constitution will be better than the first one although it is established under the same circumstances?! I don't believe that things will be any better next year.

I hope I didn't make you dizzy with the ramblings of my mind. Thank you for reading, and hope to read your comments.

Good Night

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Two Photos With Different Stories

This first picture is of three baby porcupines in the size of hand. I like this kind of pics, actually I got it from Pebblepie and she told me that it is O.K. to post it in my blog. Thank you!

Now the other picture is what I wanted to talk about. Sure all Iraqis know who is Qasim Abu Al-Qas ! Now the second picture if for this famous resturant in Aadamyia district in north of Baghdad. I live near this area, and I spent most of my childhood there. But Ironically, I went to this resturant only once in my whole passed life! That day was the one of the happiest days in my college life. It was November 2002 when my friends and I suddenly decided to go pay a quick visit to Qasim Abu Al-Qas and buy Schawarma Sandwitches ( I hope the spelling is correct!). In that day, we were celebrating the birthday of F. ( I mean by "we" a group of six girls. We were together all the time). It was winter and very cold in that day, we almost had no lectures and we didn't know what to do to spend time. It was almost 1 o'clock afternoon, and there was still one hour and a half to go back home. Attawie suddenly popped up with an idea to go to Qasim Abu Al-Qas to buy fast food and go back to have it at college. It was O.K. with everyone of us except for Shabnem who refused the thought completely! I remember that she used to refuse to go out for lunch everytime during the first two years of college. But later it became ok with her to go out with us, she even came with me and my family on that picnic to the North of Iraq.

So went out of college at that day arguing! The first thing we used to argue about everytime we went out is that who should sit in the front chair!! No one us accepted to sit there, as if the taxi driver would bite us!! So everytime we were fighting on that issue making some funny excuses! One of those excuses were.. " You are fat, if you sit in the back chair with us there will be no enough space for the six of us!" Another excuse was.. " I can't sit in the fron chair, my skirt is kinda short and the driver might keep looking at me!!" or.. " No way! The taxi driver smells so bad !!" ... I laugh when I remeber this.

So in that day, the six of us were stuck in that " Brazili " taxi ! All of us wearing thick and long coats! Some were fighting and some were laughing, and F. ordering us not to laugh or talk in front of the taxi driver... ( 3eb baba don't laugh). Anyway, so we got to the resturant, stood there and ordered our take-away meal, then came back to college with our food. On our way back. When we came back to college, we saw Muhammad Sabir, a Plestenian student in my class, and he said that a professor was looking for us cuz we skipped her lecture!
All this, and Shabnem kept frowning at us all day long that day!

This post is a reminder for me to keep remembering college days.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Me and the U.S.A. !!

Hi all,

Maybe you are wondering about the post's title now. What is between me and the U.S. ! In fact, an anonyomus commenter had earged me to write this post indirectly. This commenter has been asking me a couple of times why do I want to study at the U.S.A. if I hate the American poeple and the American government ! Now I want to make somethings correct, so this post is dedicated to you, dear anonymous, and to all my friends and blog visitors who had mistaken me on this issue before.

First of all, this post is not a political one, I'm just correcting some ideas that some people have about me in this matter. So here it goes:

I never said that I hate the American people, and I don't hate them at all. I just don't know how you got this thought about me. Maybe now you will say that America invaded my country so do I still like its people! I will tell you, I have many American friends, some of them are American soldiers working in bases in Iraq and inside the Green Zone. I met many Americans via the internet and I made good friendships with those people. Some of them helped me by sending me books and stuff I need. (Do I hate the people who help me?!)... Above all, America is making my dream come true by studying abroad... and who knows, I might be able to live there for the rest of my life!

I know that you say the American people are the American government and if I hate one of them then I should hate the other one. I would like to say something here.. Am I obliged to like all the the presidents and governments of the countries in the world?! I DON'T LIKE MY GOVERNMENT EITHER !! You will ask why do I hate my government.. I will simply answer by saying that it gave me nothing at all, and it didn't make any good thing for my country since it has been elected and till now! ... ( Excuse me, this is my own opinion only, other people might see that I'm wrong about it.. But this is up to me only!) After all, everyone is free with what he/she thinks of.

Back to the anonymous commenter, I hope that you are reading this, You think that I would be unhappy if I study in the U.S.A. cuz I will be with people I don't like! I say no, on the contrary! I have friends there and I like them, and I know pretty sure that the American people are very kind and friendly people ( I say this on several experiences I had with them). And being in a Muslim or Christian community makes no difference for me as long as we are all human beings and share the same charecteristics; humanness, and the will to live in a peaceful and safe atmoshpere. We are all human beings and there is no importance if we share the same political views or not. We can all live peacefully together and we can love each other apart from our governments. This is my point of view at least !

I know that the American government is a good one and it does lots of good things for the American people. I know that many people voted for Bush to be the presidents for a second term, and that there are other people who didn't vote for him and didn't want him to become the presidents again... And yet they still communicate with each other.. If I hate or let us say "don't like" the American government, this doesn't mean that I can't live with the American people and can't study there either! I won't ask all the American people I meet if they hate or love their governments! This is a personal opinion and no one can interfere in it no matter what. I am not an American citizen, and I just see that my opinion and feeling about the American government is of no importance. And for me, I don't mix between the government and the people of a country.

This is my personal point of view about the whole matter, I know that other people might have opposite views. My opinion is up to me, and your opnion is up to you and I fully respect it.

Dear anonymous, I wish if you are reading this now so you could tell me your opinion after I made myself clear to you and to other friends :)

Peace for All ...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Photos From Iraq

Hey all,

I started a new blog today. It's Photos From Iraq, and it will contain only photos from different places of Iraq with comments on them. I would like to know if anyone of you likes to join and become a member of the blog to share any photos you have about ANYTHING in Iraq.

Email me to send you an invitation.

Thanks and peace for all

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Blue-Beard Man

Once upon a time, and a good time it was. There lived a weird man who had a blue rectangular-shaped beard. No one in the small village knew anything about him. Not even his name. He lived in a huge mansion all alone.

One day, as he was taking a tour in his carriage around the village as usual, he noticed a very beautiful girl walking on the roadside and carrying a bunch of white lilies in her hands. He decided to follow that girl at once to know her place of living! Finally he knew her home, and after nights of dreaming of her he decided to go and ask for her hands for marriage.

That beautiful girl, named Christine, was the most beautiful and the smartest girl in the village. The blue-beard man was way too old for her but she accepted to marry him cuz he's a lonely man and he needed people to be around him to love him and care for him. And so she was that one for him.

After they got married, they moved to his mansion which was located near the mountain. The house stood in that place all alone among the giant old trees. There was no sight for houses of even people in that place at all.

One day, the man gave Christine the mansion's keys and said "Here are the mansion's keys, now you are incharge of everything except for that black room in the basement!". Christine wondered what could be hidden in that room and why her dear husband would hide it from her! But she got no answer. Days passed and she couldn't stop thinking of that mysterious room. She was left alone at home by her husband for long hours everyday and there was no one around to talk with. Eventually, she decided to go down the basement and open the room's door to reveal her husband's secret.

She had the keys, and all what she could do is to wait for her husband to go out in the morning so that she's alone to go into the room. That minute came when she headed to her aim. Her hands were shaking as she put the key in the keys hole, but she was determined to know what was behind that door. The room was completely dark and there were no windows, but she could see everything.

The scene was horrified to the degree thst she fell down on the floor immediately, and the keys were lost from her on the ground. She saw dead bodies hanged from the ceiling!!! Those were the ex-wives of her husband. All died in the same terrible way and hanged side by side in that black room!!! Stains of blood were filling the room's floor, and the smell can make anyone faint.

She sat there crying her heart out looking at those poor women. She wondered what they did that made them deserve such this tragic death, and again, she found no answer! She started to think that her end might be the same. She looked for the keys in the blooded floor and rushed out of the room to call for her two brothers to come and rescue her from that devil.

Suddenly, her husband came back early and felt that there was something wrong going on. But she said that there was nothing except that she fell on the ground and hurt herself.

- "Did you get into that room?!" He said suspectedly.
- "Ah!... What room are you talking about, darling?!" She answered with a sound full of fear.
- "The room in the basement !" He shouted.
- "No, I didn't".

He suddenly became so angry and threw the keys in her face.

-"Then why the keys are full of blood?! ANSWER ME"

He didn't wait to hear her answer. He dragged her cruelly from her hair and took her down the stairs to where the room was. She started to sob and begged him not to kill her like the other women...... But all was in vain!

As he was preparing to kill her in that room, he told her that he killed them all because they didn't listen to him and opened the room's door behind his back, and that now she had to face the same destiny cuz she did exactly what they did before.

- "Women are all the same!"

She prayed that her brothers would be there in time and asked him to let her pray before he killed her. And he said O.K. She prayed and cried on that room's floor, and he was there right behind her heading his gun to the back of her head getting ready to pull the trigger whenever she was done.

And yet her brothers didn't show up!!

He shouted at her saying that was enough but she begged him for more ten minute.

Time elapsed quickly and her brothers were nowhere to be seen. She became very desperate and lost hope n everything. She started to think of her past life and her family... And her tragic horrible end. She doubted that anyone would know anything about the way she died, and that maybe other wives would come and die the same way!!

He couldn't wait for more time, and anger controlled him from head to toe, he shouted angrily as he pulled the trigger at last. She could hear it in her head. A gun shot was out, and she fell on the floor.. Covered with blood. He fell beside her too. He was killed, not her! her brothers were standing at the room's door. They could rescue her in the last moment.

She was saved by the bell !

Tell me your opinion.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My Blog is Back!!

Ramadan Kareem for all of you Bloggers, visitors, anonymous commenters... and to the whole Islamic world. I pray in this month to God to save us all and to protect us and our country from the harm. Inshalla next Ramamdan we'll be free of occupasion.

My blog is back at last !

I was having a problem to view my blog since two days. I don't know what happened to it. So I had to change the template, and now it's back again. But all my links and stuff on the sidebar are gone now!

Now I have to redo the hard works again to bring 'em all back.

I will post the first story by night maybe.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Blog Problem!

Hey all,

I'm having a problem with veiwing my blog! It happened since last time I published my last post "My Online Copybook". I don't know if any of you can veiw it. Nothing works with me except the "New Post" page. Even the settings and templates pages are not working!

All what I see is the upper toolbar. Please, email me if you can see this and know what to do to solve the problem!!

Peace for all.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

My Online Copybook

Micho reminded me of an old copybook I made by myself when I was in the elementary school. I used to write the cartoons' stories in my simple way, and I used to draw pictures of the characters as well. I remember that I wrote many stories that we used to watch on TV like that old cartoon "7kayat 3alamia" . I don't know where is that copybook now. Probably Mom threw it with other old stuff! Don't know.

So I saw that it might be a good idea if I rewrite those old tales now. But this time I will do it in English language and I will add more details. I don't remember the Cartoons I watched in details, so I might also change somethings in them.

The first tale will be titled "The Man With The Blue Beard" from "7kayat 3alamia". I wonder if you, Iraqi readers, remember this story! I am working on it in the background now, and I will try to draw some pictures as I used to do before. But this time it will be an Online Copybook!

And by the way, Micho started her own blog, and Attawie is back to the Bloggers world! Check them out.

Good Night!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Arabian Nights

As I was watching "Arabian Nights" this evening, I remembered a poem I studied in my senior year at the university. It was about Baghdad. The poem is written byt Lord Alfred tennyson, and it's title is Recollection of The Arabian Nights..

Here's the poem.. read it and know how great Baghdad is!

WHEN the breeze of a joyful dawn blew free In the silken sail of infancy,
The tide of time flow'd back with me,
The forward-flowing tide of time;
And many a sheeny summer-morn,
Adown the Tigris I was borne,
By Bagdat's shrines of fretted gold,
High-walled gardens green and old;
True Mussulman was I and sworn,
For it was in the golden prime Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Anight my shallop, rustling thro'
The low and bloomed foliage, drove
The fragrant, glistening deeps, and clove
The citron-shadows in the blue:
By garden porches on the brim,
The costly doors flung open wide,
Gold glittering thro' lamplight dim,
And broider'd sofas on each side:
In sooth it was a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Often where clear-stemm'd platans guard
The outlet, did I turn away
The boat-head down a broad canal
From the main river sluiced, where all
The sloping of the moon-lit sward
Was damask-work, and deep inlay
Of braided blooms unmown, which crept
Adown to where the water slept.
A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

A motion from the river won
Ridged the smooth level, bearing on
My shallop thro' the star-strown calm,
Until another night in night
I enter'd, from the clearer light,
Imbower'd vaults of pillar'd palm,
Imprisoning sweets, which, as they clomb
Heavenward, were stay'd beneath the dome
Of hollow boughs.--A goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Still onward; and the clear canal
Is rounded to as clear a lake.
From the green rivage many a fall
Of diamond rillets musical,
Thro' little crystal arches low
Down from the central fountain's flow
Fall'n silver-chiming, seemed to shake
The sparkling flints beneath the prow.
A goodly place, a goodly time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Above thro' many a bowery turn
A walk with vary-colour'd shells
Wander'd engrain'd. On either side
All round about the fragrant marge
From fluted vase, and brazen urn
In order, eastern flowers large,
Some dropping low their crimson bells
Half-closed, and others studded wide
With disks and tiars, fed the time
With odour in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Far off, and where the lemon grove
In closest coverture upsprung,
The living airs of middle night
Died round the bulbul as he sung;
Not he: but something which possess'd
The darkness of the world, delight,
Life, anguish, death, immortal love,
Ceasing not, mingled, unrepress'd,
Apart from place, withholding time,
But flattering the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.
Black the garden-bowers and grots
Slumber'd: the solemn palms were ranged
Above, unwoo'd of summer wind:
A sudden splendour from behind
Flush'd all the leaves with rich gold-green,
And, flowing rapidly between
Their interspaces, counterchanged
The level lake with diamond-plots
Of dark and bright. A lovely time,
For it was in the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.
Dark-blue the deep sphere overhead,
Distinct with vivid stars inlaid,
Grew darker from that under-flame:
So, leaping lightly from the boat,
With silver anchor left afloat,
In marvel whence that glory came
Upon me, as in sleep I sank
In cool soft turf upon the bank,
Entranced with that place and time,
So worthy of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Thence thro' the garden I was drawn--
A realm of pleasance, many a mound,
And many a shadow-chequer'd lawn
Full of the city's stilly sound,
And deep myrrh-thickets blowing round
The stately cedar, tamarisks,
Thick rosaries of scented thorn,
Tall orient shrubs, and obelisks
Graven with emblems of the time,
In honour of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

With dazed vision unawares
From the long alley's latticed shade
Emerged, I came upon the great
Pavilion of the Caliphat.
Right to the carven cedarn doors,
Flung inward over spangled floors,
Broad-based flights of marble stairs
Ran up with golden balustrade,
After the fashion of the time,
And humour of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.
The fourscore windows all alight
As with the quintessence of flame,
A million tapers flaring bright
From twisted silvers look'd to shame
The hollow-vaulted dark, and stream'd
Upon the mooned domes aloof
In inmost Bagdat, till there seem'd
Hundreds of crescents on the roof
Of night new-risen, that marvellous time
To celebrate the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Then stole I up, and trancedly
Gazed on the Persian girl alone,
Serene with argent-lidded eyes
Amorous, and lashes like to rays
Of darkness, and a brow of pearl
Tressed with redolent ebony,
In many a dark delicious curl,
Flowing beneath her rose-hued zone;
The sweetest lady of the time,
Well worthy of the golden prime
Of good Haroun Alraschid.

Six columns, three on either side,
Pure silver, underpropt a rich
Throne of the massive ore, from which
Down-droop'd, in many a floating fold,
Engarlanded and diaper'd
With inwrought flowers, a cloth of gold.
Thereon, his deep eye laughter-stirr'd
With merriment of kingly pride,
Sole star of all that place and time,
I saw him--in his golden prime,
The good Haroun Alraschid.

Another thing that reminded me of this poem is that I finally went to Al Mutanabi Street this morning! I've been dreaming of going there since three years. I used to go there regulary with Dad before the war. But now I can't go anytime I like cuz of the current situation. This street is for books mainly. There are books weverywhere! on the floor, on the walls, inside the libraries... it's just everywhere in that street. People sell and other people buy or just browse. People hunry for knowledge. I bought three books; two novels "Dust to Dust", "The Bird And The Nightingale" and a thrd book about famous Americans called "Twelve Famous Americans".

I also found an electronice text of the Arabian Nights, if you are interested to read the stories of the Arabian Nights. Most of the details of this book took place in Baghdad.

The Arabian Nights, Selected and Edited by Andrew Lang

Good Night for All...

At last I could post the photo of Ali Hashim, the classmate I wrote about in the previous post. I posted this photo to remember college days.. I won't post photos of the girls cuz sure they won't like this, but it's ok with Ali :) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A Classmate

Now you all wonder who is A.H.!

He is a classmate of mine at college, or let us say he "was" as now I am a graduate! I found this photo I made about during our graduation and decided to post it here to remember happy college days. He was surrounded by girls all the time! Although he doesn't seem to be that type of guys that girls stay around all the time... but he was extremely funny and makes jokes all the time... and about everyone in the department and outside the department as well..

I remember after the war, A. and Attawie were stuck to some phrases from that Iraqi CD "3fareet Al Montaj" .. Maybe some Iraqis remeber it by now! They were talking in the same way of that CD all the time.. A. would say " Cha ma takil flafil ?!".. till the end of the converation, and the Attawie would add " Lo 9'ala khea6a a7senli ! "

Well I think now everyone of you is asking what the hell I'm talking about, and what are those weird lines!! Sorry but I won't translate ;)

But why did I make this photo? ... A. liked to tease all the students when it came to taking photos. He would suddenly jump in front of the camera and reuin the photo. He is not a mean person, but he did it for fun.. and no one actually complained of this. Untill one day I got fed up with his jokings, especially about the girls.. and I decided to revenge on him for the girls in the department. And by the way, the girls were many more than the guys in my department.. So you can guess how a cruel revenge would it be!!

And since he liked to tease the other students with his games of jumping in front of the camera, I decided to revenge in the same way. I took some photos for him, some he knew about and others were taken behind his back.. ( what a devil I could be sometimes!! ).. And untill the graduation party I told him that I had a big surprize for him... I told him that with a devilish smile on my face! He doubted that I would d0 something but he dared me that I can't !!!

Girls can do hell !

One morning after the graduation party, I went to college as usual. I took out a big sheet of paper and hanged it on the classroom's door. ( we still have small classrooms in my college!)..
So what was that paper about?.. It contained some photos for A., arranged and edited by Photopshop. I collected some photos for him, the funny ones mainly, and put them together and wrote under it " A.H., Wanted! "

I hanged it on the door so that everyone can see it. A. was late that day.. I said this is better so he would come and sit in his chair which is located directly in front of the door... and he would see his surprize!

We were having a lecture in poetry the moment he came. He sat in his place. He noticed that everyone was looking at him and smiling! But he didn't know why. Then he raised his head and looked ahead... He saw the photo at last.... He looked at it, then turned his face........ then looked again!......... and then again not believeing that this was him in the photo!!
His face turned totally red ! I couldn't help laughing and F. was sitting beside me telling me not to laugh! but we both laughed and looked at him. He knew at that time that it was me who did it !

Till after the lecture.. he was laughing at himself in the photos and kept asking me when and where did I take those photos! I said nothing for him except " this is the revenge of every photo you reuined! " Of course I said it laughing! But he kept remembering it with resentment !! And I also kept reminding him of what I did to him whenever he was trying his games of jumping in front of the cameras or freaking out the girls ! .. He also used to sneak behind anyone and says
" Boooooo" in that person's ear which made all scream.

Now he's engaged to his girlfriend Alaa. They both applied for the M.A. studies at college, but I heard that he quit the plan cuz he didn't have time to prepare for the competative exam, and also cuz he didn't like to continue with the M.A.

Good Old Days!

Note: I am trying to post the photo but there are some errors occuring during the upload procces! I will try Hello or Picasa to upload it.. The photo might be here by midnight.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

{Jokes of the day!}

Suddenly all thoughts are out of mind ! So I'm posting jokes of the day!!

+ A tornado hit a farmhouse just before dawn. It lifted the roof off, picked up the beds on which the farmer and his wife slept, and set them down gently in the next county. The wife began to cry. "Don't be scared, Susan," her husbandsaid. "We are not hurt." Susan continued to cry. "I'm not scared," she said between sobs. "I'm happy 'cause this is the first time in 15 years we've been out together.

+ A Sunday school teacher asked the children in her class, "If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into Heaven?" "No!" the children all answered."If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into Heaven?" Again the answer was "No!""Well", she continued, "then how can I get into Heaven?"A five-year-old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead!"


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oh No !!

The countdown for the Fulbright results started today! Now I'm expecting it in any time. But one of my classmates who applied for the Fulbright with me got her result two days ago. She's not approved ! I didn't get my result yet, and so as one of the applicants. WHY?!

Farah (the classmate) called me today to ask if I got the Fulbright email. I said no, but I'm expecting it these days. She told me that she got it two days ago and she's not approved cuz she got less than 600 scores in the ITP test, and it was written in the email that the competition is so hard this year and there are almost 100 applicants, and they chose the ones whose scores are 600 and above!! They demanded only 550 scores for the TOEFL or the ITP at first.
But this is impossible, her scores are more than mine, and her graduation grades are also higher than mine!! Why didn't I get the email yet?

As I started to comapre, I remembered that she had the ITP test, not the Official TOEFL. I had the official one which was highly recommended. And maybe she scrwed up in the interviw! For me, I did pretty well.

I don't know, but I'm just trying to cling to this false hope. Mom said that maybe they sent emails to the disapproved applicants first, and maybe will send the approved ones later. Or maybe they are relooking at some application files before they give the final jugde!

I felt very sorry for her, she sounded very angry on the phone. But I can say that she still have another chance to go on with her M.A. as she's the first student in the department and she will start with her M.A. degree this year. The first student in every department has the right to get his Master degree without a competitive exam. While I'm the sixth in my department.

I hope the best will happen...

Good Night all

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Thank You!

Hey all, I'm baaaaaack!! Back to normal ;)

I don't know what to write. But this time is because I'm laughing and feeling happy!

Thanks for those cool comments, friends. They really made me happy! Well, well, well... I think one of the reasons that made me kinda depressed last week waz staying up for long hours late at night. I stay up till 3:30 or 4 P.M. almost every night!!! Nothing to do except for trying to finish the dozens of emails I get from 007_iraq and surfing the net. I was obssesed with searching for mobile themes during the past two weeks!! And I found many! I even found the " Grendizer" theme and sent it to that group. I'm thinking of puting it here as well. I know we are all crazy about that cartoon :)

I think the name "Heeho" is spreading well these days! It's not my real nickname, but I invented it this way to be rhyming with "Micho" . It can't be "Hesho" for sure!!!

The result didn't come out yet. And the dream stopped coming as well ! Hmmm.

Now ANARKI you remined me! I want to count my email accounts :) I think I have 100 accounts.

The first one was haneen841.... I signed up for it in the end of the year 2003. And then I made the same ID on Hotmail in order to use Msn messenger.
Then there was magic_carbet_h in March or April 2004. I got fed out with the spam attack on my first ID and I hated useing the msn. I wrote "carpet" as "carbet" cuz I was too lazy to go check it in the dictionary at that time.
In July 2004, the day before the operation I had. I made mesopotamiah on hotmail. I added the "h" at the end cuz the ID was not available.
Then two months after the operation, I made millehoney. This is the official one for the current time! "mille" means "honey" in French but there is a spelling mistake in it and I just kept it as it is cuz I didn't want to add numbers to the ID as I did with my first one.
Another one, millehoney@gmail. This one is just for fun! There are some other accounts here and there on and

How many so far?!

Dear Kid, I bet that everyone is waiting to see your guitar's photos. Yalla, post it soon.

Hey Najma, how is school going? I also check your blog to read your new posts. God I really miss school. Not to study of course, but for fun :)

I really thank you all for leaving comments here. In fact I never expected that anyone would comment !

They say online friends do much :)

I'll go try a way to upload the theme to the blog..

Good Night my friends, God save you all.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Say Hi to My Gang!!

Say Hi to the Cool Guy!

It's been long time! I don't know why but I don't feel like posting anything here these days! I don't even have any good stuff to write about. Everything is making me feel down.. starting from the massive killings and bombings in Iraq, the endless waiting for the Fulbright result.. to everything else! I tried to write this post many times but everytime I publish it I get disconected from the internet ! Even the internet is not normal these days.

The Fulbright result should come out within these days. I don't know how to think about it. It will decide the next two years of my life and the following years as well. I don't know what I should be doing in case I don't get the scholarship. I'm so excited about it and I think that I will feel broken if the result is "NO". I think alot about it and can't stop this! I'm having so many dreams at night that I see myself moving to a new home, or going on a trip to the north of Iraq. My aunt had a dream few days ago; my Mom was preparing for a huge feast in the dream, and she invited a minister to that feast and we were moving to new home, again. The moving to a new home is one of the dreams I have every night! But in every dream I see myself getting into the new home alone, having mixed feelings of happiness and sadness. Happy cuz I'm moving to the new home which is very big and stylish, sad cuz I'm leaving my current home which I love so much. Who knows maybe this means that I'm leaving my family soon!

I'm the worst person when it comes to politics, it makes me angry to talk about all of those horrible things that are happening to us. It's unfair. It's all for no reason. People die for no reason here just because they are poor people who are meant to be in the wrong place and time.

Since I have no good materials to post tonight, I decided to put my toys' pictures here (My Gang). People, please keep coming to my blog. I swear I will write about good things within the coming days. I'm just having a run of bad mood now! That's all :)

This is my GANG, but those are not all of its members.Someare being shy!

And another pic of the Gang's main leaders!

The sweet Chicken

Peace All........