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...


Bill said...

Kool post..quite interesting..are u hinting that electricity is a problem??

Original_Jeff said...

I am a new reader of your blog!

Thanks for describing your day (we might say "a slice of life"). The nice relationship you have with your uncle makes me wish I lived in the same city as my nieces and nephews (all of whom are very bright, beautiful and handsome, and funny--but perhaps I am a little biased).

By the way, congratulations on being selected as a Fulbright student. That is really terrific! Do you know what you wish to study? (i.e. what will be your major?). I guess you will enroll as a masters degree student? Are you looking for a large school or small school? Do you know what area of the USA you might like to live (warm, cold, west coast, east coast?). There are many resource on the internet for comparing schools on many, many criteria...

p.s. I look forward to reading what you observe during the upcoming elections.

programmer craig said...

Hi Haneen :)

I'm also a new reader, first time visit. You write very well! And your photos are good too! Are you a jouranlism major by chance?

I bookmarked you already, and I'm sure I'll be a frequent visitor. I tend not to comment much on most blogs, but I'll be around reading at least :)

Keep up the good work, your posts are very interesting.

Melantrys said...

Bill, she shouldn't be hinting, she should be shouting.
I've been attempting to chat with someone else in Baghdad the last week, and we're always cut off due to the high amount of power failures at the moment.
That is so annoying!

Morbid Smile said...

Hello all, and welcome for the new visitors :)

Bill, the electricity is a huge disaster here! I'm not hinting, in fact I can't just hint! The lack of the electricity is one of the reasons we don't have a normal life in Iraq. It's also one of the reasons why the Iraqi bloggers can't make a post everyday. And this lack is getting worse everyday!

Hello Original_Jeff, you welcome here :) My uncles and grandparents used to live in a far away area, almost outside Baghdad. And I could barely see them or visit them after the war cuz the roads were pretty dangerous and ful of American and Iraqi convoys which were targeted all time! But now they moved to a new home which is near my home, and I can see them everytime I want. In iraq, we like family gatherings alot, and you can always see the cousins, relatives, and even far away relatives all gathering in one place for a get together every now and then. We just love this.
Thanks for your congrades, I just can't wait to be there myself! My major field of study is Modern American Novel. I am going to persue with my Master degree. I have a B.A. degree in English literature and I was always interested in literature, especially novels. And as about the univesities, I will be given some options and will choose the university I want. It doesn't matter to me if I will be in a cold or hot area, but I would like to try new things and atmospheres to me. Guess everything will be new for me over there!

Hello Programmer Graig, nice to meet you here. I have read some of your comments on other blogs. I'm glad that you liked the photos. Actually, no I'm not a journalism major, but I like photos alot. Dad is very good at taking photos and snapshots, and I guess I got that from him. My camera is with me all time, and I also search for photos on the net. You can find so many pretty ones online.

Hey Melantrys, how is it going? You know, it's like hell when you chat with someone and then one of you get cut off from the electricity. Really annoying! It always happens to me, and that's why I don't login to the messenger that much. I feel embarresed when something like this happen, I keep thinking that the person I'm chatting with might think that I wasn't interested in the chatting and signed out without saying good-bye!!!

Original_Jeff said...

You'll have to tell us once you know which universities you might attend!

Regarding computers and power... A laptop computer would be nice because the laptop could run for hours on its own battery power. This assumes that your connection to the internet continues even when the power is off...

I am afraid there is no quick or cheap solution to power problems in Iraq. Stopping terrorist attacks on power systems is vital. You also need to build lots of generating plants, transmission networks, and distribution facilities. Also, you need lots of money to maintain and operate what you have. But you also need well-trained and skilled engineers and technicians--with the right tools and spare parts. The USA has spent $2 700 000 000 (2.7 billion) on Iraq's electricity needs so far!

Does anyone from the Iraqi government try to explain these things to the Iraqi public?

Here is the detailed report from the U.S. government about electricity in Iraq (October 2005 report):
Scroll down about 1/3 of the way until you see "SECTOR: Electricity"

Original_Jeff said...

Oops, link to report was cut off. The October 2005 report is here about 1/3 of the way down under Sector: Elctricity.

Bill said...

I no I no....was just kidding ;o)

Melantrys said...

Might add a ;) next time, Bill.... :P

Seems you're not the only one who feels that way, Haneen. Today I got an offline message from Ceasar o.P., apologizing and assuring me he was not dropping out of our chats on purpose. I mean, it's annoying as hell (especially as yahoo sometimes needs such a looooong time to catch up on events, and you sit there wondering: Is he just busy with something else, or is it the darn power again...?) but there's nothing you ppl can do about it, so... *shrugs*

MrAnderson said...

Haneen, was the electricity this bad before the war started? One of the reasons that I hear that electricity is this bad is that because right now its completely free and so alot of Iraqis don't have to worry about accruing charges for plugging in many appliances. Is this true?

cooper said...

great post. so wonderful to read about daily life in iraq. I can't imagine what it's like to hear explosions. hopefully winter won't have any reason to be mad at baghdad soon. blessings!

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Hi Haneen,

Yes, the power is a biiiig problem. Not only do you have the redistribution to areas that were cut off before (under Saddam), you have the added load to pick up extra appliances and also the deliberate destruction by the insurgents. My brother works for a power company here in Minnesota and to build new power plants can take years.

I'm not going to give you any hints on what happens next in "To Kill a Mockingbird". :) I never like it when my Mother or friends tell me what happens in a book. It spoils the whole thing.

I rented "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" last night. It was O.K. I'm not really an Angelina Jolie fan. It was a little over the top in it's effort at humor. Although parts were funny. I actually enjoyed the Harry Potter movies better.

Take care and enjoy your Spring weather while it lasts! :)

Morbid Smile said...

Hi all,

Well, the lack of the electricity has been a big problem in Iraq since the war, but it's getting worse now. Before the war, the old government used to say that we had a sanction and we can't rebuild the electricity powers, but as I remember it was kinda stable.

And for the time being, it's bad cuz of all of those attacks that we get. The electricity is affected with every attack on power, oil and water resources and pipes. Sometimes it becomes good, but then we hear that it's been hit and it will need time to fix it again, so we get a reduction of the on and off schedule.. and so on.

And about using laptops, many people started to do this. I don't have a laptop myself but I will need to buy one when I get to the U.S. And also, most of the people who use the computers for long times bought U.P.S. devices for their computers cuz it saves the P.C. from being damaged by the unstable electricity. I have a U.P.S. but my internet connection is plugged to the electricity as well, so when the electricity gets off, I get disconnected from the internet but the computer keeps working. I can fix this too.

Mr Anderson, what you hear is somehow right, but the electricity is not really free here. We pay for it but not that much. You can say that it's cheap. Water service is also cheap here. But it's also right that people don't really worry about charges so they plug in many appliances.

Hey cooper, it's nice to see you here again :) I'm glad that you liked the post. There is more to come soon..

Lynnette, that mad dog was killed in the novel. Scout and Jem were surprised to know that their father was Ol' One Shot! Hey by the way, I got two DVD's of Harry Potter (four parts)!! I have them all now!!! :) But I found out that my CD-ROM doesn't read DVD's !! :(

Cheers for all...

CMAR II said...

When you get a chance you should watch the new movie "Capote" about Truman Capote writing the classic "In Cold Blood". Harper Lee was a Research Assistant on the book. She and Capote lived next door to each other growing up in Alabama. Catherine Keener plays Harper Lee.

My favorite scene in the movie takes place at the premier of the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird". Check it out. :-)

programmer craig said...

Hey there, Haneen-

"But I found out that my CD-ROM doesn't read DVD's !!"

Well, that must suck... I have a DVD player out in the living room, but I prefer to watch DVDs on my PC. I just got it working again today though (the DVD player) - I haven't been able to play them since I re-installed windows a couple months ago. Turns out the DVD decoder isn't included with the DVD drivers (which REALLY makes a lot of sense!?) and I had to dig around in the garage til I found the decoder software.

So, anyway... Yay! I can watch DVDs on my PC again.

Point being... are you sure you aren't having the same problem I just had? For the last few years most PCs in the US have come with DVD players rather than CD-ROM drives, since a DVD drive will also read CD-ROMs.

Well... if not, I'm sure your new laptop will be able to play them :)

attawie said...

hi Haneen..

You can never Imagin how I miss the taste of Kahi.. You can find any kind of Iraqi food you wish to eat but Kahi.