Monday, December 25, 2006

An Overview of My First Semester in the U.S.

Hello world! Long time no post. I've been bad, I know! But I was really busy, and somehow lazy. My first semester is over at last and now I'm having a winter break for a whole month in which I have nothing to do but watching T.V. and taking rides on the bus around town! There's not that much to do around here, actually. It's a small town and everything in it is based on the university, and now the campus is totally empty, almost all the students have left home for the break except me and other few students who are stuck here or prefer to stay on campus.

Since I arrived here two weeks after the beginning of classes, I didn’t get the chance to see anything or go anywhere. There were many trips for international students to New York, Washington D.C. and other big cities, but I couldn't go on any of them cuz I had to catch up with the studying and everything. Then one day my roommate and I decided to go on a trip to Washington D.C. after we finish the semester. A friend of mine was supposed to come to the trip with her husband, but later she canceled it and I ended up going with my roommate and three of her Taiwanese friends. The trip was for only two days cuz they had to come back to campus, pack and fly back home for the break. So, we called it a short and quick trip.

We hit the road on Saturday morning and started our trip to D.C., and about three to four hours later my friend called me to check that everything was going well and that we were on the right road, and when I was reading the signs on the side of the street she realized that that was not the right road to D.C.! And when I told my roommate that, she said that we were just following the direction that we got from the internet. Only when I saw the directions, I knew that we were actually heading to a mall in Fairfax, Virginia!! She FORGOT to tell me that we were going to Virginia first!

Well, later, they didn't like to stick to all the plans that we had and preferred to spread out, everyone on his own for the day doing whatever they want to do. So, I ended up alone in D.C. for about the whole day, and I spent the whole time walking from the Capitol building, and all the way till Lincoln Memorial seeing everything and visiting The National Gallery of Art and The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (that what time permitted for museums, it was just one day and we had to go back home before sunset).

Though I was alone, my day there was amazing. The weather was so warm, people were everywhere in the National Mall jogging and walking their pets. I really felt that I was in the U.S.! Yes, it's really true!

And here are some photos that I took :)

Though I felt that I kind of messed up in my first semester, the results came out a couple of days ago, and guess what? I got an "A" on my three courses! J This first semester was hectic for me, and I had to read three novels a week and some essays and writing response papers and all. Then came the time when I had to prepare for my three final papers, and oh God, I was freaked out the whole time! Well, the system here is way different from Iraq, everything in class is different, the teaching methods, the way of writing paper and researching. Therefore, I had to learn how to switch to all those new ways in a very short time and try to catch up with everything. But thanks to God, everything went fine and the result came just as perfect! There was this one professor who wanted our final paper to be eligible to be published and wanted rough drafts for the paper along with long presentations that were taking most of the class's time. Some of the students in this class were complaining about this (I thought I was the only one!) and one of them said that he would write her a letter and say to her that she was wasting our time by those long presentations and rough drafts.. bla bla bla.

My three courses were Women Literature, Topics on American Literature Before 1870, and Topics on American Literature Since 1870. The last one was the hardest. We read the novels that were called "Proletarian" novels and the themes of naturalism, realism, postbellum issues and more. My favorite novel in this course was "The House behind the Cedars" by Charles W. Chesnutt.

Women Literature was my favorite course. It was so much fun and somehow easy. We read postcolonial novels and essays in this course written by women or about women. My favorite novels were "Beloved" by Toni Morrison, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, and "The Woman Warrior" by Maxine Hong Kingston.

As for my favorite novels in the "before 1870" class, they were "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe, "Billy Bud" and other stories by Herman Melville, and of course "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman. "Walden" was hard and I didn't like it!

It's getting really boring here now! My room is the first in the hall and located next to the main door that leads to the staircase and the outside, and today, I never heard that door opened AT ALL. I think I'm the only person staying in the whole building for Christmas! We, I've got nowhere else to go! It's not how I planed to spend my break here, but there is no other choice for me. Even the buses are not running for two days, so it means I will be stuck up here till everything comes back to life after the break. At least I have T.V. and cable in the room. My favorite channel is tbs.

Alright, I've been keeping this post for too long now, it's time to publish!

Merry Christmas everyone :)


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The First Snow!

I've been checking the forecast during the past week to see when is it going to snow.. and so it did today!! I waited till it was night to go out and walk down the streets with other three friends and took photos for my first and tiny snow experience!

This is the finest view that I could get though...


Friday, October 20, 2006

Starting New..

Well, hi! It's been way so long a time since I last wrote something "real" here! Sorry, folks, but I never imagined that I would this busy.

It's been so crazy and hectic since the very first day I left home, probably before that too. Saying good-bye to my family was the hardest part, way harder than I ever imagined it could be. Well, let me just start from the beginning cuz you probably wonder how I got back to the scholarship program after being announced as "unsuccessful".

I, myself, don't know how that happened actually. The more I think about it, the more I see how weird it is. Back is July when I got that email from the Fulbright telling me that I no longer could go to the U.S. for my studies as a result of having been rejected in several universities for reasons that were, and still, unknown, I decided to go to Jordan with my mother and sister to clear my mind and think of what to do next.

On that morning when I was at the airport back in Baghdad waiting for the flight to Jordan, I got a phone call from someone who works in the embassy and told me that he got news from the Fulbright regarding my university placement. I couldn't absorb what he was talking about cuz I was assured several times that that was it! But the man kept telling me that he got a new answer from them saying that they got me a placement in a new university, and that they would send me an email with full details about it all. Then I knew that I had only one month, if not less, to finalize all my papers, get the visa and head to the U.S., and that's why I had to cut short my trip to Jordan and go back home to do the rest of the paper work and get done with packing.

I was interviewed for the visa and got it on the same day, but I was already a few days late for the beginning of the semester in the university, and then we had a long curfew and some situation-related issues in Baghdad that prevented me from going to pick up my passport and visa, and so I ended up being two weeks late! Anyways, I got my itinerary and started my journey on Saturday, September 2nd. I spent more than 18 hours in the sky, transferred in four airplanes starting from Baghdad – Jordan – London – Washington D.C. – then another city before my final destination. My first port of entry in the U.S. was Washington D.C... I arrived there at night on September 3rd, and had to catch another flight on the same night to another city, but that flight was rescheduled till the next morning, so I was checked into a hotel room near the airport. I was too tired, though so happy for arriving to the States at last without having one single problem or an obstacle. It even took me less that five minutes to have my papers checked and my passport and visa stamped, and that was cool as I heard about the so many stories of having put to some sort of investigations and questioning at the airports. Luckily, none of that happened to me.

The moment I heard the crew-man in the airplane saying that we were landing in D.C. and I started to see the land, trees and buildings, I couldn't help not crying and wanting just to jump from the plane and walking out! I was beyond happy and so overwhelmed and kept reminding myself that that was a truth now and not just a dream anymore. I worked hard during the previous two years in order to make this dream come true, and now it's a truth and I'm living it, though still sometimes when I sit with myself and think back I feel that I'm in a dream and can't believe that I'm here and a student, again!

The first two weeks were the hardest, and since I missed the orientation and the first week of classes, I had to learn everything on my own. The first problem I had was with the electrical cords as I had to change them all, and it took me a week to get the internet connection in my laptop. I was getting crazy just wanting to talk with my family, I felt so alone and abandoned especially in the first week, I missed my family immensly and I was crying every time I talked with them, and even cried over silly things like one time when I thought I lost a phone card to call my family!!! I kept crying and searching for the card for a long time, and then I cried even more when I found it in one of the drawers!!! I laugh so much when I remember this now :P luckily, my roommate wasn't in the room to see me in that crazy state!

It's been a month and a half since I came here, and I don’t know how time is passing so quickly! Sometimes I just don’t remember if I did a certain thing today or yesterday for how fast the time is passing… and this is also making a conflict for me with studying as there is hardly a time to do anything else beside reading three huge novels, several articles and writing responses every week!! I haven't been out of campus except for Wal-Mart for a couple of times! I have a fall break for a week which started just today, and when I thought that I would have some time to rest and maybe go somewhere and see places and stuff, I was faced with deadlines to work on the final papers and do some presentations and readings ahead of time!! So, there is literally NO break for me this time!!

There is just so much that has been going on since I came here, I went to a football game on my second week. It was in the campus, and though I didn't know the rules of the game and how they were playing, I had fun watching it. Then the university was holding a homecoming celebration last weekend and I went there too. I haven't seen a parade before, and this one was so cool.

There is a problem with uploading the photos with the post; Blogger doesn't take it!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

At Last!

I fixed the post. It's only now that I knew where the library is!! :P

This post might look kinda awkward. Well, that’s cuz I’m using my roomate’s PC for the time being. I’ve made it to the U.S. just two days ago!! I just didn’t want to talk about it until it happens. I was back to the Fulbright on the time when I was in Jordan; they called me and said that they got me a placement but the email from the university got late and they didn’t think that I would really get accepted here… bla bla bla..

So anyway, on Saturday morning I went to Jordan and stayed there for one night, then on Sunday morning I went to London, Heathrow Airport and stayed there for a few hours, then to Washington D.C. Then I had another flight on the same day to another place but it was canceled so they checked me into a hotel for a night. Then on Monday morning I flew to another palce then I took a transportation to my final destination. Because Monday was a holiday, I had to stay at a motel until Tuesday (today) and wait for someone from my university to come and pick me up.

Now I’m trying to send an email to my family but everything is not working with the email! I just get “email address is invalid”!! I tried all accounts but nothing is working at all.

To Micho, I miss you so very much. I can’t wait to read your emails and call you on the phone. Your last post made me cry. I’m doing fine here, tell them that. I will have to get internet connection tomorrow but I need to change the plug’s head cuz they use another one here, and the laptop is out of charge, that’s why I’m using my roomate’s pc now, she is from Taiwan!

Friday, August 25, 2006

All About My Trip to Jordan

I know, the story has become an old one, and maybe boring to some of you.. but it still worths posting!

First Time…

So, I didn’t have enough time to write about my trip to Amman. I should mention here that this is the first time I get out of Iraq in my whole life, and it's been my first time I get on plane but sure not the last time!

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In my first visit to Amman I went to movies for the first time in my life. There used to be many movie theatres in Iraq before the war but I was too young and didn’t have that interest in movies. And we all know that those theatres were closed after the war. So far, I watched two movies: Pirates of the Caribbean II with Attawie, Anarki and The Kid, and Superman Returns with Mom and sister. Other movies on DVD were The Da Vinci Code, Pride and Prejudice, Incredible Cruelty, Scary Movie4 and Zathura.

I hated the movie of The Da Vinci Code a lot; it's nothing like the novel and is missing a lot of the information and details in the book. After watching it, Attawie and I decided to reproduce and redirect the movie, change the actors and actresses, put more conversations and action like in the book, and probably turn it into a T.V. show if it gets too long!!

I'm having so much fun here although we're going to almost the same places everyday. I don’t feel homesick at all except for missing my father so much for he couldn’t come with us to Jordan. I mean, there's nothing to miss there anymore cuz it all reminds me of pain, lack of security, daily agony and the smell of death everywhere in Baghdad. Surely, these are not things to miss anywhere! I miss our old Baghdad though, and there are things that remind me of it here in Amman; the lights of the night down the streets with people walking around here and there. The night breeze of Amman reminds me of the autumn and early spring in Baghdad when we could have our dinners at the restaurants on the Tigris side. Ol' happy days those were that could never come back!

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A fourth bloggers meeting took place on Saturday. We were ten this time: Anarki, The Kid, Baghdad Treasure, 24 Steps to Liberty, Zeyad, Nabil, Micho, Attawie and I. the tenth person was Attawie's sister. This time the meeting wasn't at the mall as the previous meetings. One of the bloggers chose a nice café shop and we all agreed on the place and time. Reading their blogs for over a year now I didn't feel that I was meeting them for the first time. It was like meeting old friends and having so much fun with them. Time passed so quickly that we (the girls in the group) had to go back home on sometime. We planned to meet again, but this time to go on a small picnic.

We talked about many things; about blogs, current news and points of views about political issues, about Baghdad and news from home and about our future plans. I think that most of us, if not all, don't want to go back to Iraq. At least for the current time. It's sad to know that educated people are fleeing the country for their lives leaving nothing but destruction and tears back at home, but there's nothing to do about it. We're seeking life somewhere else other than home cuz we've had enough and decided to want to live like other people. It's sad and not easy for me to say this and I don’t really want to admit it but that’s the hard truth.

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The first bloggers' picnic...

That’s what Baghdad Treasure named it, or a chips picnic according to Attawie's description. As much as it was a simple picnic, it was awesome! There were Micho, Attawie and her sister, BT, 24 Steps to Liberty, Anarki and his friend, Zeyad, Nabil and finally me. The Kid didn’t come cuz he was having cold. My mother and Attawie's grandma were with us as well. We set the place and time at Al-Hussein Park on Tuesday, 8th of August. We brought chips (Lay's and Mr. Chips), nuts, mini cake roles and Pepsi. Though we didn't eat everything we brought, there's no picnic if there's no food.

We chose a place on the sidewalk as our resting spot and we started talking, singing, eating and laughing out loud. Nabil played guitar for us and we sang songs for Metallica, Hotel California, and other songs. When it came to singing old Iraqi songs, though no-one said it loudly, I looked in the eyes of each and every one of them and saw that they all missed home; the country that once we had! And since we are all fans of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and have seen many many episodes of the show and know their songs and quote them by heart, we sang Phoebe's famous "Smelly Cat" song. Now I know that every time I watch Phoebe singing on that show I'll remember this happy day.

It's ironic that we all live in Baghdad yet never had the courage to think about meeting there! But the chance brought us all to Jordan for different reasons in order to make this happen. I can say that those days were among the happiest days of my life; I had the chance to go out with people and to have new friends whom I can share everything with. And the most important thing was that we all are of almost the same background, have the same interests and strife for living normally like all young people in the world.

Does bad luck accompany Iraqis everywhere?? … Possibly!

Of all days of the week, the Museum at Al Hussein Park closes on Tuesday (the day we went there)! After walking for about half an hour in the humid and chilling weather to the museum, we found a big label says "Museum is closed on Tuesdays". We didn’t have the chance to get in there and see the stuff inside, but we didn’t want our walk trip to the place to be unfruitful so we took our "back" photo in front of the museum.

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"The Museum is closed on Tuesdays"

Birds of a feather flock together!

Our meetings didn't end this far, and it's still going on till this moment, and every time we all met we planned for a next meeting. The reason is obvious; it was fun to do so, and for me it feels like I know them all for a long time. On Thursday after the picnic day we went to Mecca Mall, walked around the place and got to the arcade center and played table hockey and foosball. We played in teams in which BT and I always lost against the other teams! Well, I admitted to them that was the first time I played those games :P … The photos we took here were so much fun that I keep laughing every time I look at them, but they are not to be posted on the blog! Later on that day, we met I Was There with his family in one of the cafés at the mall.

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I would call this one.. "Bloggers United"

I didn’t go to historical places… I didn’t have enough time for that, besides we were told that Iraqis were not accepted in some of those places! However, I went to the Romanian relics which were located inside Amman. There were only me, my Mother and sister. We didn’t stay there for a long time cuz the place was rather small and there wasn't that much to see. It's not like the historical places we have in Iraq in which you can spend days looking at wonderful things. Here are some photos we took…

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At night of the same day, I met the bloggers for one last time. It was at Bel Mondo café again. We sat there, had coffee, took photos, talked about many things, mostly blogging. Attawie suggested that we all tell the story of our blogs, how we discovered the blogsphere and why we started to write.

The next morning (Sunday), I came back to Baghdad alone, and it's been about two weeks for me in Baghdad now. There was only one day separating me from meeting Melantrys, and two days from attending the wedding party of Attawie's sister! The reasons why I had to cut short my vacation I come back home? Can't tell now but rather on the right time!

Bottom line: I had twenty wonderful days in Amman in which I met my closest friend after three years of non-meetings, I went to so many places, I met many new friends and had so much fun with them, and the most important thing, I "practiced" life!

More photos from Jordan...

Amman at night

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And in the morning..

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From a museum

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On the way back home to Baghdad...

Down the dangerous airport road in Baghdad

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Somewhere in Baghdad where a black rag annoucing the death of a person, a martyr, it says

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Across the Tigris River

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End of the journey! :P

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Meetings in Jordan

It's been a week since I came to Jordan with my Mother and sister. The trip to the Baghdad airport was a hectic one as usual, and it took us more than five hours to get on plane, we were even asked to take off our shoes at some point inside the airport! Nobody liked to do so but we just didn’t have any other choice. We reached Amman in the afternoon, and the weather was amazingly different from that in Baghdad; so cool and refreshing. And of course, as soon as I got a cell phone I called Attawie and made plans for the next day.

The first thing I noticed in Amman is the hill-like streets. There is barely a flat land here. Walking is more like climbing up or down a hill. This is probably the only thing that makes me feel I'm out of Iraq. Other things make feel at home are the wide range of Iraqi people, the use of Iraqi accent and Iraqi songs and the famous Iraqi restaurants which opened new places in Amman and all are labeled "From Baghdad to Amman" to indicate that these restaurants are Iraqis or serve Iraqi food. So far, I've only heard the taxi driver speaking the Jordanian accent. The other accent I hear down the street and many places in the Iraqi accent! Amman looks like an extension to Baghdad!!

The next day, Wednesday, was the first meeting of some of the bloggers in Amman. There were Hala_S, Anarki, The Kid, Zeyad, Attawie and me. My sister was around but she was exploring the place with Mom. It was fun. We talked about blogs, Baghdad and other stuff, and sure a few political topics!

The second meeting was on Thursday. Anarki, The Kid, Attawie and I went to movies and watched Pirates of the Caribbean II. Being a big fan of Johnny Depp, I'd say that the movie was so much fun and Jack Sparo was hilarious! After the movie we went out to the mall and walked around for hours and took many photos (we haven't decided yet on which photos to post, so you have to wait if you want to see them! :P)

The third meeting was on Sunday. There were Anarki, a friend of his, Attawie and me, besides Mom and sister, Attawie's sister and their grandmother. We called each other and decided to meet down a street where there were some summer celebrations with so many people walking around. Unluckily, there were no activities of any kind on that day! Not even the usual fireworks. But we enjoyed the good weather and meeting so many Iraqi people in there. I'll leave the other details to the rest of the gang to post about ;)

Having an internet connection at home is a real bliss! Now I have to pay constant visits to the internet café everyday in order to check my email and the blog. I wrote this post offline and have it on a flash disk to post it next time I get online.

A fourth meeting is being under planning now!

Cheers everyone!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

And So Waiting Has Finally Ended..

No more waiting, people! After a whole year of idleness, the so great and wonderful scholarship program rewarded me with "UNSUCCESSFUL TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS YEAR'S PORGRAM" . I am so angry that it overcomes my sadness. The light at the end of the tunnel has gone off.

Why the hell did they give me the grant if they didn't paln to work hard to addmit me to a university! I don't feel that I want to apply again next year, but my parents are telling me to do so. Just thinking of how I should go through that all over again makes me sick. I've been rejected by seven universities for reasons I shall never know, and there's no wonder that it might happen again next time. I'm shocked at their inaccuracy and insensitiveness. They kept delaying the process untill I ran out of time, then they came apologizing saying "Sorry, but we won't send out you packets to universities anymore! Time has ended", as if people's destiney means nothing to them!

They tell you "once you get the grant there will be no problem at all", "you'll definetly go to the U.S."... so, and so... Then what? They tell you "Sorry dear, but getting a placement is not garanteed untill the last moment of the process". They should have mentioned this in their website instead of making sure to every desperate grantee that their biggest dream will surely come true!


I have wasted many opportunities for the sake of this one, I've lost a year of my life, a year that will never be made up again. Gosh! Just thinking how I spend the past year locking myself up at home trying to stay safe cuz I thought I'd have the greatest time very soon. How silly of me, and how cruel of them!

And now what's the next step? This I don't know. I have to make plans again, probably find some other "little" dreams and try to work them out instead of my old big dreams that faded the way mirage fades on a dead land.

I have so much rage inside that I can't put on words, so I'd better go before I start swearing and cursing...

Friday, July 21, 2006

To The Airport and Back

So, I said yesterday that I would be flying to Amman with Mom and sister this morning. At first I didn't think that I would be able to make it with them cuz of all my waitings for the Fulbright stuff, but after the last unpleasant updates I got I decided not to waste my time anymore with this and start to have some fun.

I packed whatever I needed to take with me and asked Attawie if I need to get this and that and what else to pack.. bla bla bla... I bought the plane ticket the next day after I decied to go. Somehow, my parents managed to get me the ticket on the same day of my Mom and sister's flight. It's hard to do so now cuz all flights are reserved till mid August, but as what The Kid said, "the wise and the willing finds his way!" ;) One thing though, my flight was supposed to take off at 4:30, while Mom and sister's flight on 2:30. I didn't see a problem in that but Mom said that we'd find a way to switch places with a passenger so that I'd be on the same plane with them.

Anyways, Friday morning came and we got ready and waited for the taxi driver to drive us to the airport. We had to get there early before the Friday stroll ban which starts on 11 P.M. Though most of the road we took was a high way, I noticed that it was a hellish and deserted one. It was as if we were passing by a battle front, there was nothing but us, checkpoints with armed soldiers, barbed wires and the remaining framgments of bombings on the street's pavement. Oh, and alot of garbage!

For me and my sister it was fun to be on the road as we haven't been out for ages, but Mom was more anxious and was praying and focusing on the road. Well, she's right. After all this is the Airports's road which is famous of its deadly accidents! We reached the checkpoint, the one with the sniffing dogs. The time I saw it I thought of starting to count the checkpoints, but alas, we already passed by a countless number of them, so I quit the thought.

On another checkpoint where we had to get out of the car and have our bags searched, we were asked to have our passports checked as well. The guards and some officers were trying to be nice and funny with people to ease their fear of the road, dogs and everything else. When Mom asked one of the guards where to check our passports, he said loudly "Ma'am, go to that dumb guy, he'll check them", and he pointed to a guy who was smiling at us. Mom felt very sorry for this guy and wondered how did he get to work in this place if he can't speak. He took our passports, motioned to us to take off the sunglasses so that he can see if our faces matched the ones in the passports' photos. After finishing, he lift a thumb up to indicate all was ok, smiled and said "Have a nice journey!". Later we found out that he was playing this sort of candid camera thing to make people laugh in this scary place.

Then there were some other checkpoints and more dogs sniffing suitecases. Two American dudes helped us with one of our bags which was a very heavy one. We said "Thanks" and they motioned "Not at all".. then finally, we're at the Airport's main hall. At the time we got there bomibings started rocking the place. Sister and I stared at each other with fear, yet laughing. Mom, having been to the airport before, said that we'd hear much of that during the coming time. The driver, who was with us all the way long, suggested that we check the stamps on our passports as they have been renewd lately. Thank God we did this early as it turned that we had a problem with them!

Dad renewd the passports about two weeks ago before he went to Germany on a business trip. So we thought that we were all up to date with it. But it tunred out that a new stamp has been used just a few days ago which we don't have on our passports, and that prevented us from traveling! Time was 10:40 and we had only 20 minutes left for the cerfew, so we had to act fast and go back home. Otherwise we would be stuch inside the airport till 7 P.M. with nothing to do but envying people who were happily leaving.

The road back home was worse. I had nausia cuz of the heat outside and my empty stomach. More checkpoints were filling the streets by this time, motioning for cars to drive faster before blocking the streets. The clock ticked 11 P.M. and we were still on the road. A few cars were stopped near some checkpoints already, and we were afraid that we'd be forced to stop as well. But we were allowed to pass cuz we were women in the car and they wouldn't lest us stay out till the stroll ban is over at 7 P.M.

We made it home safely at last. Sister and I were laughing at it but Mom was angry. The trip is postponed till next week. My shoulders got stiffened from holding and pulling our suitecases down the road. I thought I would be seeing Attawie today, we haven't met since October 2003 when she came to college the last time before leaving to Jordan. We've already made plans for tonight as she invited me to a party. I was going around teasing my cousins for going to see two Iraqi singers; Hussam Al-Rsam -that is a big hit now- and Kadhim Al-Sahir, a very famous Iraqi singer, in that party.

So... That was my trip to the Airport and back!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

At Stake

This is an update about my University placement in the U.S.

I received an email from the Fulbright office this morning after I sent them many emails asking about my condition.. Well, the news are bad and not so optimistic!

Five universities have rejected me so far, and there's still one last university whom they are waiting a final asnwer from. If their answer will be the same as the previous ones, then I will have no place in the Fulbright anymore, and will not participate in the program.. and will not go to the U.S.

I'm still waiting for that final answer from the last university. However, the IEE Institution itself is not optimistic about it.

I'm devastated here and can't stop crying.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

While Waiting...

So, it's been a long time since I put a real post here. A few things happened during this time, and I tried to post more than once but every time I kept postponing till the topic became out of date. I came across an interesting article in a local newspaper some weeks ago and decided to talk about it on the blog. It was about ice cream in Iraq and how Iraq was among the first founders of ice cream. Well, my laziness got me in losing that newspaper! Mom found that we had too many newspapers and magazines which we kept during the past three years that now we have no place for the new magazines and papers, so she decided to get rid of them and put them all (well not all, we kept some of them as they had articles and poems written by Dad) in a big plastic bag. I saw the bag in the garage for three days and kept telling myself that "tomorrow I'll search for that article among those newspapers in that bag". But because of myself that never quits the habit of postponing doing things I lost the article when I came out to the garage one "late" day and wanted to start my search among the trash. The trash car came few days before that day and took it away.

Well. I read the article only one time and there were many details about places and names where the ice cream was first made. So I can't write it now, and don't know which newspaper was that in order to search it online. Bottom line is: never postpone the work of today until tomorrow!

Dah! As if I will really listen!

I am supposed to leave to the U.S. at the end of this month, BUT I haven't got my placement nor visa yet! I'm the only Fulbrighter left without a placement and still waiting till now. This just makes me so frustrated and worried. There were times when I wished if I didn't apply to the scholarship cuz I felt that I was wasting time just waiting without having fun or even doing something useful to myself. It's been a year and one week since I officially graduated, and this whole year has past without me doing anything at all but staying at home filling applications and sending them online, attending interviews and luncheons and having lame exams for the sake of an M.A. degree.

One of the reasons I haven't posted for so long is that I noticed that in almost every post I complained about something that was bothering me, and this is not something that people want to read on blogs that should be interesting. Add to it my concerns about my future which I feel is at stake! I was told that being a grantee doesn't assure me that I will really get to the States and start with my study there! There were still the obstacles of a University placement and Visa! Well, I was shocked when I heard this, and the person in charge confirmed it to me. At that point, my mind started thinking and jumping to some conclusions that being late in receiving any news from any university means that it's all gone! Or about to. I felt that I was hanged somewhere between earth and the sky, and that was horrible. The "what if" was killing me and I tried hard to avoid thinking negatively but I just couldn't. I started to study the available options in case there would be no placement for me but everything seemed so limited. It's not what I planned to do.

I hated answering phone calls of meeting people cuz every time I talk with a person he/she would ask "when are you leaving?", "what the hell are you doing here till now? Don't you want to escape here!" and I didn't have answers for these questions, I was just smiling all the time and say "soon". It was obvious that I myself wasn�t sure of that!
I promised before that I would announce about my whereabouts in the U.S. once I get there. But unfortunately, things have changed and I cannot do that anymore. It's true that I still don't know my destination there, but once it comes I will not be able to post it on the blog. That�s for my safety. It is why I said on the CBox several weeks ago that I had important news that I can't post and that I would send them on emails...

And during my endless waiting I'm playing this..

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Reading this... I reached chapter 99 and will finish the book tomorrow...(teasing Attawie! :P)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I shoot a movie with my cousins at my grandparents' home last week. It started as a horror movie but somehow ended like a comedy. The story was about students living in one place where one of them is a killer. He kills the first victim and decides to kill the others in order to escape any interrogations, and then he persuades one of the students to be his partner and help him kill the others. Of course, the movie ends the same old classic way by defeating the evil. The killer was my uncle. I was the camerawoman but I also had a small scene where everyone laughed at my funny gestures! The director of the movie was one of my cousins and the soundtrack was an Iraqi song. The movie titled "Fear".

Keep your fingers crossed for Morbido!

P.S. Post published from Photobucket, hope it work out.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Family's Tragedy

A seemingly happy family lives near my home was devastated a few days ago as a result of ignorance and alcohol. The father, A. who was the driver who used to drive me and my sister to college everyday for the last year, made a terrible mistake that lead to the end of his own family.
He was a drunkard man and we doubted if he had any education. He's got the most adorable the cutest two little daughters, his wife was very nice and lovely woman but he didn't know how to keep that treasure for good!
He was good with his two little daughters, but wasn't good with his wife all the time and he didn't treat her well. And many people in the neighborhood complained of his crazy actions and behaviors as he used to have some fights with the neighbors every now and then cuz of the generator one time and the kids the other time… One night he was drunk and the neighbor's generator disturbed him so he went out to his neighbors and started to shout and break the neighbor's windows and car! That was one famous accident which we heard right from him.
Like in every family, they had some problem. But this family's problems were worse. The parents were quarrelling most of the time that he used to beat her, threaten to divorce her and even kicked her out of the house with his two little girls one time. The fights happened when he was drunk; the next morning neighbors would try to make it up between them again. He even once decided to leave his wife and get married to a woman living in the same street, but luckily the woman refused cuz she knew his family and didn't want to be a reason of the the family's destruction. Though the father's continuous state of drunkard was the real destruction.
We used to know many things and details about what was going on with his family. He used to talk with mom and dad and tell them about his fights with his wife, and my parents were giving his advices all the time. He's got the most adorable and the cutest daughters and they were spending long times with me and my sister though we were way older than them.
Time passed and he was not our driver anymore, and we stopped seeing him in the neighborhood. A few days ago Mom and I passed by his house and we noticed that all the lights were off and the door was locked. We wondered why we no longer see him or his kids around. Then my Mom suggested that maybe things got worse between him and his wife and that maybe she couldn't take it anymore and asked for a divorce…
The news came rushing in my side of the neighborhood yesterday; it turned out that he divorced his wife several months ago and then he got married after three months. He went to his ex-wife's parents' house where she was with her two daughters in order to see them. But his ex's family never let him see the girls when he was angry or drunk. Until one day he got fed up with the situation, he took out his rifle and headed back to the parents' house. Angry and intoxicated, he shot the grandmother (ex-wife's mother) and killed her, killed his ex-wife and shot her brother!! But it didn't end this way. He went out of the house rushing back home, it's said that he fought with some of the neighbors there who were trying to stop him and some got injured. He drove his car along the highway with a crazy speed and it happened that there was a police checkpoint that started shooting at the car when he didn't stop and got him badly injured. The police, thinking that he was suicide-bomber, arrested him immediately and took him to hospital. A few hours later, some people recognized his car on the highway and called for his brother. After knowing the whole story, the police officers refused to give him back to his family. It's even suspected that he died.
Since we heard the news, Mom and I were thinking of his daughters all the time. Did they saw their father killing their Mom and Grandmother? Are they ever going to love him or forgive him one day? I feel very sad for the devastated family, and I feel even worse just to think of what is going to happen to the girl, who is going to take care of them. He could be a good man with a kind heart, but ignorance took a big deal of him that left him blinded with anger and irrationalism.
If he wasn't an ignorant man he would have realized that alcohol was destroying his family and destroying the human being within him. He could have done something to restore the peace inside his house to raise a wonderful family in a healthy environment, but he didn't know the gift he was given and he wasted it all that, and wasted his life.

I once posted a photo for one of his daughters who used to spend a lot of time in our house.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Hallucinations of Early Summer

Well, since now it's 666 which might be the end of the world, let me say little wishes before I vanquish! Is anybody going to watch The Omen tomorrow??

I wish if Tru Calling was real and existed in Iraq; she would have saved the lives of thousands of people who die everyday.
I wish if the Charmed sisters were real; they would have stopped the demons \ terrorists who kill innocents everyday.
I wish if the invisibility cloak was real; I could have moved freely in places without the fear of car bombs and explosions.
I wish I had wings and I could fly; I would escape the traffic jams. But I would end up like Icarus even if I don't fly too high cuz the heat of the sun in Iraq would melt the wax off my wings no matter what.
I wish if wishes would come true; the world would be a better place.
I wish if I know what the hell I'm talking about!!! I think I'm watching too much TV and reading too much fiction lately! Oh, did I mention that I'm reading The Da Vinci Code now? ..

The electricity has been off for about five days in my neighborhood. Half the region has electricity and the other half has not. I'm in the unlucky half. Some people said that the cable of this "half" was stolen or damaged... I don't know how can it be stolen, but I'm not surprised to hear such thing as everything is possible here! One day you might wake up in the morning and see the bricks of your house are gone! Anyway, the cable was fixed short time ago but the electricity is too low to turn on the air conditioning.

It's obvious that I'm hallucinating here. It's either Summer started to show its effects on me, or it's really the end of the world!!