Monday, January 30, 2006

A Quick Post

Hey there! I hope there are still some readers who are reading this blog..

Tomorrow is the first day in the Lunal year. So it's the new Islamic\Hijri year, and it's also my birthday! :) Happy new year to the Muslim people in Iraq and the whole world, may things get better this year and may peace prevail.
Mom is coming back on Wednesday. She called me today and told me that she would meet Attawie and her Mom in Dubai this afternoon! Then I called her back and talked with Attawie. I wished if I was there with them, but I was at home watching Star Academy instead!

I've writing a post but I haven't finished it yet. It's about love at first sight. I've been thinking about writing it for sometime now but I was alway postponing it. Now that I removed the poll from the blog, I will write about this subject. But not in this post.

My aunt is on a visit to Baghdad with her four children. She lives in Karbala and can hardly come to Baghdad due to the bad roads. She is staying till Friday, so this means more family visits, more photos, more gossip, more talking about my Fulbright, and more food!

This is a quick post to ensure my existence in the online world! More later...

Morbido is turning 22 in few hours!Huh, how fast...

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A Birthday Without Mom

I miss Mom so much! She's been to Dubai for eleven days now, and will come at the end of this week. I call her everyday, and sometimes I call her more than once in a day. My birthday is on next Tuesday and she is not here. This is the first time I celebrate my birthday without Mom being with me. Next year will be the same as I will probably celebrate it alone in the U.S.

She was in a movie theatre watching King Kong when my father, sister and I called her. We turned on the loudspeaker and kept shouting the four of us! Oh, there were my aunt and cousins with us, and they shouted as well! We kinda shouted at every single word she said. I first asked her where she was, and when she replied "Watching King Kong" we all shouted! I have never been to a movie theatre before, so I can't imagine it!

Then again I reminded here that she wouldn't be here for my birthday and that I need a compensation! She said "also shouting" that she got me so many things. .... Shout, shouts.. and shouts!!.. My last shout was when she told me that Attawie called her and that they would meet this week!!! Now I really wanna be there :(

Anna Karnina in on TV now and yet I'm not watching!! Why would I watch it if the electricity will be off soon?! I will only feel sad because I won't be able to watch it till the end.. But the music of the Swan Lake in the movie is calling me to go watch it!!

So, let me tell you about what I'm reading now. The first one is GRE practice book! I have one month to the exam now and I should practice alot. I really hate this Quantative or math section, but what can I do!

The other book is fiction for sure. I first picked The Scarlet Letter to read. That was at the end of the last month, during Xmas. There is an introduction and American background to the novel which I was reading first, but I found out that the novel is kinda hard and I should read some materials about it in the same time. So, I switched to another book. It was The Bluest Eye. And again, I switched to a third book!

This time I chose a non-fiction one; it's Chicken Soup for The Women's Soul. It's one of the books I got from the U.S. in that fameous package. There are about 26 books in the package. I read three so far.

I started reading this book yesterday, and I will read one story, or maybe more, each morning with or after breakfast in order to keep thinking of it the whole day. I'll write a post about it if I could. I used to read the books (mostly novels) in bed before I go to sleep at night or before I take a nap when I get back from college. But now I don't take naps cuz I don't go to college and don't feel tired to take naps and rest, and I also can't read at night in bed anymore cuz there is no electricity and no generators.

If there is electricity at night, I will use it to get online!

I'm sorry for this disordered post, I have many things to write about but my mind is going everywhere now!

Good night

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blogging on Paper!

Hello everyone,

It's been quite a long time since I last posted something here. I had a constant run of bad luck with blogging since I posted about Friday 13th!!! Isn't that scary?! I couldn't post since that time. There were many reasons for this; one reason was the internet server which used to stop working every night when I got online during the past week! Another reason was that I became a full-time housekeeper since Wednesday cuz Mom left to Dubai on her two weeks vacation. I SHOULD BE THERE WITH HER BY NOW! BUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE BAD LUCK!!! A thrid reason was that I was busy working on papers for some directions; papers of a seven-days diary for the Diary Project, and pepers for the Fulbright.

I got an email from the Fulbright lately asking to submitt another writing sample and a copy of my resume, and to update my application file acording to some points they wanted. I had a difficulty thinking of a topic to write about for the writing sample. I was afraid that if I wrote about a certain subject they would have thought that I got it from the internet or something like that! But guess what? Somebody helped me with this and gave me a clue about what to write. This somebody is an American soldier from the Green Zone whom I talked with on the phone! Don't ask me how did that happen. It just happened. Believe it or not; this is the first time I talk with an American person on the phone. I have talked with very few Americans in person before. They were actually only two times; the first time was almost two years ago during an interview with a CNN journalist in my college department. The second time was in the Fulbright interview. And it's obvious the third time was on the phone.

But there is a fourth time coming this week! It's on the radio!! I will talk on Skype with an American radio reporter this week about the higher education system in Iraq. Interesting!

Many things happened during the last week. Let's see... Yea, I went to register for the GRE Exam on Friday. It was a shock for many of the Fulbrighters to know that we would take this exam. We all hoped that if it would be canceled or anything like that, especially when most of them had just taken the TOEFL exam few days ago! But what to do, we have to take this one in order to move on with our big dream.

Meeting the Fulbrighters, or some of them, for the second time was fun. This meeting was way better than our first one at the Convention Center. It was at Babel Hotel, and it lasted for about two hours as we all sat together and filled our registration forms. And, while I was there, I saw someone.. and guess what? It was Treasure of Baghdad !! I was looking and thinking that I've seen this guy before and wondered if it could be him, but I didn't have the courage to go and ask him!

I finished the Baghdad-Diary project now, and I will post it some time soon inshalla cuz I'm so busy right now of taking care of everything at home.

I didn't check any spelling or grammar mistakes. Pardonez-moi!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Announcement !


Hello everyone,

I decided to change the blog's title and remove my name for my safetly! Nothing bad happened to me so far, but I don't want to be known in my real name cuz some people who read the blog might get to know me and problems might occur. You know what I mean!

So, I would like to ask everyone who is linking to my blog to change the title and put "Me" instead of my name. And I would much appreciate it if no one calls me by my real name :) I will use my Blogger's nickname in the sidebar chatbox from now on.

Thanks for everyone, God bless you all.

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's Friday 13th !!

Guess what?! Today is Friday 13th!! I haven't recognized it's 13 today until some time ago when my friend Blueman sent me an SMS saying that today is the the day of the bad luck, and it showed up for him in his electricity generator which refused to work today!

I just started to think and recollect the events of today. I don't know if it's an unlucky day for me or not! Nothing special happened today, but at the same time nothing bad happened. the day passed normally, I woke up late, did nothing but watching T.V. and calling some of my friends to wish them Happy Eid. It's the fourth day of Eid today. Maybe this is a reason nothing bad happened ;)

I'm currently thinking of a story that has some bad luck which happened to me to share with you on this "occasion"!... Here's one: One day in summer few years ago, my sister and I were getting ready to go to a swimming pool with Mom, aunt and cousin. But my Mother had some important work to do at her workplace and she promised that she wouldn't be late and that she would take us to the swimming pool. My sister and I dressed up and got ready and waited for Mom to come back home and take us. We kept calling her every half an hour and asked her when would she come back. But, as time passed she had more and more work to do and it started to be late to go out! The day ended and we didn't go! .... Silly, ha?!

Another story of bad luck: I applied for a visa to Dubai but I didn't get it!

Fear of Friday the 13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities combine to make one super unlucky day.

FRIDAY THE 13TH - how did Friday the thirteenth become such an unlucky day?

  • There is a Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Balder died and the Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned.
  • There is a Biblical reference to the unlucky number 13. Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th guest to the Last Supper.
  • A particularly bad Friday the 13th occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.
  • In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.
  • Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.
  • Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus. In exceeding 12 by 1, 13's association with bad luck has to do with just being a little beyond completeness.
FRIDAY THE 13TH - how is fear of the number thirteen demonstarted?
  • More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor.
  • Many airports skip the 13th gate.
  • Airplanes have no 13th aisle.
  • Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.
  • Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.
  • Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.
  • If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck . Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names. ( I suggest that you count the letters in your full name!) ;)

Do you have a story of bad luck to share?? Please tell me one!


Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy Eid From Wet Baghdad!

Hello World,

It's been raining here for the last two days. The weather turned very cold, and everything is wet even the air!! I like the smell of the rain on the dusty streets alot. It reminds me of school and university. They were nice years indeed.

The things I hate when it rains is that almost everything stop working! Especially the electricity. Half the house has electricity and the other half is real dark! Well, I can say that we didn't have electricity problems with the rain this time cuz there is already NO electricity! So, one problem is solved I guess!! Other thing I hate is the sattellite, the LNB's get wet in the rain and therefore stop functioning. And another thing that happenes during the rain; the streets turn out to be real "lakes"!!

I remember in 2001 when it rained heavily for so many hours in Baghdad. I was going out from college when the rain started heavily over our heads. the driver was waiting for me, so I didn't get all wet like the other students were on the street. I got home after 15 minutes, I had my lunch and took a nap then woke up at around 6 o'clock as I can remember. And it kept raining all that time. The Iraqi T.V. reported in the news that all Baghdad was drawning in the rain in that hour! The cars stopped in the middle of the streets and couldn't move any further in the "rivers". The students and people had to go back to their homes walking. Some of my friends reached their homes after 7 o'clock while we go out of college at 2!

The rain got into my aunt's house from everywhere. My cousin didn't know what to do at that time cuz his parents were still at work. His Mom (my aunt) is a teacher in the neighborhood's school, so he could go to her and tell her the house was sinking. He cried under the rain as he was walking! Many people died in that day cuz of electrical shocks. But now no one dies in such accidents cuz there are no electrical shocks in Baghdad anymore.

So, I wish every Muslim a happy and peaceful Eid. Hope that you will enjoy your four-days holiday :)

Friday, January 06, 2006

A Salutation

Today is the Iraqi Army's Day. It was established in 1921, and is in action untill now. This army went through so many wars and sacrifised so many soldiers and officers. Some people might see that it's not important to celebrate this day anymore cuz the country is under occupasion, or some might not consider it a real one! I heard some people saying this and I don't agree at all.

There is a person who is very dear to my heart ( I won't say who he is for his and my safetly). I saluted him like a Military soldier does when he sees a high-ranked officer. I used to do this since I was very young, and I keep doing this till now and will do it every year in this day.

Now you might ask why I'm concerned about this safety issue. As you know, any person who works in the Iraqi Army or in any position related to the government or the American Army is in danger!

The Army is still in the reconstruction process since after the last war and yet is doing its best to protect the country under these bad circumstances, and there are so many men enrolling in the Army now.

A big salutaion to all the good men who are sacrificing themselves for their country. God bless them all.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005, What Did Thou Bring and Took With you?

Hello my friends,

This is my first post in 2006. I hope that all of you enjoyed your New Year's Eve, and I hope that this new year will be a better one for everyone. May all your dreams come true :)

Now, before I start, I would like to post a gift that I got from my friend and Fulbright-mate, Ardalan, and to share it in my blog! It's a nice and lovely painting from Kurdistan.

Thank you so much, Ardalan :)

So many things took place in 2005, some were good and some others were bad. It was a year of so many achievements for me. One day in January 2005, I was surfing the net at the enternet center of the university when I thought of sending an email to the Fulbright to ask about some information about the scholarship. I sent some emails before that time but I didn't get serious replies except for this time! I have to say that I didn't put much hope on that email and I didn't thought that I would get a reply either. But after one week, I got a detailed email about the Fulbright scholarship and the application's date and many other info. That was my start!

I went to Kurdistan to register for the TOEFL test cuz there was no Test-Centers in Baghdad yet. That was my first time I go up to the north of Iraq since 1989 which I barely remember. Then I went again in March to have the test, and that was my second time I go there.

I graduated from college with 81,34% on June 2005 and became a B.A. Holder :) My name was among the first ten names in the department, and I was number six in the list. I applied for the Master degree in my college in July and had a competitve exam with other 200 students! All were fighting for the M.A. studies, but only five were accepted!! Sure, I wasn't one of those five. I got the better thing in fact ;)

Then in August, I was interviewd at the U.S. Embassy for the Fulbright Scholarship, and then nominated for it in September, and granted the scholarship in October.

Also in August, I went on a trip to Kurdistan for the third time in 2005. I stayed there for five days and had the best time ever.

I played two roles in the past year: A Student of English Literature at College of Arts for the first six months of the year. A Housekeeper for the last six months! :)

I made firendships with so many people in 2005. I made this blog in April and I have been blogging since that time. I had anothe blog before this one in December 2004, but I forgot all about it by time, then deleted it and started with this one.

I applied for two visas in the year 2005; one for the U.S. of course! and it was via the Fulbright office in Baghdad, and the other visa was to Dubai which I didn't get!

I went through three elections, survived many bad times, spent the hottest summer on earth and the darkest winter of all times! I bought and read may books. I got a package and a gift from the U.S.A. and the U.K. via mail for the first time in my life. The package was from a friend I met on the Oprah Board, and the gift was from an Iraqi friend of mine who lives in the U.K. I was so happy with this and considered it as a VEY BIG achievement! Oh yes, and I also opened a P.O.Box account of my own in the university's postal office.

Those were the major events that happened to me in 2005. Thankfully, no bad or sad personal events can be mentioned! They either didn't happen, or I forgot them!! ;)

I may add to this post if I remember something.

With Love