Monday, March 27, 2006

Baghdad Diary \ January 20th.

Another new day started in Baghdad. I’ve been busy during the previous days working on some papers for my scholarship program. I had to submit a writing sample and a copy of my CV, and I also had to update my application file as the office in Baghdad required them. Another thing I got busy with was preparing to talk online with a radio station in America about the higher education system in Iraq before and after the war. I had to postpone the meeting with the reporter till next week because I was having problems with my internet server. I’ve been also busy being a full time house keeper because my Mother is in Dubai now and I’m in full charge of everything in the house.

An email came from the Fulbright office in Baghdad lately saying that all grantees must take the GRE Exam. So, I had to go register my name for the exam in order to take it in March. The registration time was limited between 12-5 P.M. in Babel Hotel. Many streets were blocked to provide some security for Friday Prayers, and the streets were almost empty because all families spend Fridays at homes. It’s the weekend holiday here.

I went out of home with my Father before 12 o’clock in order to be there in time so that we finish early. I usually go out with my Father when I have some work to do. Not because I am a spoiled child, but because it’s so dangerous for a girl to go out alone in Baghdad now because she might be kidnapped easily is she was alone. Sometimes I wish if I have my own car to go out and do my work independently, but I’m scared of driving a car alone in the messy and dangerous streets of Baghdad.

When I was still at college last year, I used to get to and out of the university’s campus through the students’ park. The park was full of cars all the time, but those cars belonged to the guys rather than the girls because girls are afraid of driving.

Back to the registration at the hotel; I met some of the Fulbrighters there, and we all sat together and filled our registration forms. It was fun to meet them again. The first meeting at the Convention Center was not that good because it was very fast and the place was dangerous. But this second meeting was very much better although not all of the Fulbrighters were there.

So, I finished my registration form after 2 o’clock and went back home to take my sister and go to my grandparents’ home for lunch. I took some photos in my mobile’s camera because I forgot to take my digital camera with me! ( Unfortunately, somehow I lost those photos!! )

After lunch, we came back home and called my Mother to tell her about our news. She said that she passed by the American University in Dubai this morning and she wished that I would work in such place after getting my Master degree in the U.S.

My friends and I decided to go to college tomorrow, but we postponed it till Monday because there are some reports saying that the streets will be closed for 48 hours because of announcing the elections’ results.

It ends here! Those were a diary entries of a week in Baghdad, I hope you enjoyed reading it!



David said...

Hello Morbid Smile,

My friend Melantrys suggested that I visit your blog. I have been reading some Iraqi blogs for about two years now. As an American who is very displeased (to put it politely) about what has happened to Iraq in the past three years, I have found the thoughts of young Iraqis to be a very instructive counterpoint to what I have seen from the limited perspective of the U.S. media.

I think it is great that you will be coming to study in the U.S.! I once met an Iraqi student here. He came to my University to study a few years before the first so called Gulf War (I guess that gives you a clue about my present age :) ). His name was Samir and he was from Baghdad. He was one of the most friendly of the international students that I met while I was in college. He even said to me once that he would love to have me visit his home in Baghdad. I did not doubt his sincerity! I have often wondered what became of him. I hope that he and his family are safe and well.

Do you know yet which University you will attend in the U.S.? There are many good ones who I am sure would be eager to host a bright young woman from Iraq. Good luck with your applications! :)

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Hi Morbido,

Yes, I have enjoyed reading your diary entries very much. Thank you for posting them.

btw, if you see Attawie, please tell her I was wrong about "Everwood". They are starting some new episodes this week, so they didn't cancel it. If she saw my comment to her on 13's, she will know what I'm talking about.

Take care, Morbido.

Morbid Smile said...

Hello David, and welcome to the blog. It's good to have you here :) The Iraqi blogsphere is widenig rapidly, which is a good thing cuz it enables so many people in the world to have a close took at the Iraqi people's lives and perspectives about so many things. Media is never enough to let you know what you need to know about a certain thing!

You've been to college a few years before the Gulf War? So you are an old man ;) I was only 6 years old at that time, and was still at primary school! Isn't there a way that you can know anything about that Iraqi student, Samir? I, too, hope that he and his family are still safe.

I still have know idea about which college I will be attending in the U.S., I had a GRE exam last week, and its scores will determine the university placement :) Thank you for coming here, and hope to see you once again. Regards to Melantrys! :)

Hey Lynnette, I'm glad to know that enjoyed those entries. Actually, I preparing a new one now. It's about the war days this time! I found an old diary book of Mom and she permitted me to use some of its details.. I'm writing it now and hope to be able to publish it in the blog soon.

I wish if I can see Attawie! We live in two different countries now, but sure I will tell her your message :) She will probably read it here as well..

David said...

Well, I am not that old! ;) Regarding Samir, I got to know him when I worked as an English language tutor for international students. Mostly, my job was to share conversation with them to help them practice their English skills in preparation for entry into general classes at the University. I really enjoyed that job! I met some very nice people there and learned a lot about their countries and cultures. I knew Samir for about a month and had a number of conversations with him. However, as I recall, he had to return to Iraq for some family related reason. I had a notebook that I used during my conversation sessions, mostly to draw pictures to facilitate the conversations and to teach new words. I may have written Samir's family name in it (unfortunately, I do not remember it), but it has been some years since I have seen that notebook. I assume that there are many Samirs in Baghdad? Anyway, I have always hoped for the best. He was a terrific young man and it was my pleasure to have known him!

Original_Jeff said...

"For the Fullbright Scholarships for the 2006-2007 school year, 41 Iraqis were chosen out of 550 applicants. The Fulbright program in Iraq, now in its fourth year, is the largest in the Middle ast/North African region."

U.S. State Dept Weekly Report

Hajar said...

Stay safe!
Good Luck when you come to America! Also, good luck on the GRE!

attawie said...

Hi Smiley..

Great diary..
Waiting for your new posts

I read what you wrote..thank you for the information.. today I saw the episod when a reporter comes from NY to write about the doc.

you can check my blog if you like

take care

programmer craig said...

David is probably about my age, and no - we aren't that old :)

David, you didn't approve of the first Gulf War either? Just curious. I thought opinion was pretty unanimous about that. I don't think I've ever met an American who opposed that war. Actaully, I don't think I've ever met anybody (from anywhere) who opposed that war.

Vichea said...

Wow a lot of people were chosen as 2006-2007 Fulbrighters. Here in Cambodia only 9 were chosen and I am one of them. I am leaving for the US Monday (17 July). We will be a part of Fulbright community, Morbido. What is your universities (Pre-ac and Academic)?

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