Sunday, April 16, 2006

From My Mobile's Photo Library...


I noticed that I haven't been writing anything in my blog for a while now… many things in mind, and many reasons not to write. This blog celebrated its first birthday on April, 8th. I was planning for a post about this day and how I thought of blogging then decided to have one of my own and.. bla bla bla… but I was busy in my late Grandfather's funeral and after the funeral period.

In one year of non-stop blogging, I wrote 103 posts, and started two other blogs; one was Photos From Iraq, a photo-blog, and the other one which I made not too long ago is Baghdad Poet, it's for my father's writings. He writes poetry, essays, literary and political articles and so on. He publishes them under his real name in some websites and local newspapers, and I thought of collecting them all in one place for him, so I made this blog. Sorry guys, it's in Arabic.

Since I've got nothing to do lately (I mean really NOTHING to do!) I thought of reading more than one book at the same time. I finished Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul long ago, and I read a novel by Elinor Lipman called The Pursuit of Alice Thrift. I was reading it night and day so I could finish it in one week, probably less than one week. I am a very slow reader but I turned to become a VERY fast reader lately! Boredom does a lot of things, I guess! So, after this one book, I started with The Grapes of Wrath. I read the first four chapters in two nights. My grandfather died and I left the book. It's still on the table beside my bed, I looked at it few nights ago and thought of going back to read it when I remembered another novel I noticed on my bookshelf short time ago. Before, when I wanted to read a novel or a book I used to ask Dad to get me any book, or to go with him and choose some. There was no specific book in my mind, so I used to end up buying some New York Times Best Sellers fictions which I haven't heard about before.

I was looking in the bookshelf last week to check the books and decide on which one to read next, when I saw a book which reminded me of a movie. I read the title "Derailed" and I remembered that one of my friend (nickname: Shabnem) once told me that she watched that movie of Jennifer Aniston called "Derailed". I asked about its details to see if it's worth watching or not. I read the back cover of the book and saw that it's the same movie. "Ok. I'll READ the movie this time". So I started reading. I finished the first ten chapters in one sit at midnight from 2 A.M. till 4 A.M. in the morning! And how was I reading? On bed with no lights cuz there was no electricity. I had to options for light; either an oil-lantern or a mini torch light which works on batteries. I took the second options cuz at least I could put it on the bed or holding it near the book while reading. I don't deny that I had a sever headache after that!

Baghdad Sun:

On March, 29th we witnessed the solar eclipse in some parts of the world. It was a partial one in Iraq. On that day I forgot all about it, and then I suddenly heard the mosques in my neighborhood calling for something. It wasn't prayers calling. I thought something wrong was happening. I tried to concentrate on what the man was saying from the mosque but I couldn't hear anything as it was far away. I decided to go out in the garden in order to hear well when I realized that it was getting cloudy. I was saying to myself that the weather is so nice today and the clouds are unusual. I looked up to the sky, there were no clouds, and there was half sun! I rushed inside the house and called my sister to come out and see, and I brought something dark to look through at the sun. It was obvious and so nice. I brought that camera and took photos, but it didn't show. You can notice that the sun rays are not very strong ones though.

Non-stop Roaring!

Whenever and wherever you go in Iraq, you can't help hearing loud and crazy roaring sounds which are one of the massive pollution causes in the country. I hated going out cuz of this crazy sound that I hear everywhere in Baghdad night and day!

Two days ago I went out with Mom to buy some stuff from the local supermarket for home and to visit my grandmother. While walking among the shops in my region, Mom and I had to talked very loudly so that we can hear each other whenever we passed by the causer of this roaring. The sound is there all the time, but sometimes we don't hear it cuz we got used to it so well! Last night I couldn't sleep and I didn't know what to do to. I thought of counting sheep but I ain't a child no more! But then I thought of counting sounds!! I listened to the silence and started to search for voices out there. The first sound I heard was of the cockroach of course. This one never stops as usual, and it gets louder at night, or I thought so cuz no other voices accompany it in this time of the night. Other voices? My mind! I heard myself talking and my brain functioning. I wished if there was a bottom to turn it off and sleep! I was thinking of the main character in "Derailed", thinking of how the electricity went off while I was voice chatting with Attawie and showing her the graduation photo and she showing me her paintings on the deadly slow webcams. And there it was the roaring sound again! I heard it from afar. It was there of course as there were no electricity, and it will get louder and louder when summer comes. It's the sound of the big local generators of the neighborhood…

I live in a relatively small area, and I found it yesterday that there are more than ten big generators in it! How about the big regions? How many generators are there…And how is the sound over there!!

This is the roaring sound of the local generators, but how about the smell?? Well, don't mention it!! I know one day I'll miss you, roaring monster!


Note: All the photos above are taken by a mobile camera. Sorry if it's not clear enough.


Melantrys said...

*slaps Morbid Smile's fingers*
You bad, bad girl!
I hope you at least didn't look at the sun for long. Eclipse or no, without special smoked glasses you can seriously damage your eyes looking directly at the sun. Well, as you're still able to write here, I dare say you only took a few glances.
Phew. *starts breathing again*

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

"Derailed" was a quick read. I thought it was an awfully dark book though.

If I were reading like you did (with the flashlight), I would have a headache too! :) And when I read in bed, my arm usually falls asleep, because I usually lean on one side. But there are some books that you just gotta finish!

jarvenpa said...

Lucky you to see the eclipse (here where I live we just heard about it). I am impressed by your photo site with photos from Iraq's past--thank you for doing this, and for telling us here to look there.
I should think of good books for you--but I am not sure they will be available to you.

David said...

Well, I haven't read "Derailed" or seen the movie. Maybe I'll rent the movie. As for reading, I read science fiction and fantasy books, for the most part. If those sort of books interest you, I could suggest many possibilities. Recently, Melantrys introduced me to the books of Terry Pratchett, an extremely humorous and creative fantasy writer. I am currently having a lot of fun reading some of his books.

I saw a partial solar eclipse once. I looked at it too and I can still see. *winks at Mel* Glad you had an interesting astronomical show! :)

That generator looks big enough to power only a few houses. From what I have read from my friends Hnk and Najma in Mosul, this size of generator seems quite common where they live too.

Original_Jeff said...

Astronomical tip: Next time there is an eclipse, get two pieces of cardboard. Using a pin, put a hole in the center of one of the pieces of cardboard. Hold them about 0.5 meters apart facing the sun. The small hole allows the sun to come through, and it will project the eclipsed shape onto the second piece of cardboard. You will see a circle of light with a round "bite" out of it. It works well and is totally safe!

I am reading "The Great Gatsby" right now. Just started--at the point where Nick Carroway meets Gatsby for the first time.

Original_Jeff said...

p.s. Heard anything from the GRE test or colleges, etc?

attawie said...

I'm glad you are reading books. it's better then spending time watching TV "if there was any power" but you should check your eyesight.
That's why I'm wearing eyeglasses now. Lala times ;)

I saw the eclipse on TV and I remember 11/8/1999 if you remember. It was the last eclipse in Baghdad.

Roaring? We had that roaring machine but dad refused to switch it on at night; he used to say that people wants to sleep.

BTW... if you found the button which switches thinking of tell me.

Py said...

Hi. I have a suggestion of another Steinbeck's book. It's name is "Travels with Charlie", and is about the (real) travel he did across the United States in a trailer like truck. Charlie is the dog that accompanied him. What makes this book special is the way Steinbeck writes about the conversations he had with common americans from various regions of the country, giving us a valuable view of the american culture.


Morbid Smile said...

Well, Melantrys! It was obvious that I looked at that sun!! At least the moment I took that photo. My uncle was saying that I would damage the camera by doing that.. damage the camera and not my eyes!!

I promise I won't do it again. Please don't slap me!! :P

Hello Lynnette! I finished Derailed the night I wrote this post. I got a new book the next day, that it two days ago. It's a gift from the States! :) The book is "Night" by Elie Weisel. I finished half of the book in one night and got myself a severe headache since then! I stopped reading with a flashlight and forced myself to sleep early. It's about 1:30 midnight here now, that is for sure not early at all though I still have a headache now!!

Hello Jarvenpa, it's nice to see you here again! I saw a full eclipse once in 1999 in Baghdad, it was awesome to see such view. And I've seen a lunar eclipse as well which happened last year as I can remember. I'm glad that you liked the photo-blog. I'm trying my best to get the photos that represent, or at least talk about, Iraq. I would like to hear your recommendations of book. Even if I can't get them here, I will sure be able to read them when I'm in the U.S., which is so soon! :)

Hey David! I like fantasy books as well, and fantasy movies too. As for Sci-Fi, NOOOO!! I don't know, but I never liked it. Sorry! All what I know about such kind of books or movies are Star Wars and Alien! What do you suggest me to read for fantasy?

Well those generators usually power about 30 houses, if not more. And there are many of them in each neighborhood that each house can get some electricity from.

Thank you for the tip, Jeff! I'll do this next time I see an eclipse! Maybe 100 years from now ;) .. I haven't found the Great Gatsby here till now. I admit that I didn't search for the book that much! But it's a must to read it, at least for me cuz it falls under my " Must Read" novels! Still nothing about the GRE, and if you want the truth, I don't feel like I want to know the result! I kinda screwed up in the exam. Departing Iraq to the U.S. will be on July.

Attawie, you bet! To read something is better than watching T.V., especially when there is nothing good to watch on our channels. Except for F.R.I.E.N.D.S. for sure ;) I promise I will tell you as soon as I find that bottom to switch off the mind and thinking!! I tried everything, and yet when I have a worst headache I still can't sleep!

Hello PY! Thank you for your suggestion :) I've read about this book by Steinbeck but I haven't read it yet. It's one of his important works, and after what you told me about it, I will try to find it here in Baghdad and read it. Thank you again! :)

Py said...

If you allow me, David, I have a suggestion for msmile
of sci-fi material. For a movie, my suggestion is Blade
Runner (assure you see the "director's cut" version,
because the "comercial" version isn't good). And for
a book, one I like very much is Nine Tomorrows (short
stories), by Isaac Asimov.
In fact they are not typical sci-fi because the focus
is more about how human act and feel when submitted to
certain kinds of technologies or environments.
Hope you like.


David said...

Ok, I can suggest a few good fantasy books from my collection. Perhaps you have heard of J. R. R. Tolkien and his famous books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (you probably saw those movies). Another great fantasy author is Stephen R. Donaldson. He is probably best known for his Chronicals of Thomas Covenant books. I think he is writing number eight in that series now. The first book is called Lord Foul's Bane. Ursula K. LeGuin has written many good books. You might like her Earthsea Trilogy. Book one is called A Wizard of Earthsea. The Guardians of the Flame series by Joel Rosenberg is very good. I think he has written seven books in that series so far. The first is called The Sleeping Dragon. Now, let me offer one more suggestion. It is a series that combines the best aspects of fantasy and sci-fi. The series begins with the book Dune and is written by Frank Herbert. He wrote six books in the series and now his son Brian Herbert is extending the Dune universe with more books based on his father's notes. Please don't shy away from these books because of Star Wars and Aliens. Those are hokey kid's movies compared with the genius of Herbert's master works.

Well, I hope that you will find something in this list to your liking. Happy reading! :)

CharlesWT said...

The Modern Library — 100 Best Novels

American literature

American Literature Sites

The American Literature Archive

Virtual Library of Useful URLs - 800 Literature

LITERATURE of the USA on the Web

David said...

Hello Py,
I just noticed you had mentioned me. I like your sci-fi suggestions. Blade Runner is a great movie and Asimov is one of my favorite authors!

Konfused Kid said...

"Counting sounds, first one was a cockroach"

Morbido, you're getting loony!!!

btw, in your last comment at my post, u hinted that u live in someplace familiar to u & I, please don't live there.

Stay sharp.

Anonymous said...

Well, David is busy right now reading Terry Pratchett, thanks to me.
Pratchett combines Fantasy with humour and sarcastic insights into our own world and its faults, mirrored in the Discworld a loooot of books are set on (more than 25 by now).
Now I'm staring to sound like a book review.

Mwaaah, damn, that late already?! I should do a bit more of serious resting, than leave Frenzie's place and head home. Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!

opijwqtg... this even looks vaguely Dutch...

Melantrys said...

I'm Mel, not Anonymous! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!


Tara said...

Hi Dear
I'm sorry about ur grandfather
Alla yer7ama inshalla

& about reading,I still use LaLa and really hate the smell of Kerosin but I can't sleep without reading.

Everytime I check ur blog I wish to find that u r in teh USA.
Hope that u go soon & start a new & better life(or at least a normal one ).

Treasure of Baghdad said...

hey Morbido,

I loved your father's poems. They are so moving. I was thirsty for such a blog, especially an Iraqi one.

As for derailed, I've seen the movie with my friend Ivan when I was in New York City last December. It's good. Well, I am fan of jennifer Aniston especially of her role in Friends. I bet you like Friends as well...

Morbid Smile said...

Dear Py, thank you for your book suggestion and for the e-book you send me. I sent you an email.. :)

David, that's a rich list of books to read! Actually I don't have a very good knowledge of the fantasy and sci-fi books because I haven't studied them at college ( we were more into classics and modern literature ), but since I started to read about books, mostly online, I've got through reading some of those titles. Since it's hard to get them here, this will be another thing to do in the U.S., that is expanding my fantasy and sci-fi knowledge!

Charles, you are alwaya famous of your awesome links!! Thanks alot. I liked the 100 Best Novels and the Wikipedia links the most.

The Kid is here!! Long time no see. It's good to see you here again, bro. Well, it's obvious that I'm getting loony here! Lack of sleep does alot of things to human beings !! About the place I live in, it's a small region that is so close to Adhamiya, and it's not a dangerous one by the way! Got it? If you have Google Earth check it at the end of the high way from Nida Mosque! That's why I said that I can hear the bombings but I can't see them.. Anyways, I'm only staying here for a couple of months ;)

Melantrys the anonymous!! I knew it was you as soon as I read the comment and I was wondering why you were anonymous! I hope you had a good time over there :)

yzggnibr ... What should this mean!!??

Heeey Tara! It's been such a long time since I last saw you! I hope that you are doing well. I've been checking your blog and was glad to see that you are back to blogging.. I really hate the smell of kerosin as well, but it seems that there is no way to run away from it! I haulted my reading for the last three days cuz I'm having this constant bad headache that refuses to go! I can't wait to go back to my books and read though. And thank you for your condolences dear. :)

Morbid Smile said...

Hello Treasure!

Well who doesn't like Friends!! They are playing season nine on Channel One now, and guess what? I always forget to watch it!! :(

I'm glad that you liked the new blog. There are so many writings for Dad, some of them are reeeeally political but I'm trying to get away from that! I'm posting one at a time..

Mone said...

Since you have a lot of time and nothing to do at the moment, wouldnt it be a good idea to translate yout dads poetry?
Greetings from Germany...

Lynnette in Minnesota said...


I'm sorry to hear you still have your headache. Aspirin doesn't help? You might have to take more than one dose. Chamomille tea might help relax you as well. A cold compress on your forehead feels good too.

When you get back to reading you should put "Tell No One" by Harlan Coben on your list. I don't remember if I've mentioned that one in the past, but it's great.

If you want something to do besides read, have you tried Sudoku? They are a little addicting. is a link to an online site.

P.S. Last, but not least, I hope this note finds you well. I have heard there were numerous car bombs in Baghdad Monday.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Hmmm, that link is screwed up. I don't know why that happens, but on some blogs that command doesn't work right. Weird.

If you click on any of the blue lines you will find the Sudoku website I was talking about.