Tuesday, April 25, 2006
So, I have two posts but I don't know which one to publish first, and both are unfinished yet. One is a personal account o the war days. I know it's late for this, but I didn't have time to post it then. The other one is a childish post; accounts on my funny childhood and some superstitions.. What do you suggest me to post first??
The thing is that I'm having this terrible headache that refuses to go for a week now! It's on the left side of my brain, and sometime on the back of my head. Any doctors here??! I think I need an eye-check cuz I just realized a few hours ago that my eyesight is kinda blur! I'm sure that the first question the doctor will ask me is that if I spend so much time using the computer and if I read in a dull light!! What am I going to answer in this way? I do these two things most of the time, and I can't live my day without a computer and book ...ummm, and a flashlight for reading! :P
Good news: I finished my visa application!! And I'll leave on July. Filling the application form was a crazy thing to do, it went through hell of things. First thing was that I had to fill it online! It couldn't be downloaded or printed on paper. Then after completing the application form, I had to print it out, sign it and past my 5x5 photo, then scan it and finally send it. There were four forms, and it took me six hours to do all of this! During that, the electricity went off twice, so imagine that I had to re-do the work all over again!!
I'm wondering why I wrote this!
Sunday, April 16, 2006
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!
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.
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.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
On last Sunday, 2 nd of April, I woke up at eight o'clock in order to close the door after my sister when she goes to college. The weather was unusually cold and it was raining so heavily that the falling rain on the ground was making a very loud sound. I went back to bed as it was still early for me to wake up. I suddenly had a feeling that things would be ok for my sick grandfather. I was thinking alot about him during the past week and was visiting him everyday to check upon him. He had Alzheimers during the last three years, and his condition was suddenly worsening in the last week!
It all happened to him right after the war. He saw many dead people in the streets as he was trying to reach to our house or to one of my aunts to see how we were doing as phone lines were not working. He once saw a dead man on the roadside for several days, and no-one knew anything about that man. He also saw a person being robbed and shot to death in front of him down the street. Let alone the war itself and how horrible its days were! He got depression, and time by time he started to lose his memory. My last memories with him when he was in his healthy state were during the war. He came to stay with us for Dad was out in the front. And I remember him all the time listening to the news on the radio and talking with Mom and the situation and how things would work out. He used to calm us down everytime a raid rocked the house, especially my sister who was so scared and cried with every explosion took place in the war. He used to laugh and say to us " Be strong like your Grandpa! Don't be scared, it's a far away rocket. God will protect us".
It was one day after the war when Grandpa visited us in the morning as he used to do for all of his life, and said to Mom, " I'm not feeling well!". It was at that time when he started to be depressed and his health was detoriorating. He started to speak less and less, and he only asked questions about certain things. Ane whenever we visited my grandparents we all used to notice that he barely spoke anything! He was sitting with us but hardly spoke with anybody. He couldn't even sleep at night. Later he was diagnosed with Alzheimres.
Everyone used to call him "The Morning Visitor" cuz he used to visit us all in the morning time. His visits were so fun and his smile were the nicest. When I was few years old I used to call him "Dad" cuz I thought that he was my father! I barely saw my father when I was little cuz he was in the military in the southern part of the country, and it was a wartime with Iran! Dad used to buy me and my sister gifts and stuff and send them all the way from his place to Baghdad where we were living, and somehow I believe that my Grandfather was the one who bought all those stuff for us!!
During the last week before his death, I was scared everytime the phone bell rang; I was afraid that this phone call would be from my grandmother telling us that my grandfather is dying! One afternoon, my uncle's wife called and told us to go to my grandpa as he was getting really sick. I started to be scared of phone calls since that day! I used to go with Mom everyday to visit him. Thankfully, my grandparents moved to a house in my same region and only one street from my house, so it was so easy to go there anytime day or night. One day when we went there, I got to his room with my Mother and saw him sleeping in his bed and my grandmother was sitting on his bedside reciting from Holly Quran and crying. His senses stopped, he hardly opened his eyes or talked. I couldn't look at him cuz I didn't want that image to stuch in my mind. Grandma told him that we were there and asked him if he knew us. She told him, " It's your eldest daughter and eldest grandchild, do you remember them?". I was standing behind Mom and I cried silently. He opened his eyes for one second, smiled and said "Yes, I remember".
I took my baby cousin from his mother and rushed out of the room cuz it was too hard for me to stay there any longer and watch my grandfather in that state. The next day he got worse and couldn't eat or drink anything. My aunts, my grandfather's brothers and sisters and some other relatives used to gather around him everyday untill the last day when he passed away.
On Sunday, 2nd of April came the phone call I was scared of. I woke up at ten o'clock in the morning and saw Mom in my room telling that she decided not to go to her work cuz of the crazy rain outside. I could smell the rain in every corner of the room and the entire house. It was gloomy and cold. After about ten minutes, the phone rang and Mom answered. All what she said on the phone was " What? I'm coming now!". I looked at her and asked what was up, she told me that it was my aunt telling Mom to come over to see my grandfather as soon as possible. He stopped breathing.
I tried to search for an umbrella for Mom in order to go out, but I couldn't find anyone. She finally decided to go out running under the rain. By the time she got there my grandfather was dead. He died peacefully in his bed among his family and loved ones.
I was at home half waken and half asleep. I was thinking of the rain outside and of my grandfatgher. I was also thinking that maybe in the midest of the pain no one might remember to pray for him there, so I said little prayes and wished him Heaven. I didn't know about his death untill two hours had passed.
I can't cry when there are people around me, so for the first time in my life I cound "sob" loudly alone at home. All the memories came rushing to my mind at once, and my greaf even increased. It wasn't rain outside, the sky was crying as well! The most peacefull, loving and passionate man on earth was gone.
The funeral days were the most hectic ones. The first moment I got to my grandparents' house and saw Grandma, she cried loudly and said " Grandpa is gone!"..
May you rest in Heaven near God now for you suffered alot during your 68 years of age.
That's him when he started to get sick..
Friday, April 07, 2006
I am sorry I haven't posted anything lately in my blog, but the situation is completely out of control and I'm not at home most of the time. My grandfather died last Sunday after suffering from Alzheimre for about three years. I am preparing a long post about him, hope that I will be able to finish it soon.
There is so much to say but I have no enough time now. Another radio show is coming in the way!