Thursday, December 30, 2004

Rest in peace Grandma

Today My grandma past a way at the age of 100 years. She was the raw model of a granny in all it’s meanings. I still remember when she used to visit us in my parents house, I used to wake up very early so I can sit with her alone and listen to her old stories, I liked them very much. She used to knit almost all my blouses and jackets when I was young, her hands work was a piece of art.
We will miss you Granny, and we will never forget you. For us you did not die, we can see your fruitage everywhere we turn around. you were great in everything.
She lived in Mousl most of her life, and she died there. The last few years she was very weak and unable to walk, and she became almost unconscious the last two years. The bad situation in Mousl made even the funeral something impossible. my father was very sad today, he said I’m not only sad for the death of my mother, but also for not attending my mother’s funeral. the road is very unsafe, there was fighting between the Americans and the insurgents in Mousl and the road between Baghdad and Mousl. Today my sister who lives in Mousle called me and told me that my father and his brothers who lives in Baghdad should never think of coming at all.
What really makes me nervous, is that they could not even take her to rest in her last place by car, because there was a curfew and there were tanks standing in their street. so they carried the coffin and walked to the cemetery, of course very few people went to the cemetery that way, only her close relatives, most of them were her children and grand children (she has 8 sons and a daughter, only three of them could take her to the cemetery). there was news that there was fighting close to them and they were lucky to stay safe and return back home, the phone line is not working between Mousle and Baghdad, but they were able to call us only from mobile and with one direction, I mean they only can make the calls not us. we are waiting for their calls now to see if they were all O.K.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

My wishes for the new year 2005

We haven’t decided how to celebrate the new year, I even don’t have the spirit to celebrate at all because I’m not sure if the new year will be a good year for us so it deserves to celebrate or not.
According to the security situation we have, I don’t think we can have a party till more than 8 or 9 pm at max. and of course the fuel problem we have for more than 2 months makes many people unable to come. my sister in law who lives near our house suggested to make a small party between 3-6 pm, I told her WHAT? new year party at afternoon!!!!. my husband comes from his work at 4 pm. but maybe we will have it at this time anyway. better than nothing, but I don’t think it will be in my house, I’m not ready for the mess, besides there will be so many children which means so many damage to the house. I told my husband that we can stay at home, prepare special dinner but with NO candles since I had enough from candles. when I was a young girl I loved to eat on candles light, especially with the special occasions like my parents wedding anniversary and birthday parties. when I got married I had the chance to celebrate few of our occasions with candles. but this time I never will. we are living most of our day with no electricity so we always have romantic atmosphere. maybe the electricity is O.k. but the government want us to live in a romantic way. maybe they should check the birth rate to see if they succeed or not :).
So I make my first wish for the new year is to celebrate the next new year (I mean 2006) with candles.
I still did not check my lists for wishes, I have many like other Iraqis who wishe for peace, elect., fuel, mobile phone that you can use when you need them and all the standards of living that many of you do not know their values yet. sometimes I hope all this, is a part of a dream and one day I will wake up and discover the real life, or sometimes I wish It is a part of hits squad camera or part of a movie like the film ( the true man show) by Jim Carry.
So my second wish for this year is to wake up from my dreams, or the hit squad stop their acting, because it is not funny.
My third wish is to be a bird !!!. Yes I want to be a bird so I can fly freely to any country I want with no need to visa, or have a nationality that ruined my life and all my plans. It’s like a curse, during Saddam’s days we were not able to have visa, O.k we understand why, but now we don’t have Saddam and we still can’t have visa, is this Saddam curse or what? I’m not hating to be an Iraqi at all, I’m very proud to be.

My fourth wish is to be on the top of the world, It has nothing to do with the situation, but I like a movie that I saw when I was a little girl, and all I remember from it, is nice view as it is the top of the world. but the bad thing in it, is that the movie star died when she reached that point. I think I will delete this wish from the list. because If I want to die all I have to do is go outside and my percentage to die will be so high.
So my fourth wish is to be on the top of the world and stay alive.

I wonder what your wishes for the new year are? are they similar to mine?

Another subject
The connections between all the public telephone switches have been disconnected, that means I can’t call anyone out of my switch, maybe they want to save our money instead of talking in the phone. Yesterday I was going to be crazy when I heard a car bomb exploded in Al-Jadriyah. my husband’s way is through that way. I couldn’t call him to see if he arrived safe, and I couldn’t call my parents to see if they can call him. later I called him by miracle through mobile since the mobile system barely works, and he said that he arrived safe before the explosion happened. This is our life always in suspense. you don’t know where to drive and find a bomb in your way. two days ago my parents were on their way home, a truck stood near one of the ministries and my parents were standing right behind it, my mother was afraid to stand behind a truck but my father couldn’t drive their car and pass it, few seconds there was a high sound of explosion and there was lots of dust, my mother was terrified and she started screaming till she recognized that it was the truck’s tire that was exploded.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Christmas in Iraq

Christmas is knocking the doors, So I’m going to talk about Christmas in Iraq. Christians in Iraq usually celebrate Xmas and have a two day holiday which is 25th and 26th of Dec. their traditions is very similar to our Eid with few differences. they have Christmas tree with the usual decoration, they go to church for prayers and then start their Eid similar to us. Muslims and Christians visit each other in Eid (by the way the Christians called their Christmas, Eid too). Me and my husband usually visit our friends in Christmas and they visit us in our Eid too. they serve also our traditional Kulaicha besides some pastries just like us. my daughter have her share of gifts in Xmas too, and she always asks me why Santa doesn’t come to our house too? and I don’t know what to tell her, so I usually say that Santa brings your gifts and put them in our friends house so you can take them from there. For us we buy presents to our Christian friends when we visit them.
The Iraqis have strong bonds between them, in spite of religion or ethnic differences, we all work together, have neighbors from other religions, visit each other and respect our differences. my neighbors are shias, my best friends are Christians and Kurds and I’m Sunni, but we all have good relations between us. I’m afraid of those who are trying hard to tear us a part, for me I don’t think they will succeed but I’m sure they are from outside Iraq, and they want Iraq to separate into several parts or maybe drag it to civil war. In Iraq’s history for the few past hundreds of years we had no problems with each other so I think those terrorists will lose.
Even in our holly book, the Quran clearly states that Christians, Jews, and us Muslims we all worship the same God (which in Arabic we call Allah), and believing in Jesus and Moses is one of the basic conditions of being a Muslim. The Quran also asks us to live in peace with them and work and eat their food and even allows Muslim men to get married from them so his children will be Muslims but his wife can stay on her religion. We have unfortunately many ignorant people that know nothing about Islam and talk in his name, and destroy Islam’s reputation to others. I quote an ayah from the Quran :

“Lo! those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.” (albakara-62 )
Today I went to my parents house and I took my daughter to their neighbor’s house because they have a daughter in her age and she likes to play with her, the neighbors are Christians and they are the best neighbor a person can have. I asked the mother if they will go to church in Christmas as they used to go every year, she said no with sorrow. She is afraid from attacking the churches in Christmas, but she said I know many will go what ever will happen since they will go to the house of God. I really hated myself at this moment and I did not know what to tell her, I told her that not only you are targeted, look what they had done in Najaf and Karbala two days ago, they are trying hard to tear us apart, but I don’t know who are they. I felt so silly that moment.
also today, my father told me that he is afraid from a civil war, he said that those who are doing these things they know exactly what they are doing. I tried to tell him it’s impossible but he said no, they will succeed in making a civil war and then divide Iraq to peaces. I still don’t believe in this, The US will not allow this to happen because it will mean that they have failed in everything they fought for.
Well, this subject is supposed to be on Christmas but I want to clear few things to you, I don’t know how much you know about us. Merry Xmas to you all, and I wish you a nice Xmas always.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Our elections

I wanted to write about our elections which is supposed to be held in January next year, I might not find the right words to express my thoughts, But I will try.
For me I don’t care whether Sunni, shiat, Kurdish or any religion/ethnic group win the elections if they are qualified, but I don’t want an Islamic government (I want a secular government). What I really hate about this election is that it’s made as ethnic and religious groups only, without giving concern about who is qualified and who is not. I heard that in the next days those parties will start their campaigns on TV and newspapers.
Till now I don’t know any of those parties, I don’t want to vote based on religion. I want to choose what I think is right and best for my country.
Since the governing council was established a year ago, everything in our live is dividing according to religious/sect origin, they even distributed the ministries according to that not the qualification!.
In the eighties and the years before it, nobody cared about whether you are sunni or shii, or even asked what your religious is. Saddam created this problem by his bloody policy and increased largely in the nineties. now after the war the gap increased very much, every religion sect thinks that they should vote to their group to win and nobody thinks which are the best for them. For me I think a religion is something you inherited, you might believe in it or not, it is something between you and God. It had nothing to do with politics.
I always wonder Why the sunni should listen to their clerics not to vote in the elections, I wonder if those clerics asked themselves who will lose if they did not participate. They are of course.
I’m Sunni (I hate to say that) because I don’t want to make divisions between Iraqis, but I don’t agree with what some clerics are doing and I’m more upset when I hear people are following their orders. Those clerics might be good in their field (many of them don’t act like that now) but they know nothing about politics and they can’t take decisions for other people.
As for the shia, they are playing very good for their interest, But according to their beliefe they should obey their cleric in whatever he tells them, weather they are convinced with it or not, it has a name in Arabic but I don’t know how to translated in English. till now Al- Sistani is doing great job and solved big problems without shading blood. But what I’m afraid of is his support towards some elections lists, which contains most of the shia’s extremist parties, and very near to Iran. If he is really going to support those parties, that means all the shia or most of them, will vote for those parties. which is something I really don’t want, because we will be simillar to Iran in many ways.
In Mousl, the terrorist prevent the distribution of the elections papers by threatening those responsible for its distribution to people, and unfortunately they are succeeding in this. I was hearing in the radio one of those people who said that he received a threat in his house and he said I have children and I have to take care of them, so I did not distribute those papers.
For me I think the elections should be delayed for a while till the security situation gets better, now it is impossible for the people to go for voting in many places, even in Baghdad. there is still car bombs almost everyday, many people will be afraid to go for voting. The places for voting can not be fully secured and one can’t be sure that it is safe. how can you make an elections in this way. The south will vote, the kurds will vote, and that’s it.
I’m always asking myself if we are ready for democracy and if the people are ready for it.
we have many uneducated people in Iraq, maybe the majority, I wonder if those people will make good decisions about the best for our country, or they will choose unwisely. I’m always afraid of that point.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A comment from Rose

I read all your comments on the DU. At least I’m not the only person who thinks that DU might cause cancer and other illness, I want to prove that it is not only me who think like that and I read tens of articles having the same opinion, which I hope is wrong. Anyway no one will know where is the truth, sometimes researchers find things after several years, so it’s all theories, and as I said ‘I hope I’m wrong and you are right’, days will prove that.

I want to put rules in my blog and I hope you will respect them. I’m opening my comment to you so you can write yours whether they are with me or not, I definitely don’t mind reading comments against my opinions because I might learn from them, and I want to make a free discussion between different nations. But I want some respect with no rude or nasty words against me nor anyone of the people who write comments. otherwise I will delete them. and please don’t force me to do this.

About the anonymous who thinks that my blog and other Iraqis blogs are waste of time, we are not forcing you to read them.

I did not understand why some of you became so upset when John from NZ wrote a bout his daughter. He did not write anything that does harm to anyone, but I’m sure that the one who got mad is not a parent and does not know the word parenthood and what does it mean when you talk a bout your child. I’m proud of my daughter and I believe she is the best among those her age, so what am I making? a crime .
So please John don’t be upset and feel free to talk about anything in my blog, you are most welcome.

I did not want to write this post or be a little rude, but I want to put some rules.

In my blog I wanted to express my humble opinions and beliefs and by allowing comments, I wanted to host polite discussions among people from different cultures, religions, and/or political opinions about everything in life ranging from the simplest things to wars (which we Iraqis are very used to). In this way, we can all learn without hurting each others feelings.

Thank you for your time.
P.S this post will be exceptionally without comments.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Depleted Uranium

I decided to write this post after I received many comments from Americans refusing to admit that the US did use depleted Uranium in the Gulf war and Iraq freedom or that DU if used has been a major cause of many health problems including cancers.

I made a quick research on the net and found hundreds of links about this subject, from the few links that I had checked I found many that assure my theory.
I will put excerpts from some links and their links.

US Forces' Use of Depleted Uranium Weapons is 'Illegal'
by Neil Mackay
Published on Sunday, March 30, 2003 by The Sunday Herald (Scotland)
BRITISH and American coalition forces are using depleted uranium (DU) shells in the war against Iraq and deliberately flouting a United Nations resolution which classifies the munitions as illegal weapons of mass destruction.
DU contaminates land, causes ill-health and cancers among the soldiers using the weapons, the armies they target and civilians, leading to birth defects in children.
DU has been blamed for the effects of Gulf war syndrome -- typified by chronic muscle and joint pain, fatigue and memory loss -- among 200,000 US soldiers after the 1991 conflict.
It is also cited as the most likely cause of the 'increased number of birth deformities and cancer in Iraq' following the first Gulf war.
'Cancer appears to have increased between seven and 10 times and deformities between four and six times,' according to the UN sub commission.
The use of DU has also led to birth defects in the children of Allied veterans and is believed to be the cause of the 'worrying number of anophthalmos cases -- babies born without eyes' in Iraq. Only one in 50 million births should be anophthalmic, yet one Baghdad hospital had eight cases in just two years. Seven of the fathers had been exposed to American DU anti-tank rounds in 1991. There have also been cases of Iraqi babies born without the crowns of their skulls, a deformity also linked to DU shelling.
A study of Gulf war veterans showed that 67% had children with severe illnesses, missing eyes, blood infections, respiratory problems and fused fingers.
for more about this article you can read it in :

Depleted Uranium Weapons:Lessons from the 1991 Gulf War
By Dan Fahey
Local civilian populations are unlikely to be warned when depleted uranium weapons are used - even if depleted uranium contaminates their food or water supplies. Prior to the Gulf War, the U.S. Army was aware of the potential for depleted uranium contamination to cause health problems among civilian populations. However, during and after the Gulf War, the U.S. Department of Defense took no steps to warn the inhabitants of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq about depleted uranium contamination on their lands. In contrast, U.S. Army reports express more concern about public outcry and future restrictions on the use of depleted uranium weapons than with contaminating foreign lands and poisoning civilians.

Desert Storm veterans along with the people of Iraq and Kuwait were victims of one of the latest military experiments on human beings. I believe that the ignorance was culpable and criminal. -- Rosalie Bertell
In Iraq in 1997, I discovered monstrous births of deformed babies and old men who, amid the wreckage which the Allies had blasted with our uranium shells, told me of daughters with breast and liver cancer. -- Robert Fisk
There is now overwhelming evidence that use of depleted uranium is killing peacekeepers from Allied countries now based in the Balkans. It is killing the soldiers who went into the Balkans when the Serbs withdrew, and it is killing the people there who we went to war to supposedly protect. It is also killing the ordinary people of Iraq who have to suffer the triple pressures of a despotic regime, international sanctions, and death from depleted uranium. Using depleted uranium is clearly immoral, but it is also against international law and UN conventions which prohibit the use of weapons which cause indiscriminate deaths and injury. -- Caroline Lucas MEP
In the US soldiers are dying of brain tumours and cancers, young soldiers in their early twenty's with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Children are born with missing limbs, missing eyes, missing ears, hearts on the wrong side of the body. In Iraq, the Iraqi people are displaying the same symptoms and conditions, the only difference being that they lack any form of medical treatment due to the US/UK imposed and enforced sanctions which has already led to 500,000 dead children.
to read more :

Growing Concerns
Background to IRAQ
During the 1991 Gulf War around 350 tons of depleted uranium was used in southern Iraq and many chemical facilities were bombed. The Atomic Energy Authority has said that if 50 tons were dispersed, up to half a million deaths might result by the turn of the century. Shortly after the war, a German professor noted disturbing health trends amongst the Iraqi population. These included :
· A considerable increase in infectious diseases caused by most severe immunodeficiences in a great part of the population.
· Frequent occurrence of massive herpes and zoster afflictions, also in children; AIDS-like syndromes.
· A hitherto unknown syndrome caused by renal and hepatic dysfunctions.
· Leukaemia, aplastic anaemia and malignant neoplasms.
· Congenital deformities caused by genetic defects, which are also found in animals and plants.
· Cancer rates in Iraq have now increased up to 10-fold, with the incidence of cancers and leukaemia among children in Basra rising 384% and 300% respectively. There has also been a substantial increase in genetic disorders including neural tube defects which have had a notable 55% rise between 1998 and 2000; a staggering 250% increase in eye deformity and a 4.5% increase in Down’s Syndrome births.
The amount of uranium or depleted uranium (DU) used by US-led coalition forces during their attack on Iraq in March and April is unknown but may have been between 1000 and 2000 tons. The looting of nuclear sites and chemical sites is also posing a long term health crisis.
you can find this article in:

Iraq's real WMD crime
By Lawrence Smallman in Baghdad

Thursday 30 October 2003,
There are weapons of mass destruction all over Iraq and they were used this year. Iraqi children continue to find them every day.
They have ruined the lives of just under 300,000 people during the last decade - and numbers will increase.
The reason is simple. Two hundred tonnes of radioactive material were fired by invading US forces into buildings, homes, streets and gardens all over Baghdad.
The material in question is depleted uranium (DU). Left over after natural uranium has been enriched, DU is 1.7 times denser than lead - effective in penetrating armoured objects such as tanks
Leukaemia has already become the most common type of cancer in Iraq among all age groups, but is most prevalent in the under-15 category. It has increased way above the percentage of population growth in every single province of Iraq without exception.
Women as young as 35 are developing breast cancer. Sterility among men has increased tenfold.
you can read much more about this article in :

The above is only some of what I have read,
For me using DU in wars is a crime against humanity what about you?

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Maybe you will find this post a little strange for you, but it is worth to read.

When you call someone, you either call him by his first name or using his/her family name with Mr. Mrs. or Miss before it. According to your knowledge of that person.

In Iraq it’s a little different. You call him/her with the first name but after getting married and have a child you call him with his/her son/daughter name but you put the word Abu which means ‘Father of’ like Abu Ali means father of Ali and if he has a daughter you call him Abu Zainab for example. For mothers you put the word Um before the name of the child which means ‘mother of’. It’s done to show more respect than using his/her first name especially for old people. I know many people by their Abu or Um and I don’t know their real names, because they don’t use them any more.

For me I like to be called by my name (which I’m not going to tell you what it is) but in the shops near my house, some neighbors and some friends they use to call me with my daughter’s name, I feel so old when they call me like this, but they will not accept to call me with my first name it’s like insulting or something like that.

If your first child was a daughter and later you have a son , people will start to call you with your son’s name instead of the daughter’s, some parents refused to change that (I agree with them, what’s wrong with a girl!)

If you are old and you don’t have any children for any reason, no problem we have prepared some names that suite some common males names, for examples: if your name is Mohammed, your alias name will be Abu Jasim. and this name comes because our prophet had a boy named Kasim and died when he was young (and later Kasim turned into Jasim). If your name is Khaled, your alias name will be Abu Waleed and this comes from the great Arab army leader Khaled bin Al Waleed. and if your name is Ali your alias name will be Abu Hussien since Imam Ali’s son was Hussien. and so on. If you have uncommon name your alias name will be Abu yaqoob (Jacob). But we don’t have alias names for females, so when a man calls an old female or calls a woman, he calls her either Hijia ( I explained that below),or Ukhti which means my sister ( if she was younger than him) or ‘Sit’ and it’s something similar to Mrs. and sometimes madam and you know what does it mean.

I decided to write this post when I read some comments in Abu Khaleel’s blog and most of the people who wrote the comments they used the name Abu (thinking that this was his first name) with out the full name, it should be written Abu Khaleel as a one name.
It is worth mentioning that Iraqi soldiers were also called Abu Khaleel for some reason.

For an old persons, who we don’t know his/her alias name, or meet for the first time, we call him/her haji/hijia. and this name is usually given to a person after he/she goes to Mecca for pilgrimage.

PS: My next post will be on Depleted Uranium (DU).