Beginning of the new semester is close too.. (not that it would apply to me, I took the last exams of my life last april!) and I'm still here.
why am I still here?
cuz, like thousands of other Iraqis, My parents live here now.
they do, not I.
I'm staying temporarily in my grandparents' house.. and damn it gets lonely there.
and accordingly, I stay here until THEY (grandparents) decide to go back to Iraq.
plannin' of returning here for the new year, I might just might be able to do that..
Winter's comin' too.
You know what I like about winter? Its cold.
oh and the smell of earth just after it rains.
I love it when it rains in the evenings, trees dripping, ground is wet, there is light but you can't see the sun.. heavy dark clouds in the sky..
I remember back in my 1st year of college (freshman year) when my schedule (computer labs and engineering drawing mainly) kept me in college till 6 or even sometimes 7 o'clock.. the atmosphere was incredible.. walking back home, sky's cryin' her guts out, and that sense of accomplishment you have when u know u're the first to complete ur lab assignment..
the holy month of Ramadhan is near, I've written about it last year, and since nothing's changed (for the better anyhow) I just don't feel You'd need another whiny post about our friendly neighborhood terrorists.
oh, almost forgot, have I told you that I went and saw Khalid Jarrar recently? yeah, I wanted to meet him a long time ago.. I did correspond with his brother Majid, but that was waaaaay back in 2002 before the war..
Nice guy, treated me to a frappaccino.. I'm plannin on meeting him a second time before I go back.. believe it or not, he is not a jihadi/freak/monster, no, he's just a regular joe like me or you. he's got two arms, two legs, and a big heart that's breaking over what's happening to his home..
A friend of mine (the 'Kid) is coming here today, staying for a few days. He wanted me to return with him, I doubt I can wait that long.. but then again, why not? it all depends on the expenses.
oh, and I got the last (probably) batch of music cds for this trip..
great bunch, great variety, I esp. like Somewhere to Elsewhere by Kansas.. great stuff.
oh and a MILLION thanks, Bill, for the great music, both Yours and Coco's!
here's a list of my last bunch here, if you'd like a complete list of all cds i got this trip tell me pls!
kansas - somewhere to elsewhere
michael angelo - Planet Gemini
whitesnake - Restless heart
kingdom come - Bad Image
cem kocksal - set me free
joe pass - guitar virtuoso (2 cds of 4) -GREAT!-
lynyrd skynyrd - All time greatest hits
dreamtheater - cover of WHOLE album of iron maiden's number of the beast
tesla - mechanical resonance
and hey, those are copies i made from a friend, so yeah, they're pirated and all that, but still great value for money! ;)
i got a few more.. thinking of putting ALL i have on a list and puttin it here somewhere..
oh and 'Houri:
about the aliases thingy, pls wait a bitty? its got to do with our collective-paranoia, but there are a few more reasons! wait pls?
thank you all, cheers, and then some!
(there was a point to this post, but I lost it somewhere..)
New post ALERT!: I made a new post, for some reason its not showing, you can find it HERE!
(maybe its not showing on MY end, but then again, better safe than sorry..)
nothing much to do.. before, i had three days of the week reserved for training, karate training.. its more of a thing to keep my mind off things than something to consider facing armed kidnappers with, still, it gives u great health and better confidence.
started out in baghdad last year, enrolled with a two of my best friends in a Kyokushin dojo for the hell of it, and it kinda stuck on me. Since I have a nasty habit of moving to jordan every holiday, i wasnt able to test beyond the orange belt.. only one of my friends did. the other quit after a month.
In any case, my Sempai (Teacher, Mentor, what have you) there left us to go teach in Sweden, and I was left standing with my belt in my hand.
Enter: Jordan. I came here looking for some decent Kyokushin dojos but alas, turns out there's some sorta ban on it here, what with it being full-contact and unsportmanshiplike and all that crap.. oh well, so I decided to start over, this time, Shotokan, just to preserve my skills and health.
Thanks to the toughness of Kyokushin and the excellence of my Sempai back home, I progressed thru it like greased lightning.. Sadly, I would have needed at least two more months before I could get a Dan (Blackbelt) ranking. hm. maybe on new-year. (If I could come.. I hope I can)
ALSO: at the same time, I enrolled in two more classes, Nunchaku and an Aikido/Jujitsu-based form.. Now u see why I was groaning and moaning about my twisted ankle and bones and stuff like that.
(a pic of my worn-out chucks -my second pair, the first was REALLY wornout!- with my watch and mug of tea to verify the claim.. oh and my IR device is there in background -transfer of files between pc and cellphone-)
ah well, my sweet time here is almost over, I bid my dojo friends here farewell, and once more I am a good for nothing lazy-@$$ with nothing to do.
an afterthought: In Kyokushin, I earned the white belt (it is earned, not given) and I feel I deserve the orange and blue even if I didnt test for them. I would certainly pass them if I took them now.
the belt system goes: white-orange-blue-yellow-green-brown-black and you have to TEST for white.
in Shotokan, I obviously got blue and ready to test for brown..
here the colors are: white-yellow-orange-green-blue-brown-black. and you wear a white belt without testing. too easy.
(The other classes were unrated cuz they're kinda sorta illegal here.. to teach and practice)
oh and btw: this was the thing I ranted about earlier, how my friend went and did it without and all that.. cant find the link now, will do so soon..I just didnt have guts to talk bout it then cuz I felt (and still do btw) that I havent reached a good level.
Martial Arts are a great way of boosting ur health, overcoming confidence issues, and gaining better harmony with all the crap that's going on in the world..
They taught me to respect others and most importantly, myself.
I have a few other things that I do but keep to myself.. no, ur wayyy off the mark there! filthy minded! maybe I'll share them with u in due time.. till that, cheerios, friends, and goodnight!
oh does any1 have "My Sharona" for the Knack? U know? I wanted to "acquire" it but all i found was a cover version.. I want the original one. if anyone has it or knows where to "get" it from, I would be grateful.. u got my email there!
and THEN SOME!
but everything, alas, comes to an end.
I didnt think when I came here two months ago that I would stay that long, maybe for two-three weeks and that's that.
the reason being: I HATE IT HERE!
now I'm not one of those expatriates that go awww and ahhh whenever our GLORIOUS homeland is mentioned.. hell no. I hate it there more than I do here!
the only thing that makes me like that horrid place is that I still have a hopeless dream that it will return to what it was someday, a place I am proud to live in, a place I am proud to belong to..
oh and my friends are there too.
its boring here, you can visit all the fun places in this city on a bicycle in three days.
dont bother trying to mingle with the population.. once they know ur from Iraq they go Ewww and hold their noses.. I swear I just took a shower.
anyway, point is, soon I have to return there, talking like next week.. sometime in the early 20s of september.
I still have one year of college to go thru, after that, who knows?
went to the AMidEast offices yesterday, told me they had an advising session next monday.. will go there, maybe I have a chance, who knows?
a series of explosions rocked baghdad yesterday. wont talk more about it cuz i'm sick and tired.
one major foul up though is the labeling:
Foreign and even Arab media label the bombings as a retribution from SUNNI terrorist Zarqawi for the destruction of the SUNNI town of Tal a'afar.
first of all, Zarqawi is NOT Sunni, he is "Salafi" or "Wahabi" which is an extreme sect of Islam, neither Sunni nor Shi'i.
Think a fundemental Yosemite Sam.
second: Tal a'afar is NOT a SUNNI town, it has a Shi'a-Turkomani Majority. and a few dozen brainwashed mad bombers in their midst.
Mass Media Fools.
will talk about my return to Eden later.
and THEN SOME!
An ordinary 18-yr old iraqi kid, getting prepped for his final exams.. a kid from a poor family living in a low income suburb of A'adhamiyah.
The ONLY son and bread-provider for his sisters and mother.
Hails from a deeply religious family, not the do-it-urself religion you hear and see these days, no, the kind of religion which states in BOLD UNDERLINES that we are ALL worshippers to the same God, we are one.
an ordinary kid like a million others like him, but with one difference.
He's a HERO.
this Hero is not someone you get on tv, shooting, killing and blowing the bad guys' nuts away and finally rescuing Paris Hilton from the jaws of doom.
He's a MARTYR.
not the kind you smell a mile away, loaded with TNT to the teeth, seeking to "have lunch with our prophet in heaven" by blowing up other human beings.
He gave his life trying to save pilgirms to the Imam Musa al-Kadhum's shrine during the stampede when many were pushed off the bridge, those who could swim to safety, did, but many women and children could not.
he managed to save 7 people out to safety, before finally a combination of fatigue and strong undercurrents got the best of him, while he was trying to save the next person.
Yesterday I saw an interview with his mother on TV.
God bless this woman.
She was smiling, praying for her son, and she said:
"At first, We were devastated, but when the news came, we were honored that Othman gave his life the way he did, to help his brothers and sisters, God bless his soul, and grant him entry into the eternal heavens."
Now that, is Heroism for us.
Who'da thunk that in the age of Jocelyne Wildenstein, we will find something like this?
I hope that by his sacrifice, Othman can save us from sectarian war, make people realize that under all the colors, robes, words, we are one.
this is a poorly planned post, i didnt have time to think it through. forgive me.
God have mercy on us all. When I was just thinking to write a post about the tragedy in Beslan last year, We had a tragedy ourselves back home, hundreds killed in a stampede on a barricaded bridge, and as a thrid strike, Katrina stormed in.
I've been following the news these last few days... shocking images of death and destruction, families disbanded, buildings destroyed, rampant crime in the absence of law.. eerily similar to what happened back home.
My heart is with everyone hurt by Katrina. Believe me when I say I know what they are going through.
While disaster does not differentiate.. we continue to do so again and again..
Two days after the bridge incident, a debate was sprung back home over what -or who- caused it.
Some people are accusing Sunnis
(Sunni vs. Shia, like them old Spy vs. Spy cartoons but less entertaining)
Some people are accusing U.S. Forces
(naturally -xenophobes, anyone?-)
and Some people are even accusing Shia's themselves..
(Badr Militias vs. Mahdi Army , Abdulaziz el Hakim & Muqtada "Firebrand" Sadr.. they DID have a scuffle coupla days before the incident, the "burn the SCIRI office, kill the Militias" kind..)
The incident happened on Al-A'ima Bridge which connects the Sunni district of A'adhamiya (you might have heard of it, lots of boom booms in there) and the Shia district of Kadhimiya, and while our glorious INGs were standing doing nothing (They even fired above the already frightened, rampaging crowds to disperse them) dozens of Sunni men rushed and jumped off the bridge to try to bring some people to safety.. many of them drowned in the process.
If you want to find out (or at least believe you found out) there are plenty of bloggers all over the place whom are more than willing to share their priceless political analyses with anyone with half a mind to listen.
but before you go look them up, join me please, let us pray for yesteryear's children and today's men and women.
Talks of civil war back home. God have mercy on us all.