madly in love with Iraq



The word itself used to scare the hell out of me, the eternal enemy that we don’t want to hear about. The devil we were breast fed to hate, and brought up to loathe.

Once I was on the train speaking loudly in Arabic with a friend, I could see an older woman looking at us curiously in a friendly way; she didn’t wait long and started to speak to us in Iraqi dialect which sounded like Maslawi. Later we got off in the same stop, and we walked together just to find out that she lives few blocks from my house.
The chill I had when I learned that she is an Iraqi Jew was tremendous, all the scenarios about the Mosad and their devious ways to recruit people came flashing in front of my eyes, I had nightmares for a week.
Eventually and without going through details, this woman became the mother I miss, and I became the daughter she never had.

The first problem that faced me was the word Israel, I couldn’t pronounce it, it felt like if I say it, it means I am approving of its existence, frankly I still cannot! But she understands, and always say; Difference doesn’t mean, there is no love left!

Through this relation, I met many of her friends and relatives, and learned a lot about their culture.
What amazes me most is their unity, people from all over, share one love, and have one vow. Their so-called country is beyond any argument and above any disagreement. Middle-eastern Jews are less in favour, and probably they don’t have the same opportunities as European Jews, but they don’t even dare to mention this, because simply there is a bigger cause; the cause of survival.

What is wrong with us? I don’t know. How an illusion could bring people together and a reality draws them apart?

America is not the greatest power in the world, Israel is.

I’ve just watched Muqtada Sader speaking to journalists and addressing them Habibi this and Habibi that! The supposedly graduate of Hawza! If he hadn’t learned anything, at least he should have grabbed the fine language! Let alone the context.

Or the other guy Harith Al Dhari, full of venom, his poisonous speeches and the cruel face expressions tells you in your face “there is no hope left”.

These are our examples; they are trading with peoples’ lives. Tell me had anyone of them guided their followers towards something fruitful? What are they preaching about in Mosques? They speak about unity, but have they showed us any means to implement it? They speak about loving each other, but love requires proofs. Give them shovels instead of guns, push them to clean and build their local areas. People are left with nothing but anger. They had no dreams before, and now they are left with nightmares.

Who bombed Samarra shrine? Who killed this young and beautiful journalist Atwar Bahjat?
Who is responsible for the killings of our scientists, who is responsible for this sectarian rift? who is feeding hatred and revenge?

1. The Americans and their allies
2: Saddam's followers
3: The foreign fighters
4: Our religous leaders
5: Our government to be

We are much more in numbers than all of them together,
Why let them control our fate and destiny?
Our interests should join us, not our faith or false commitments.

I am not denying the catastrophic situation, as much as trying to heal it with love.

For Iraqis I will say please please don't let this saying apply to us “ Ya Umaton thahikat min Jahliha Al Umamo”


The re-start

Hala_s is only a name added to many Iraqi bloggers who have been dedicating their time and efforts to write about the Iraqi story.
We all share one objective that is to reach a happy ending one day soon.

I live and work in London for some time now. I might be far, but in reality very close.
Not a typical Iraqi woman, simply because I am exposed to a different culture and live under different threats. But I never felt for a second that this is home.

My dream is to go back and live in Baghdad.

That’s it.

Please accept my first post on this page, and if you are interested, read my other two published in Asterism