madly in love with Iraq


The illusion

My early days in College in London were terrible. A complete lack of confidence, I kept a low profile in the class, I wouldn’t answer a question even if I was 100% sure of the answer. I was taken by my out spoken colleagues and their easy going attitude. I thought to myself “Where are you from the Brits you lousy Iraqi woman”.

Even my high grades later on did not lift me up. I thought I was studying like a donkey day and night and that was the least I could get.

I used to send 30 CV’s per day applying for jobs. And I joined more than four recruitment agencies.

It took me a while to get a job, and the bad recession in the late nineties did not help.

However, my life story wouldn’t be of interest to anyone, I don’t think, but what I discovered through my journey might be.

Common sense and practicality let alone dirtying my hands in everything were the qualities that kept me going, and left a good impression wherever I worked. Not my degree or qualifications, definitely not.

Mind you, these are the qualities of most Iraqis, I brought them with me, and somehow they are built-in I cannot change them even if I want to.
I still fix the photocopier at work instead of waiting for the engineer to come over, a skill I learned back home.

In the streets of Baghdad the first thing you notice is the old Japanese cars which are still running in Iraq today after more than 30 years of their make. My people invented parts and created methods to keep them going under the sanctions.
And do they admit it? No. They still think the credit goes to the Japanese. They opened shops to sew torn tires with wires and put them back on the road. The same goes for air-conditioning and air-coolers motors and so on.
Because of the hard life and the insecurity we went through all our lives we became harder than life itself.

The set backs though are many as well; being tough is not a virtue all the time.

We have this strong belief that people in the first World think better, understand more and consequently know exactly what they are doing!

It strikes me how some very educated and reasonable Iraqis still say “We believe that America is holding all the strings, and once they decide it is over, everything will fall into place”.

Even when they admit the total failure and the unquestionable disaster, even when they genuinely believe that America and its allies are the main cause of the daily killings; they still have hope in the Almighty advanced first World.

Say Iran or Syria in any Iraqi circle and you can immediately feel the electrified vibes.
“Those criminals, they ruined our country, they sent their fighters and intelligence inside Iraq and caused these miseries”.

Of course they would. They have the right to defend their existence; otherwise they will be the next on the list. They are part of the axis of evil or am I mistaken?

But Saudis and Kuwaitis are not mentioned in our bloody story, although they are financing the destruction of Iraq.
It suits America to say Hizballah is training the Mehdi army now, and I am not here to confirm or refute, but I am emphasizing on the timing.

It took America more than a year to admit the Iranian militia’s involvement in south Iraq.
Even when they say the truth, you have to question the intention behind it.

I call the above diplomacy. The same diplomacy that Col. Gathafi of Libya used and became an angel overnight and is free now to slaughter as many people as he wants.

The long years of tyranny, wars, sanctions and the current civil war taught us a lot about how to survive, but it did not teach us one bit about how to live.

Democracy means; the ability to accept being ruled by your opponent, we couldn’t handle this so far. What we did was voting for a bunch of antagonists, and we are no better as people, we are dealing with each other on the same basis.

We’ve been very clever in identifying our enemies inside and outside the country, but how to deal with them is the question.

Should we listen to the first World diagnosis? Fight fiercely with each other? Hate and despise whoever was the cause from our neighbours?

The first World has admitted defeat and the ball is in our court to rectify the mess.

At this stage nothing but diplomacy will turn our enemies to allies.

I wish I could say love can sort out our problems, but unfortunately diplomacy was never about love, it was always about tactics.