madly in love with Iraq


Whistle blowing

Just you wait Sirs and Madams, residents of H……Lodge!
I was boiling with anger reading a forwarded e-mail from P my only ally in the block of flats where I live.

How dare they meet and agree on a new management of lease-holders behind my back?
Haven’t I been living in here for the last 10 years? Don’t I pay my mortgage, my council tax and my service charge as all of them do? What right they posses that I don’t? Or is it the foreigner dilemma again?

Upset was not the right word to describe my state; cheated? Looked down at?
Fooled after all these year? I guess I felt much worse…

Self-pity controlled me for two days; I started picking on people and wondered about the real meaning behind their said words, and whatever had hurt me for the last ten years came to life again, sizzling and ready to explode.

I even lost it in the gym which is supposedly the only relaxing place in this city, when a woman asked where I learned to hula hoop, and I said “back home at my school in Baghdad”, she nodded alright; but I did not like the expression on her face, I thought it was of disbelief and mockery, and I had to straighten matters up and lectured her on Iraq before and after.

The worse feeling I usually endure when I’m down like this, is guilt.
How can I allow myself to complain and feel bad when my people are living in Stone Age conditions? Expecting death at any minute, and have nothing to look forward to? Shouldn’t I be thankful to be here instead of moaning?

To hell I said to myself, let them manage as they like and leave me engulfed in my own worries and sorrows. What is it for me anyway? It is all about the wheelie bins, recycling crates and saving the environment.
The hypocrites, what about the pollution they are causing in my country? One bomb is enough to ruin all the plans to save the world from global warming.

What do I need from all this waffle? Those people are creating myths out of war on terror on one hand and saving the globe on the other and who knows what is next?

I told these neighbours of mine long time ago that I come from a country that has a neighbour ethic. It is a disgrace to hurt abuse or spy on the person who lives in your area. I said it confidently then, but can I do that now?

I used to brag about how warm, sincere and genuine Iraqis are, when compared to this regimental society where everything has to be written and documented even with the closest people…neighbours.

Then I remembered the whistle blowing…

The following day I wrote a short letter to the management describing my concern about the behaviour of some residents who insist on excluding me from their meetings without any apparent reason and with my letter I enclosed a copy of “Diversity and equal opportunity policy” which dominates most businesses in this country.

I felt it was a silly act, or at least it was not a me act; but this is how it works and I have a right which has to be activated and made use of.

A week later I received a letter calling for a new meeting of residents to choose a new management!

On the day, I went into the place confidently although inside I felt a bit shaky, I looked in their faces which revealed nothing as usual, and was greeted with the normal chats.

The discussions went on and on and we finally agreed on what was agreed upon few weeks back when my esteemed self wasn’t present! and we finished with all smiles and best wishes.

As I walked home I thought of how much there is yet to learn from those people.
Inside of them there is a lot going on, but so little is said.

I am still trying what else can I do? At least I blew the whistle…