madly in love with Iraq


The pomegranate

The Fruit of the moment!
The pomegranate is the most fashionable, the most expensive and the talk of town and health magazines now a day in the UK at least.

To buy a small salad tub with few pomegranate seeds scattered on top will cost you much more than usual. If you want to impress people, sprinkle some on top of dips, fruit salads and even rice and wow you will look so cool and really with it.

For me the sight of pomegranates takes me years and years back to my childhood when these fruits would stay in the basket untouched till my dear mother wash them, take the seeds out and put them in a large bowl in the fridge. Only then I would grab a spoon and dig it in the bowl and start eating and eating till I finish it off.
“Shut the fridge door, or take the bowl out and eat as you like” my mother would say.
“Just few spoons more and I am up” my usual answer used to be. They were so addictive and had this sour sweet taste that you cannot get enough of.

Poor Brits, they think they are eating pomegranates, while in fact they are eating something that looks like them, but far from the real taste, I wish they can try the ones grown in Baqouba or Karbala, they will know then that they’ve been cheated out of their money and taste!

This goes for nearly every other fruit or vegetable. Tomatoes are the best example, you find cherry tomatoes, beef tomatoes, plum tomatoes and tomatoes on vine leaves, and really they should be called cherry plastics or plum plastics. Where are they from our shapeless, disfigured, dented and full of spots ones?
Our ugly tomatoes full of juice and flavour will put all others in shame!

I once paid a fortune in an Italian restaurant to eat samples of few truffles brought all the way from Tuscany in Italy, and were served to me in such a fuss as if I was about to eat pieces of gold!
Oh my dear Iraq, if only they’ve tasted your muddy truffles that we used to buy in big sacs and spent ages to clean.

The last but not least are the Californian dates!!!! I feel sorry for whoever is gullible enough to spend a penny on buying them.
How unfair, the land of dates is on hold at the moment and has left the field to the amateurs to have a go.

You can spend millions to grow whatever you want, but money cannot buy you a fertile land of thousands and thousands of years, money cannot buy you water from the Tigris and the Euphrates, let alone the natural farming skills that are far from sophistication and high tech but full of hard work and genuine love to the land they inherited and never thought they would have to leave one day.

We the people of Iraq are exactly like our crops! Rough, tough, harsh and scarred, but once you open them up, you see the real flavour of kindness, generosity and genuineness.

The other day I watched a programme made by a British journalist embedded with the American forces stationed in Al Doura area in Baghdad.
One of the officers speaking of his hard and dangerous mission said that he doesn’t respect the people who live in this area, and that he will do so only when they will inform about the criminals who are planting roadside bombs!

His face and words stayed with me for days. At first I was angry and upset, and then I thought of how much this man knows about real fear and danger?

He was never brought up in a culture of fear and injustice that is for one, and he never experienced the feeling of losing a family member out of retribution that is second, and third his assumption that those people should have trust in him is baseless.

Then I sympathised with him and felt that probably he believes he is doing good, but in reality he is been cheated and his country has served him with plastic tomatoes instead of the real ones.

Look at them Bush and Blair and the rest, they come out well groomed and in their expensive suits speaking of peace and terrorist free world, and the truth is there is no difference between them and the masked men who slaughter people on TV. Actually those men are their own making. The only difference is the first sleep in comfortable and lavish beds and the latter sleep in caves. I bet they have the same nightmares though. They both carry the weight of our blood; assuming they are human beings and have feelings, which I doubt.

You know they came all the way to destroy the real taste, the real flavour of Iraq and with this they want to convince the world that there is no taste but their own.
Whoever agrees to theirs is great and moderate, the rest are evil and should be uprooted.

They are winning though, they brought their best fertilizers and advanced tools and planted the seed of hate successfully.

It is growing, but I have faith in our land, I have faith it will reject this weed and reserve the real seed.