madly in love with Iraq


My own experience with Democracy

The word Democracy itself sounds like music to the ear.
All speak about it, run after it and want to achieve it.

For me it first meant security, few years later it developed to fairness, and further on, to get one’s rights to the full; the last stage the word itself diminished and all I care for is how to cope with new taxes, change in interest rate, and the rise in fuel and transport fares and so on.

Gradually one becomes like a robot, so engrossed with daily demands, you can hardly think of how to change a reality rather than trying to live with it.

I often wonder who programmed this nation. And how?
One might say, it took them centuries to reach this stage. It is true, but people learn from others, they don’t necessarily have to go through the same experience. It is just like making use of an invention.

When I first moved in to my new flat, I thought that's it; it is time to settle and relax. Years and years have passed by and I still feel I am on transit. I thought I have to accept what is on offer and get along with life.
The first day I had to install my beloved satellite dish, my only connection to the world I belong to and try to forget about.
I did after making sure that there were two dishes already fixed on the block’s facade.
Soon after I started to receive letters from a neighbour that I have already met and spoke to, and literally lives next door!

The letters were quite upsetting and intimidating. I was puzzled by this behaviour, why doesn’t this bloody man speak to me and tell me exactly what he wants? To cut the long story short; the city council permits only two dishes in one block(mine was the third), when I spoke to them; they said if no one from the residents objects they will disregard the complaint, and advised me to speak to the neighbours. I tried to talk to him, but he avoided me, and pushed the matters further to the block management. The end was me taking the dish down and pay a good some of money as a penalty!
I learned two lessons from this incident; first to be very careful with the regulations, and the second is to document any correspondence with anyone in the future.
I later had another clash with this man, when I took care of the tiny garden in front of my flat which was completely neglected, and planted some flowers. He sent me another letter to say that the garden is not mine and it is for communal use! This time I was sure I am not doing anything wrong. I replied in writing and expressed my worries about him being racist and that he has a problem with my dark hair and dark skin. That shut him up till this day.
The third lesson here is that I was completely protected by an ethical issue. Any racist remark would certainly put anyone in a big trouble.

Whoever runs this country banks on one major fact. People don’t communicate with each other. They have a strange habit of acceptance.
If the train stops suddenly or there was a big traffic jam, people just stand still waiting silently as if nothing has happened. I used to boil and start looking at them to get some reaction; like we should go and strangle the driver or get off the car and see what is holding the flow. But after years of training I became worse than them.

When people do communicate, usually on big matters, like the war on Iraq for example? At least a million rallied in a huge demonstration from all over the country, even people on wheel chairs. Meetings and gatherings well organised, programs on TV, newspapers, leaflets everywhere. Still we all know what happened…..

So what does democracy really mean?

You choose one of two parties, or three or even ten. One of the first two will win.
From that minute you have to accept any changes occur afterwards, even if they contradict the party manifesto. After all it was your free choice!
Internal policies are affected by the change of governments, but the external strategy is more or less the same.

You can speak on any subject; campaign on any issue; political, social or even personal but that it all about it.

The state main duty is basically to collect taxes. 90% of businesses and services are run by the private sector.
Everything is subjected to tax, probably only the air we breathe has not been taxed as yet.

The conclusion is we are all employed in a huge company, we give and take, and we are equals in front of the law.

When I went home early 2004, I felt so optimistic seeing the shops full of different goods, and people shopping and finding all they want for a change. I thought this is a good sign. You can fight sectarianism, crimes, bribes, aggression, revenge and even anger with a solid economy. If people are busy making money and improving their lives, they will have no time to run after Mullahs or certain figures.

Then when the situation deteriorated in Baghdad, I thought the esteemed government might invest in one of the relatively safe cities of the south and make it an example for others to follow. Nothing of a kind took place. In fact the people in these cities were left with nothing but to join the crowd and contribute to the chaos.

Iraq was let down and betrayed by its own people before anyone else.

I wonder if we still have hope.