madly in love with Iraq


You and us!

She attacked me without mercy as if I was a member of Maliki’s government.
“You suffered a lot, all of you so why are you taking it on others? Corpses of our people are being thrown daily in garbage bins or found floating in rivers, and we don’t even dare to collect them from the morgue. Not only that, but your esteemed government has struck a deal with the Syrians to kick all of our people back to Iraq to slaughter them”.

For a minute I couldn’t absorb what she really meant…but then it hit me.

My brain was running fast trying to capture the best reply as I sensed no room in that conversation for Iraqis as Iraqis, there was a lot of you and us.
I could see it clearly in her eyes. She demanded a confession and a confirmation from me to the horror the Shia have brought to Mesopotamia!

I decided not to answer back and switched to jokes about Al Mahdi army to ease the tension in an effort to reassure her that I don’t agree to what is going on.

And when I stupidly-trying to be funny- said to my friend that he has to pay the fifth (which is a Shia practice; an annual payment due to their clerics), she snapped angrily “We don’t pay the fifth, we pay Zakat”. And that was the knockout blow which brought the whole conversation to a halt!

This incident reminded me of an Iraqi Jewish lady I met a while ago.
She told me of her fear and confusion back in 1967 when she was a high school student in Baghdad, and how during the infamous Arab-Israeli war(The Setback of the 5th of June), all her friends turned their backs and refused to talk to her.

On my way back I felt very hurt and what worried me more was taking it personally.
Why would I feel like this? Why something which has no prominence in my identity suddenly took over? By the time I entered my house all I felt was shame.

It is terrifying this cancer that is creeping to get hold of us all.

Suddenly we became touchy about this subject, even among intellects.
Without knowing we are building a case against each other.

You read about and meet with nostalgic Iraqis who are yearning for the Iraq they had once before, the Iraq they barely knew, or to be precise they did not want to know.

Are we yearning for or crying over the sanctions? Wars? Injustice?
Is this the most of our expectations; to get back to what we had before? And especially now and after all we’ve been through?

Many people are puzzled by how contradictory our attitude is to the tolerant, loving and educated people we claim to be.

What they don’t know though is that when you are socially, economically and politically subjugated you can easily be turned to a complete backward and limited person. And it stays with you for a long time.
I will never believe that religion and ethnicity by themselves are able to command bloodshed.

Iraqis in here have brought their legacy with them. It is sad but true.
Undermining each other pains is the game now a day.

We are sandwiched between Saudis lamenting sectarianism and the Shia threat, and Iranians raging war against America and Israel.

Instead of finding a united cause to bring us together we became up for grabs for all.

We in here have a verbal war and back home an armed one.

No one knows the face of Iraq when the dust settles, but I know that most of us have failed in the most important test….the test of Love.


  • Sorry Hala
    I don't agree with the last line in your article , we haven't faild in thr test of love , no we haven't , if you think that you've faild , it's up to you, yet not all of us have.

    I know that many people have been involved in this bloody mud for explained or unexplained reasons, but not all of us.

    You started your article in a way describing the lady as a rude and a narrow minded person, do you think all Iraqis are so?!
    If you think so , I have to put??? infront of your love to Iraq and it's people.

    The matter is a bit complicated , there are some people who decided to take everything from sectarian point of view, most of them are either outside Iraq supplied by faked information from their dishonest turbans, or people inside who are living in certain circumstances, yet, there are Iraqis who still think about Iraq , only Iraq nothing else.
    The name of this blog is Madly in love with Iraq!! are they only words? or they're a pride , it's being left to your discrination.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 am  

  • Excellent post.

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 2:44 am  

  • That's interesting that she seems to blame you for what is going on in Iraq. She probably knows very well who started the cycle of murder, and who continues to escalate it.

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 2:48 am  

  • Great!
    Iraqi Mojo: You have always struck me as a person who means well but eventually succumbs to the sectarain monster - it doesn't matter who started it because eventually everyone fucked up - i.e. Shias could have proved to be they're the real champions of justice and tolerance and all that Hussein revolutionary hypocrisy and forgave the Sunnis, instaed they too began wrecking the country inifitely more - maybe you are an already biased person who tries to come off as a well-to-meaning person, i don't know.

    I myself can be considered sectarain too, but only in a strictly theoretical theological form of debate, that said, this sort might also deteroriate into violence, so I'm not innocent either. the problem is either side is full of shit and none is willing to admit that,this fact must be taken up and shoved down everybody's throat.

    By Blogger ahmed, at 3:35 pm  

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    By Blogger 3eeraqimedic, at 3:55 pm  

  • anon
    I did not say the woman is rude or narrow minded. In fact I love her dearly and she is a very respectable person.
    I feel I failed in my love to Iraq because of the new feelings which are developing inside of me. I do supress them all the time, and when they are completely dead I can say that my love to Iraq has won beyond any doubt.

    Iraqi mojo,
    Thank you for your comment, but I tend to agree with the kid (not on the swearing bit though).
    I don't care who started it and even if I do know I don't want to know anymore.
    The accusations to each other are
    killing all hopes and that is the real reason behind this post.
    People from the other sect can tell you exactly the same story from their own point of view because it is happening to both sects daily and in all gatherings.

    It hurts and I did admit that I was deeply hurt but if I have a chance to control it in here people back home are converting this hurt to blood.

    By Blogger hala_s, at 4:24 pm  

  • Yes it would have been nice if the Shia militias had not killed innocent Sunni Arabs. But I doubt the media (especially the Arab media) would have paid attention.

    Why does the Sunni Arab insurgency continue to mass murder Iraqis?

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 11:22 pm  

  • Yes and let us not blame the people who deserve blame. Let us continue to blame the Americans for everything, so that after they leave there will be peace 'again' in Iraq.

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 11:26 pm  

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    By Blogger ahmed, at 4:33 am  

  • Mojo, in spite of all your civillian approaches, eventually you are biased in no small degree - listen, when Shiite parties came back in 2003, they were feeding on revenge, this was not healthy for the Baathists so eventually what do you want them to do anyway? of course they're going to fight and destroy and kill - both sides are equally wrong and deserve to be equally reprimanded, this is the only way to rescue the country, to become biased towards any side spells ruin.

    Meanwhile, enjoy your civil war mentality

    By Blogger ahmed, at 4:35 am  

  • 'so eventually what do you want them to do anyway?'

    I want them to be civilized. I want them not to attack civilians, or the sons of dissidents - I know very well that the Baathi boys love to kill relatives of political opponents. It's interesting because even when they were pulled into the govt, they continued their murderous attacks, and many of those attacks were against Sunni Arabs who were sick of the hardcore Baathists.

    In September 2004 Mithal al-Alusi, then a director general in Iraq's De-Baathification Commission, attended a counterterrorism conference in Israel. Upon his return to Baghdad he was stripped of his job and threatened with arrest for violating a Baath-era law forbidding contact with the Jewish state. In February 2005 his two sons, Ayman, 30, and Gamal, 22, were gunned down in plain view of their father; credit for the murders was jointly claimed by the Baath Party and Jaish Ansar al-Sunna, an al Qaeda affiliate. The following December Mr. Alusi was elected to parliament as head--and sole representative--of the Iraqi Nation Party.

    For how much longer must Iraqis be held hostage by the Baathists?

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 7:16 am  

  • 'Meanwhile, enjoy your civil war mentality'

    That's funny. Apparently to point out who has been killing whom is to have a 'civil war mentality.' Willeck I want to see the end of the civil war. I am sick and tired of seeing innocent Iraqis slaughtered like this.

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 7:19 am  

  • Mojo...

    everyone wants to see the civil war over - but sometimes your attitude unconsciously show HOW do you want it to end.

    When my area, Adhamiya, was under attack during April 2006, I became badly infected with the sectarain bug without knowning it, the best thing for me in Iraq then was Adhamiya, and when a person is in in that mentality, you tend to not be able to see things clearly - i.e. whatever is Sunni is good (of course, I didn't know I looked at things this way, i still thought i was a mostly neutral objective intellectual person.) Violence seems to shut off the logic in you, while you somehow strike me as intelligent and educated - you still lean in favor of a particular side, not entirely justifiying their muders but you do not condemn them as effectively as you do the other side - that sort of unbalanced thing is precisely why we are here now. It is very hard, i admit, for a person to rise up all the violence and blood and bad words and especially peer pressure to look at things from a purely Iraqi perspective, and that is why Iraq is a lost case anyway.
    You should see how everyone here in fuckin Jordan look at me when I denounce Saddam, they think that something is wrong with me or I'm secretly Shia. it's sad what we've become.

    This is what I mean by a civil war mentality, you support it without knowning.

    By Blogger ahmed, at 9:03 am  

  • Hi again
    Mojo & kid , please go on, cricize each other, accuse each other of being sectarian and belong to the wrong side, that exactly what Iraqis need, more stupidity .
    Swear to each other and after one or two difficults situations you'll face; hold your weapons and start killing each other.

    I have criticized what Hala said in her post, I tried to tell herthat Iraqis still love Iraq, yet, she can shut me up now by your attitude, I realy admire that she tries to supress her feelings, do you try to do so?
    Both of you are young very well educated Iraqis , instead of using your mind , you follow your emotions, which are leading us to Hell.
    Try to think about Iraq, how people suffer there? how hard life is there? how do they manage it?
    Try to think from your side how the others feel, how they suffer when they loose someone special for no reason .
    I'll tell you one thing, I have a father with sectarian mentality, suddenly the highly educated professor has become a narrow minded sectarian man who is ready to believe anything about people from the other sector, since that time I've got one wish ; to be killed by the hands of insurgents of his sector , this is the only thing which could have inform him , how the others are suffering.
    Let's respect the others, let's think about them as humans who have suffered alot,
    Who is right and who is wrong ? and how many people should be killed to answer this question and to proove that the answer is right.

    Think about it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:31 pm  

  • It is sad that we have started to identify ourselves as you and us. I'm afraid you will meet a lot of such people, the majority of whom say they are well-educated. Yeah right!

    By Blogger chikitita, at 3:31 pm  

  • Kid, I do not blame all Sunni Arabs for what is happening in Iraq, and I know about the Mahdi scum that have harmed and killed innocents. It's why quoted that article about Mithal al Alusi, a Sunni Arab parliamentarian. I know that the vast majority of Sunni Arabs in Iraq are kind people - we had Sunni Arab friends when we lived in Baghdad - one of them was murdered by the regime in 1985. I know we're not supposed to generalize, but it seems to me that in general the Sunni Arabs of Iraq are more educated, more secular than the Shia, which I think is a good thing. Iraq needs its Sunni Arabs! You, Kid, are an example of a wonderful Sunni Arab. So are Zeyad, Omar, Mohammed, etc.

    I'm just sick of the bombings, the assassinations. Every time I hear of a car bomb or a suicide bombing in a Baghdad market I think of kids crying in front of their limbless parents. Why do people do this? I'm tired of people saying that they do this because of what the Americans did, or what the Iraqi govt did. Really. Is this how the 'resistance' defeats the US? By mass murdering Iraqis?

    Furthermore, how can we ignore the reaction of the Sunni Arabs in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, etc.? Even you, Kid, wrote about the strange views of many Jordanians. Many Sunni Arabs outside of Iraq thought Saddam was a good guy, and that he did he did not receive a fair trial! What the hell are they thinking? Are we supposed to ignore these people?

    And moreover yet, I do not pretend to be unbiased. I am Shii. I absolutely *hate* the Baathi boys and what they did to Iraq. I absolutely *loathe* Al Qaeda and Ansar al Sunna. I am not going to be shy about saying that the Sunni Arab insurgency, led by the Sunni Arab mafiosi, were the ones who started the cycle of murder. This makes me 'sectarian'? Sorry, it's the truth. But it doesn't mean that I believe that all things Sunni are 'bad' and all things Shii are good. There are good Iraqi Sunni Arabs (Mithal al Alusi, Adnan Pachachi) who can lead Iraq.

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 5:54 pm  

  • Mojo...well said, I applaud you. the 'resistance' came about because it's such a stereotypical foundation that gives meaning to things such as fighting the invaders and westerns imperialists etc...those values have been ingrained in Mid-Eastern society and therefore when those Baathis and al-Qaedas came about cheering Jihad, nobody dareth opposeth the word of Allah, and of course many were afraid of living under turbans - in the conclusion, I hate the Sunni side at least as much as i hate the Shiite side.

    p.s. read Hasan al-Alawi and Saif al-Khayat, both are great Shiite writers and journalists.

    By Blogger ahmed, at 7:52 pm  

  • Love Iraq, thats it and thats all..

    By Blogger Zappy Corleone, at 8:13 pm  

  • If we truly understood religion, we should use reason in all aspects of our lives, even if my father was reduced to a limbless body at a fruit market.

    What's happening now is that most of us are living by raw emotion and the blind faith we have in certain individuals, so much so that we applaud and support everything they do or say, even if it conflicts with the veyr same teachings they preach! Saddam, Harith il Thari, Muqtada, Sayyed Abdul Azeez al Hakeem, almost three quarters of the parliament have an agenda which they will do ANYTHING to achieve.. when we place our hands with either side of this sick equation, it shows how little we've learnt from religion and how much work we need to do in order to raise ourselves to the basic levels of respected existence.. humanity!

    Allah Kareem

    By Blogger Little Penguin, at 3:14 am  

  • Hala, thanks for this good post.

    Mojo, Kid, thanks for the honest exchange of views.

    I hope Iraqis drift together once again the same as they drifted apart.

    By Blogger Bruno, at 7:28 am  

  • Very good post. I wish you peace. Forgiveness is essential and difficult. Those who do not forgive, in the end, lose.

    By Blogger choclosteve, at 8:31 pm  

  • By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 12:58 am  

  • Little Penguin wrote:
    when we place our hands with either side of this sick equation, it shows how little we've learnt from religion

    And Iraqi Mojo, I read the link.
    I agree completely.

    Please visit

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12:55 pm  

  • Hey, I inserted my picture into my profile!!!

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1:34 pm  

  • "Why does the Sunni Arab insurgency continue to mass murder Iraqis?"___One factor is the pressure by extremists coming to Iraq from other Arab countries. These people have agendas of their own and don't mind if Iraqis get killed so long as it creates anti-war headlines in the western newspapers. There is a whole population of terrorists in the Middle East who have been to a training camp somewhere and are itching to kill people.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:20 pm  

  • Hala,
    Excellent excellent article!
    P.S. Don Cox...I don't know where you get your facts "There is a whole population of terrorists in the Middle East who have been to a training camp somewhere and are itching to kill people."...Let me tell you this, there is an ENTIRE AMERICAN ARMY of 120,000 plus people "itching to kill"...They've done it in Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and they continue to...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:36 pm  

  • Please read and sign this petition to amend the Iraqi constitution and the proposed oil law.

    'We call upon the Iraqi people, all its sons and daughters who care about the unity of Iraq, its future and brotherhood among all its citizens, and who desire, after decades of degenerate life under despotism and dictatorship, a strong, united and independent state, to demand the removal of the several flaws in the constitution for the benefit of the Iraqi people and their rights and unity, and that such changes are to be implemented in complete transparency through presenting the suggested amendments for the participation of the people via the public media and the civil society organizations.'

    By Blogger Iraqi Mojo, at 4:50 pm  

  • By Blogger eda, at 6:21 am  

  • hooray, your writings on theater and writing much missed!

    By Anonymous 網站設計, at 7:12 am  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:39 am  

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