madly in love with Iraq


The handsome

They say 90% of people don’t enjoy their jobs, or at least find them boring. Unfortunately I fall under this category. The only merit is the friendly and positive atmosphere at my work place, which I find extremely important considering the long hours I spend in there.

Last week and in one of yet another boring meetings outside the office I met up with this man who attracted my attention instantly for no reason other than being very handsome!
He walked in with a Newspaper under his arm and a big smile on his face.
His name indicated that he is from one of them countries, I mean the ill-fated ones, and as much as I dislike getting involved in personal matters, my mission that day was all about getting personal.

The smile disappeared from his face the minute I asked where is he originally from.
He lowered his face and said “Iran…and gazed at the Newspaper, not this Iran though”. I took a look at the paper and saw the captured woman sailor with a veil staring back at me.

“I am Christian you know, I don’t agree to what has happened”.
His name was Mohammed….
“I belong here in the civilised world, where I have rights, where I see top ministers apologize and resign following train accidents or alleged corruptions. Here is where I want to be, where security and law prevail”.

I looked at his now angry face and wanted to say “You idiot are so concerned about trains and corruptions and don’t give a damn why those same ministers wouldn’t have the decency to apologize for the catastrophic situation their government had inflicted on the whole area.”

A new comer I thought doing his bits to impress, so I said “Nice to meet you Mr, and by the way I come from Iraq”.

“I am a peaceful man, I hate wars. I’ve been in one that is with Iraq and I cannot bear these mind games and muscle flexing that could by a small flip ruin our lives all over again”.

I felt sorry for him, he has a long way to go, a lot to learn and adapt to and much longer to reach the same conclusion “Nowhere is like home”.

I wanted to tell him that here is no better than there. People are the same and religions are the same, I wanted to stretch my hand to him and speak of my experience, but I know better don’t I? People have to go through their own and learn from it the hard way.

There was a knock on the door and a young veiled girl peeked in “Dad, we are late shall we go without you?” he snapped back in Farsi “I am coming, and cover yourself properly!”

“Cover yourself” is the only term I know in Farsi and it goes back to my childhood when we used to visit my grandfather’s house in Najaf and in there lived “Mehri” an Iranian old woman who was a fixed fixture in that house till her death in 1995.

To reach a point where you feel you hate your life, your religion and your future is something only people from that area know exactly what it is.

At work when I was asked my opinion about the British seamen capture, I answered back with a question “What were they doing in there in the first place? And why on earth should we believe the Brits story rather than the Iranians? Haven’t they lied enough so far?”

But in spite of what I said I found myself in the same circle; Iraqis at the moment hate whatever the Iranians do because of their interference in our affairs, and the Iranians hate their government because they are hungry not only for food but for freedom and social rights.

We despise our governments and love our countries like a mother nursing her sick child, while in here they respect and love the system and don’t care much about being in love with the country.

This is the secret I thought, when law and justice rule, people would feel confident to support or at least oppose in a civilised manner. While back in the Middle East we are against and in doubt all the time and that is why we are extremes.
Saddam (May he rot in hell) used to give money to the Palestinians at a point where Iraq was dying under the sanctions. The act itself was justified in the eyes of everyone apart from the Iraqis.

I wanted to say that Iran has the right to nuclear power; Israel having one would be a very good reason for me. But for Iranians it means a threat of war let alone spending money that should be invested in them the people of Iran.

On my way back to work and swallowed up in my thoughts as usual I sensed something was not right “What on earth are those people staring at?”
Without turning my head I took a quick glimpse of the person sitting next to me, and there he was Ken Livingstone the mayor of London commuting with us in the underground on his way to work. In fact I could feel his elbow touching mine on the hand-rest!

Would I live to the day when I see this happening in Iraq?
A day where power is in the hands of Iraqis and whoever hold it does that for a short while and pass it to others?

I was tempted to ask him his opinion, but I found him also in deep thought thinking probably of the Olympics and of new ways to tax Londoners to pay for it!


  • Hala,
    Beautiful piece...again!
    "At work when I was asked my opinion about the British seamen capture, I answered back with a question “What were they doing in there in the first place? And why on earth should we believe the Brits story rather than the Iranians? Haven’t they lied enough so far?” -MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY!
    I don't believe that Iran would risk its position at this of all turbulent times to 'play risky games'!
    And as for the Iranian person you mention...It's so easy to admire 'Western' life and condemn your own, and then turn and reinforce the same stupid beliefs that you are critical of...What hypocrisy!
    I don't think we'll ever see the day when we can sit next to VIPs whether in Iraq or any other Arab country. Poverty has turned people into such desperate animals, that they can find it easy to take our their frustration on 'officials' even if they themselves elected them...Further, no 'official' makes it to the top to secure people's civil rights only because...NO ONE will hold them accountable! You're absolutely correct, in a corrupt environment with no accountability you cannot establish a system.
    Brilliant piece!

    By Blogger Zaineb Alani, at 8:06 pm  

  • Hala

    Such a wonderful post,It sounds so patriotic;fair and logical, sounds as a wise person talking.

    I've read all your post, it seems in the last period you got a bit irritated and more sided to Shiites, yet, you've turned back to your Iraqi identity, Iraqi and nothing else.

    You're realy the pride and joy of Iraq.

    God bless you

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:44 am  

  • honestly, if Hala stood for elections, i'd be her chief fundraiser and advocate.. i'd be her elections Don King.. :)

    Hala, it's so odd that the only thing you picked up on from what the handsome father said to his daughter was 'cover up'..

    Ken was on the train? I bet he didn't have a proper oyster card! The one thing I absolutely love about this country and value above all is their equality.. there are always going to be BNP people and what not, but in general terms, this country is something we can all learn from..

    I dont think PM Maliki would mind riding a bike to work or something like that. his party would definitely see it as a blow to their divinely given status, and it wouldn't be safe.. otherwise, I dont think it's impossible.. security provided, it may well happen.


    By Blogger Little Penguin, at 1:53 pm  

  • Thank you all for your comments.

    I am not sure how I sided with the Shia in my writings? But if stating that I am one of them seemed like taking side, it was not intentional.

    Penguin, honestly this is all I know in Farsi. But I am against covering up and you know it! maybe that is why it stayed in my mind.

    By Blogger hala_s, at 10:16 pm  

  • "What were they doing in there in the first place?"____They were checking ships for smuggled arms, at the request of the Iraqi government. As to whether they had strayed across the border, it's hard to say. You are talking about a line drawn in the sea. The correct procedure for the Iranians would have been to say: "Look, you are in our waters, get back on your own side." But they wanted to create a media sensation, and hopefully do a swap for the Iranian agents captured inside Iraq.

    By Blogger Don Cox, at 6:00 pm  

  • don cox

    This is your theory not mine.
    How can you be so sure??
    Our country is going to pieces anyway and arms and bombs tons of them are all over.
    For your information all iraqis inside Iraq including my family believe the forgien forces have the upper hand let alone keeping a blind eye to what is taking place.

    By Blogger hala_s, at 10:15 am  

  • You, my fair lady, are not near as wise as you seem to think yourself.

    No matter what happens from here in your native country, please remember your hate for a country that wanted to provide you the freedoms to which every human is entitled. I know America will.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:03 pm  

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

    By Anonymous 網站設計, at 7:34 am  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:36 am  

Post a comment

<< Home