Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape neurotic Iraqi wife: December 2006

neurotic Iraqi wife

December 31, 2006

Happy Eid and Happy New Years...

You know, as much as I really didnt want to write about what I saw, as much as I just wanna let it all out. The amateur unedited video that trashed the websites left right and center, sent more hatred towards the current govt and those who chanted the ugly words of Muqtada, than the hate I had for Saddam. Forget Im Iraqi for a second, and tell me, did what you see in that video satisfy you? Did that video show you the democratic side of the Iraqi Government? Did this government adhere to the International Standards of execution? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, WHY WERE THEY THERE?

Youre gonna come back to me and tell me, Saddam never adhered to International standards with all these mass graves. Yes I agree, but look what this proves to you. A nation that has finished from one dictator and handed over to a worse one. The daily killings and massacres, the torture and the kidnappings. No they are not better than Saddam, they are his clones. Although I promised myself that I wont divulge into this subject, I couldnt resist. I really couldnt. Before this year ends I wanna extend my thanks to someone, someone who ruined this nation. Lets not dwell in the past, lets talk about today. Mr Bush, Mr Bush Thank You, Thank you for bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq. Thank you Mr Bush, Thank you for removing Saddam, you removed him and replaced him with little clones of his shadow.

Thank You Bush, Thank you, for you truely built Iraq and built its people. Your intentions may have not been evil (clearing my throat) but lemme say, your safer world has far been forgotten. Thank You Mr Bush for the victory and peace you have achieved. I Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Oh and let me while Im in my good spirits Thank Mr Blair. Thank You Mr Blair, thank you for being a great ally. Thank you for standing up to Bush. Thank you for freeing my country, and making it a safe haven to all those who have a vendetta against you. Yeah, ThanKs for all you both have done, for you are heroes. You have made the world a better and safer place...Yup...I wanted to Thank Saddam too, but he is down under, damn.

I also wanna extend my Thanks to the great and honest Iraqi government. Thank you Mr prime minister for being a great role model. Thank you for allowing the militia thugs destroy your nation and your people. Thanks Mr Prime Minister for letting the Mullalees rule you and control you. Oh Thank you Mr Prime Minister for allowing the widespread corruption go unnoticed right under your nose. I Thank you for filling up the roads with bodies instead of trees. I Thank You, for the hatred you planted in Iraqs childen. I thank you, I really do. I thank you for the great generation thats gonna transpire in your time. I thank all of you for building a beautiful Iraq whose inhabitants are none more than the blind followers of Iran and Syria, oh and probably the other rogue countries. Yeah Thank you. Thank you and I wish you all a Happy New year.

For all the normal People I wanna say, you ask of me to be optimistic. Yeah I will try, I will try to be one, a new year really means nothing to me, its just a another page torn off the calender, thats what it is. The habbits of resolutions and promises has long been forgotten. I dont think of those trivial things anymore, for why should I say I will try to quit smoking when I know I dont want to. Or why should I promise myself to be something I havent become in the last 32 years of my life? Right now, right this minute, New years means nothing to me except another year filled with more killings, UNLESS....

Unless all those in government will be kicked out and tried for THEIR crimes against humanity. The Interior minister who had a torture chamber hidden in his ministry. Or the corrupt police force that helps insurgents by providing them with weapons and bombs. Or and or and or...There are many aspects that I can go on about. Nearly 3000 American troops were killed in this war and thousands more injured, injured brutally. Hundreds of thousands Iraqis were killed, and hundredS of ThousandS have fled their homes. Can it get worse? Sure it can. Iran is gloating, Syria is gloating. Oh and even WOB is gloating now. Halleluja, 2007, what do you hold for us I wander. What worse can become of this nation, I dunno...

Yeah I will try to be optimistic, in less than five hours, the clock will tick, and I will tear off that page to see a new fresh 2007. N the guy who pretends to work in a carpenters shop scolded me today. He came into work despite it being Eid. He said youre a shia, how can you say youre sad for Saddam's death. He killed your people. I said, Im not sad at his death, Im sad that people worse than him are ruling you now. Barbarian criminals are ruling you, they are nothing but clones of Saddam, clones hidding behind their black abayas and i3mamas. N, who lives in the slums of Sadr City is not a sadr supporter. He smiled and said, believe me, their time will come. Just like it did for Saddam, theirs too will come. With these words, I bid you a Happy New Year, may it be a good one for you, and may that time that N is talking about be sooner than I think.

A horrific era is behind us now, and no Im not gonna say a more horrific one is coming. I will just say to all the Iraqis here, May your tomorrow, be better than yesterday, and may your future be better than the past and Present. Happy Eid and Happy New Years...
posted by neurotic_wife at 6:34 PM 36 comments

December 30, 2006

A Horrific Era...

I hurried to my room during lunch break hoping to catch up on news. And there it was, right before me, the video footage of his hanging. I slumped on my bed, and I began to cry. Yes, I cried. A surge of emotions overwhelmed me. I cried, I cried cuz he never got to see the Iraq I envisaged in my mind, I cried. I cried for all the years he forced my family and millions of others to desert their country and live in an endless yearning, I cried. Yes I cried. I cried for all the 35 years he ruled, I cried. I cried, I cried for all those he tortured, those he killed. I cried for all the blood he shed, for all the hatred he bred. Yes I cried. I cried and cried.

I called HUBBY and told him to switch his TV on. He knew just by talking to me what had happened. HUBBY said, stop watching, dont watch it anymore. I couldnt help it. The BBC, CNN, Sky News had the same footage over and over. I immediately went onto the net and clicked on alarabiya, and there it was the footage again. Then the hated voice of Al Rubaiee, lying through his teeth, claiming Saddam was scared. Really? Was he? The whole world saw the defiant look in those evil eyes, what fear does he talk about? He was defiant in his life and now in his death. Al Rubaiee claimed that Saddam was respected throughout the execution. They followed the top International Standards. Really? What about the dancing that took place around his body? Is that International Standards? Is that Islamic standards? I am against the death penalty in all way or form, I know that Saddam deserved it, but as I mentioned before its an easy way out for him. He should have been left in a solitude cell. A solitude cell where he will rot and die.

I wander, will the militias of today be tried and executed "fairly" just as Saddam got his share? How come we still see them roaming the streets? Will Al Dhari, Muqtada or the other rogues be tried "fairly" for the crimes they are committing against their own people? Will they? I doubt it. Right now Im going through very mixed feelings. My brother called me to wish me a happy Eid, and a happy victory. I said what victory? Victory of the fallen, thats what it is. I havent heard any explosions or gunfire in the Green Zone, maybe its the calm before the storm...

Saddam should have been interrogated infront of the whole world. Saddam should have answered the WHYs? that all the families of the martyrs wanted to ask. The WHYs that all the Iraqis wanted to know. WHY DID YOU SLAUGHTER US? WHY DID YOU HATE US? WHY DID YOU DESTROY US? WHY, WHY and WHAT FOR? Instead of the theatrical fiasco that took place which they claim was their way of justice, they should have asked him WHY?

Yes I cried, I cried today... I cried for all the anger and the fury thats stranded inside of me. I cried for all those who died on his hands and all those who are still dying. I cried for the Tigris and Euphrates thats filled with blood, endless blood. I cried for all the mass graves he left behind and are still filling up. And mostly, I cried for all the children, the children that were orphaned during his time. The children that never got to have a normal life. The children that were faced with fending for themselves at an early age. The children who no longer remained children. Their childhood stolen from them because of a selfish ruthless narcistic ruler. Yes I cried. I cried at the end of an era...A Horrific Era...
posted by neurotic_wife at 7:13 PM 21 comments

Iraq's Doomed Era...

Woke up at 630 am and switched the TV on immediately. Was faced with the Big Large Red Breaking news that Saddam has infact been executed. I cant write much as Im at work now. So far, I havent heard any bombings. All I heard on my way to work is the Imam of the mosque thats close by saying his sermon and thanking God that the end of the devil has finally come. I havent heard any celebarotary fire either. I better go, but will definitely write once I hear anything. Im actually bummed out cuz Im dying to watch the footage they supposedly took but our IT has blocked any streaming sites. I tried to watch live coverage on alarabiya, but even that is blocked now. Damn...

I also heard on the CNN that a witness that was present claimed some people started dancing around Saddam's body after his execution!!! In Islam, thats a big no no. I guess I have to go now, but will write a longer past later tonight on my thoughts when Im in the privacy of my own room. Today marks the end of an evil era, the end of an evil era and the beginning of an even worse one...The Doomed Era...Iraq's Doomed Era...
posted by neurotic_wife at 7:36 AM 10 comments

December 29, 2006

Doomed if you do, Doomed if you dont...

He has been handed over to the Iraqis. Saddam is no longer under US custody. My oh My...Yesterday just before everyone left Z, an Iraqi colleague, came to me and whispered in my ears, Please be careful. I looked suspiciously at him, why Z? There are rumours that Saddam is going to be hung before Sunday. Be careful Neurotica theyre gonna be bombing you relentlessly, tell your HUBBY NOT TO LEAVE the GZ please. Please tell him. There was a sense of urgency in his voice, I just looked bewildered. I wished him a Happy Eid and to stay safe.

As Im watching the news now, the Breaking News said Saddam's Lawyer is being told to collect Saddam's and Barzan's personal effects, then a few minutes later we were told that Saddam has been transferred to Iraqi Custody. So any time now, any time, he will face his death. Z was right after all.

Oh, wait just now, Sky news is saying that an Iraqi Official is denying the handover to the Iraqis. I think this is just a ploy. A ploy to hide the handover. They are scared from what might transpire. The Iraqi government without the American forces are nothing. They are a bunch of cowardly characters that rely on the Americans to secure them. So imagine if all of a sudden news travels and everyone finds out that Saddam is with them, the Baathists will not relent. They will hold on to their empty dream of brining him back and so things will become nasty. Im not sure how the Iraqis are reacting to this. Today is Friday, no one is gonna be at work, tomorrow and Sunday is gonna be Eid so again my colleagues will be stuck home, and ofcourse Monday is the New Years.

I think it will be very convenient for the Iraqi govt, to carry out the death penalty in the coming days since its Eid, and so people are already gonna be in their homes, and the Govt can extend the curfew and get it all over and done with before the new years. In my opinion, I dont think this should happen right now. For once, just once, let the Iraqis feel its Eid, feel some joy. Dont they deserve to have some peace??? Why instigate bombings and explosions. Why cant the damn government think of the people just for once. Hanging Saddam now will only make matters worse and not better.

Saddam's death will definitely not help the situation in Iraq. If the Govt thinks that his death will bring peace, then I think they should think again. I dunno, I myself dont really know what should happen. They should wait a few more days, let the people have some peace and quiet during Eid, then Hang him!!! Saddam's farewell letter just makes things even worse. He writes as a martyr who is going to meet his God in peace. Please spare me the BS. Saddam as well as the new govt are as bad as each other. The people who are now controlling the ministires are nothing but murderers. Especially the Defense and Interior ministries. The new govt are but a replica of Saddam. But instead of one person there are now hundreds. What a joke.

The same people you see cheering for his death, are the same people that gave him the power. M, another colleague who is a Shia said, you know, I think I will be the first person to cheer Saddam's comeback. That just stung me. How can you say that M? Did you forget what he has done? Did you forget the fear you guys lived in? M smiled, He said nothing compares to our fear now. NOTHING. Saddam is the only person who can get rid of those rogues. He is the only one who knows how to deal with them. M, I said, lets assume what you say is true, and Saddam somehow gets away and takes power, do you really think he will survive one second with all those militias? M laughed, what militias? Neurotica, the minute Saddam comes out, these militias will go back and hide in their holes, they will go back to where they came from. Everyone fears Saddam. Till now everyone fears him.

I dunno what to make out of this situation. I thought everyone hated Saddam and couldnt wait to be freed from his tyranny, now he is gone, everyone wants him back. It is but a confusing world. Thats what it is. Im gonna leave it at that as I need to get ready for work. Many people will see him as a martyr, especially his supporters and those Arab countries that thrived in his existence, I wander what will Azrael, the Angel of death, do when he comes to take Saddam away... Saddam's death which I know many people said will bring joy, is now overshadowed by the daily violence and bombings. The joy that the majority was waiting for, 2 years back, has now evaporated and become nothing but regret. I guess we are doomed. Doomed if you do, doomed if you dont....

Update 8:50 PM: Theres a large number of helicopters hovering around. Their noise is getting on my nerves, is that a sign that Saddam's execution is really gonna be before the day is over. I guess we will just have to wait and see...
posted by neurotic_wife at 10:16 AM 16 comments

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas All...

Well, Christmas is here. Christmas is here accompanied by mortars and bombings yet again. I came into the office and theres no one around. Maybe 2 or 3 expats and one Iraqi. Last night we got an email, telling us about an Iraqi party at a newly opened restaurant in the GZ. I wasnt too excited, but HUBBY wanted to check the place out. He wanted a place other than the Blue Star. So I went to my room, didnt feel like changing my office clothes, but thought maybe change my boots into something more ladylike and finally for the first time in almost 3 months, I managed to get into my high heeled shoes. Umm, wasnt really easy walking in them, since I live in my trainers and timberland boots, but managed to strot along with the clucking (chik, chok) noise accompanying me.

The crowd at the restaurant were mostly Iraqi expats who work at the US Embassy. Notoriously known for their stuck upness and low class attitudes. After a few minutes, 2 girls, maybe 16 or 17 years old, came in with 2 men, a lebanese who most probably was their pimp, and a British guy, who I presume was sleeping with one of them. It was a disgusting scene. The girls barely old enough, yet they were drinking large bottles of beer and smoking with a ridiculous cheap attitude. It was something that I havent really seen before here. Definitely not in the Green Zone. Ive heard about it, but never seen it in my own eyes. I literally cringed. As for the Iraqi expats from the embassy, well, they are probably the ones that tarnish our reputation with their bad behaviour of drinking and wearing skimpy clothes in a country torn apart by war. I tugged at HUBBY and told him, please lets leave, Im not comfortable. And so we did.

My Christian Iraqi colleagues on the other hand, didnt have the blue star or the other restaurants to go to and celebrate their xmas. K, an Iraqi Christian. K usually displays his Christmas tree proudly next to his window that overlooks his street. That was before 2003. K who is in his late 30's says he has his xmas tree hidden beneath the stairways making sure the flickering lights wont grab the attention of passers by. I asked him whether he will be attending church. He laughed, and said, are you crazy? No I will not risk my life nor my family's life. I would rather spend a quiet time with my family behind closed doors. Then he said with a solemn look, Christmas used to be fun times, now, its just like any other day. I asked whether he will have friends and family over. K answered, only those in the neighbourhood, but the ones who live far wont be able to come over because of security.

Umm Athraa', another Christian, said, I dont care. Im gonna go to church on Christmas. Isnt it unsafe I ask? Unlike K, Umm Athraa's is a determined old lady, seen so much in her life and will not let anything deter her. She is determined to worship her god, even if it means fighting all odds. Umm Athraa' said, when is it safe? If Im gonna think this way, I will not be able to live the remainder of my life. Yes it is unsafe, but if I die, I will atleast die worshipping my God.

As for S, the assyrian Goddess, she will be celebrating her christmas among her family behind closed doors. I spoke to her the other day. She is back from Amman, with her Immigration Visa to the States. A happy bunny thats what she is, yet has mixed feelings about leaving. Although getting out of her was her number one thing, but leaving her family behind is weighing up on her.

My American expat colleagues on the other hand, had that gloomy air about them. You can tell that they miss their family and friends back in the States very very much. Its not so easy being here, in a war zone, especially during this time of year. It gets kinda lonely, actually not kinda but very lonely. Some said they wont bother coming in to work and will try to catch on sleep. Others will spend their time doing laundry, watching movies and just hang around.

As for me, although Im a muslim, my dad always made sure that we celebrate christmas by taking the whole family out for a christmas lunch. And so, I too am feeling kinda lonely and extremely homesick. Which is ironic, here I am in Baghdad, supposedly my home, yet I dont feel at home at all. I miss my family, I miss my friends. I miss that happy air around me. Surprisingly enough, I also miss London. London and its beautiful Christmas lights. So, just to bring abit of liveliness into my life, I found a small xmas tree hidden behind some files on the shelf. I took it down, shook the dust from it, and decided to decorate it. Since I have no artistic gift, Umm, needless to say the poor tree ended up being strangled by the lights. But Im proud of my little cute Xmas tree, and that teeny weeny Iraqi Flag...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Anyhow, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and I ask from you, I ask from you to remember those, those who are less fortunate. Remember them and pray, pray that maybe, just maybe next Christmas will be a better one. Merry Christmas All...
posted by neurotic_wife at 3:24 PM 14 comments

December 22, 2006

Empty Voices in the Wilderness...

A comment I got "You were linked to the BBC website.Now the World is reading your posts. It is your job to report what is REALLY going on. All we get is half truths and lies.TELL US!". What do you want me to tell you??? Me and a hundred other Iraqi bloggers have been writing for the past 2 years. What do you want to know that I havent written about before??? You want to know about the daily deaths? You want to know about the daily bombings? You want to know about the daily kidnappings? You want to know about the mass corruption? You want to know about the exodus of Iraqis leaving their country? You want to know about the Arabs and Afghans that are fighting their damn "Jihad" War here? You want to know about the sectarian violence? You want to know about the failed democracy and freedom? You want to know about the lost mission of Hearts and Minds?

What do you want to know? You want to know about the dead and tortured bodies found thrown on the streets daily? You want to know about the militias controlling the country? You want to know about the Visa blackmarket? You want to know about students being threatened to keep away from schools and universities? You want to know about the thousands of families being driven out of their homes because of their sects? You want to know about the thousands of children being orphaned? You want to know about the lost hopes and dreams? Tell me what it is you want to know that me nor the others havent talked about??? Tell me???Im begging YOU to tell me what is it YOU want to know???

After a certain time, it becomes like a broken record. A broken record that is best left on the shelf. I can tell that people have become sick and tired of Iraq. Sick and tired of whats going on here. I can tell that people have become so used to listening to the bad news that another breaking news story is no big deal anymore. Another death is no big deal. Another bombing is no big deal. Another suicide bomber is no big deal. This is what I can tell. So what is it that you want to know? I myself am not sure if I want to continue to write. Whats the point? Someone asked me very recently whether I will ever stop blogging. I immediately answered NO WAY, blogging is my life. But is it really? Whats the point? You read my words and then what? What difference will I or you make? Are we making any difference? NO. Will Iraq become normal again? NO. Will the violence stop? NO. Will there be no more bloodshed anymore? NO. Will Bush and Blair admit their mistakes and change their tactics? NO. Will the militias get executed for their crimes? NO. Will the Jihadists stop waging their war against the Innocent Iraqis? NO. Will the corrupt government leave their passion for the chair? NO. Will the corruption stop? NO. Will All those who died innocently come back? NO NO NO.

So what difference am I making or the others are making? Nothing. I have also been featured on Radioopensource with other Iraqi Bloggers. Dont get me wrong, but answer me this, WHAT IS THE POINT? Is it so the world can feel sorry for us? I sure DONT WANT YOUR PITY. Is it so the democrats can have a laugh and tell the republicans "I told you so". I DONT GIVE A DAMN. Is it so people can feel guilty? I DONT NEED YOUR GUILT. Is it so organisations can dispute statistics about Iraqi Deaths? I DONT CARE FOR YOUR NUMBERS. So WHAT IS THE POINT? Because right now, right now I am nothing but a voice. We are nothing but voices. Empty Voices. Empty Voices in the Wilderness...
posted by neurotic_wife at 7:56 PM 17 comments

December 20, 2006


Ok, you know what, I feel sick to my stomach. I read this now, and my stomach started to churn. An article in Yahoo about the turnover of Najaf to Iraqi ARmy had this paragraph included "About 1,500 police officers and soldiers paraded on a soccer field, and other officers drove shiny new patrol cars and motorcycles around a dusty track ringing the field.
At one point, a small group of officers wearing dark green T-shirts stepped forward with a live rabbit and tore it to pieces. The leader chomped out the heart with a yell, then passed around the blood-soaked remains to his comrades, each of whom took a bite. The group also bit the heads off frogs."

Can someone tell me, when the hell did we start eating rabbit heads or frog heads????OMG, what is happening to us??? What has happened to the Iraqis??? I know I shouldnt be shocked, I mean Iraqis are killing their own. Torturing their own. Kidnapping their own. Since the early hours of today bombings after bombings. I could hear them all. One was apparantely in Jadriyah where a group of pilgrims were targeted. WHY??? WHY AND BY WHO??? As much as I try to deviate from the realities surrounding me, the fact of the matter is we have become a nation of SAVAGES. Yes, thats the truth. I dont care what you say, I dont care what you think. I know I shouldnt generalise, I know I should make a clear distinction, but who is who now???

One guy said, did you know that three classes of cadets have graduated from a certain training academy, I looked at him and said you mean three classes of insurgents. I have lost all faith in the police force and in the so called Iraqi Army. They have no love for Iraq anymore. They can sell Iraq and Iraqis for a few hundred dollar bills. Thats how patriotic they are. Thats how nationalistic they are. Give them a few dollars and they can provide you with their cars, they can give you some of their arms. Bloody hell, they can even help prisoners escape!!!

Before anything, the Iraqi Army and its police force has to be sieved and cleared from all the hilly billy militia men. The money that is spent on reconstruction should instead be invested in vetting these forces. Do as much as you can to CLEAN the damn force. Clean it from the cancerous cells that are spreading like a wild fire. You cant have a safe country without having a reliable force who would DIE FOR HIS COUNTRY. And I can tell you now, no matter how much more US military will be sent here, the problems will not disappear. A pure, clean, honourable Iraqi force is what is needed. Cuz think about it, more US military are coming here inorder to train more Iraqis. Aha, who are you training??? YOU ARE GONNA BE TRAINING THE DAMN INSURGENTS!!! I dont know the statistics, but Im sure half of the army is infiltrated by militia members and insurgents...So whats the point??? No point until you kick the cancer out...

Thats my two pennies on this subject. Im so damn frustrated...Infact I was gonna wait to go to my room (yup am at work, BLOGGING!!! Cuz I was so disgusted) and write about how K, my other Iraqi Christian colleague is gonna celebrate his Christmas here, I was also planning to show you my feeble attempt of decorating a christmas tree which I managed to save from the dust grains. But all that has to wait for another day, cuz Im pissed off!!! I literally am. Ughhhhhhhhhh

I think Im in need of a cigarette right now. I cant even think of a bloody title for this post. Damn...Hmmm, I guess Damn works...
posted by neurotic_wife at 5:49 PM 18 comments

December 18, 2006

Iraq and Iraqis Victims of Violence...

He took her by her hair and slammed her head on the wall. Once twice three times. He pushed her head and started banging it against the radiator. Once twice three times. He pulled her head backwards, and began kicking her, kicking her real hard. Kicking her stomach, her back, her face. He took her face in his hands and kept punching and punching until he cant see her eyes no more. All the while, all the while, he was calling her a bitch, a stupid bitch. A whore, a dirty whore.

A few minutes later he lies besides her and starts crying. Starts crying and asking for forgiveness. Starts crying and tells her he is sorry. Sorry for what I had done. Will you forgive me he whimpers. Please forgive me he begs her. She is on the floor no tears can fulfill her sorrow. Her body has become numb, and no pain she feels. She cant see him, for her eyes have become blurry. All she hears are the mumblings, the mumblings of his voice.

She closes her eyes and prays to god to take her away. Take me please. Take me please dear God. Dont leave me here. Dont leave me here she begs. She starts to whimper, but her sobs are dead. She has to be strong she says to herself. For her to die, she has to be strong. He picks her up gently and lays her on the bed. Pushes away her hair from her eyes, and dries the tears on her cheeks. Im sorry he says, will you forgive me? Im sorry my love please forgive me. She looks right through him, for she can only see a dark fuzzy image. Her heart is throbbing, but she hides away her fear. She fears not him, but she fears her God. Then she asks, Why??? It came out loud, without her intending to. Why she asked. He just stared at her and began to cry again. Forgive me he said. I dunno why, just forgive me.

Days later after showering her with his love, He took her by her hair and slammed her head on the wall. Once twice three times. He pushed her head and started banging it against the radiator. Once twice three times. He pulled her head backwards, and began kicking her, kicking her real hard. Kicking her stomach, her back, her face. He took her face in his hands and kept punching and punching until he cant see her eyes no more. All the while, all the while, he was calling her a bitch, a stupid bitch. A whore, a dirty whore.

He called his friends. They all gathered around her. Sleazy smiles with tongues hangin out. A piece of the flesh thats what they want. One by one, they raped her. Raped her real hard. She tried to resist, she kicked. She punched. She slapped. She tried, she really did. But they are savages. Barbaric savages that know no mercy. Barbaric Savages...

Iraq has become the victim of violence, Domestic Violence. Punched, hit, beaten up and raped Raped by Iraqis, Americans, Brits, Arabs, Africans, Iranians, Afghanis. Raped by the WORLD. The whole world. Iraq has fallen victim to psychotic personas. Psychotic personas pretending to cry for Iraq. Psychotic personas pretending to kill for Iraq. Yet the victim, the victim is non other, but Iraq... Iraq and Iraqis...Iraq and Iraqis Victims of Violence...
posted by neurotic_wife at 8:51 PM 12 comments

December 15, 2006

The Green Zone Wife Revenge...

Well getting silver isnt bad. We managed to watch the remainder of the game at the BS. The Iraqi team didnt play as well as I hoped. But hey, with all the suffering and the death that has plagued the country, second place isnt bad at all. So Congratulations to the Iraqi team for reaching the finals and well done, you make us proud....

And by the way, just to let you know, Im blocking all the bad news for now. I dont have the energy to write about it. Im gonna divulge into some personal stuff, so if you aint interested then stop right here...

Yesterday was Thursday. Thursday means HUBBY time. Thursday usually means umm a good time to put it bluntly. It also means colleagues teasing me. For the past couple of Thursdays, exhaustion and hard work just meant those nights were spent looking forward to sleep, and sleep only. This Thursday I was kinda hoping to have well you know...Some affection. On our way to dinner, I tried to throw a few hints, so HUBBY can prepare and expect the unexpected. I think he got the hint pretty well.

We go to room and as usual I take my nightly shower. Ofcourse this time I took extra care, like lavishing myself with perfume and body lotion (things I dont usually do when Im alone). I get out of the bathroom all smiles and smelling like "beautiful" (HUBBY's favourate perfume). I look at the chair and its empty, hmm. I took one look at the bed, and sure enough HUBBY is there tucked in, SLEEPING!!! HUBBY I shake him. HUBBY wake up, Im done. He opens one eye, tells me na3eeman (something we say when we come out of the shower) and smiles. Then he pulls me next to him, hugs me and goes to SLEEP!!! OMG...

I shake him again and do all kinda things. He murmurs something like "please sweetie can we do this in the morning". NOOOOOOOOOOO HUBBY we cant do this in the morning!!! I gotta go to work, I have a deadline. Wake up HUBBY, its THURSDAY NIGHT, you aint getting away with this. Needless to say, Thursday night wasnt bad. A few hours later, and as I was in my rare deep sleep, Mr HUBBY decides to wake up.

First he goes to the bathroom, opens the creaky door, switches the light on which by the way lit the whole room up. HUBBY I said, please, can you please switch the light off, its getting in my eyes. I wanna SLEEEEEEEEEP. He does just that, then goes to the fridge, opens it, gets a can of pepsi, then SLAMS the door. All the while Im just whining, please HUBBY, Pllllleeeeeeaaaasseeee, I WANT TO SLEEP. You think he might get the hint. He then switches the TV on discovery science and the noise just bugged the hell outta me. HUBBBBBBBBBBY I screamed, I beg you. He says, Oh sorry, did I wake you up? Umm No HUBBY, you just made my sleep go out the door. Oh sorry sweetie he says. I cant sleep.

He switches TV off, then starts the internet!!! I literally got the other pillow and stuck it on my face didnt care if I was suffocating. But, unfortunately once I wake up, I can never go back to sleep. So there I was, in bed, in the early hours of Friday, watching HUBBY reading his emails!!! I flipped, I did. And Ms Nag rose back to life.

ME (Seething): You know, the fact that you live alone is NOT helping OUR situation.
HUBBY (still reading his emails): Aha, its ok sweetie
ME: Whats OK??? Are you even listening to what Im saying???
HUBBY (moves to read news): Oh look, the kidnap in al sinak was targetting sunnis
ME: Oh My DEAR GOD. HUBBY, helllooooo, Im talking to you.
HUBBY: Listen to this, they let go of the Shia's and the...
ME (Almost shouting): WELL GOOD. Shias are the best!!!
HUBBY (staring at me, atleast I got his attention finally): Oh dont say that, we are equal. You should never say that. We are all Iraqis.
ME: Ok fine, so as I was saying, our living arrangements arent working out. You have gone back to living a bachelor's life, its as if I dont exist anymore. You slam the door, you switch the light on, you have the TV on, hellloooooooo, all the while, Im trying to get some sleep. It annoys the hell outta me!!!
HUBBY: I couldnt sleep from the helicopters' noise. What did you want me to do? Stay in bed???
ME: YESSSSSSSSSSS. Stay in the darn bed. Or maybe I should get you a headset long enough so you can plug it in the TV. And maybe you should have gone to the bathroom without switching the lights on!!!
HUBBY: You wanted me to fall??? I could barely see my way.
ME: Umm HUBBY, you talk as if we are in a mansion, its a bloody 6 meters by 4 room. The bathroom is right next to the bed!!!
HUBBY: So what are you saying??? You want me out???
ME: NOOOO, I want you to atleast acknowledge my presence
HUBBY: Oh sweetie, Im so sorry, I do, ofcourse I do.

He walks to bed, slips in right next to me, switches the TV on AGAIN, snuggles close and shuts his eyes. A few minutes later HUBBY is in deep sleep while Mrs here, is wide awake, seething with anger, staring at him with blood shot eyes!!!

You would think men learn with time. Aha, sure. Yes granted he got me a present and surprised me, so all isnt lost (I hope). Marriage in the Green Zone is difficult as it is. The one hour we have daily is spent eating and gossiping about the office. Thursday night is spent mostly watching science channel and sleeping. I guess many consider him lucky not to have his wife nagging him 24 hrs, yup I dont disagree...I dont disagree at all...

Oh well, I guess maybe next Thursday, I will make sure power is disconnected from the TV, and I might as well disconnect the internet while Im at it. Break the bathroom lightbulb, I can do without it. And probably empty the fridge from the Pepsis I have. hehe....They say revenge is sweet. Can it be sweeter than this. Aaaaah Revenge...The Green Zone Wife Revenge...
posted by neurotic_wife at 7:53 PM 14 comments

December 12, 2006

Vibrators in Iraq...

First off, I would like to congratulate the Iraqi Football team on winning Korea. We have now reached the Finals of the Asian Games (final will be with Qatar). You do not understand how such news is received amid the chaos, havoc and killings thats going around here. It gives the Iraqis a glimpse of what happiness is like. It lifts their spirits up and believe it or not, for that minute of triumph it actually united them. (it took a football game to unite the Iraqis, while ppl ouside are analysing how to reconcile differences, hmm, maybe have a year round tournament, what do you think???)For the name of Iraq, all Iraqis with its Sunnis and Shias, with its Christians and Kurds, with its Chaldeans and Sabi'as, all of them were delighted at the news. You can hear the celebratory shots being fired and the cars beeping all along. Even here in the Green zone, all the cars were out beeping and people were celebrating. On our way to the BS, we saw Iraqi men holding the Flag and chanting with the top of their voices. Mabrook, alif mabrook.

And no Im not gonna comment on the massacre that took place today morning. Im not gonna comment because there's no point, theres no use. We were under lockdown when the first bombing took place. HUBBY called me immediately, and the only words that came out of my lips were "Allah Il Satir" (not sure how to translate it literally). Then I read the news on yahoo, and my heart sank...

I just wanna continue with what I was writing about in my previous post. So basically the General refused to sign the papers. After some deliberation, and 2 days later, the General decided that there is no harm especially after reviewing the references that all my Iraqi colleagues supplied with their applications. And the smile and laughter returned yet again. The applications were sent via our mail, 4 days before the 17th. When I asked what would they do if they get the Green Card, Z, who btw is still munching on bread, said I might come back, but I will come back as a DOD. Thats what they call us expats here. Both I and the others laughed at that...

The first step is to have your application approved, then after a few months the department will contact you and set out an interview date, mostly takes place in the embassy in Amman. You have to have medical tests taken, then pass the interview. Once you pass the interview, your visa is issued within one week, and you are elligible to travel to the States then I guess after one year you get the green card. Im not sure about the financing, not sure about the housing if these are taken care of by the US gov. My colleagues arent sure as well, but they dont care, they just want a one way ticket outta here.

Three people who applied back in July, had their applications approved. Their interviews were set in Amman. Two guys, travelled together, one was granted entry to Jordan, the other was refused entry. And Im not gonna explain WHY the Jordanian Officer granted one and not the other. I think many Iraqis would know the real reason, especially those who travel to Amman. The guy who was granted entry, passed the interview and is now getting ready to travel to California together with his wife and kid.

The person I really wanted this to work out for is ofcourse my friend, the only one I can call so, here, and that is S. She got her interview date and travelled to Amman She was so worried that she will be refused entry just like A. I remember telling her not to worry and that everything will be fine. Her email to me a day before the interview:

Hope you're doing great...I just want to let you know that I made it safely to Amman...tomorrow is the big day....I'm so worried....please keep me in your prayers and wish me luck.

Her email after the interview which made me cry:
Neurotica Habibti,
First I would like to wish you a Happy Birthday...inshalla meet sana..
Second I have some good news and bad news ...the good news is....Halhili (means ululate)....I made it and I'm supposed to receive the visa within a week...the bad news is that my sister didn't make it this time they delayed her application for another two months.
I will need to stay in Amman for at least another week or so until I receive the visa...after that I will decide what to do.

I cannot describe to you my happiness. I cannot describe to you the weird shivers I got after reading her words. For when I was blowing my candle, I prayed, I prayed for S. I prayed for her. S got her way out of here. S got the freedom she always wanted. S will be able to wear her cross wherever, and whenever she wants. S can walk with her head held up, not fearing the unknown. S is gonna live the life that all Iraqis dream of. Most importantly, S is gonna be SAFE!!! I am just hoping that now, all my Iraqi colleagues will get their chance and will have their wishes granted.

The US gov acted as a catalyst in nourishing the sectarian violence. The US and ofcourse the outsiders that came in from Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and all the other countries. But atleast, I can say, that this immigration program, may be a tiny part of a reconciliation. In my opinion, immigration should be granted to all the Iraqis. "lend us part of Texas, set us up, let us live our lives. And leave those who kill and kidnap behind. Let them live in Iraq. UNtil they all die, then all the good people can come back again. "Actually these arent my words, these are words coming out from an Iraqi I speak to regularly. He said thats the best solution, and let them (the US) bomb Iraq and the militias and gangs with nuclear weapons, just like Hiroshima, eradicate them all, then we can all come back and start rebuilding our country from scratch. If they really wanna help us, let them do that. I must agree here...Let all those who fight in the name if Jihad, and Islam, in the name of Shia'sm and Sunnism kill each other without the innocent Iraqis who want to live in peace.

Now to a very funny story(if you are below the age of 18 pls do not read further) , L a colleague of mine, actually an ex colleague (she got another job with another company but still in the same compound) came to me yesterday and said, I need to ask you something , but its kinda embarrasing, and you are the only one I can talk to, so lets go out and have a smoke. I followed her out and pulled my cig then said What is it L? Do you need anything? L said, no, then she lowered her voice and said is a vibrator what I think it is??? OMG. I was just startled. I almost choked on my cig. L, I asked shocked, how do you know about vibrators??? L who by now was blushing big time, said well, the American ladies I work with keep whispering to each other about using vibrators. I overheard them the other day, and because I didnt wanna embarrass myself, I googled it. (yup, the joy of the internet). I tried to act as normal as can be and asked, aha, and what did you find out???

L looked at me then came closer, she said, it looks like you know. Like what??? You know, like you know what IM talking about. Hmm, this time I laughed from the bottom of my heart and said Oh L, yessss, it is what you think it is. She said, but why is it fun??? I said, hmm, hard question, why dont you ask the women you overheard??? She gave me a shocking look, you must be crazy she said. No way, I cant do that. Then I said, well, I dunno L. I cant answer you there. Then L flashed a smile and said, you know, these women keep getting me sweets and chocolates, christmas is coming, do you think maybe I should order something on the net for them??? And here was what I was dreading. Using HUBBYs credit card to purchase VIBRATORS, and umm to have them shipped here. Wont that be just lovely. I patted L's shoulder and said, L dont even THINK about it. Get them ANYTHING, ANYTHING but those.

There is sadness everywhere, but when they come here, they lose themselves in what they see as their freedom. My prison is their freedom, yet the laughter albeit scarce, is there. Can anyone imagine that vibrators will be a subject talked about in this part of the world, and in these circumstances??? No, nor did I until L brought it up. Imagine that. Vibrators. Vibrators in Iraq...
posted by neurotic_wife at 8:30 PM 11 comments

December 10, 2006

My Shining Iraq...

Had I known that by blowing a candle it can make people's prayers heard, I would have done it everyday of every living second. Im not talking about M's smile(altho he did smile when he found out its my birthday and teased me about my age), nor Iraq's tranquility, for I think no matter how many candles I blow and wish for those, they will be in a long long queue waiting to be answered. Im talking about another prayer, a small prayer that means so much to a particular person I got to meet here and care for. Care for so very very much.

Exactly a month ago, I heard some shuffling and colleagues scurrying about in the corridor carrying files and papers. I can hear laughter and loud noises. I got up from my seat and went to where the hustle and bustle was going on. I asked Z, whats going on, whats wrong with everyone. Did they kill sadr?Dhari? Bin laden? Did we win the war? Z shook her head vigourously laughing, no, noooooo, its even better. I opened my eyes, Better I ask??? I pinched her, cmon tell me, I wanna knowwwww. Then H another colleague said, its the Immigration. Immigration program. Huh???What Immigration program. Then Z explained it to me:

"Congress passed legislation to offer special immigrant status to persons serving as translators with the U.S. Armed Forces (Section 1959 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 – Public Law 109-163). Under this statute, a limited number of translators and their immediate family may immigrate to the United States in each fiscal year."

You can check the US Embassy's website in Iraq to find out more. Theres a cap tho for the amount of applicants each fiscal year. A total of 50 from both Iraq and Afghanistan are accepted each year. The applications have to be received by 17th of Nov, they had just one week. So you can imagine the mayhem in the office. I felt dumbfounded at first and said But you guys arent translators? How can you apply? Z, who by the way munches food 24/7, gulped her food down, and said, who cares, we can talk the language cant we? Anything, we will do anything just to get out of here. I dont care how, or what, Atleast I will try all the resources I have so I wont regret it. And sure enough, everyone, every single Iraqi, the ones who speak english fluently, and those who dont, filled out the forms, got reference letters, paid the $190 fee. Ofcourse none of them had US accounts, and so many of the expats helped them by writing out the cheques.

I can remember the excitement. W came running, neurotica please, please I need your HUBBY to write a reference letter saying I translated official papers, etc...Ofcourse W, ofcourse, it will be ready for you tomorrow morning. Come the next day, and as I was handing the paper to W, I saw a sullen look on his face, I dont need it anymore, he said. Why I asked shocked at his reply. The General, the general refused to sign our forms. Refused???Why??? Why W???Because he wants proof that we really were translators with the army. Thats it Neurotica, we are stuck here. Stuck in this hellhole. We are doomed. And just like that, W walked away, and left me standing. Standing with the paper still in my hand. I went to Z, who sat staring at her monitor, chewing a piece of bread. Z is it true? Is it true that he refused to sign the papers? Z said with a sullen look on her face too, in Arabic :get il hazeena tifrah mala'atshee matrah. (The sad woman came to celebrate her happiness but she didnt find a place for it).

Im gonna stop here, and say to be continued...

Just to let you know what happened yesterday. I couldnt sleep all night, as usual, and so by 630am I was sitting at my desk checking out my emails and working on my deadlines. I made sure nobody knew it was my birthday. I got phonecalls from my family which boosted me yet made me feel even more nostalgic. After I got back from lunch, my colleagues started coming one by one, wishing me a happy birthday, kissing me and hugging me. I was like shit, how did they know? Thirty minutes later I was hauled by the Col, to join everyone at the conference table, and there among the crisps and the cookies they bought to celebrate, lay a small cookie with a candle. Everyone stood there singing for me and my face turned a bright tomato(btw, I pronounce it the British way and not the American way, which sometimes causes me alot of teasing from my American colleagues).

I sat there embarrased, with tears welling in my eyes, for at that moment, I missed my family's singing, missed my nephews jumping up and down and acting like little monkeys. Here I was in Baghdad, celebrating my birthday without any of my family around me, not even HUBBY but I was surrounded by all my good Iraqi and American colleagues. I stared so hard at the candle and prayed, prayed for everyone and everything I wish for. With one deep breath I blew the candle which turned out to be one of those sparky ones. No matter how much I blew, the darn flame kept flickering. Eventually I managed.

Everyone started asking me about HUBBY, and I tried to hide my sadness and said, HUBBY is busy, busy with work. I thanked everyone, then returned quietly to my seat. Then out of the blue, out of the blue MY HUBBY appeared. Yaaaaaaaaay. It was one amazing surprise. I jumped off my chair and hugged him so hard, so hard that I think I choked him. I didnt care that the whole office was staring. At that particular moment, I just wanted to be held. Held by him. Then he said, check out whats in my pocket. I delved my hand there, and took out a box. Opened it and altho Im not a fan of gold or any of that, I was looking at the most beautiful thing my eyes ever laid on:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The map of Iraq. My Iraq. The Iraq thats always gonna be in my heart. No matter what people say, it will always be mine. They call me a traitor, they call me a collaborator, but I dont care. For Im Iraqi. Im Iraqi and proud to be one.

HUBBY never ever gets me anything out of the blue, even on birthdays, always says to me, you can have whatever you want whenever you want it. So in the 2 yrs and a half that we are married, he shocked me. Shocked me and impressed me. I dont care for gold, I dont care for anything, I care for one thing and thats the little things. The little thoughts. The best present ever is to see him when I least expected it and to know that my teachings havent gone in vain. The Iraq he gave me will always stay close to my heart, and will always shine. My Iraq, My Shining Iraq...
posted by neurotic_wife at 9:03 PM 13 comments

December 08, 2006

A Wish of A Lifetime...

Another 5 or 4 more hours and I will be waving goodbye to yet another year of life. Yup, tomorrow is my bday, and I have been trying to do some thinking. At times you just wanna sit alone and reflect, but here in the GZ there is no time for that. No time to reflect, no time for soul searching. I dont wanna sound like a pessimist but Im not really looking forward to tomorrow. I just wanna lie in bed and sleep, for I dont wanna admit that yet another year has passed without accomplishing any of the things I have put on my "To do list" of life. Another year spent here in Baghdad, and with each passing hour, no, with each passing minute, a little piece of me gets lost, gets lost in all the mayhem thats taking place outside.

My brother called me up last night asking me how life is treating me here. I laughed and said what life? I barely see my husband, who is far too busy with his new job. I barely talk to anyone, except for that one time I let go of my inhibitions and talked to my colleague S about the normal things in life. I barely get enough sleep even though Im so exhausted by the time I get into my room, and my body aches, I just keep tossing and turning and just as I get comfortable my darn mobile phone alarm goes off. I wake up everyday to see a reflection of my older self in the mirror. Dark circles under the eyes that has seen better days in its youth. No Im not complaining Im just stating some facts, facts about life that we all take for granted. Its like Im on a train, a fast non stopping train. A train that has taken me to extremes I never imagined I would visit. What Life I ask again, and he says the life YOU chose to have.

I laughed again. Oh brother of mine, if only you know what I go through everyday, if only you can feel my pain, if only you can see the sadness in my eyes, you wouldnt have asked that question. You wouldnt have dared to ask... Yes pain and suffering is all relative. My pain could be nothing to what my Iraqi colleagues feel everyday. My suffering maybe zilch compared to what my Iraqi colleagues go through everyday. But Im only human. And right now, right now Im feeling homesick. Homesick and lonely. I sit here craving for my father's lectures, and my mothers soprano screeches, the ones she gives out when she is mad at me (aha, thats how bad Im missing them)

Bush says "We will prevail". Bush finally admits "Situation is Bad". I dont care anymore what Bush says, I dont care anymore what anybody says for that matter. Annan says its worse than Saddam's time. Oh really??? Did anything hit you on the head, and wake you up from the comma??? The comma that seems to have hit everyone like a plague. M the 20 something year old guy with cute dimples, stopped smiling. He really did. I saw him today, sweeping the floor, and my heart broke. I said hey M, whats wrong? You ok? M laughed the same way I did when my brother asked me how life is. He looked at me in a weird way, and said why do you ask. I dunno, you stopped smiling, he immediately forced one, but you can tell its not genuine, not coming from the heart. I nudged him and said, cmon, whats wrong? I miss that smile of yours, where did it go?

M continued sweeping, then stopped and looked directly into my eyes, and said, Neurotica, this may be my last day here. I frowned, why M? Where are you going? Did you find a better job? Tell me, I wanna know. He shook his head and said, no, no, its not that. Then what is it M??? He put his sweeping brush aside and said, its getting bad out there. Really bad. I dunno if I will getto live another day. My heart literally broke into pieces. These words coming from the guy who dreams of sky scrapers and cars, these words coming from the guy that keeps saying "Allah Il hafudh" God is our protector, was a slap to the reality I live in. Yes I know its bad, I know its deterioting, I know people come here risking their lives on a daily basis. I know all that, but to hear the words "I dunno if I will be alive tomorrow" is hard to digest. Yes everyone tells me the same statement "We dont know if we will be alive tomorrow", but they say it in such a bytheway kind of thing followed by "Allah Kareem". M on the otherhand said it with a true sadness, a true fear, a true cry for help.

Its M and many others like M, young and hungry for life that makes mine seem so trivial, so insignificant. Thats why I say, with every passing minute a little piece of me gets lost, lost in the mayhem outside. While the rest of the world, walk by beautifully decorated christmas trees, bright lights on window displays, listening to christmas carols, Iraqis walk dark haunted streets stumbling on dead bodies with sounds of mortars and gunfire. Iraqis just like M who truely genuinely are scared for their life. Yeah tomorrow Im gonna be older (not sure about the wiser part), but will I ever get to see M smile again??? Thats the question. Im gonna blow a candle (If I find one) and make a wish. A Wish of a Lifetime...
posted by neurotic_wife at 7:03 PM 25 comments

December 05, 2006

The Iraqi Mask of Survival...

A teacher, a banker. A carpenter, a bricklayer. A secretary, an architect. A computer shop owner, a cell phone shop owner. A taxi driver and a black market fuel seller are the professions that my Iraqi colleagues hide behind. Sam, you read my mind, and its getting scary, cuz that particular subject always intrigued me, and I did ask my colleagues about it before you even mentioned it.

S, the assyrian goddess is an architect by degree. Ever since she graduated she worked in that profession, and so people never really asked where she went every morning, because they presume she is still working for the design company she used to work with. As for her sister, well, she used to be a banker, and now she is a translator here in the GZ, and again, everyone presumes she is still at the bank. As far as what S tells me, the minute they head back home, thats it, they dont leave until the next day to avoid interaction with people, unless they have to go shopping in Karrada. But apart from that, their so called socialising life is spent at home, watching TV. We stopped seeing our friends S said. Its far too dangerous to walk the streets.

N and M are 2 men whose job is to keep our work space spic and span. N and M are father and son who live in the slums of Sadr City. N used to serve in the army, the day of the 9th of April, he took his army clothes off and hid them. He said he walked in the streets on the day of the 10th as a civilian and for the first time in his life he felt free. A free soul, but little did I know he said. He enlisted for work and got a job in Al Rasheed, then they moved him here. I asked N, what do you tell your friends? your neighbours? What do you do for a living? He smiled and said proudly, I tell them I work in a carpenter's shop. He then told me of a story that happend to him a few months ago. He bumped into an aquaintence of his, and the guy after a heated hello and hugs and where have you been all this time asked him where he works. N immediately said I work at a carpenter's shop in a far neighbourhood. And emphasised the word "FAR". The aquaintence nonethelss immediately jumped and said "Oh man, you are gods sent. Im renovating my house and I need to have a few pieces done for the bedroom". Shit N thought to himself, then he replied, well we dont make things, we just repair stuff. I laughed so much. I then said what if the guy insists coming to the shop, what were you gonna do? N said, well, I said to myself if he will insist, then I will have to buy him something just to shut him up.

M on the other hand, the son, doesnt mix with the boys his age except maybe a few that he plays football with. I said to him and you M, what do you say? Do you also work with your father in a carpenter's shop? He smiled, a smile that makes your heart jump. He has cute dimples that makes anyone want to just pinch his cheeks like a little kid. M said, no, I sell fuel in the black market, lol. Wowwww I said, where did you get that idea from? He shrugged then said with a cheeky look, well, a friend of mine does it, so its the easiest thing I say to anyone who asks. Just incase anyone wants fuel, then I can easily call my friend.

S, M and N even W and all the others that work here, make up stories about their jobs just to survive. No one dares to tell the truth. No one dares because the truth simply gets you killed. Its actually fun, I mean making things up. W, always wanted to own a cell phone shop but never had the chance. His cousin owns one, so now whenever someone asks W what he does for a living, he says proudly with a grin on his face, I own a cell phone shop in Arasat. He even orchestrated his absence by telling his cousin, if anyone comes and asks about me, just tell them Im running an errand, or Im taking my wife to see the dr, or Im sick. Just make up any excuse, but never ever forget that Im your partner in this shop, ok???

Then W came a few days later, hey Neurotica (well, no, not really neurotica, but my name) Hey Neurotica, guess what??? Hmm, what? I asked. I sold my share of the shop. What shop I say confused. My imaginery cell phone shop silly!!! ooooooooh, oh ok. Then just as if its real, I showed him my grouchy face, why W??? I liked the shop, you had nice stuff. Well, he said, a cell phone shop is far too dangerous, so now, Im working for a contracting company. You know, just an ordinary job, I think that sounds better, dont you think so??? Umm, I dunno W, I kinda liked the cell phone shop idea, sounded trendier but hey, its whatever you feel like doing. He said, well, I thought about it, owning a cell phone shop makes people think I have money, and so being an ordinary employee in an ordinary company, makes me less well off. Aha I see, well good for you, when is your next promotion, I said smiling. He waved his hand in the air and said, Oh I dunno, I guess when they start targetting contracting companies. Then, I will be in deep shit cuz I have no idea what I will be doing next...He looked at me seriously and said, Any ideas? Umm, no, but I will think of something I said.

Today at lunch with S, I said how do you guys do it??? How can you live like this, how can you live in fear, fear all the time. She said with her eyes welling up, how? I dunno Neurotica. I dunno how we do it. I guess we have no other choice, no other choice but to survive. Then she said "Nahnu il qawmal maghdhoobee 3alayhim" (We are the wrathed nation).

These people have dreams, just like you and me. They have aspirations and ambitions, probably even more than you and me, yet all this is kept hidden for now. Hidden beneath their masks. Their masks of survival. The Iraqi Mask of Survival...
posted by neurotic_wife at 10:15 PM 6 comments

December 03, 2006

Normalcy in an Abnormal Country

You know what, I think IM gonna take Sam's advice from the comments and write about the ordinary people. Im sick and tired of politics and the news. If you want news then check out yahoo. For now though, IM gonna be in my unphased mood...

Ever since I got back nearly two months ago, my colleague S, became my lunch partner. Everyday we would go and have our lunch together. S, who is an Iraqi Christian, turns heads wherever she goes. She gives out that aloof aura that reminds me of the models on their catwalks. She is by no means tall, but infact petite and slim with long blonde hair that sways past her waist. Her looks is that of an assyrian goddess with a prominent nose and a defined jaw. I never pried into her private life, never asked why she isnt married or if she ever wanted to. Never asked about her past time and her hobbies.

I was always curious about how my colleagues spend their time when they leave the GZ after work. BUt I just couldnt bring myself to have a normal conversation with S or with anyone else for that matter, feelings of guilt always empowered me because of whats happening around them from death and kidnappings. But to be honest, I just got fed up asking about how the situation is outside, cuz whether its S or Z or W or M, everyone is gonna say the same thing. Everyone is gonna say, the situation is BAD and will go on about the morbid realities. And so I decided to stop asking.

Yesterday, as I was sitting with S having lunch, I hesitated but then said, so what did you do yesterday? What do you usually do on Fridays since it’s a curfew morning? S smiled, and said cheerfully Friday is my maintenance day. I sat there, not believing that I heard the word “maintenance”. I raised my eyebrows and said oh yeah, how so? She looked around (making sure no one is looking) then she lifted just a teeny bit of her jeans and showed off her smooth legs, lol. I could almost see the twinkle in her eyes. She then pushed her shirt sleeves up and said and those, then she moved her bangs away from her eyes and lifted her eyebrows, and said those as well. I laughed so much, and said, wow, so you are just like a aroosa (bride) now. Naaaaah she said, I dont want to be one, men are crap. I laughed profusely and nodded in agreement.

Hey, but your HUBBY is sweet she said in bewilderment. Yeah I replied but that doesnt mean that men arent crap anyways, and this time we both laughed. Then it was my turn and I lifted abit of MY jeans and showed off MY smooth legs too and that got S laughing. I told her how bad they got and how bad I felt for HUBBY to have to look at them. I then showed her my arms and said not only you are a aroosa but I am one too now. How do you do them, she asked. Is there a place here in the GZ??? I shook my head waiting to finish chewing my food then answered no, I do them myself every blue moon, with my antique epilator machine, which I cant live without. Which one braun or philips. No braun I answered. What about the ingrown hair??? And the conversation continued...I couldnt remove that smug smile off of my face. I sat there in utter bliss, and for one second, for one second, I imagined I was having lunch with S, at some ordinary cafe, in some ordinary country, talking about ordinary stuff.

S then looked at my sweater and asked, is that a new top? Aha, I got it on the net. I didnt bring any winter clothes with me and so I went shopping galore (yup my internet shopping did arrive, yaaaaaaaay). It suits your eyes she said. My top is new too, I bought it from Karrada she continued. Her top was pretty, one of those cute long sleeve tops with a wrap around belt, very chic and fashionable. I couldnt believe the fact it was from here. Wow, I said, its very nice, where do the shops get their products from? Turkey, Syria and China, we have everything here, she said. Depends on how much you wanna spend.

I have always liked S. S was the first person I sat next to when I first joined last year. She never pried nor gave me the weird looks that everyone else gave me at first. S is very straightforward and doesnt have those backstabbing antics that many of the people in the office have and maybe thats why I felt kinda close to her. I told her you know, I never thought I would be having such a conversation with anyone here. I feel weird, weird and guilty. Why she asked, and I said, cuz its a war zone, and people are dying everyday. She then smiled gently and said, well, think about it this way. When WE come here, we WANT to FORGET about whats happening in the outside. So dont feel bad, life does go on you know and I will still continue to wax my legs, she winked. With that, we finished our food and headed back to the office.

Yesterday is a day I wont forget. It may sound utterly stupid and totally silly to others, but to me, it was a moment. One of those moments you wanna capture on film. A conversation that I will always remember, a conversation that will always bring a smile to my face. For its a moment of normalcy. Normalcy in an abnormal country.
posted by neurotic_wife at 10:02 PM 14 comments