Sunday, November 07, 2004

Ramadan

It is great to discover that there are many people who read what you are writing. Some make encouraging comments, others post useful notes. It is wonderful to interact with people from all over the globe.

Nowadays, it is Ramadan in Iraq and the Muslim world. The first day of Ramadan, which is a month, was on Friday the 15th of October. Fasting according to Islam includes not to eat or drink or smoke from sunrise till sunset, not to have sexual intercourse with the husband/wife in the same period of the day, to try to do good deeds as much as one can do, to practice good habits…etc. In general, Ramadan is a month for focusing on training oneself soul to get closer to God by being a better person.
Ramadan has its cultural traditions and folklore activities. One of the famous folklore games is (Al-Mih’haibis). It is a game which needs nothing more than a finger ring and two teams of unlimited members. Each team tries to regain the ring which is hidden in one of the closed hands of the whole members of the opponent team. One member of the team who seeks for the ring goes through the players of the team which has the ring. Every player in the team with the ring should raise his hands in front of him so that the seeker, and his team, can see them clearly. The seeker should be of good ability to control the opponents psychologically and has predictability about where might the ring be hidden. He keeps on opening hand after another by pointing to each and saying his prediction. He has the right to consult his team players about their predictions. If he points to a certain hand and announce a wrong gesture then the one who has the ring shouts (Bat). When the shout is heard that means the ring is going to remain with the same team for another round and another point to be added to their score. Here a short break is made to sing traditional songs praising the victory of the team. Such game is played at night after breaking fast. There are famous ring seekers in every city and town. In Baghdad, for example, one may find these famous seekers in the old parts of the city. The old part of Baghdad consists of alleys, and till now great games are held between the alleys teams.
The trophy of the game is a big tray or more of (Baklawa). It is a kind of sweets well known in the Mideast countries. These trays of baklawa are to be eaten by the two teams when the game is over.

Playing (Al-Mih’haibis), nowadays, is less than in the past years because of the current circumstances in Iraq.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Son of Two Rivers! Thank you very much for blogging. You can have no idea how much it means to ordinary Americans to hear your voice. We want, so much, to do the right thing. Sometimes it's hard to know what the right thing is to do. We need to hear you. Y'all need to talk to us! (By the way, I'm a Texan, actually. That's _like_ being an American, only better.) I loved your explanation of the ring-game. I want to play. : ) --Christina

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for describing the ring game. I read the Iraqi blogs last year at this time, but I don't remember seeing anything about the game. I imagine not many were in the mood to play last year, either. I pray next year the situation will be much different, and all the terrorists will be gone. By then, I hope Iraqis will be able to enjoy playing the ring game again and hear only laughter, instead of bombs exploding.
May God bless you and keep you safe, and give you His peace.
Shari

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you,

Your views offer encouragement to we Americans.

My son is assisting the Marines in Anbar to help pave the way for a better Iraq. The next few weeks will be challanging for your people but those that cause indiscriminate harm to civilians must be taken out even at the cost of more civilian lives. The people of Fallujah & Ramadi are scared of retibution from thes thugs that have sought refuge in these towns. Those that offer protection to these cowards will pay a high price for such acts of cowardace. Make no mistake, the forces that have come to bear this time will not retreat. This is not about retalliation for April but about freedom for all Iraqi's. Freedom's price is high but it's rewards will last forever & those that die for freedom are never forgotten.

When your people are allowed to freely elect their own representatives to public office, then & only then will their voices sing loudly the praises of freedom.

God's blessings to all.

An American from Texas

11:59 PM  
Blogger Louise said...

You won't believe this, but I think I actually played that game once. In my living room!! That was a long, long time ago, perhaps 25 years or more. There weren't very many people involved so it probably wasn't as much fun as it would have been if there were two very large teams competing. I seem to remember there was a blanket that one team hid under when they were deciding who would have the ring hidden in their hand, so that the other team would not be able to see who it was being given to. Is that also part of the game you describe? I remember my ex telling the players about the word "bat" and when to use it.

We used to play a game when I was a kid called hide the button. It's somewhat similar, although without all the ritual, like the song and the blanket.

We also have baklawa (baklava) here in North America. I think it's also a Greek dish, because it is served in many Greek restaurants. I'm sure it was introduced the this continent by people from the Mediterranean or the Middle East. When I was in the Middle East way back in 1973, I recall seeing the giant trays of baklava in bakeries and restaurants.

I'd love to hear more about your traditions and customs. It's great to get to know one another. What games do you play with your little nieces?

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peace be on You, 2 Rivers' Son!

I'm sorry to hear that the conflict is terrifying to your nieces. Please explain to them that the Americans have only love for Iraqis, and one day soon the nation of Iraq will be a free and peaceful society, and will be the model for all Middle East countries. Please tell them we only bomb to get rid of the haters who want to stop this progress.
Samuel

12:51 AM  
Blogger neurotic_wife said...

Ishonak Ibn al Rafidain, inshallah itkoon ibkhair...You keep on blogging, dont worry everyone is interested in what you write about. As for im7aibis, I love that game. Its so much fun, used to play it ages ago. Bes I watched it on the Sharqiya channel the other day, and it was great...

You take care and stay safe...

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to read blogs by Iraqi people because it is evidence that your words can be seen around the world and that's what the occupation intended. Keep writing. I will keep reading!

~Raine from Wisconsin, USA.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Son of two-rivers,
Thank you for your salute, I look forward to saluting your elections. You will soon know the pride I felt as I left my local fire hall after voting. I hope you are as fortunate as I am, and your candidate wins.
Some comments on your post “Waitng For Godot” - the “A Muslim cleric. not ready to take part in the political transition process unless the US administration shows its goodwill towards Iraqis and proves that its intentions in Iraq is for the sake of Iraqis only … most of the Iraqis think in the same way “. Bless you for understing how wrong that is. The US administration has, and must prove -that its intentions in Iraq is for the sake of the US, NOT Iraqis. Many of us feel that a free Iraq will help stop terroism, we do not, and will NOT serve “the sake of Iraqis ONLY”. Iraqis will benefit, but that is not why we have paid such a price. Help your country to understand this, and we will share a warm future. I hope our US efforts, and your Iraqis efforts, show the rest if the ME to a free and peaceful future. I pray for the freedom of those in Iran.

Comments on your “Thank you Jeff” post, I too thank Jeff for inciting you to write. Please continue
I smiled at your sweetness to your 2 nieces during the bombardment - “create silly songs and games”. This reminds me of my niece I comforted during thunderstorms, I’d sit by the window and watch the lighting, and count down until the crash, telling her of the beauty of the lighting, and then laughing at the loud boom, and doing a big YA-HOO at a really close hit thay really did startel me. . She is 8 now and -almost- not afraid of thunder anymore, but your silly songs show more courage than my ya-hoo. Tell your sweet nieces we did not mean to hurt them, we tried to be careful not to, and we are sorry we scared them.
I hope some day our nieces meet, perhaps as international busness executives settling a big deal over lunch. They will be at on the top floor of a tall fancy glass building in Bagdad, or better yet, Mecca. As they place orders for lunch, a rare thunderstorm moves in and my niece tells of how she enjoys the lightning and thunder, and about her crazy uncle who would YA-HOO at the storm Then your nieces would tell of thier silly uncle and his songs duing the bombing.

May god bless our nieces, and their future.


Rick from the rural part of New York USA

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is wonderful to hear what is going on in your life. It is exciting for an American like me to learn from Iraqis about your festivals and games and to "shake hands" by internet. Baklawa is sold here in the US too. I can't wait to see what else we can learn from each other.

Peace be with you,

from California

8:22 AM  
Blogger B J Matthew MD said...

Dear IBN,

I congratulate you on starting your blog.

I am a typical (pro-Bush) American. And I thought that it might be worth while for me to share with you what are our (Bush- American’s) hopes are for the peoples of Iraq.

We hope that you shall become a free people and a successful people. We hope that your nation shall assume a leadership role the council of free democratic nations.

We know your history well. How your ancestors were some of the gifted people who helped develop and shape our modern civilization. And how your nation has been blessed with great natural resources.

Sixty years ago Germany and Korea were divided in-two. One half of their populations (aided by the United States and her allies) lived in democracies while the other half (East Germany and North Korea) were forced to live in despotic societies.

As you know West Germany and South Korea became two of the most successful nations on earth. While North Korea and East Germany withered.

I feel that the people of Iraq now face the most important decision that they have had to make in a thousand years. That is the choice between living in a free democracy, returning to a despotic state, or living under a theocratic oligarchy.

As Abraham Lincoln said democracy is dependent on the concept that all men are created equal. (Shia, Sunie, Kurd, Christian and yes Jew and secularist) If your people can accept that concept nothing can stand in their way to greatness.

Virtually all Americans wish you the best. And most of us agree with Bush that a desire for freedom resides the in hearts of all men. And that your right to live as a free man comes not from men but from God just as mine does.

What ever your people decide, we Americans won’t be staying in Iraq. Since, as Americans, we live by the concepts that all men are created equal, and that God has endowed all people with a right to be free, we will be leaving your nation.

Just as America’s armies have left 60 other nations before.

The leftist Europeans despised the Republican American President Reagan. But after Reagan was finished, 200 million former east Europeans were freed from the slavery of Communism.

Bush has a dream for the Iraqis, the Iranians and the Palestinians and millions of other middle eastern people. That they can live as free people in democratic nations. And that their people can work at good productive jobs, free to express their opinions and free to elect their own leaders. And that they can be free to worship God how ever they wish. And that they will be willing to live at peace with their neighbors.

Lots of Frenchmen would say that people like President Bush and I are fools. But that is fine. After all didn’t thousands of Americans die freeing the French from their Nazi slave masters, so that they could have the right to say what ever they want ?

Your blog is just one example that freedom is continuing to spread throughout your nation.

May God bless you. And may he continue to bless Iraq.

Most Sincerely,

B J Matthew MD
Scottsdale AZ USA

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that baklava is one of mankind's greatest inventions.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Terrence O'Connor said...

I appreciate your writings, and I hope you continue to inform me on the situation in Iraq.

I wake in the morning with a constant concern. My thoughts are pre-occupied with what is happening in Iraq. I worry and hope the best for not only the American troops, but also for the Iraqi society as a whole.

I hope you understand that the majority of people in the U.S. truly care for your well being, and want you to be able to experience all the great things that life has to offer.

I was previously in the United States Air Force for 4 years and spent a good amount of time in Qatar, Bahrain and Oman setting up military bases. The sunsets are amazing and you are blessed with this everyday.

I wish there was more I could do, or that my compassion would resonate across the ocean and help to warm some hearts in your great country.

It seems that you have already made a lot of friends in the U.S., I am extending my hand in friendship, and will continue to wish you well everyday. I hope your wonderful neices experience all the great things in life, and I hope for a free Iraq.

Your Friend,
Terrence O'Connor
Phoenix, Arizona

2:30 AM  
Blogger Admin said...

Great blog, keep up the good work. Glad to see sites like this.

Here is another good site I said I would pass along.
Free Dish Network
Thanks

6:28 AM  

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