Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Short Stories

-1-
The other day I was walking in the street when I came across an old college colleague. He has an attitude of justifying what the insurgents do. He owns now a sport-stuff store at Adahmyah district in Baghdad.

Chatting with him for a little while, he told me about an incident which he witnessed few weeks ago. According to his story, he was working in his store when a masked gunman took him by surprise. Standing in the middle of the store, the gunman started to yell calling him to come out and fight the Americans. My colleague said ‘The whole events took no time, during which I stood standstill unable to comprehend what I see. Then the gunman vanished within seconds. I was still shocked when shooting started in the street. I hurried to close the store but I couldn’t, since heavy firing of guns spread in the area. I ran back into the store lying down to avoid being shot’.
This lad had kept on talking positively about the ‘resistance’. Has he changed his opinion after this incident? Only God knows.


-2-
One of my neighbors told me another story about a teenager. My neighbor recalled his story when the teenager crossed in front of the car which we were using to tour gas stations looking for fuel (there is a real fuel & power crisis nowadays). This teenager volunteered for Al-Mahdee militia of Muktada Al-Sadder. He was assigned to fight in Najaf, though he lives in Baghdad. When he was in Najaf, another group of Al-Mahdee militia who fight in Baghdad took position, to shoot at the American troops, in front of his family house. His father and brothers tried to prevent them from doing so, since the Americans would retaliate causing lot of casualties to the family. They had a quarrel with the militants which evolved into shooting. As a result two brothers of the volunteer fellow were killed.
Two of his brothers were killed by his comrades. Paradoxical, isn’t it?
Visiting his family, on leave, the volunteer discovered the truth of how such militias can harm the people. He quit immediately and started to work as a porter.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Two real stories of many here in Iraq. One can not persuade people by talking to them. They prefer, unconsciously, to go through every matter to have first hand experience. This leads us back to the Iraqi people awareness.

23 Comments:

Blogger Jeffrey said...

Ibn Al Rafidain,

I just checked out your blog, tipped off by one of my commenters. I really like what I've been reading, so I've linked you to my sidebar at:

Iraqi Bloggers Central.

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to my readers. Keep writing. Write whatever moves you. We need your eyes on the ground, your ear to the earth, and the ideas in your head. Help us out, please.

*

9:28 AM  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Wow - thanks for sharing those stories.

I have to admit (confess?) that I, too, many times need to take the hard road and find the answers the hard way. It is a human thing.

Take good care of yourself, Ibn Al Rafidain. We are rooting for your success and happiness in life.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

It has been confusing for an ol' man like me to try and understand what the hell is going on in Iraq. I happened to find the following article and intend to get the book and to follow up on the upcoming updates by this guy. He is a "journalist", who with his own money and no connections, traveled and spent several months just talking to and traveling Iraq. It is very enlighting to me at least in explaining some of the hatred or dislike of the American "occupation".

Blog interview: Steven Vincent - "Women’s rights is the Achilles heel of Islamofascism"

Scroll down to this interview.


Don't be mislead by the title alone. His writings and conclusions go deeper than that. You also need to follow the link at the end of the interview. He promises more at a later date. I am going to request my local library get me a copy of his book.

Its never too late for an ol' dog to learn something new. But something I have learned in my long life is that "Pride" can drag down and destroy the best of us.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

5:46 PM  
Blogger Ibn_Alrafidain said...

First of all I want to thank every one who comments on my posts. It makes me feel happy.

Beth...
Thanks for the link (UDHR) which is easy to access after 9th April 2003. Such sites were blocked before that date. Moreover, free Email service was also blocked. One day I got a website address about English grammar from the VOA radio station and when I tried to access it, I received a blocking message. The Iraqi ISP used to forbid visiting wide range of websites.

Louise & Papa Ray...
Interesting discussion on the previous post. Please make as much comments as you like, it won’t bother me. On the other hand, keep in mind that I cannot make immediate replies, because of power shortage and unstable ISP service.
-------------------------------------
What Diogenes Of Pumpkintown commented on the previous post is amazing. Is it true that 95% of people in the US have never heard of the UDHR either?
-------------------------------------

Jan…
I agree with you completely.

Every body…
Please pardon me for not commenting frequently.

PS I’ve been waiting for the past 12 hours to make this comment. When I got power, phone line, and ISP, the blog hosting site did not respond. Other sites responded when I checked them. I tried to make a turn through other blogs who have links to mine on their side bars, but there was no respond from the hosting site.
So I am going to wait for another additional hours which only God knows how long it will be.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ibn_Alrafidain-
Once again you give us much insight into how difficult it must be on the ground in your country to get information! Your stories about your friends and their experiences with violent interference are really informative, as is your comment about the blocking of Internet addresses within Iraq before the end of Saddaam Hussein's reign. Not to mention the practical problems with electricity and so on continuing to make communication difficult. So again I thank you for taking the time and going to the trouble to post for us. I'm indebted to you, and I appreciate so much being able to hear your perspective and experiences.

As for whether most folks in the US have heard of the UN's declaration, I really don't know if it's as low as Diogenes suggested (though it's possible). I am a college teacher and at the campus where I work, we always have a day of events surrounding the Declaration, with talks and papers, expressly for the purpose of informing our students & the community about the current world situation and ongoing human rights violations. (Such events also took place at the school where I did my graduate work.) I *hope* that such activity is not that unusual, but it's possible that most people don't pay much attention to such stuff-- especially because Dec. 10th falls at the end of the semester and most people are studying for finals, or preparing for the holidays, etc.

Take care, my friend- and thanks for keeping your blog going. I know that it is logistically difficult.

Beth

7:02 PM  
Blogger Squigoth said...

Hi Ibn...

Welcome to the world of the Internet.

Interesting stories, I just hope those people (along with you) vote in January. I'm really praying for you and your people, you have all suffered so much in the past. Fist it was Saddam and now it's this botched occupation and handover from the USA (my country) and the coalition.

Sooner or later you going to get all types of people in here saying al kinds of crazy stuff about conspiracies and puppet governments and secret plots and what not involving the USA and it's people. Most of it will be bad and most of it will be from people who have never been to the USA or personally know Americans. Just so you know I'm pretty much an average American guy and I can say from the heart most all Americans want you to be free of occupation and have a strong self ruling government elected by the people of Iraq that is supported by a constitution that guarantees CONTINUING elections. We also DO NOT want our soldiers and Marines to stay in Iraq...NO way. It's bad enough they have to stay (and die) long enough to make sure you have a chance to vote and form a new Iraqi government. Regardless to what some here will say the American people DO NOT want our soldiers to stay one day longer than they have to...Trust me on this.

Continuing elections is key to the success of any democratic government (not just one). In these comeing days of your National Assembly remember this one thing: It is as important to have the ability to vote someone OUT of power as it is to have the ability to vote them IN TO power... Please tell this to every Iraqi you can...

Gob bless and good luck with your new blog.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Squigoth said...

Hi Ibn...

Welcome to the world of the Internet.

Interesting stories, I just hope those people (along with you) vote in January. I'm really praying for you and your people, you have all suffered so much in the past. Fist it was Saddam and now it's this botched occupation and handover from the USA (my country) and the coalition.

Sooner or later you going to get all types of people in here saying al kinds of crazy stuff about conspiracies and puppet governments and secret plots and what not involving the USA and it's people. Most of it will be bad and most of it will be from people who have never been to the USA or personally know Americans. Just so you know I'm pretty much an average American guy and I can say from the heart most all Americans want you to be free of occupation and have a strong self ruling government elected by the people of Iraq that is supported by a constitution that guarantees CONTINUING elections. We also DO NOT want our soldiers and Marines to stay in Iraq...NO way. It's bad enough they have to stay (and die) long enough to make sure you have a chance to vote and form a new Iraqi government. Regardless to what some here will say the American people DO NOT want our soldiers to stay one day longer than they have to...Trust me on this.

Continuing elections is key to the success of any democratic government (not just one). In these comeing days of your National Assembly remember this one thing: It is as important to have the ability to vote someone OUT of power as it is to have the ability to vote them IN TO power... Please tell this to every Iraqi you can...

Gob bless and good luck with your new blog.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Terrible times, terrible stories. What can change things? Here is a story about soldiers trying to change things, one little toy, one child at a time.

It's not much (unless you were one of those soldiers that day), but its a start.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! I usually comment as 'thinker' on Iraqi blogs. I really like your blog. I read blogs to understand your country better since the US has troops there now.

I have come to love Iraqis deeply through my reading. I want things to turn out well in Iraq for Iraqis and am so sorry it has been so hard for you.

Noting your words at the top of your blog....

I hear you! Many people will hear you.

Stay safe as I worry about all of you!

thinker...USA

9:05 AM  
Blogger Pat in NC said...

Ibn_Alrafidain, My mother always told me that those who will not listen, have to feel. That of course was to get me to listen. This is such a human trait that until we feel or see for ourselves we are not convinced. I continue to pray for the good Iraqi people and that the eoections will be the first of many so that the common Iraqi has a voice. I am an ordinary senior citizen and I am concerned about the young people of this world who lack human rights. I hope the tragedies that have and are occuring in Iraq lead to peace. May God bless you.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Gadfly said...

Ibn, thank you for the stories. The way you wrote them sort of sounded like parables, although I have no doubt those are about real people. I can identify with people in both of them. The young angry shop owner who, when faced with the reality of fighting and dying, rethinks the cause. And the poor family that didn't want the insurgents to bring the "heat" down on their house. I can identify with that on a very basic level. Thank you again.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

After Deng Xiaoping took control of China in 1978, and set China on its path to being a world economic superpower, he set forth an important doctrine. "Freedom of Thought" suggested to Chinese that hypotheses must be tested for their truth. In example, the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong was extremely harmful to China's economic and political stability for years. Deng would not make that mistake twice. While there was a crackdown on political opposition to Deng during the Tiananmen Uprising of 1989, many Chinese are able to truthfully elect some of their local officials today. Basically, the Chinese Administration under Deng tested their hypothesis on political control only to learn that the Chinese people yearned for a more open society.

This is the first step towards understanding Democracy, and making it successful. Your stories represent this idea. More importantly, as Ali suggested on Iraq the Model, the problems of Democracy in Iraq are Iraqi issues. Americans can suggest solutions to problems and give you the general framework for Democracy, but Iraqis must discover for themselves the truth in Democracy. I'm guessing the people you write about tested their hypotheses to find that truth. Good luck to you and other Iraqis in the mission towards "Freedom of Thought".

1:12 AM  
Blogger KT said...

Don't post very often, but I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and reading your views. I appreciate you making your voice heard and hope more Iraqis will choose to become part of the process of forming a new Iraq that is tolerant and respectful of all people.

3:27 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Someone commented that interviewing Sunnis in the "hot" areas face him with a lesson in ME pride. They were so humiliated at not having gotten rid of Saddam themselves that they resented the Americans who did it for them, and just wanted to make them go away so they could stop being reminded of their shame.

It's called "honor". Doh.

Papa:
don't link to the page; it changes. The little # symbol at the end is the direct link like this. It works even days or weeks later.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

P.S.;
that link symbol or setup varies by the type of site;
for this one, it's the time just below the posting (1:16 p.m.) For others it's a word, like "Link", or "Permanent link". But it's almost always there.

9:10 AM  
Blogger WC said...

IBN_ALRAFIDAIN,

Greetings! May your blessings multiply.

Between a rock and a hard place.
Between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire.

and now

Between the highly lethal American military and the bloodthirsty terrorist thugs.

The men in your story can be forgiven of their hatred of Americans (born out of natural hatred for occupation and out of ignorance about American intentions). Please help spread the word, we Americans are EXTREMLY anxious to bring our sons and daughters home. BUT, we (for the most part) are determined to leave Iraq with a chance (emphasize chance) to be a real MODEL.

Progress will be slow. The upcoming elections are showing great potential, but will not very likely be the end all solution. For the most part, any progress will come (as to your friends) one painful story at a time. Acts of courage and lessons of folly.

Papa Ray has reminded me of a story about a natural disaster involving starfish. After a particularly bad storm, millions upon millions of starfish were washed up on the beach. Their situation seemed absolutely hopeless and their fate was to perish by the legion. A beachcomber was found busily stolling down the beach and grabbing starfish after starfish and throwing each one he grabbed as far out to sea as he could. A man observing this confronted the beachcomber: "Man, you can't possibly make a difference to these legion of doomed starfish. There are millions and millions of them and they are dieing fast." The beachcomber just picked up the next starfish and as he tossed it back into the surf he said " maybe not, but I can certainly make a difference to THIS starfish."

Happy trails,
May God bless!

9:51 PM  
Blogger stefania said...

Dear,

I like your blog and added it to my links

:)

12:25 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Greetings Ibn,

I pray that you and yours are safe and healthy.

I was over at 2slick blog and he has posted a speech, its way More than just a speech It was an eye opener for me. A lot of things I didn't really understand or could tie together are now, pretty damn clear.

And it scares the hell out of me.

I have not had a chance to do much of a background check on the guy giving the speech, but from what I can find out he is legit.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

4:09 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Greetings Ibn,

I have been upset all day about the mainstream media coverage of the Broad Daylight Murders. I was very upset at the MURDERS even before that.

Here is how AP describes the event that they watched and photographed AS IT HAPPENED !

"A brazen daylight attack in the heart of Baghdad with rebels executing election workers in cold blood served as a chilling reminder Sunday of the deteriorating security situation in the Iraqi capital with just more than a month before crucial parliamentary elections".

Now, does anyone else but me see something terribly wrong in the description of this event?

"rebels" THEY ARE NOT REBELS, THEY ARE COLD BLOODED MURDERERS !!!!!!


"executing" THEY ARE NOT EXECUTING, THEY ARE MURDERING !!!!!

All this while people are driving around them. Looking, watching on a busy street. NOT ONE PERSON EVEN ATTEMPTED TO RUN OVER THE MURDERING TOE SUCKING, SONS OF W****S. NO ONE STOPPED AND PULLED OUT THEIR WEAPON AND SHOT THE PIECES OF DOG S**T.

I just don't understand. Is everyone just so used to this that they don't even care or so afraid that they won't do anything ? It is not like it happened in a few seconds, it took minutes to stop the car, drag them out and then make them beg before they shot them.

Iraqis can not depend on having a policman or soldier on each corner, they must start resisting and taking action against these cold blooded murderers.

Maybe its because we are born and raised Texans, but everyone I talked to here agrees that they would have at the very least run them down, or shot them dead.

If someone is offended by this post, so be it.

This is my post

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of the writer Papa from Texas suggested reading has powerful journal entries here
http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/features/baghdadjournal.asp

6:47 PM  
Blogger Greg Duchesneau said...

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2:13 AM  
Blogger Shock Carlos said...

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9:33 PM  
Blogger Jim Naka said...

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7:40 AM  

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