Friday, November 25, 2005


A friend sent me beautiful lines, which I find them suitable for the coming holidays. Try to seize it and get closer to your family.


I ran into a stranger as he passed by,
"Oh excuse me please" was my reply.

He said, "Please excuse me too;
I wasn't watching for you."

We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way and we said goodbye.

But at home a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.

Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My son stood beside me very still.

When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
"Move out of the way," I said with a frown.

He walked away, his little heart broken.
I didn't realize how harshly I'd spoken.

While I lay awake in bed,
God's still small voice came to me and said,

"While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use,
but the family you love, you seem to abuse.

Go and look on the kitchen floor,
You'll find some flowers there by the door.

Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.

He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise,
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.

" By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.

I quietly went and knelt by his bed;
"Wake up, little one, wake up," I said.

"Are these the flowers you picked for me?
" He smiled, "I found 'em, out by the tree.

I picked 'em because they're pretty like you.
I knew you'd like 'em, especially the blue."

I said, "Son, I'm very sorry for the way I acted today;
I shouldn't have yelled at you that way."
He said, "Oh, Mom, that's okay.
I love you anyway.

" I said, "Son, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue."

FAMILY Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days.
But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than into our own family,
an unwise investment indeed,
don't you think?
So what is behind the story?

Do you know what the word FAMILY means?

Pass this message to 7 people except you and me.

I hope that I manage to pass it to more than that, wishing you nice holidays.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Terrorists hit in Amman

Terrorists hit another city on Wednesday 9th of November evening; the theater is three hotels in Amman-Jordan. The victims are more than 57 totally innocent people. The most tragic story is the death of 17 individuals of the same family. They were attending a wedding; a very plain, natural, human activity which would not harm any body. I can not understand what kind of motive could make a human being detonate a bomb among such group of people. I think that he/she must have a heart made of stone to be able to ignore joy & innocence in the eyes of children in the wedding.

A notable figure is one of the victims. Mustapha Akkad, the American film director of Syrian origin, and his daughter, Reem, have been killed in one of the explosions. Mr. Akkad became a famous person in the Arab & Islamic world after producing a film about the story of Islam, in 1976, which the regional film industry has not succeeded to produce a similar one. The film name is The Message, with two versions (Arabic & English), starring Anthony Quinn & Irene Papas in the English version. Years later, he produced another film about a Libyan revolutionist (Omar Mukhtar) who fought the Italian occupation of Libya. Globally, he is known for his film series (Halloween).

The Iraqi government, as I believe, started a campaign to make use of the unpleasant incident. Sadoon Ad'dulaimee, minister of defense, arrived in Amman. Muafak Al-Rubaee, national security adviser, arrived in Cairo. It seems that the Iraqi government is trying to take the opportunity to cut off the logistic backup the insurgents receive from neighboring countries.

Some Iraqis consider it a good shock to the Jordanians. A shock that would keep their feet on the ground, forces them to face the fact of what's going on in Iraq. The Arabs romanticize the events in Iraq by describing insurgents as patriots. An Arabic proverb says "The one whose hand in water is not like the one whose hand in fire", so the Iraqis want the Arabs to put their hands in fire and taste, what they call, the Iraqi resistance.

An Iraqi woman was detained after the crime, Sajida Mubarak, by the Jordanian security forces. The woman revealed that her brother was one of Saddam's secret service officers and later a major assistant of Al-Zarqauee. The man had been killed in April 2004 at Fallujah. This gives a good indication that the individuals, who claim being national resisters, are a bunch of former Baathists & Saddam's Mukhabrat. Zarqauee & Saddam's henchmen can not retreat or ask for forgiveness, since they are "lawfully expired", as I may say. These people are convinced that even if the Iraqi government issued collective pardon, their victims' families won't forgive them and will take revenge on them. And since death is their fate, they find it better to end their lives as martyrs (according to their point of view).

The problem is to prevent more people from joining the insurgents. Zarqauee & Saddam's followers are working hard to get more people, especially youth, involved in committing a crime which makes it not easy to turn back.

Finally, when the explosions took place, in Amman, I remembered the September 11th events. And once again I imagined myself on one of the planes hit the two towers or inside one of the towers. The question is "what have I done to be killed in such cruel way?" The same question goes for the whole similar crimes all over the world. Here in Iraq, the question is asked by tens of innocent victims daily.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Ramadan & Eid

Ramadan has just finished in Iraq & the Muslim world. The first day of Ramadan, which is a month, was on Tuesday 4th of October. Fasting according to Islam includes not eating or drinking or smoking 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 enhancing the good qualities of ones conduct. Lying, tittle-tattle, using bad language, false promises…etc are forbidden in Islam. Many people find it not easy to quit such bad qualities. By creating an environment of watching each others behavior, it helps some people to quit them.

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 the ring might 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, mainly (Murab'aa), 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. This year one, of many, Iraqi TV satellite channel (Sumaria) organized a championship for the game which concluded with a cup delivered to Al-Kadimya team.

Ramadan is followed by Eid Al-Fitr (Less Bairam). First day of Eid was on 3 November which represents a celebration of fasting after Ramadan. An Islamic ritual at the end of Ramadan is to pay little amount of money by every Muslim who has sufficient income. This amount is called (Zakah El-Fitr). It should be paid, by those who like to, on the last day of Ramadan. It is one kind of the social insurance in Islam. This (Zakah El-Fitr) is to be paid to poor people so that they can celebrate (Eid El-fitr).

The amount differs from one year to another. This year it is about $1 for each person. That is to pay $1 for each member of the family by the paterfamilias. One may pay it directly to poor people whom he/she knows. Otherwise is to give it to a trustee.

People visit and greet each other on Eid. In Iraq the most common greetings is (Ayamkum Sa’eida) which means (wishing you happy days).
A friend of mine insists to change this greeting to (wishing you normal days). Of course he jokes about our abnormal days since 1990. He explains that we live under the line of normal days, so we should achieve normal life and then to think about happiness.

Finally (Ayamkum Sa’eida) to all readers of this post and to the whole world.