Wednesday, January 31

The Old Days...



This video was taken by couple of internationals who were in Iraq before the war, I can pretty much say that it was probably taken at the beginning of 2003. Most of the clips were in Baghdad but some were taken in up north in Kurdistan.

The only thing that unites people is the smile you see on their faces.

The US invasion took that smile away... Baghdad is not the City of Peace anymore, and Baghdadis are no longer the happy people. Only sad and misery comes from wars.

Wednesday, January 24

History... On the Go

I am writing this from the computer station at AUC's Library, tomorrow is my final exam...

Yes, I'm not taking my winter break and decided to take an inter-term session to take an extra course ... What a nerd!

:)

well, the course title is Survey of Arab History. It's a very interesting course that covers the region of the so called 'Middle East' since Greek times until the Twentieth Century... Meaning that we had to cover almost 2500 years of civilization (and un-civilization) in 21 days!

So, amid the 100-pages-a-day daily assignments and the weekly midterms... I got the flu!
in CAIRO !
the coldest temperature in winter here is like 20 degrees!

So, I spent 3 days in bed and hence I missed 800 hundred years (the entire Ottoman Empire era!), and today we covered nineteenth and early twentieth century with the two World Wars, and talked about the birth of Arab Nationalism, Palestine and 'Arab Socialism', which, by the way, in no means is similar to socialism of Marx.

And tomorrow is our final exam.

I really learnt a lot from this course... Not in terms of gaining information, I almost knew all that history since I was in grade 6 thanks to Saddam's socialist regime that made me study the history of all Arab countries for the last thousand years! ...

But, I learnt that history is not merely the information of the past... For that is called Past. History is the present study of the present records of the past, and the changes that happen in societies (vis-a-vis the continuities that are in societies), and how these events had influenced other events in taking place or prevented them from taking place. In other words, the cause and effect of the past events.

History, therefore, leads to the understanding of natures of societies, states, dynasties, religions, and most importantly, human.

I believe that those who think who know history just by knowing events and dates, or those who know history just by names (especially those who believe that "great people make history") are extremely superficial. History is a key in understanding politics, economics, sociology and anthropology, even to the present.

That's in my opinion the main reason for Bush and Blair to have this complete failing strategies (especially regarding their foreign policies) and loser governments... Both believe that they can write history as they want, both don't realize that history is going to write them.

So, to Bush and Blair: grab a book and read history before you make more stupid decisions about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Iraq, or anywhere in the 'Middle-East'.

I always wonder when the White House will realize that it's not 'middle' and start calling it the Extreme East instead.

It sounds even better, EE!

I'll get back to my study now.

meanwhile, you have to go read mom's revisit to history... And leave a birthday comment on the Olivebranch Network because tomorrow (Thursday) is their birthday!

Monday, January 15

The ‘American Intelligence’

I was really hoping that this was all part of one big silly comedy show, not until I started reading other Americans' responses in the comment section.

I am no fan of this make-fun-of-Americans game… I do realize that most American do not agree with what their administration says and does. Nevertheless, if Bush's government had spent little less money on war and little more money on education, at least we would not have seen such a shameful video clip.



Saturday, January 13

Priests and Preachers Enter Islam


This video is dedicated to a catholic christian friend of mine who has been thinking to converting to Islam recently (HA!)....

Former Christian, Yusuf Estes, tells the story of priest, preacher and ministers (and others) all coming to Islam - in TEXAS!!

By the way, sheikh Yusuf Estes now owns an English Islamic Channel called Al-Huda (The Guidance) that explains Islams to non Muslims, he presents a weekly show called "Lifting the Fog".

for more information about Huda TV, please go to http://www.huda.tv/


Turning Muslim in Texas !

Please Visit http://www.turntoislam.com for more documentaries. For this video Please Link to our webSite. http://www.turntoislam.com

The documentary explores the lives of several Texan families. Muslim and Non Muslim, and their views about Islam and life in the West.

George W Bush may be backed by Christian fundamentalists but in his home state of Texas, Islam is the latest big draw. The Bible belt is transferring its allegiance to the Quran because, for many erstwhile Christians, believe it or not, the church is too liberal.

Eric was a Baptist preacher before he became a Muslim 14 years ago. Now he prays five times a day and even in the middle of watching a football game. His wife, Karen, also a convert, is covered from head to toe in the traditional Muslim burka. Islam, says Eric, is everything I wanted Christianity to be. His mother has found it hard to come to terms with her sons conversion and believes he will return to the Christian faith: Then he will be a dynamic preacher. Eric says: "Maybe some day she will embrace Islam."

Iraqi Art: dying away?

Mom left two days ago back to Amman after a two-week visit to Cairo, she stayed with me at the hostel and we spent Eid together, it was lovely. J

I will develop and print the pictures we took together, then scan some of them and show them to you!


 

Anyways, before mom left she was a little bit busy trying to arrange something with Naseer Shamma (one of the best Iraqi/Arab musicians… some can say that he's among the best Arab artists of the past century) who told mom a while ago that he can sponsor aid to some Iraqi children with serious conditions. The plan was that he would sponsor those kids flying from Baghdad to Emirates and their staying and treatment there. Some kids suffer from cancer and others suffer other serious illness, but in general, all of them are suffering because of the illegal war.

And naturally I was surprised that first mom was able to get in touch with Naseer Shamma, and I was surprised of his positive response which gave a lot of hope in both me and mom. In the same time, I asked myself: where did all these artists go?

Iraq had so many artists, some of which were very famous across the Arab World, and some were famous on international level… people like Ilahm al-Madfai, Naseer Shamma, Kadhim as-Sahir and many others…

I found it really strange that their voice is no longer heard after the war, I haven't heard that any of them said anything about the war or about the situation which Iraq suffers under now…

This is an open wondering I throw it at space, I hope that one of those artists hears it.


 

Meanwhile, I found a new song which Kadhim as-Sahir sang couple of months ago feat. Paula Cole, talking about peace and stuff… even though I still did not hear any of these artists mentioning anything related to Iraq since 4 years.

Monday, January 1

3000, 2007 and 1428

It's the new year, I don't think I can say "happy" since nothing on the news looks happy anymore.

It's the new year, and George W. Bush has proved that he represents a greater danger to the people of the USA and the world than anyone else. The body count of US soldiers in Iraq has reached 3000, more than the number of Americans who died in September 11. Well, also the number of Iraqis who died because of the illegal Bush invasion to Iraq is many times the number of Iraqis killed by Saddam throughout the past two decades.

I'm not glad that all these people died, but I am glad that the people of the USA now can see their mistake, and be able to realize that George W. Bush represents the greatest threat to the world today. He is, by all means, more guilty of crimes against humanity than Saddam Hussien, not forgetting how guilty Saddam was. Bush has certainly contributed to making the world a less safe place to live. A lot is to come during this year, not much good is predicted anyway, but we shall see If God wills that we live long enough to witness what is going to happen.

The year 2007 has just begun, and 1428 (the Muslim Calendar) is about to begin shortly too. Let us pray that these two new years will come with peace, security and prosperity to Iraq and the entire world.

Execution of Saddam, video


The full video for the execution of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, not seen on TV. The video is more graphic than the official one released by the CNN.


You can hear the Shia militiamen around him shouting "Praise be to Mohammed Baqr Assadr" [the grandfather of the currently living Moqtada Assadr who is believed that Saddam assassinated him], others shout at Saddam "go to hell". While Saddam is repeating the last words that a Muslim must say before death "I witness that there is not God but Allah, and I witness that Mohammed is a prophet of Allah."

They didn't even let him finish his sentence.

Quoting from Raed who posted about this just a minute ago, "It takes a lot of stupidity to turn Saddam's execution to an event dividing Iraqis furthermore instead of uniting them. It takes a lot more stupidity to turn Saddam from a former dictator to a symbol of resistance and pride."

I would not be surprised if I start to see some Che-Guevara-style T-Shirts with Saddam's Picture printed on them with words of pride and courage…

This is what you get when you let a stupid president run one country and invade another.