Landing at the Iraqi Blogodrome

This week blogs have covered a steadily deteriorating situation in Iraq. Things are not so much going from bad to worse, but from worse to appalingly worse. Also read about a visit to the Iraqi ID office and one blogger gets to answer readers’ questions.

But first, my condolences go out to Aunt Najma and her family whose grandfather died after a long illness. Unfortunately, outside events turned funeral plans on their head. While the male mourners were at a mosque at one side of the city the female mourners were at Najma's house…

It was 7:30 when we started hearing very loud explosions. All the women moved to safer rooms in the house, and everyone started calling to see if their relatives are okay. Several explosions followed… a curfew [started] at 7:30.. Everybody got stuck.

We had 25 women sleeping at our house with no previous notice.. Almost everybody started laughing hysterically, grandma forgot all about her loss and got busy trying to figure out what to do…

The men hid their cars in houses in the neighbourhood, they divided themselves into three groups and slept at three or four houses, people in the neighbourhood were really hospitable…

Mosul is a mess now.. Many buildings are badly damaged as I saw on TV. Thank God everyone is safe.

If you read no other blog post this week read this one

Al Tarrar chronicles a city being torn apart by the troop surge that George Bush is promoting. And gives us another side to the story behind the headlines:

El Biya’a vicious confrontation between the government/invader forces and the Mujahdeen have marked a new turn in the battle for dominating Baghdad. The streets have never been as unreal as they are today. The minute the government forces pull away from an area and immediately heavy shooting commences. …

Haifa Street is relatively calmer due to the presence of unbelievable amount of military hardware. Yesterday BC counted more than 18 Hummers and two tanks swarming in an area of roughly 2 kilometers! And between them you could see children, grownups and cars…

As the curfew starts not a single sole is seen or else will be shot at by either the government/invaders or the Mujahdeen!

And as for life in Baghdad…

Prices are gone beyond believe. A taxi ride to certain areas could cost up 80 US Dollars per trip and you will be dropped off on a main road far from your destination. It is shear madness. Also, in our area we have been continuously without electricity for the past two weeks.

The other painful sight is the large number of stray animals. People say that dogs are eating dead bodies and consequently turning vicious!

How could anyone manage the war like that? The government/invaders running full capacity and yet they fail to deliver. Who was that freaking idiot behind increasing the hardware to that extent as a solution?

In other worlds:

Nabil neighbourhood was taken over by Al Qaeda and Nabil describes some of their activities against his neighbours. How one shop was burned because the owner wanted to take away his generator and another building was destroyed because the owner would not pay money to the local Al-Qaeda group.

He also reports how sectarian divisions are becoming more entrenched among the people around him.

Even in college, its funny but I have to mention it, we had couples from different cults who loved each other for two or three years, now
they broke up because one of them is shiite and the other is sunni. And when a guy loves a girl, he first ask whether she is shiite or sunni before he talks to her, and if she was from the other cult he would neglect his feelings.Those are really funny and sick minds at the same time

The Shaqawa breaks down the whole concept of sectarianism into simple terms that anyone can understand. He writes:

Think about this. What makes you more upset, if a random person in a far away place gets killed, or someone in your city gets killed, or if your cousin gets killed? … Sometimes you chose sectarianism to stay alive, but I guess you should be criticized for it…

I think only in Iraq it is automatically a bad word because people hate to see the Shi’a having power after the Shi’ite majority was oppressed for so long. Still, I think that sectarianism, if it means that you support your group against all others, and support your group in a way to harm others, then it is a crime and such people should be shown as criminals and condemned. It is a fine line, isn’t it? Never black and white and never good and bad!

Baghdad Treasure gives his respect to Americans for their effort to rescue their captured soldiers and wanders about the 9 Iraqi soldiers that were captured and executed by al-Qaeda militants. “I was thinking why didn’t the Iraqi government offered to help or drain a canal to find the missing Iraqi soldiers? Are their souls that cheap?” he asks.

Going to renew your ID card is something that most people dread. And Marshmallow26 dreads it more than most. It was seven years since she last had to go to renew her ID.

The only thing that stayed the same is “dealings” and to be exact “citizens mistreatment”…

to me, it has been 7 years I haven't stopped by that street, it was a shock…what is going on? Lots of T-walls, garbage, miserable faces and torn mentality…they divided the narrow hallway to two tighter hallways one for men and the other for women, now we have to get in rows waiting on our turn to get in…not to mention standing in the middle of different types of people with strong stink, damn it.
Thank goodness I was having my sunglasses with me

And finally…

Sunshine is on holiday from school and has time to answer some readers’ questions

- How do you feel about the US presence ?

people ask me that question a lot ..
well , scared , worried, confused, I don’t trust them , because they killed our eldest uncle as I mentioned before , as well as many innocents. But there are absolutely good soldiers like those I met in the airport ,but in the first year of the invasion , I used to feel safe when they were around , but now , I try to be as far as possible . my feelings changed , because they are not the same soldiers who freed us. … We see each other in the markets , they used to salute us , but now , we drive as hurry as we can if we see them coming , we try to avoid them , because if a mine exploded they shoot randomly .. we don’t feel safe, neither them because of the terrorists who ruin our lives ..

- I am curious to know more about your faith – the holidays you observe and what they mean. and the traditions you have around marriage. My biggest question for you is about heaven. What is heaven to you? How does a person get there? Do you believe these good deeds earn your way into heaven? Is there a book that you would recommend to give us a true understanding of the basics of your faith?

Well , we celebrate 4 feasts , one last for 3 days it comes after the fasting month “Ramadan” , the other feast when people go to Mecca and it last for 4 days , our prophet's birthday ,as well as the Islamic new year (the memory when our prophet left Mecca to Al -madeena ). About heaven, people go there if they do the right things , like if they don't lie , don't cheat , don't kill , don't humbug, love each other , etc .
And yes, I believe these good deeds earn the way into heaven, I would recommend the holy Quran , if you want to know more about Islam , it is like the bible , because they are from the same god. About marriages I wrote a post about that .

- Many people ask me if we have arranged marriages , NOOOOOOOOOO we don’t have arranged marriages ,it breaks my heart what people in the west think like that about us.

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