Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My Life, Today

When my clock alarm rang today 6:50 am, I switched it off and set it on 7:00. I was too sleepy and my only wish for this morning was to sleep a couple of hours more. 10 minutes later, I was up washing my face thinking of nothing but going back to sleep.

The night before yesterday, the boss called and said there will be no work for a couple of days. We are moving to a bigger office. Yesterday he called and told my father that I have to work from home, checking everything online.

Today 7:45 am, dad and I, as usual, were waiting for the driver. He was late. I asked dad if he was sure that we have work today. He assured me. 8:03 and the driver was not here yet. Dad called the boss to check… today was a day off too.
The first thing dad said was he'll go back to sleep. I said I have a lot of stuff to do. I entered my room and thought of going out for jogging, as I've been postponing that since ever. I changed my clothes, put my training shoes on, and was looking for the key when the power went off! I thought there was something wrong with the lamp but I checked the house and there was no power at all.
For a moment, I felt there is nothing wrong. We, Iraqis, are used to the lack of electricity. When I wanted to go out there was no elevator working. I gave up. My jogging would be delayed few years again. I looked at my cell phone there was no network.

My room is a bit dim now. There was no computer, no cell phone, no lights. What to do? I took off my training shoes and dived into bed.

For a moment, it felt that life has just stopped.
I fell asleep, after all, that was all I asked for this morning.


I haven't posted anything about my everyday life for a while. I got two things that I've been hiding on the blogsphere.

The first thing:
January 23rd, my parents went to visit my dad's boss's wife who gave birth recently in a hospital. When they arrived home, my mother told me that the boss needed someone who can "read & write English, knows how to use the computer & internet". His English was bad so he needed someone who can take care of his mail and e-mail.
Next day the driver came to pick us, my dad and I. We drove to Dubai.

Nice place, nice people... Everything was easy and the job was terrific. I have neither work experience nor any idea about what I was going to do. Therefore, it was ok for me to volunteer for such kind of assistance. I have the chance to practice my English and understand what a career means. Later I even was in charge of his phone calls abroad (I talked to Malta). Now I'm even filling applications on-line. It is a tourism company.

The second thing:
I felt I'm doing nothing at home. The situation in Iraq is getting worse and worse. I was depressed. I want to do something to help but there was nothing in my hand. Here in UAE, alone, no friends, no sisters, no relatives, I felt so lonely I had to clear my mind. There was nothing to do except to ransom my talents. I made a phone call and checked if it was late to register at an Art course again. There was only two days to the deadline. So I ran to register. I'm back into art classes. I started my first oil painting. I'm back to sculpturing and ceramics. I started working on the wheel for pottery.

To sum it all:
9-3 I'm at office. The driver comes to pick me at 8:45 and I get home around 3:30

5-8 I'm at classes. The driver comes to pick me at 4:40 and I get home around 8:30

Hectic life! I'm sleeping about 6 hours a day; eating 5 minutes before I go out, praying only 3 times a day. But I'm still writing before I sleep.

I'm planning to buy a lap top (acer: for 2295 Dirham=$625US) I don't know if it is good or not but this is the cheapest thing I found. And I'm planning to buy a digital camera.

Can any one tell me what the best memory size is? I'm not good with digital life.

Help, F1.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Freedom Lost its Meaning

Three years passed and I still feel we (are still in that year) never passed 2003. Non-stoppable days run and I am still in 2003. The year when the war started and did not end yet, adding to this war the other war that lies inside of me. I might not be able to fight to liberate my homeland but I fight in my mind. I am confused. I don't know why I'm away from my country. My friends in Baghdad tell me to thank God I left. I left and I am alive except I don't know what a kind of life I'm living. No friends, no real family, nothing but loneliness with an enormous desire to go back. A desire to know at least when I will be going back.

I have been wandering in two countries so far. And who knows, I might end up wandering the world to replace my lost one. And what a loss? An entire homeland is lost now with the family and friends. I've been lately wondering "how can people immigrate and settle down in a new country?" maybe it's the desire to leave that gives them the power to live a normal life.
A couple of months just before the war we were just fine. Yes, we were worried and scared from the unknown fate ahead. Yes, we all went through the boiling and stirring situation of the then approaching war. At least we knew where our fear was coming from.

The war started and ended with the so-called liberation. Oh yes, what a freedom we Iraqis enjoy right now. They say I'm free now to speak my mind out. I'm free to express myself. The important thing I'm free to "criticize the new government". By the way, who can hold his mouth shut and not criticize such a free government? I'm free to say I dislike Al Jaafari's regime. What is the meaning of this freedom? I'm free to choose my own "new party". But what party? The new parties have no ideology, no standpoint. They share the same slogans like "Free Iraq", "Iraq's democracy", "Equality in Iraq". But where is this leading too??? “Where are we going “ as a friend wrote from Baghdad “there is a common look on every face! They all look lost!!

I remember the few months preceding the war, when the whole world experienced their freedom to arrange strikes against the war against Iraq. What freedom? The whole world was against this war and yet such liberty and freedom on the planet couldn't prevent the war. This freedom accomplished nothing.

Whatever, in the new Iraq, the free Iraq, I'm free to say I don't like the new president. I'm free to say it loudly. In such a free country, we are free to say publicly what we want to say. Oh, and this freedom gives the right to other free citizens to disagree with me. Therefore, they are free to attack me, bomb my car and even kill me.

I believe the chaos results from an overdose of freedom.

Freedom lost its meaning.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sleepless on Earth

I've been spending my nights up. I think too much that I cannot sleep. My mind is preoccupied with the application to graduate studies. I did as best as I can throughout the past years just to be able get the M.A. I studied hard at high school and college just to reach to this day. I need to get the degree badly. I had always considered my B.A. as a small achievement even though I scored high grades but to give me a motivation to get a higher degree.

I'm spending my nights thinking if my application will be approved or not. I sometimes say I should have applied to other universities and then I remember how hard it was to apply. First of all, the certificate about the two years I studied in Baghdad was hard to get. Then secondly, the other two years in Jordan added to it the stamps and all the embassies that must certify the papers. Oh and another thing, I do not have a MasterCard to pay on line so I had to sent a cheque by order and everything by DHL.

I might sound lazy but it was really hard for me and my family to collect all the needed papers to send before the deadline. Then, I couldn't sleep wondering if I'll ever be able to send it on time. Now I'm thinking if I would be accepted.

I read my portfolio of 25 pages of poems and short stories I sent and my letter of intent (which I'll post soon). I read them over and over again and kept thinking if they were alright.

Sleepless nights are the best for writing poems. I sometime neglect the thoughts and try to sleep and say tomorrow I'll write them down. Tomorrow comes and I have no idea about what I wanted to write. Last month I went to a store to buy a notebook so I would write before I sleep or when I am trying to sleep. And it worked. I wrote many things ever since.

The worst thing during these sleepless nights is when all the brilliant ideas come and once you switch on the light it means staying up more hours. Plus, I hate it when I wake up late next morning.

Monday, March 06, 2006


If you watch the above images from your seat in front of the computer,
Mr.Angry is on the left, and Mrs.Calm is on the right.

Get up from your seat, and move back about eight feet!!

They switch places!!

This proves that things aren't always what they look like!!

One Day to Go

Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 23. I still cannot believe it. I remember when I was a child how I used to calculate the years to know how old would I be when 2000 would come. How I used to calculate when I would finish school and university. I took it for granted that I would obtain an MA and then I would be a professor assistant and eventually a professor.

That was and still is my dream. The dream grew with me and I added to it a little year after year. Imagine myself standing there in the lecture hall and lecture. Talk to the students and touch there lives, change their mind, and give them hope about the future and how to deal with the future. I have always admired Michele Pfeiffer for her role in Dangerous Minds. Then when I studied literature, I loved Robin Williams for his performance in Dead Poets' Society.

It is not that I loved to be a teacher, for I was among those students who always made fun of some teachers and tried to make noise in class. However, teachers could not but love me for being funny and smart. I loved lecturing because each year of my four years in the attending classes at university I admired a certain professor and kept registering for his/her class next semester.

I'll be 23 and full of hope. I expect a lot from myself. I haven't accomplished what I endeavor. I loved to learn languages, skills, and many other things in life. I made up a list after being inspired by something I read in Chicken Soup for the Soul. The story was about John Goddard, a 15-year-old boy, who sat down at his kitchen after a rainy afternoon. He wrote down 127 goals under the heading "My Life List". He accomplished 108 goals of the list. Among those goals was reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica and reading the complete works of Shakespeare.

I read the story before I went to bed and that made me think and think. Until I got out of bed reached for my notebook and pencil to write. Just like the 15-year-old boy, I wrote "My Life List". Under this title, I divided what I wanted for life, for a career, the degrees I want to get, the places I want to visit, what skills I would like to learn, the books I wanted to read, and even about simple things that I missed in my life. I kept writing for a while until it reached 63 goals in general (sometimes many things went under the same wish like the books I wanted to read or places to visit).

So far, I have done many things that I used to fancy; I studied abroad, I am writing poetry and stories, sang and played violin on stage, took a lead role in a play, and many other things I've done during the 22 years of my life.

Twenty-two years sounds a long period yet a short one compared to other people's lives. I don't know how I made it to reach this age. I was born and raised during a war and reached my teenage hood and adulthood in another. Twenty-two is relatively short because I have not experienced life as any other ordinary person would on earth. Still I am thankful that, I was born in Iraq; otherwise, I think my life would have been completely different.

As for the list of my life, which I wrote January 11th, I'm proud to say that I have the determination to be what I want to be. I know it is not much but this is the first step towards fulfilling my endeavors.

This is a simple poem I wrote just to cheer up my life and brighten my thoughts:

The sun will shine
High up in the sky
Smiling to the universe
Spreading love
And hope

The golden rays
Will pure the days
From wars and raids
I'll be waiting here
For the new day
When we'll sing and dance
Celebrate real liberty

The sun will rise again
To dry rainy tears
Of crying children,
Iraqi women and elderly

The sun will sure
Concord the world
With nothing but love
And have a better place
For you and me.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I am 22 going on 23

Two days to go...
I'll be 23. I can't feel any change.