Friday, March 21, 2008

Do We Feel Good?!

Something I had in mind for a while now
“It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
But still Iraqis are not feeling good”

This fact is tearing me apart. It is so hard for me to digest that we approached the fifth year of the invasion and still we suffer. Not from a tyrant but from a set of idiot people who believe themselves to be something. They lie, they steal the fortune of the country, steal people’s hope and they divide them into sectors and give them segments and treat them accordingly and pretend to be serving Iraq.

People think that the invasion is hurting Iraqis inside Iraq only and it’s only the matter of the residency that bothers Iraqis abroad. Today, I don’t want to underestimate the hard times Iraqis are facing and going through every day and every minute inside Iraq, nor do I want to highlight the hardship Iraqis undergo in foreign countries. All I want to talk about and all I’m concerned about is the next generation upraised abroad.

It could be just a byproduct that results from wars and refugee-life or it could be a part of the big plan, which doesn’t matter anymore because it is happening anyways.

The symptoms of the disease I am talking about are the loss of the identity of the next generation, the loss of the original dialect, the loss of longing to go a place called homeland or even worse by considering the foreign countries as their home.

I don’t want to include those who change their passports for necessity nor those who prefer to be someone else. We can see Frenchmen living in Britain or Asian living in the States. What hurts me the most is to see Iraqi children speaking other dialects and sometimes other languages and that is what I want to talk about. In UAE, I saw kids who speak no Arabic at all. When I ask the parent why it is so they say we want our kids to speak good English.

Those kids are sent to KGs and schools that use English as a first language and in best cases they take Arabic as a foreign language class. Those kids are mingling with other foreigner kids and communicate in English. The parents are obviously busy with their jobs and spend so little time with their children. The housekeeper is someone probably from some Far East country who speaks either broken English or broken Arabic.

Yesterday, I met two kids, a girl and a boy. Both of them were my teachers’ kids. The seven-year boy speaks a sweat Iraqi dialect; even though he occasionally uses a funny word either in UAE dialect because of the school he’s attending, or Egyptian because of the dubbing of cartoons in Arab world. On the other hand, the six-year girl speaks only English. At the beginning, I thought she was shy when I asked her about her name and she didn’t reply. After a while, I asked her again and the dad told me to ask her in English. I thought he wanted to brag about his daughter speaking English. And when I did, she didn’t reply again but this time he said to her “go ahead, reply” and she said Miriam. When I switched to Arabic she smiled and remained silent. He spoke with her in English and told me to ask her again. Then he said that she speaks only English and very little Arabic.

I asked him why it is so that she speaks English and he said that her mother wanted so. She thinks that she and her husband suffered a lot and lost so many chances for the lack of good English and she didn’t want that for her kids.

The same story I saw almost a year back but I thought it was rare. The mother works two shifts and the father is still in Baghdad. The daughter is being raised on the hand of governesses in KG and the mother insists that the grandparents should speak English with the grand daughter, even thought they speak broken English.

The language we use is a means of communication but most importantly it reflects the linguistic competence in our brains. That’s why it reflects our identity.

Those parents sure want the best for their children but the fact is at such ages the can teach them up to five languages, the more the better, which would be real of good benefits to the kids once they are older. By losing the language, the mother tongue, entire generation is being wiped off from the future of the country.

Statistics speaks of casualties and they still don’t seem to settle for a number, even thought the supposedly respected Iraqi government keeps underestimating the real number, but what makes me wonder the most is the fact that does it really matters if they were 1200 000 or 600 000 as long as the number keeps getting bigger and the number we’re talking about represent deceased human being who had families and behind each family nowadays there’s a sad stories that they would carry over generations and would hurt the future of Iraqis and how those families would perceive whoever behind those crimes.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

16 going on 25

Each and every birthday I had since high school I would count the years and make sure how old I was and still couldn’t believe it. Each year comes and adds age as well as experience to me but I never felt my real age. I was always 16 in thinking, behaving, and acting and even in whatever I plan.

As today marks my 25th year on the earth, under the sky; I figured it out. I am no longer 16. I will always keep that girl inside of me. She will be alive. But this year I decided to live my age, at the same time I would always carry the joy, the openness, the friendly attitude and whatever sweet Attawie had from her sweet 16.
I learnt that life is not easy and sometime we struggle to get what we want and even though sometimes we get carried away by emotions and make so many wrong decisions. But life has given us at the same time the privilege to decide not to look at the empty half of the glass. We have so many roads that we can choose from. We choose if we want to be stuck at the same moment for years and we choose to move on and make use of our mistakes.

Life is like a map with so many roads with many crossovers; each road takes you to specific destination but at the same time crossovers offer you to remain in the same road or switch to another. At times crossroads confuse you even with the best maps you cannot avoid them. Other times you bump into holdbacks that toss you and shake your ground but holding on is the only way to keep you going.
Fog might haze your horizon and baffle your eyes. You run into people in certain circumstances and you think you found the right way to reach your destination. It might takes you a long while before you find out your hanging out with the people who make you deviate form the right road but it’s never too late and you can always take the U-turn.

Today I’m 25 and enjoying it. I have so many destinations I want to reach. From what I’ve reached so far I met many friends who played a big role in helping me become who I am today.

This journey is getting better and better even though there were tears and pain, yet the best is to come, insha Allah.
And from now own deep inside I will be singing just like my favorite singer, Bryan Adams,

“I’m gonna be 18 ‘till I die”
At least not 16
Because a friend of mine told me that numbers are only relative matter :D

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