Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'll Be In Amman... Again

Last time I left Amman, almost two years back, I said I won't be coming any soon again. I left friends and family knowing I won't see them for a while. Driven mad because of the bad treatment I received at the airport, the offensive speech I heard, I don't even want to remember that day. But it kept haunting me during my visit. I wrote it minute by minute in my diary. Even though it was hard for me and it wasn't just my problem but a problem almost every single Iraqi went through, I decided not to post about it and not to make a international issue. Many bloggers had a say in that matter and my story is just one trifle one compared to the stories when Iraqis were asked to go back home, or had to spend the night in the airport.

I'm going to Amman for my sister's graduation and to meet friends I've missed for so long. I don't know when I'll be back but sooner or later I'll have to :D
I'm taking my papers with me to work on and some molds I have engrave for my ceramic.

That's all for now

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Blogger khalid jarrar said...

i am glad i checked your blog to find this nice post!

yalla hopefuly when you come we will get to meet you then!:)

have a nice and safe trip and inshalla they wont bother you at the borders this time at all :)

6/12/2008 8:28 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

Hi Khalid,

Glad you checked my blog. yeah, sure it would be nice to meet you.
thank you :)

6/12/2008 8:47 PM  
Blogger David said...

I'm sorry to hear that you were poorly treated in Amman the last time you were there. I think maybe Jordanians used to be much more polite to Iraqi guests before the war. I don't defend anyone who is rude or disrespectful to someone else. However, the war has put a lot of stress on millions of people, both in Iraq and the neighboring countries.

I hope your visit this time will be much more pleasant. At least you can look forward to your reunion with Sosa. Also, I hope that you can stay there long enough to see Morbido. :)

Congratulations to Sosa for her graduation! Good luck and best wishes for your trip!

I wish I could come to Amman too! :)

Take care.

6/13/2008 10:37 AM  
Blogger Abbas Hawazin said...

you're welcome anytime atta.
thank you for stopping by at me blog every now and then.

and congratulations for s.

6/14/2008 6:48 AM  
Blogger Morbid Smile said...

Hmmm I'm jealous!!
How long are you staying there? You better plan another trip to Amman around the end of September (hint, hint!) :D
Say to your family and congrats to Susa. Time for for an email update!

6/15/2008 8:17 AM  
Blogger Morbid Smile said...

Say "hi"
sorry I ate it! :P

6/15/2008 8:18 AM  
Blogger Marshmallow26 said...

I wish you a safe trip and enjoy the graduation, can we expect any photos?

6/15/2008 1:38 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

Thank you everyone :)

David, yes, sure. they used to treat us as guests but now it's different. they have their reasons and I don't blame them. not all those who left Iraq are angels.

But if you think of the way Iraqis are treated it's the same way the States are treating Muslims, as if we're all terrorist walking with ticking bombs. that's the sort of stereotyping that we need to fight.

it's so weird to call you abbas! can't help it, I gotta see the progress of bin hawazin. take care

Morbido?!! is that right? i remember this name but the face, hmmm ?? not really :P
actually I'm going for sosa's graduation and my friend is getting married on Aug.1st. I'm not sure yet if I'll stay for that date but Sep. in amman!!!! got the hint but can't promise at all :(

Hi Marshi,
photos, photos. I promised many ppl to send them photos and promised to post more photos, but now all i'm thinking about is papers, thesis, packing. but i went to Sharjah's aquarium twice and got nice photos that I'll try to post before leaving.

take care all

6/15/2008 7:49 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey said...


Hope everything goes smoothly back in Amman. I know you've really tried to get Morbido to blog again, but to no avail. Hey, maybe the Iraqi bloggers need to have an "intervention" and confront our dear Morbido with the fact that many of us have been waiting for her to update her blog and maybe shame her into sitting at her keyboard and letting us know what's up with her.

Heh heh heh.

And yes, we understand that Morbido's been hard at work on her thesis.


6/15/2008 9:19 PM  
Blogger David said...

Attawie, I agree that stereotyping of people is always a bad thing to do. People are individuals and just because someone looks a certain way doesn't mean they will act in a certain way.

I can't speak about all of America, but here in Indianapolis I think that Muslims are treated with respect. I frequently see women in the malls, and other public places, wearing a head scarf, or even a full body covering. I assume by the styles that the women are Muslim. I have never seen anyone being disrespectful to them. So, maybe the treatment of Muslims in America is not as bad as you think.

An interesting thing about Indianapolis is that we have a United States Congressman who is both a black man and a Muslim. He was raised as a Christian, but he converted to Islam as an adult. His religion was talked about some during the election, but it was not really a big consideration in the voting. He easily won the election.

6/16/2008 12:40 PM  
Blogger attawie said...

David, I have Muslim relatives who live in the States and they are very well treated by people. When I said the States I should have said receiving Muslims at American airports.

A teenage relative of mine, a musician, traveled the world with his band, a group of teenage musicians of different nationalities who live in Jordan. Their teacher is in charge of their official papers, visa and such matters. usually when they participate in an activity in any country they apply for group visa and it's very easy for them and practical. They've been to musician's camps in many countries and participated in many contexts.

My teenage relative left Iraq when he was only 14 months old, and went to Iraq only once after the war. When the band went to the States he had no problem. He's this cute tall ginger funky guy. After they finished their visit and had to fly home he, the teenage guy, was interrogated and kept apart from the group for 24 hours asking him if he was related to terrorist and when was the last time he was in Baghdad and other questions.

He was leaving the States and had no intention of staying there illegally. Why do you think he would be treated like that. just because he's an Iraqi.

I'm not into discussing such topics. You know me :)

oh and watch this

6/16/2008 7:16 PM  
Blogger David said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6/17/2008 11:32 AM  
Blogger David said...

Attawie, I'm sorry for how your teen relative was treated at the airport. There is just no excuse for disrespecting anyone this way. Also, I don't understand why they let him enter the U.S. without any trouble, and then when he is leaving, they decide to basically arrest him for no reason at all except that he had recently visited Iraq. Sometimes, I feel like America is not my country!

I am curious, you used the word ginger to describe your relative. Do you mean he has red hair? I know that in England they call red haired people gingers. I have seen some pictures of a few Iraqi people with red hair. It is interesting how human genetics flows over time. I learned a few years ago about a culture of Celtic people (who commonly have red hair) who built communities all along the old Silk Road long ago. Archaeologists found red haired mummies in China that are thousands of years old that belonged to this culture. The mummies look more European than Asian. I think this Celtic culture must have a lot of living descendants in Middle Eastern countries. Red hair is governed by a recessive gene. Only if both parents pass the gene to a child will the child have red hair. So, it is quite possible that the parents have no idea they have red haired ancestors until they see their ginger child. :)

I tried to download the video, but I still have slow dial-up. I got part of the video after a long time of waiting, but there was no sound. However, I heard about this Primetime show segment: "How Muslims Are Treated In USA". If I remember correctly they had actors playing the roles of sales person behind the counter, as well as the Muslim woman. The sales person would insult the Muslim woman and then the show would video the reaction of an unsuspecting real customer. Most of the real customers did not come to the defense of the Muslim woman. There is a complex psychological phenomenon known as "crowd effect". Often, when in public, a person who witnesses a crime, for example, will do nothing if there are a lot of people around. The person may assume that it is not their responsibility to act because there are other people present who may act instead. So, just because the real customer did not act to defend the insulted Muslim woman does not necessarily mean that the person is a racist or a bigot. However, I remember hearing that some of the real customers agreed that the Muslim woman deserved to be insulted. I have only contempt for bigots! I saw a lot of that growing up in Alabama. Racism has very deep roots there, and in other Southern States. It is much less now than decades ago, but it is still there in some people's minds and hearts.

6/17/2008 11:39 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...


I learned a few years ago about a culture of Celtic people (who commonly have red hair) who built communities all along the old Silk Road long ago.

Herodotus described the Thracians as red haired and ruddy skinned, 2500 years ago! The Celts really got around, apparently :)

There was an Iranian tribe described the same way (red/fair hair) from an even earlier period, but I can't recall what the name of that tribe was. I think Alexander's armies may have had a lot to do with spreading those traits around in Persia and Afghanistan as well. It almost seems as if the world was more genetically diverse in the distant past than it is now lol. I saw a documentary about those remains that were found in the gobi desert. I thought they were talking about ~6000 years ago, though. It's been a while, so I may be mistaken on that.

Attawie, I recently went to meet a friend of mine who is a Muslim Arab from the ME. She got the flag on her ticket to get the special screening as she was departing the US too. She already knew that she would, and was laughing about it. I flew out the next day, and as usual they barely even glanced at me when i went through security. It's annoying as hell, especially because it probably doesn't even work. These security measures are meant to retroactively stop the 9/11 hijackers, but whatever terrorists try next, it won't be the same thing they did 7 years ago...

6/29/2008 11:29 PM  
Blogger David said...

Craig, the article about the Thracians was interesting. The description of their customs sounds similar to the Vikings. The lowest respect was given to farmers, while the highest respect was given to warriors who killed other people and plundered their wealth. I didn't know that Spartacus was thought to have been a Thracian, but it would make sense that he grew up in a warrior culture. I have seen the 1960's movie Spartacus several times. It is a very powerful story!

7/01/2008 8:45 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

I have seen the 1960's movie Spartacus several times. It is a very powerful story!

Yep, that's one of my favorites, of the "Roman Epics" that were popular back then. "Ben Hur" was another. I ha dto watch them on TV though, because I wasn't even born when they were made, but I did get a chance to see Ben Hur on the big screen at a film revival. It's mind blowing how good that movie is in an actual movie theater. I can easily understand why it still holds the record for having won the most academy awards. I was kinda hoping after Gldiator was so successful, that the historical epics would become popular again but no such luck. Troy and Kingdom of Heaven were both pretty mediocre...

7/01/2008 9:24 PM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

The description of their customs sounds similar to the Vikings. The lowest respect was given to farmers, while the highest respect was given to warriors who killed other people and plundered their wealth.

Well, the vikings weren't unique in that respect lol. That was true of all the nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes of northern europe. The tribes of Northern germany and Scandinavia (who later became vikings) had several classes of free men. The lowest class was a Carl (Churl in English, I'm sure you've heard this from "churlish" = low class) which was an employed laborer. Next above them was a Thane who was a land owner and warrior (usually got his land by stealing it in raids). And then the Jarls (Earls in English) who were Chieftains/warlords. A typical tribal structure all over the world, probably. It was the warriors who provided for the tribes, seeing as how virtually anything they needed they could take from somebody else. And farming could be done by captured enemies (slaves) as easily as by free men. In the ancient world, it was only the very advanced civilizations that did things differently.

7/02/2008 2:29 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Miss you Shoosh... I'm waiting to read your blog about this trip... Love you Habeebeh and I wish I was there with you guys..

7/03/2008 11:29 AM  
Anonymous nisreen said...

i had the worst experience at the airport in amman too! this was years ago (2004) i think..i am an iraqi american, and it was horrible. i have heard about other iraqis being denied. they wouldn't let my brother and i on the plane either, we fought that for hours and ended up having to catch a different flight the next story doesn't compare to many others i'm sure, but i'll never forget that experience.

7/07/2008 12:02 PM  
Blogger MixMax said...

Hi Attawie, I am not trying to stir things up, or bashing any nationality, besides, reading a post back to the 2'nd of June won't help much, but I if I was in your place I would write it by the word on your blog. I know it is some painful experience. I don't want to be misunderstood and I know that not all Iraqis lived or still living in Jordan gave the nice impression about Iraq and the Iraqis, but it is not your fault to take responsibilities or "the guilt" of some, don't you think?

I wrote some time ago about the way Iraqis have been treated when they apply for visit visas to the Netherlands, and it is sad that despite all what they have been through in the past years they are still looked down at... sad but true!
What you have seen and what Iraqis are going through became like a the "way it should attitude towards Iraqis" since the end of 1991 war. You also reminded me of another fellow blogger who has been through a lot of shit when she wanted to work and live in Dubai, Rejected.

Anyway, I wish this time your experience would be different.

8/09/2008 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Smile Therapy said...

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7/01/2014 11:42 PM  

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