Monday, February 23, 2009

Hide and Seek

All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
Leo Tolstoy

That's what's going on in Jursalem

He that gives good advice builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example builds with both.
Francis Bacon

So who's working against truce now?

There would be no agreement until a captured soldier is freed.

That's all for now..
Let's pray for peace

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Meeting "Who Was There"

Chapter No.6
Meeting "Who Was There"

I've always been reading Iraqi blogs but never had the time to be a regular reader to most of them. On the other hand, my mother reads several blogs she likes and used to read almost daily. And that's how I heard about "I Was There". As my mother used to e-mail some bloggers she found out that she knew "I was there" and that he was her cousin's friend. While "the gang"=anarki, the kid, Morbido, Bassam, 24 and I in addition to my sister and cousin, were sitting in a café we were joined by Mr. I Was There and his family. At that moment I remembered what my mom told me about him and I told him about it and that this girl, my cousin, is his friend's daughter. He recalled a lot of memories about him and my relative and kept telling us stories.
He introduced us to his wife and three daughters. Just like any other Iraqi family, they were struggling to find a place to stay, schools for the girls and most important jobs.

After about a couple of hours talking and getting to know one another better and better, time flied really fast and I had to leave and go home.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Amman Diary - the Picnic

Chapter No5
The Park Meeting/picnic

After several meetings in malls and cafés, we decided that we need a better place to meet where there's no hookah smoke nor loud songs with the crowd. So, Bassam and I had the same idea about going to a park and enjoy our time there.

We set the time and place and went to the park. Iraqis going to a park means a picnic. Iraqi picnic means rice, dolma and many other kinds of food to be taken in pots. I suggested that we don't need this kind of picnic and let's have only chips, cake and drinks. The guys were supposed to take care of the drinks, which ended up as Anarki's job. And the girls, Morbido, Micho and I to take care of the other things.

Morbido and I thought of taking a mat to sit on, but both of us were just visitors in this country and we didn't have any.

Unfortunately the kid couldn't make it to the picnic. He caught cold.

Micho, Morbido and their mom, my sister, I and our grandma met at the gat with Anarki and his Friend (after a year I discovered that he was a blogger too!). 24 Steps to Liberty and Bassam were there too. Zeyad came and said that Nabil was not coming, but knowing my guitar was there he joined us later.

After we all were there, except for the Kid, we found a park couch for Grandma and Morbido’s mom and placed our simple snacks. We couldn’t find good grass to sit on. So we sat on the sidewalk. Anarki started the concert by tuning the guitar. I can’t remember if it was him or Nabil who cut the first string but Nabil had the honor of cutting the second. I can’t remember well because it was funny and hilarious. Such a thing would usually drives me crazy but I didn’t mind it for the fun we had worth not only 2 guitar strings but the whole guitar.

We sang and laughed till it was dark. And that’s when we decided to visit the Royal Cars Exhibit. It wasn’t easy to find it. We had to go up the hill and it was getting darker and darker and we took a shortcut through the Chinese Garden, which by the way was Rocky place rather than a garden. We took some photos there, or should I say crazy photos. And then we arrived.

The gate was locked. We could see the mini cars through the glass but nobody was there. We waited for a while but it was obvious there was no one there. There was an antique airplane outside. We took some photos there too. The feet photo and some more. And after hitting the road we found a big sign with the phrase “The Museum us closed on Tuesday”! The guys took the chance for another round of photos. That was the final laugh for the evening.

That's all for now
And... Wait for more

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Amman's Diary - Iraqi Bloggers' Meeting

Chapter No.4

Meeting Bassam, 24 steps to liberty & Nabil

A couple of days passed after the previous meeting and Anarki smsed me telling me that Bassam (Treasure of Baghdad) & 24 Steps to Liberty had e-mailed us all and want to join the gang. I didn't know about the e-mail myself because as usual I didn't have access to the internet. On the other hand Morbido has received it and updated me about it later.

This time the guys picked a well-known café for our meeting. Morbido, Micho, my sister and I arrived there behind schedule about 20 minutes. But the Kid and Zeyad were not there yet! I've met Anarki, the Kid, Hala and Zeyad earlier but I never worried about the person I'm meeting. I was exited to do so. But this time when we got out of the taxi I told Morbido "I’m wondering if this meeting is going to be successful as the previous ones." She said that she had no worries. Then I remembered she met Treasure earlier. At that moment, Anarki was waiting for us at the gate of the café and he led us to our table. After introducing themselves and ourselves everything thing went fine. As we started to talk I felt relieved. I didn't know why but I guess it's just because their blogs are more like political than personal and I've always hated to talk politics.

Both guys' faces looked familiar and it was easy to talk to them. We talked about everything that came to our minds just like old friends catching up.

Later, a nice shy guy joined us. He was introduced as Zeyad's brother. He was so calm and mute but later I discovered that he was Nabil! He was the youngest of us all. What a polite nice guy.

Being away from Iraq I gained the skill of recognizing Iraqi faces among hundreds. Each time I met one of the gang I say "I know this guy. I must have seen him before" it was true for Anarki and the kid because both of them had showed us a photo of themselves. But for 24 steps to Liberty? I don't know. I felt I knew him.
My sister was sitting next to him and told him that she must have seen him before. She felt the same. He said that his entire family looks the same. After knowing his family name, we knew why we find familiar. His aunt, a famous Iraqi painter, was and still my grandmother's friend and she used to teach Arts in our school. We met her several times and last year we went to her latest exhibition in Amman.

In our next meeting I took my cousin who came from the States. We were talking about names and I mentioned her brother's name. Bassam said that his friend's father is the same and he mentioned the friend's name. That moment I said "May he rest in peace" He stand there astonished. His friend was my late cousin!

What a small world!

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Amman's Diary - Iraqi Bloggers' Meeting

Chapter No.3
Meeting Hala_S and Zeyad

It was Anarki too; the one who arranged this meeting after Morbido has arrived. The Mall was also the place of this event, same reason: everybody knows how to get there. Hala escaped from Beirut after the war started and she came to Amman and decided to meet the Iraqi Bloggers. This plan worked good for all of us and we had fun meeting the whole gang.
Anarki and Hala were waiting for Morbido and me at the gate. Morbido's mom and sister, Micho, were there too. But Micho was too shy to stick with the gang. The Kid joined us later.

Talking about Iraq and our memories and how we spent war times and how we handled living there after the war. We talked about our plans for the future.
Hala was leaving the next day so there wasn't any chance to meet her again at least on this visit. I hope I can meet her again someday. She is such a nice lady, well educated and open-minded.

About an hour passed and Zeyad didn't show up. He called the guys and apologized about being late and that he was busy meeting some people too. When he joined us and said hi to all of us he turned to me and said how are you "Named a Name"? I told him I don't know whom he was talking about. He was mistaken me with someone else. He read about me from Morbido's blog. But ironically I've heard about that "Named Name" story. It seems that we run in the same circles.

Asking a guy on the next table to take some photos for us marked the ending of that meeting.
Next day Morbido, Anarki, the kid and I, and we had fun going to the movies. We saw Pirates of the Caribbean. It was one of the best disgusting movies I've ever seen and the most hilarious. WE HAD FUN.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Resuming Amman's Diary - Iraqi Bloggers' Meeting

A couple of friends of mine asked me to publish Amman diary Summer 2007 – The Iraqi Bloggers' Meetings – which I wrote in Amman when I had no access to internet and wasn't able to post. Another friend asked me recently to post them too. What I remember, I was seeking the approval of each person included in the diary. Everyone said go ahead and they had no problem. Anarki was the first and I did publish about our meeting.

But I can't remember if the Kid replied or refused (I think he said no). But since more than a year later he posted something related to meeting me and other female Iraqi bloggers without seeking permission, I think he wouldn't mind it. It's old news anyways. Plus I'm not sure if the Kid exists anymore. He's Abbas Hawazin now.

Chapter No. 2
Meeting The Kid

After The Kid reached Amman he contacted Anarki who called me just a couple of days after our first meeting and we arranged another meeting. My sister was of course there to escort me.

We agreed that the mall was easy to reach by all of us. I got a call from the Kid as I reached the mall that they were waiting for me. I saw Anarki accompanied with two other guys. One of them was supposed to be the Kid. I looked at both of them trying to figure out which one of them is The Guy. One of them was busy with his mobile, both were in black though one of the shirts was with a band or a game logo, can't remember. Anyway, this guy pointed at the other telling me "He's the Kid" then the Kid introduced himself and pointed at the friend and said "He came by mistake" with a laugh.

I introduced them to my sister and then we started to search for a café or someplace to sit but the mall was hectic and crowded.

The first thing I noticed about The Kid was his eyes. They looked mysterious. After few minutes I could tell his eyes revealed curiosity. Then I remembered the tragic story how he lost his four friends in an explosion and I thought it was that sadness.

After roaming the mall, none of us was hungry or needed a drink, but my sister and the kid stopped for an ice cream cup. Nothing interesting happened except for the regular chitchat between friends as if we knew one another long time ago. After a couple of hours, it was getting late; my sister and I decided to go home. The guys agreed and wanted to leave too. As we approached the exit gate, the kid and his friend disappeared. Anarki was still with us. We waited for a while but they never showed up. So we left without saying goodbye. That wasn't a nice impression for a first meeting but I guess it was easy to forgive the Kid.

Anarki, my sister and I decided to cross the main road to find a taxi. We ended up walking for about 20 minutes or more talking, until we took a taxi. I enjoyed the walk for the pleasant personality of Anarki. He's never boring and always had something to say. Not just something, but something smart or funny or maybe both.

Oh this is supposed to be about the Kid. So, his father and my mother used to run in the same circles – career wise- and we talked a bit about it but we never really tried to sort it out. He wasn't the same blogger nor the person I knew online. Maybe because his friend was there or could it be the presence of Anarki, but it was awkward meeting him. Even though the same evening we did chat afterwards and talked about it and he told me he felt the same. We agreed that we were better online friends rather than face-to-face.

Hopefully, I'll resume posting the rest of the diary.

That's all for now

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