Thursday, March 19, 2009

Iraqi bloggers on the sixth anniversary

Several Iraqi bloggers have quit blogging over the years. Riverbend became a refugee in Syria and has not published a blog since October 2007. Zeyad (Healing Iraq) has not posted since December 2008. He was located in the US at that time. His brother Nabil is in Jordan when he last wrote in October 2008. And Salam Pax is back blogging (on a new blog) in his typical irreverent way:

For just US $170 you can have Saddam’s room at the Babel resort!
The report is in Arabic but it has some fantastic photos, click on the link above to see them.. I think he liked gold and frilly thing just a tiny little bit too much.

But I like the balls on the person responsible for this PR stunt.. using saddam now as a marketing pull!

Raed in the Middle is working in the USA for American Friends Service Committee. He last blogged in early March 2009, and he is impressed with Obama’s pledge to bring all US troops out of Iraq by 2012. Here’s a clip:

wow! I am really impressed.

Obama's speech on frieday was pretty significant. He pledged for the first time to bring all troops out of iraq. In addition, he promised to comply with the deadline agreed upon on in the bilateral withdrawal agreement (aka sofa).

Raed’s mother, Faiza, has been working in Jordan in a program to help Iraqi refugees there. She is currently taking a break from her job in Egypt, where she is visiting another son. She said this about her recent work:

I don’t like the idea of dismissing any employee unless she committed a serious transgression; like a clear theft or a transgression against her colleagues so they would complain against her, or maybe a transgression against the Iraqis who are beneficiaries of the program. I usually prefer the method of giving notices, warnings, and a time limit to change the conduct, and usually, the results come out positive...

......I also will peruse completing some small projects by e-mails, through the Net, like sending water purifying sets to hospitals, clinics, or schools in Iraq, or collecting donations for a project to buy sewing machines for displaced women in various locations in Iraq, like Baquba, Al-Anbar, Karkook, the southern Marshlands,....

These projects remain with me even if I go on holiday, because I see them as a moral obligation I cannot give up, or throw behind my back. I cannot let down those poor people who need a helping hand to save them from the ordeal they face, to ease some of life’s burdens they are carrying, while they are away from their towns and homes, until things will settle down in all Iraqi areas, and every displaced family will go back to its original house to live a peaceful, safe life. This is a big dream that no Iraq-loving Iraqi will abandon, as much as I think...and believe.

Faiza has a lot more words of wisdom about running aid programs for refugees, and what needs to happen in Iraq for recovery to occur. The first thing is that the US occupation has to end.

Another blogger in this Jarrar family is Khalid, who recently posted this:

A Freaking Awesome Saying

"War does not determine who is right – only who is left." – Bertrand Russell.... Whoever that is.

And the last blogger in the Jarrar family, Majid (who is in Egypt), wrote this in January about Obama’s statement at AIPAC one month before Israel started its massacre in Gaza. He titled it "Did He Not Know?"

I am truly puzzled, how could Obama still say that he will 'seek a new way forward' with the Muslim world when he promises Israel a military support of 30 Billion Dollars over the next decade, and that no other nation will get as much aid from America as Israel will?!

that's what he calls politics?

I call hypocricy.

I am guessing that Majid is not as impressed with Obama’s pledge to withdraw from Iraq as his older brother Raed is.

Treasure of Baghdad is currently in the USA, and his recent post was on a NYT documentary on Pakistani girls being banned from going to school by the Taliban. He included the video of this documentary on his blog, and it is worth watching, but clearly, not about Iraq.

Mama, an Iraqi dentist in Mosul, recently posted on her blog "The Iraqi Resistance Responds to President Obama". I recommend reading what they have to say, but I will share with you the only part of this blog post that is Mama’s original writing..... that is, the title:

How do you spell "GET THE HELL OUT"?

I think that is pretty clear.

Mama’s daughter, Sunshine, is my favorite Iraqi blogger. She is finishing up high school, and I hope to write another post about her blog and it’s impact on me. But for now, I will share a bit of what she wrote recently, where she lives up to her sunny name:

In spite of the unbearable situation, I feel very optimistic and positive this week, because I didn't hear TV or radio news at all, whenever someone starts to complain about the situation and hard life I go away, when I feel stressed a little bit I put headphone and enjoy my new MP4,I read at least one page of the gorgeous book ( la tahzan= don't be sad), I try to create good things, instead of waiting for good things to happen to enjoy myself and everyone around me ..

And what is this "unbearable situation"? Well, just a few days after she posted this blog, a 12 year old Iraqi girl in Mosul was shot by US troops as she walked down the street.

And a Mosul University student was shot and killed by unknown gunmen. This is the current situation that the people of Mosul are dealing with at this time.

And here is today’s list of security incidents in Mosul, which I pulled from the Iraq Today blog:

Mosul:

#1: An employee from the Displacement and Migration Department on Wednesday was shot by unknown gunmen in northern Mosul city, according to a local police source. "The employee was shot while he was leaving his work in al-Arabi neighborhood, northern Mosul," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#2: Gunmen killed a civilian in a drive-by shooting, south of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.

#3: A roadside bomb wounded two civilians when it struck a U.S. patrol in eastern Mosul on Wednesday, police said. The patrol escaped unharmed.

#4: Unknown gunmen on Thursday killed the mayor of Doberdan village of Baasheqa district, east of Mosul city, said a security source from Ninewa province. "The armed men shot dead Khalil Dhahir Abdilrahman, and then escaped," the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

#5: Police found the body of a man shot in the head and chest in a town near Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

There is plenty more of this type of information on the blog Iraq Today.

And pictures of what is happening in Iraq can be found at this blog.

And one more Iraqi blogger clip, from McClatchy Newspapers:

country of orphans

I was reading an article about Iraqi orphanages and I shocked when I knew that the government has allocated only 2000 dinars (1.50 $) per a month for each orphan in these orphanage.

Can you imagine, with the explosive budget that reached to 71 billion dollars last year, the share of the orphan is 1.50 $ monthly? What a justice, that we live under this national government which promised to end the years of lack!

Islam, the official religion for Iraq state and customs emphasize the importance of caring the orphans and most Iraqi officials reach to authority by using Islamic cover to convince voters. Iraq the country of orphans (there are more than 3 millions orphans in Iraq) only 469 orphans of them distribute on 15 orphanage are living under the care of the state. Iraq government ordered to close all private orphanages for vague reasons. This issue reminded me of the displaced issue when the government decided to close one of displaced camp just to say we are not have displacement problem any more.

Tomorrow I will post some more of Iraqi bloggers on the Sixth Anniversary of the beginning of the destruction of their country! This is getting too long.