Saturday, May 01, 2010

Epic of Iraq

“So that I Don’t Resign from this Homeland” is another inviting title and elegant publication by Al Mada. About 60 essays by Fakhri Kareem published in the Al-Mada Newspaper for the period 2003- 2008 gathered and published by this book with an introduction by the Lebanese poet Abbas Baythoun.

The introduction is full terms that seem to carry new concepts. Abbas Baythoun tell us in the introduction what can be summarized as follows:

Iraq now is a “horrible machine of time and action” into which there is a “confusion between time and memory” while the articles in this book serves as the “guided remembrance” of the what happened. Abbas Baythoun also resemble the “Epic of Iraq” to the “Epic of Lebanon” since both had resulted in “chronic paranoias” and “collective pain”.

The articles are variable. Some deal with the pre- 2003 Iraq like that article in which he mention the symbol of adding “Allah Akbar” to the Iraqi flag as a symbol of Jihad, and that article which tell us how Saddam Hussein is a product of the Iraqi society and politics and that we should search for the roots of tyranny. From this point maybe we can go to the post-2003 articled when he started talking about De-ba’athification and theorized that it is better called De-tyrannization and that it should become a cultural educational movement and not a rule directed against few individuals.
He tells us about how he hoped that the ex-minister of defense Ali Sultan Hashim made an apology to the Iraqi population and express his guilt like the US pilots who hit Nagasaki and Hiroshima and wrote about Hashim’s execution.
Fakhri Kareem wrote about how the “incidental haphazard leader” of the new Iraq “confused the collective memory” of the Iraqi population and how the Iraqi population memory had been exhausted by the series of sectarian violence.

The articles deal with the killing and immigration of thinkers, scientists, university professors and artists, about the faults of the US in Iraq, about Black Water, and the invasion of Iraq by the “money eating rats” and the high retirement salaries of those who work in the cabinet.
Of the things that I didn’t know is when he quoted King Faisal the first when he said talked about the difficulty of establishing an Iraqi Nation.
Sometimes, because of love, somebody see his homeland, his history, and his self, in an eye of denial. This book had been a trial of objective “guided remembrance” to what happened and what is happening. Thank you for Fakhri Kareem for this book and for Al Mada for this artistic publishing.

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