Monday, October 25, 2010

Dlovan Berwari an article by Jamal Ameadi

Lately, Al-Aalem Newspaper, is having some troubles in Iraq. Yesterday, there was an article about the trouble, but it was so sweet, for it has the taste of Hilla in it. Here is a non-professional translation to it. The original text is in arabic

Dlovan Berwari

Jamal Ameadi

I visit the Page of my friend in Sarmad Altaee in (Facebook), to read what friends write on its wall, it catches my attention that campaign launched by the dear lawyers of the territory of Kurdistan and Mosul, to support the newspaper "Al Aalem (=the world)".

A campaign signed by the lawyer Dlovan Berwari, and 14 lawyers of his colleagues.

With my tears I suffocate, and read:

A campaign gathered the largest number of Iraqi lawyers to defend the newspaper "Al Aalem", in the case of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The campaign was launched by a group of lawyers in the provinces of Kurdistan and Mosul, and invite is opened to each lawyer who is committed to the profession, and finds himself a defender of freedom of opinion and expression, and supporting and defending the general interest of the Iraqi people.


1 - Dlovan Berwari. 2 - Shawkat Al-Bayati. 3 - Evin Khaddidp. 4 - pilot Ziad Hussein. 5 - in favor of charitable erased. 6 - Haggai Hvnd Elias. 7 - Karwan Mohammed Naguib. 8 - Bahgat Brocki tremors. 9 - Said Salim chemo. 10 - Omar Dawood Barakat. 11 - Qasim Khalaf Abdullah. 12 - Muhammad Hassan good. 13 - Derok nevus. 14 - Nadia Younes. 15 - Hassan Hermani.

The Iraqi people, Dlovan?

Yes, the Iraqi people, Jamal.

Why should I not find that strange, under bombardment by the media and international levels, which insists on our division to rival ethnic groups; nationalities, religions and doctrines?

The answer is that I experienced a special friendship with the Kurds, back to the eighties and nineties of the last century, made me know them very well.

In the sixth class of the primary school, I shared the classroom desk with a girl from Al-Sulaimaniya, innocently she started talking to me, the second day, to tell me in a low voice: "We came at night from Al-Sulaimaniya."

I asked her: Why?

"I do not know, my father surprised us one day, that we must move on to Hilla," she replied.

Why Hilla?

"Because my father said that its people are good, and there are many Kurds," replied the new girlfriend.

I do not know whether Iraq's provinces contain districts called on behalf of the nationalities or cities, but in Hilla, a neighborhood named “Hay Al Akrad
(=neighborhood of the Kurds)”, and there is also a neighborhood Al-Heitaoyen (relative to the city of Hit in Anbar province). There is a church in Hilla, and the gold market is packed with Mandaeans, and there are quite a number of Turkmen families. On your way to the main market of Al-Musagaf (The market with the ceiling. It is called that way cause usually all the markets are in the open air) in the city center, across the district of Mahdia, you can see what remains of the houses of Iraqi Jews, with its special short doors.

Al-Hilla, is also a mini-Iraq... Perhaps because "people are good," as my friend’s father had said. I do not know!

At the University of Baghdad, I knew a large number of Kurds, shared my beautiful journey of study, in spite of its cruelty. But the horrible nineties; years of the miserable awareness, had witnessed the peak of my friendships with the Kurds, particularly in the “Shaea Al-Sinaa (Industry Street)’, where I worked in an office of computer services, owned by my cousin Ali.

Kaka Ako; a genius computer engineer, was the most prominent of these friends. He was studying PHD, full of goodness, honest and tolerant, and glistening with intelligence, knowledge and a desire for the new.

Where are you now, my Kaka Ako? God bless and guide your steps, wherever you are!

Ako sits on the throne of the long list of Kurdish friends, a list that was good and clear. The office was run by a number of smart engineers, all were from Hilla, yet their friends and girlfriends were not limited to a province without the other, or to a religion, to a doctrine, or to a nationality; Iraq is the area of our friendship, and from the sun we proceed to distribute the light.

These relationships, which I shared with my friends the Kurds, in Baghdad and Hilla, made me burst into angry whenever someone generalizes an unfair accusation on them, accusations that does not differentiate between people's convictions and options of the political game, governed by its special law, in any case.

Who know me know that my love of the Kurds, did not stop me days of criticizing politicians, when "I think" they do not work for Iraq, as I criticize other Iraqi politicians, whatever their national, religious, sectarian or political direction for the love of Iraq is not proceeded by any other love.

But this criticism does not stem from hatred, but from ample love. For being an Iraqi, means that you should protect yourself from my hate, my grudges, and my malevolence. Didn
’t this compassionated nation’s Prophet accept the phrase "Support your brother right or wrong", after he added to it "religion is giving advice"?

Give the Iraqis a real issue, innocent and white; and unequivocally clear, and you'll see that there is no force that can break their unity!

Dlovan and his colleagues stand, on the issue of "the world", is just a simple example.

Jamal Ameadi

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Journies, Journals, and Jardins

So, Mani was born in "The Gardens of Light", writes Amin Maalouf. Tigris, Babel, Nebuchadnezzar, Ishtar, Gods and Godesses, Aramic language and Mesopotamia are all there, but still, Mani is regarded as an "Iranian" prophet! And Manichaeism is one of the "Iranian" religions! No reference mentions Iraq. Nor Irak.

6th Oct 2010 El Watan publishes this cartoon which declares the release of the 2 non-faster (eat publicly in Ramadan) who were imprisonned in Ramadan and release after its end for the lack of spicific law against a "non-faster" in the Algerian Law.

Reporters Sans Frontiere (RSF) has published their 2010 classification of the press liberty status of 178 countries. Iran, Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eretria are the most repressive among the 178 countries listed. Iraq has jumped 15 places up to the 130th rank.

16th Oct 2010, El Watan published articles about the events of 17th Oct 1961 in Paris.

17 Oct 2010 El Watan continues publishing about the "War of Memories"

21st Oct 2010

21st Oct 2010 NOSTALGERIE

Al Aalem (The World) Journal, that Iraqi desert rose, seems encountering some problems. Some lawsuits. The Iraqi politicians who might succeed to enter the name of Iraq, for the first time maybe, in the Guinness Book of world records for the delay in naming of the prime minister in history, might also succeed to hurt Al Aalem Newspaper, that desert rose that is brave enough to respect itself, and others.

21st Oct 2010, another non-faster, public eater in Ramadan, will be imprisoned for 2 years

Human Rights, public eaters in Ramadan, and El Watan

23th Oct 2010 more cartoons on the issue

23th Oct El Watan continue to pulish Des sujets tabous (Taboo subjects)
El Watan Journal is celebrating its 20s anniversary. Algeria has jumped 8 places up in the RSF classification to the 133th rank. Reading El Watan in the garden of the main mosque is fairly good experience. The garden is more resembling to a public park, opened all the days. El Watan published today the answer of the court of Oum El Bouaghi on the 2 year imprisonment for the young man who was eating his lunch publicly in last Ramadan, the court says that the man had hit the policemen and broke a window in the police station and that was the reason of the imprisonment, not the public non-fasting. El Watan tells us today about the publishing of a new book by Djamila Benhabib entitled: "Ma Vie A Contre-Coran".

And Lastly, I think it is Jasmin, not sure of, but it is fragrant and relaxing.

With Love.

Friday, October 08, 2010

An old dream

Translated from Arabic, an article written by Mohammed Ghazi Al-Akhras and published by the daily Iraqi newspaper Al Aalem (The World), in the last Wednesday issue, 6th October 2010

My dreams and I are companions of a long way, too long, at every turning in my life there is a dream that might summarize what happened or what will happen to me, that is the way I see it and I am free to see it the way I like:

After coming from the war front in 1985, and after I survived the Iranian attack, for example, soon I saw something very strange in a dream: I'm in the midst of a fierce battle trying to find a lifeline or a place where I can hide in, did not find any near me but a deep hole that lies far away somewhat from the details of the battle.

I go down in the hole where I find a lantern and a number of books. I try to spend time reading while hearing the screams of people dying in the vicinity. After I get bored from reading I go out of the hole to see what happened to the fighting people to see what gave me gooseflesh: cadavers hanging on the electricity pylons and other cadavers put together in carefully in some kind of an order, every five bodies lying together. And in among these cadavers there were some military officers (discipline officers*) searching for survivors to execute them.

And instead of going inside the hole I find myself going out in calm, the officer sees me, then I start to run the fastest way I can taking care not to step on a cadaver. Then I keep running out of breath till I reach a house of a friend of mine, I kick its door by my feet and enter. When I reach the corridor I got surprised by two things: the first is that I entered with one of a pair of my shoes leaving the other one of the pair outside, the other thing is that there is a butcher engaged in stripping off the skin of a sheep in the corridor.

When I told my dream to "Um Wa'ad", our neighbor, she said that I will survive the war and that I will be kept concealed from its hazards in the school (the hole) till it ends and when I asked her about the one pair of the shoe that fell from me in the street she said: I don't know… it might be your brother, God only knows!

Her interpretation was antecedent since after three years the one pair of the shoe had fallen in the death valley where my brother had been lost while I survived the war by remaining in the hole of "the classroom" failing twice to pass the final exams of the year deliberately so that I delay my stay in my refuge.
Meanwhile, the dreams or nightmares were not forgetting to visit me between a night and another and it was always that same old dream environment and its parts, the most obvious among them are the presence of the killed bodies and the going inside holes that resemble the mass graves, and also the run away from the "discipline officer*" to escape a particular impasse.

The origin of those dreams, I think, goes back to the atmosphere that I found myself surrounded by them during the terrible attack launched by the Iranians in 1985.

The attack began at two A.M. coming from the direction of (Al-Uzayr) and we were in one of (Al-Qurna) villages facing the marches of (Al – Haweeja). Would I forget that night ever?

I can assure you I will not forget. How can that be when the planes were closer to our souls than the pulse of our hearts? Or how I forget that night and the hum of Iranians' bullets came close to scratch our heads by its fire while the cannons were plowing the earth like oxen in rage?
I remember when the attack ended and I returned to the my position I was surprised by one of the Iranians who have been killed on my sponge made bed after he used it outside its position. The young man lying on the bed sheltered by a wall of dirt bags in front of him, he slept on a pool of blood with a rather long rifle.

At morning we received a command to bury dozens of bodies on the edge of the marches after taking photographs to the cadavers by the cameras of the political recommendations (a kind of press controlled for political reasons). I remember now the cheap adulation of some of the soldiers and who their claimed the championship in front of the cameras to the extent that one of them stepped on the body of an Iranian and started to shout in front of the camera, a noble Iraqi soldier shouted at him: what are you doing you fool, if he was alive would you put your feet on him!
The soldiers were taking out the peanut from the backpacks of the Iranian cadavers then they put them in mass graves. Some good soldiers were reading on the souls of those poor a sura (a chapter) from the Holy Quran.

In my subsequent dream the dead lined up in groups of five, while others cadavers were hanged on the electricity poles. The final image of the stocks may comes from the social reservoir that fill our memories like embers boiling in a head of a "narjeela (water pipe)".

In my subsequent dream there is also a hole in which there are the lantern, books, and boy hiding from "military discipline" soldiers. These elements may each need to special pause but nor the place, nor the time give me the opportunity to do this now.

I remember an anecdote about the discipline soldiers, the hero of which is a friend of mine kept escaping the joining of the army for years. And this friend used to come to me every evening and went back after an hour or two. And as usual I was taking him to his home which is not too far from ours.

In one of the evenings we went as usual but there was a group of "discipline soldiers" standing in the street so we turned back and headed to my home. After more than an hour we went again we saw that the group is still standing. Annoyed, my friend Mohammed Naheer, a fugitive from the army, and suggested sarcastically to wait half an hour and then to send my sister's son Emad who was 5 years old to the commander of the discipline soldiers group. And there this dialogue can occur between Ammoudy (nick name of Imad) and the soldier:

"uncle, when you will go?"

"why uncle?"

"we got a fugitive want to go to his home and is waiting for you to go"


Was that a dream or a nightmare…. Or was it this and that!

· Discipline soldiers are type of Iraqi soldiers whose job was to "care" for those Iraqi civilians who run away from the obligatory military service.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

A Late Notice of a Nightmare

I got to confess that I didn't know about Halabja before 2003. I didn't know about the mass graves in my land. My land?

Before 2003 I was a bundle of nerves and bones tight together in a mess, or maybe a in a mass, a mass of ignorance and bitterness. In my Baghdad of the 90s the air was full of ashes, the skies were full of ashes, and the black rain had blackened my face and blinded me in silence. Most of us, who lived in Baghdad, lived?, in the 90s, were unable to notice the silent blindness of ours. But for him, that Tahar ben Jelloun, "The Rising of Ashes" was as clear as a vivid nightmare.

Dans leur chute
les etoiles perdent la lumiere
elles s'ecrasent dans ce desert sans faire de bruite.

Il est tard pour notre Destin.
Nous arrivons toujours en retard pour vivre
mais pour mourir ils disent que nous somme prets."

… I was with my friend who shared me the interest of taking photos to Baghdad when the shooting started. We started to run. The pedestrian bridge was narrow. There were much people than the bridge can hundle. When we reached the stairs which would take us down the bridge I fell. People fell over me and we started rolling together in a messy mass down the stairs. The shooting continued. I started to hear the voice of the reporter who seemed to report our death to the T.V. His voice was describing what was happening. While his voice was explaining what was happening, my body came to fall next to a window. Its glass was not so clean. I knew that if I succeed to break the glass I would survive. I gathered my will in my fist and stroke the glass of the window with a blow. But the blow was so feeble. It was time to shut my eyes. As I shut my eyes in my dream I woke up in the dim room. I went to the kitchen to drink a glass of water.

" .....
mais pour mourir ils disent que nous sommes prets.
Nos enfant aussi. Legers comme des papillons ils sautent en chantant,
ils sautent sur des mines et leurs corps s'eparpillent en fummee et en cendre.
Il pleut des cendres sur nos vies."

Ils pleut des cendre sur nos vies.
Quelles vies?
Un peu de soleil dans l'abime
corps nubiles
visages blemes et regards suspendus
dans ce bol de cendres melees." p. 24 from La Remontee des Cendres

Tahar Ben Jelloun, had not only saw that ashes, the mass graves, and Halabja. He had also knew about my nightmares. He wrote it in a long poem in the 1991, and it took me 19 years to hear about it, to find it by accident in Alger, a book waited for me since long time, and a writer who is existent and responsible, and an example to follow.

The photos in the movie were the last 4 photos I got to Baghdad before I left. The first photo and the third were taken by my friend seen in the dream. The song is of Tracy Chapman named "Bridges".