Monday, August 26, 2013

Reading Iraqi Newspapers

An article published last Thursday named Plastic Palms in an Iraqi newspaper named Al-Aalem Al-Jadeed (= The New World) talks about those ugly plastic palms that the government had bought from outside of Iraq to decorate Iraqi streets. What breaks the heart is that those palms are not only ugly but their price is triple the price of real palms that the Iraqi farmer are ready to provide.

Another article in the same newspaper published last Sunday named Twereej Tobacco talks about an old story from the city of Twereej, the city of origin of the current Iraqi prime minster. The story says that on each side of the river that passes through the center of the city stands a man, the two men talk to each other:

- Hi brother, how are you?
- Fine, thanks to God.
- Brother, are you going to the market?
- No brother, going to the market?
- Good, if you are going to the market buy me some tobacco.
- No I am not going to the market!
- Me too, I am going to the market!
- No brother, me too I am not going to the market!

The writer says that this traditional story shows how the conversations between current Iraqi politicians go in circles betrayed by the language and distance.

There was an Iraqi politician who said before days that the terrorists had failed to target important targets. He said that after car bombs had caused many deaths of civilians. Car bombs had started to target streets in the morning filled with simple clerks going to their work. Last Tuesday, on the same newspaper, a column entitled On Whom Should We Shot the Guns gave a solution and that is every simple clerk should give half of his salary and stay at home, never going outside. The terrorist will not find on whom they can shot the gun and will finally leave.

Another article in the same journal last Wednesday was entitled The Martyrs' Demonstration in which the writer talks about her last night's dream in which she saw the Iraqi martyrs who died from car explosions making a demonstration demanding that the slogan of the Iraqi government should become that sonar device used allover Iraq to detect bombs.   

The older journal, Al Aalem (The World) which had stopped for a while and then reappeared is read widely through Iraq and today there was an article named The Tattoos of the Killers and The Signs of the Dead in which the writer asks whether the Iraqis need to re-use the tattoos widely. The tattoos was widely used by the Iraqis since not more than 60 years. The article talks about their anthropological meanings. Some are used to protect the body. Some to identify the body. The article talks about Cain who asked God to identify his body by a sign after he killed Abel, a sign that can protect from anyone who may want to kill him. The writer talks about the resemblance of some of the tattoos in old Iraqi females body to cuneiform writings and tried to link that to Sumerians. The writer says at last that there is much to say about tattoos in Iraq than in a single article and I remembered how tattoos served as an identifying sign of the dead bodies in Iraq.

I chose only two newspapers. There are many others. Clever writers trying to find words to describe their relation with their land.


globeonmytable said...

I am so ashamed and appalled by the deceit of the man who sold the fake bomb detectors to Iraq and many other countries.

saminkie said...

Well, I am ashamed of the Iraqi politicians who refuse to admit that it is fake and order to keep using it while bombs take Iraqi lives each day. Thanks for the care and for the comment.

tracy said...


What is happening in Iraq is just heartbreaking and i am helpless as to what i can do.....

saminkie said...

Hi Tracy thank you for the visit my friend. I am sorry for being late in answering you. Tracy my email is and I didnt find yours. I will be grateful if you have some time to send and receive some emails with me.