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An Average Iraqi

An Average Iraqi is just a fictional character whose....well, fictional. I will use this character to make a comparison between him and real human beings like myself or any one else.

Location:Baghdad, Iraq

My name is Hassan Kharrufa. I am a 20 year old Iraqi student. I study civil engineering at the Department of Building and Construction at Al-Jami3a Al-Taknologia (The Tecknology Univirsity), Baghdad, Iraq.

Iraqi Bloggers BiographyUpdated November 11

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Last Three Weeks


Well, what can I say about the last three weeks. I spent most of them at home. Stuck in the middle of all the holidays, curfews and a few big battles that happened near us. During the last three weeks, I only went to the university three times. And they were all last week. However, on the next week, I do not think that I will be attending any seminars too, because next Monday is a Shia religious holiday. Next Monday is the "Arba3enia" for the Murder of Al-Hussien. Shias will be gathering at Karbala for the occasion.


You know, I really pray that this one goes peacefully, because there will be quite a few million Shias in Karbala during the next three days. So any terror attack might really do a great damage. Especially that it has been known that terror attacks always target areas where there are a lot of people.


When I went to college last time, I was surprised how it doesn't get affected by all the political mayhem going around it, I think that most of us are too busy with their materials and tests to actually bother with Sunnis, Shias, terrorists and Americans. The police actually discovered a bombed car in front of the university. Although they blocked the street and there was chaos outside, but life inside the university when on like nothing happened, and I only discovered about that car after I got home.


Not more than an hour before, I got a call from a BBC reporter, asking for my opinion about the last three years, considering that the anniversary of the beginning of the war is this weekend. I really was surprised, because I have never thought of it. I never thought of remembering the day the war started. And I won't.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Samara Catastrophe

     I got up early today, I was going to the university today. I was very excited about it, first time I go to the university for three weeks. I do not like sitting in the house with nothing to do with my time. As I expected, it was mostly empty, only for the second attempt students. Second attempt students filled the university, I could tell them because they were studying and memorizing while the seminars had not started yet. I did not stay there much, me and my friend got back as soon as he finished his exams.

     When the cab was close to our main street, my cell phone started ringing. I looked at the number calling me, and it was a private number. It only meant one thing. Someone was calling me from outside Iraq. "Hey I'll get down here if you don't mind", I said to the driver. When I got off, I answered the call. A female voice said "hello" obviously she was not Iraqi, or she would have said "aloo" :) . She later introduced herself as a BBC reporter. I have dealt with them a few times before, especially after the period after the elections. I had been getting calls from them for the past few months now. So I was not surprised when she told me who she was. She asked if I had heard the big news today. I said no what happened.

     "Yesterday a group of armed men dressed in Iraqi Police broke into a shrine in Samara last night, and bombed it this morning after they tied the guards". Now I was confused, I know that the only shrine in Samara is the shrine that "Hasan Al-Askari" and "Ali-Al-hadi" were buried. However, would anyone dare do such a thing? The answer was yes.

     The shrine has a gold covered dome, which is more than 100-year-old. The dome is quite a landmark. It is Iraqi history. We used to see it from far away when we traveled from Baghdad to Mosul, as we pass by Samara. I consider it one of the main structures that define Iraq.

     I believe that the reason for such an attack, is an attempt to stir up civil war, between the Shias and Sunnis. In addition, of course, Al-Sadr is not helping at all. His militias are already calling for revenge, and raiding Sunni mosques. Someone should tell him that Sunnis condemned these attacks, and that no one has claimed responsibility yet, why should he presume it is Sunnis. Does he not notice that he is falling into the plain trap laid in front of him?
The government has just announced tomorrow, Thursday, to be an official holiday.
I will try to update this post as the situation changes.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Cartoon Controversy

     I do not think there is a need to tell you the whole story; most of you know it by now. So let us get into it.
Muslims has and will always be, very sensitive in matters considering Allah, their holy book the "Quran", and the prophet Mohammad. Muslims consider it "haram" �means forbidden in Arabic - to offend anyone of those three. They will take it as a BIG insult when they are offended, or made fun off. The problem is, they sometimes react in violence.

     I have to say that when I heard about them, I was afraid that this might explode the situation here in Iraq. The irony in this is that Iraqis dealt with the problem peacefully. With all the violence around me, I have not heard of any violent action done in Iraq because of these cartoons.

     However, most Iraqis now � including me- are not having anything to do with Denmark anymore. Iraq is officially not importing from Denmark anymore, anything with the labels "Made in Denmark" is being dropped out. I have to note something here, that even the most Anti-Americans in Iraq, will buy American products, but not Danish products, to show you how big an insult that is for Muslims. I have to say that I am proud of the way we handled this matter, peacefully.

     Unlike some of the other Arab countries. Here I want to say that I am 100% against the burning of Denmark embassies, and any violent action done to them.

     I must point out here, that Muslims do not only cherish Mohammed, but all the other prophets as well. We name a lot of our children after the Arabic names of Jesus, which is "3esa", and "Mosa" for Moses.

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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Remeber Me?

     Well, my MIDs are over, and I think I did fine. Althouh I almost missed the first one due to traffic conditions in Baghdad. Feels good to be back at the keyboard :).

     However, My Internet Service Provider chose this time to have a major electricity failure, looks like he is going to be offline for a while. So, I am a heavy guest on Raghda for a while. Pff, I have so many unread messages in my email, not counting junks. Will write a longer post later.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

Less Posts for this Month

     Well, what can I say?. My mid-year exams are coming in two weeks. So my studies are taking more and more time from me. Hassan Kharrufa is a student before and after he is a blogger. Therefore, it is understandable that I will be making fewer posts on the coming days. Once a week maybe.

     Anyway, the big news in Baghdad these days are kidnapping of the daughter or sister of the Iraqi internal affairs minister, Bian Sola3`. The news are still vivid as it looks like they are trying to cover it. But with all those checkpoints around the city, it is obvious that something is wrong. One of my friends did ask them about the reason of all this. That is how I know. The city is looking just like it looked a few days before the elections, or maybe worse. There is a checkpoint in every main street. They reduce a 4-lane street to a single lane street, search the cars, and look at all the women in the cars. Looks like they are determined to find her. So far, the kidnappers have not attempted to contact the family, I think. However, they know that she has been kidnapped because the driver was found, shot.

     Most people say that the woman has been kidnapped as an extreme protest to the current fuel prizes. Although I do not think that, it is relevant. I think that if it was political, the kidnappers would have gone public with it, they have not.

     The result was, that I missed a good part of a lecture I should have attended. Great timing with the mid-year exams knocking on the doors.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year Iraq

     Happy New Year everybody. Happy New Year Iraq.

     Looking back at what Iraq has seen in the last year. Iraq has witnessed two governments. Then voted for a third one. The price of benzene went up from a really low 50 I.D/Litter, to a huge 250 I.D/Litter, and is supposed to go up until it reaches 750 I.D/Litter. I should start calculating how much benzene our car uses. I feel sorry for taxi drivers, now they are going to have to make their prices a lot higher, and people are going to start looking for other ways to move around, I myself I am starting to figure out other ways of going to college instead of relaying on them, in days when our ride doesn't make it.

     The second it was 12:AM, I could hear the sound of shooting in the far. It was the usual shooting-into-the-sky Average Iraqi style of celebrating. But it got different. The shots became faster just a few minutes ago, signalling that the day did not have a peaceful start. The day was not peaceful at all folks. Twelve car bombs in one day. That is too high even for Iraq. But I have to admit that we found ways to keep ourselves happy. We watched a movie, all of us. Then we had a nice family dinner, and finally we exchanged tons of SMS messages and New-Year cards. So, you see Iraqis have fun despite all the disasters happening around them.

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Monday, December 26, 2005

Elections Aftermath

     So far, the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq has not announced the final results of the elections. But the big success that the 555 list (An all Shia list) has achieved so far is creating doubts of the commission's integrity, especially in Baghdad. Accusations and even threats are flying around right now. Just a few days ago, Sunnis organized a massive demonstrations in a few provinces. Some of my friends participated in the Baghdad demonstration. They say that hundreds of thousands were there, and from the pictures I have seen of it, I think they are right. They are demanding that the elections are to be repeated in the provinces that has seen some of these very un-expected results. The un-verified results can be found at the commission's official site.

     Just a few days after the elections, the government decided to partially stop supporting the prices of oil. So the prices of benzene, gasoline and gas has went up 300%, tripled. This has left the Iraqi street in anger. So far, I have not seen a single Iraqi who had liked this decision. Although the price of Oil was very low in Iraq, cheapest than water to be frank, but the Average Iraqi has been used to this prices from the eighties. So the sudden rise in prices has left him raged. Some of the southern militia controlled provinces has even refused to implicate these prices. But I don't think they are going to last much, because the only big refineries capable of handling such massive amounts of oil, are only found in Baghdad, and Beji.

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