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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

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Digital Camera

  Today I went to college armed with a digital camera, one of my friends has a brother who works in the mobile company (Iraqna). So we had an intention of making him call some of the guys with his private number, which doesn't show it's number when he calls, so whoever he calls the caller will not know who is calling. The plan was that he calls a few of the guys and tells them a few of last numbers they called and tells them that someone of them has made a complain about him and if he didn't stop calling him, his line would be cut off. I was supposed to zoom in from a distance and take a few pictures of them after the shock. Sadly the signal of Iraqna was really bad this day at college we couldn't call the brother and give him the green light.

  But I wasn't going to come back with an empty camera, so I took some pictures with friends and a couple of pictures for my department, which I have an intention of publishing them, if the internet connection is going to allow it, because it is really crawling today.

  The funny thing is this: In our department bringing a mobile that has a camera is not allowed, while bringing a digital camera is allowed. The reason in forbidding mobiles with cameras is that some of the students used them to photograph professors in their classes. Now is it not possible to do the same thing from outside the class without being noticed with a digital camera, and you can even zoom the camera to get a really good picture. And yet my Nokia 3200 is not allowed while the Epson camera is allowed.

  By the way, do you remeber the small pump in the big underground hall that I keep talking about, it is still working and taking the water out, but I think that there is a sanitary problem in the hall, becuase the water doesn't seem to be going away.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Small Minds

  I know it has been a while since I last blogged, been busy. Yesterday I went to college, There are still some spots of water left here and there, but what got my attention is an underground hall which is about 2m below ground level. This hall has some water still left in it, the water is about a feet high, but the staff are using a pump that is no bigger than my hand to get the water out, I think they will be finished by the day after tomorrow, if the pump can survive that long without being shut down.

  The only possible explanation is that they are VERY small minded, because it is obvious that a 40 m2 hall is going to need a lot more firepower. So they bring in the cheapest motor they can find and plug it in, then leave it there and come check it out a couple of days later, what would that accomplish, probably burning the pump and the hall won't be much different, and then they might think of getting something a little bigger than that pump.

  Another example of small minds are the public transports that come and go from college, the main street which the college is connected to, is called (Al-Sina3a St.) meaning The Industrial Street, it is a pretty street with lots of computer stores in it, it is known all over Baghdad that if you want anything related to computers, then you should go to Al-Sina3a St. The problem is that cars park and double park on it's sides so that leaves only one moving lane, and that is the lane in which those big public transit cars come and make their stops, and they don't move an inch until the car is full. This usually creates major traffic conjunction and other public transit cars waiting for their turns would go mad and screaming everywhere for it to move, then they take the first one's place and do exactly as it does.

  Well today we discovered the reason why our cable connection is so Unconnected after 7:30 PM. The newest way to make a vehicle explode is to wire it with a mobile, so when the mobile rings the vehicle explodes. The US army has put jammers on it's humvees and tanks, and they jam any transmission including wireless connections, and that is what caused so much trouble with internet. The same happens to my cell phone, after 7:30 PM the signal disappears and it re-appears near midnight. And the reason so many cars explode after the targeted convoy is too far is that the terrorist would rather die than go back to his comrades in failure. And that is the smallest mind I can find.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

Rain, rain and more rain

At the time I'm writing this post, the rain has been coming for a little more than 24 hours. And I am trapped in the house, cars can't go out because you can't see the street, since it is covered in water. If you can't see the street, then your car could be stuck in a hole or anything, we have lots of them around here. Here see those pictures you'll understand.

We really are going to need boats.

This umbrella saved my life.

I wish had some bath foam.

See the dots in the water?. This is the rain still coming down.

They say this is a street, It looks like a river to me.

That car isn't going anywhere for a while.

Well you've seen what it is like now, I'll show you each one of those pictures when the water is gone, you'll be surprised.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Need For Speed

  Just a while ago I came from the most rainy day I have ever seen, it didn't rain like this even in the winter, and I thought this was summer or someting. On the way back from college to my home I saw a handfull of single accident,
one group accident and a couple of cars that got stuck in the mud. I guess I wasn't the only one caught un-aware. This is because of the combined effect of rain and another Average Iraqi characteristic; It is the Need For Speed.

  That's right, just like the name of the game, An Average Iraqi has a real need for speed. On highway it is not uncommon to see cars going above 160 km/h (roughly 90 m/h) and some sports do well above 220 km/h (roughly 124 m/h). If
you think that it needs the left lane to happen then you are wrong, passing from the right is very easy and much more likely.

  Going forward is not the only solution, there is the sideways way too. For example; jeeps especially the Nissan Patrol, GMC and Path Finder often go above the middle island, thus avoiding wating for their turns on U turns, which
is usually crowded.

  By now you must be thinking, I've seen it all, but you are wrong, because going forward or sideways doesn't always work, so that leaves backward. This is done by going wrong side on the left, because we drive on the right in Iraq.
And it seems that the most lane to the right of every road is always left to the wrong-siders to avoid accidents. So you see this kind of driving is the reason of most acciedents, I guess being average isn't alwasy enough.

  Next on the blog news: Since my last post Najma posted twice, the first one is on the same topic as my 22 down post, the second one has a link to the new Family Blog they have done, in which her mother (aya grany) has recently wrote her first and second posts. HNK did the same thing the way I see it in her 2 lines post. Their Father (who's is my mother's uncle, so I guess that makes him my great uncle??) did the same on his one of two posts recenlty, on the second one he gave me a hand in telling another Average Iraqi characteristic, which is an interesting subject backed by a funny story.Cile posted a post recently which I think is about interviews on his Streamtime but I'm sure that after reading this he will enlighten me about it.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005


  My uncle has recently traveled to United Arab Imarates, just a few days after Raghda's father went to the same destination. I don't know if he had said it in his blog but he lives with his wife and a three years old daughter. They live in a my grandparents BIG house. She is supposed to follow him in a few weeks. So someone must stay with my grand parents because, they can't be left alone, guess who is the replacement.

  This is going to be a weird experience, I have lived before with my grandparents, there was a time when I and my grandfather were the only ones in Baghdad, but this is going to be for a longer term. There are benefits for me and disadvatages too.


1. The house is much closer to a main street compared to our isolated house, and is closer to most of my friends.

2. My grandfather is my fan no.1, so I rarely get NO for an answer.

3. The same goes for my grandmother.

4. I will be away from my annoying brother, wich I think HNK will agree with me that it is a blessing, since she and Najma had an unforgettable experience with him while I was in Baghdad.


1. I am going to have fist fights on every meal because, somehow in the eyes of my grandmother I never eat enough. And on other occasions when I'm not hungry she will think that I don't like whatever she had prepared, and before I know it the whole refregrator will be on the table.

2. They always fight on the slightest things, me and my brother don't fight as much as they do, and we fight all the time. So the judge in most of their fights is going to be me. God helps them.

3. I have a habit of talking fast and skipping some letters in the process, and my grandfather just can't understand a word from me, he understands my 4 years sister better than he understands me.

4. They don't have an internet cable connection, so I am going to have to stick with dial up connection, so putting a post will take half the day.

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Bad Luck

   Finally Giuliana Sgrena the Italian journalist which was being held hostage in Iraq, has made it back home, but she has been shot in the shoulder and one of her bodyguards is killed. No it wasn't the Iraqis, it was the U.S army. Don't believe me, read it here . Those soldiers are supposed to have been trained for two years right?. Why would they do something like that then??. It is because the car didn't slow down at a check point, and because it is the custom of terrorist fighters to come flying at check points, soldiers shoot any speeding car which fails to slow down at a check point, and Giuliana Sgrena was no exception. I don't blame them for shooting, but I blame them for what they shot, couldn't they just shoot at the car instead of the people in it, I think they can. May be this accident will change the way U.S soldiers treat other people.

   Next on the blog news: The two runaways, Raghda and Dalia are back with pretty good posts. Oh and here is a really good blogger, Najma with her relatives carnival post, which I look good in it. And last, HNK is whining AGAIN but she has a cute picture which is worth seeing and her post is a reflection of her.

  Yes this should be useful, On the left is my new emailing list service, instead of coming from time to time to see if I have updated my blog, why don't you let me come to you. Subscribe and I'll take care of the rest. Unfortunately it can only support 500 subscribers. May be I'll be able to do something about this in the future.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Internet Finally

  It has been a couple of days without internet for me, our service provider is switching satellites, he finally figured it out and we are back on the road. He says this one is faster than the older one, I'm not noticing any difference, may be am wrong but at least it is the same.

  The new weekend (Saturday) is making problems at college, week schedules are changed and like 4 hours are lost every week that needs to be put on other days, it is only my department that is not having trouble because our department original day off was Saturday, so it is like nothing has changed. I gave my blog address to some of the guys at college, they just can't believe they can get unlimited capacity for free without commercials, may be we'll be seeing more of them later.

  Some thing terrible happened today, Raghda's father is traveling to United Arab Imarates and so his cell phone is now Raghda's. Today she miss-called me at 6 am to wake me up, and I usually wake up much later, so I was very HAPPY when she called. But tonight at 2 am is payback time, I'll make sure she doesn't get a good night's sleep.