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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

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Students Day

The students day used to be a holiday in Iraq. Celebrating the students everywhere. Although we do not celebrate it in college. But in my 6 year old sister's school. They did. I shall post you some of their photos. You can see clearly how much work was done in order to hide the children from the face of war.

This celebration has a history. It is celebrates the founding of the National Union of Iraqi Students. Which was the Student's union representative of the Baath party.

Before the war, children in every school would have a party during the day. They would bring gifts for their teachers. Throw a party on the day. So when this day came. The students were eager to have a party, how many student will understand that they can not have fun because this holiday was founded during the days of Saddam. So the principle of the school decided that the children deserved better than excuses . I liked what she did very much. Because does it really matter if the ex-regime founded this celebration. How can you explain to a child why he can not give gifts to his teacher. How can you tell him that it is not his fault, but he can not celebrate today although they know very much that this day is a party day. In other schools, a few children took some gifts and gave them to their teachers. The teacher refused to take it. What would that child feels when the teacher rejects his gift. I don't think that he will understand that the teacher doesn't hate him. My 9 year old niece which goes to another school than my sister, came home devastated when her teacher rejected her gift. Of course after that the child was afraid to go to another teacher and give her a gift because she thought that no one likes her.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

When Should the US leave??

     First of all the question is when, not should. Because it is a sure thing that the Americans should leave eventually. It is whether it should be done sooner or later that has been a discussion opener, in the US. Although there is a huge discussion about this in the US. But it seems that the Iraqis are not really interested at the moment. They have other things on their mind. The elections are coming, but that is going to be a topic for another post.

     My opinion: Iraq is not ready for the US to pull its troops out. Maybe in a year or so, but not at the moment. I have a few reasons:

     First: There are still many armed militias in Iraq. No country can prosper and grow with such militias in it. Like the Mahdi Army, Badr Brigade, Terrorist factions and even the Kurdish Besh Merga. . These militias have to be disbanded. Either peacefully or by means of arms. The US army would prove to be most useful in this I think. The Iraqi army may be trained well, but from what I have seen, they are way behind in equipment. They roam the cities in civilian pick-up trucks, and SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles, or as we call them 4WD in Iraq) that are not even bullet prove.

     Second: With no powerful government in command. And the many disagreements and infighting between the Iraqi politicians. Civil war might stir up when there is no unchallengeable power force in Iraq. Like the US army. In which I hope we can replace by the Iraqi Army in the future. As there is no question that we cannot rely on the US army much longer. As probably it is the main reason all this violence has started in the first place.

     Third: Iraqi is simply not ready yet.

     What is done is done. It won't do anything to disscuss whether the American ivasion of Iraq was right or not. We can only go on from here, the question is how do we go on. I know many Iraqis are going to disagree, Najma will be the first, American liberals will too. I know I have objected to what the US is doing in Iraq now. But I will object too if they leave now, guess I am hard to satisfy after all.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Another Free.. Eh Terrorist Attack

     I just said it in the last post. Terrorist attacks are being made in the name of freedom fighting. Just this morning a car bomb exploded near Al-Hamra hotel in Karada Baghdad. Followed by another bomb; a bigger car, or a truck as I heard. Look at this picture; you will see what I mean.

     Want more pictures, see Yahoo slide show about Iraq.

     The blast was so strong a building fell over, completely. As usual, none of the intended targets of the attack got hurt. Only civilians were killed or injured. Read the whole story on Yahoo news.

     The Washington Post office was close to the attack to. Thankfully no one got hurt, but the office is in chaos. They were a little late to put coverage about the blast, as they rounded up every blast that happened during the day. You will see in this article how violent the day was


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Monday, November 14, 2005

Freedom Fighting or Terror Attacks

     There is a big difference between the two terms. Although many people in Iraq fail to realize the two terms, but there is a big difference. Freedom Fighting does not hurt Iraqis; it should only be against occupying forces. This has almost stopped now. Most if not all the recent attacks I see or hear about are always killing a lot more Iraqis than Americans. Although at this point, I do not see how any can benefit Iraq. I know I am not the only one who thinks this, but violence whatsoever in Iraq is not useful. Whether it is freedom fighting, or terror attacks they are always a step backward. I know that many Iraqis favor freedom fighters and call them heroes and all, but this really is not the time for this. There is a faster and easier way to get the Americans out of Iraq, which I guess is what we all want. The next elections are not far from now, although I do not know how long it will take after that. Surely, it is faster than the hard way.

     After the war, all if not most of the violence in Iraq was happening between Al-Mujahedeen and the American forces. Now we rarely hear about those. Looks like the same people are now picking on more soft targets, with a goal to kill as many as possible. Take the recent attacks on the Iraqi restaurant. Or even the attacks in Jordan. They are both claimed to be freedom-fighting attacks. Both were done against places that supposedly serve or house Iraqi Soldiers or Americans. However, what is the outcome. They both killed and injured a lot more civilians than Soldiers or "Infidels", none were killed in the case of the Jordanian attacks.

     It is time I gave up my opinion. I put a question mark on Freedom Attacks, discussion-able, is it really doing what it should, or is making things worse. I put a bold NO for terror attacks of any kind.

Note: This post has been emailed to my Email List subscribers. I would have written a longer post, but I am getting too busy these days with studying and all. Gotta go, I have a report to make.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Where are you M??

     Ok, I have finally figured out why I couldn't post. It seems that there are some incompatibility with Opera. Which I use as a browser. I guess I am going to be forced back to Internet Explorer. Oh well.

     It was 12:10 Am when the cell rang. I had just prayed the dinner prayer and was going to sleep. I was surprised when it rang. This is not a usual time for it to ring. I ran to it, and looked at the name calling. It was a friend of mine named S*****. (I'll just call him S.). Who doesn't call me much. So I was surprised that he was calling at this hour. I answered the call.

Hassan:"Hello S."
S:"Hello Hassan, hey tell me do you have M's cell number"
Hassan:"M??? Uhh no, but I thought you had it?"
S:"I do. But I can't call him. He went out this morning and went to Al-Mansour. He hadn't returned yet.."
Hassan:"WHAT??. But it is past midnight. If he hadn't returned then something bad must have happened to him"
S:"Look, you are closer to his region than I am. I will give you his cell number try dialing. Maybe you can reach him. I haven't been able to reach him. His parents has gone crazy."
Hassan:"Okay okay. Give it to me, let me see what I can do."

     I hung up. Thinking of the worst. I began dialing M's number. This was weird this was a guy that I have never called before. I wouldn't even know if it was him or not anyway. His phone was being reported shut down. This sometimes happened if the cell coverage is poor. But after the 15th try, I gave up trying. Feeling helpless, I retailed S.

S:"Hey Hassan, did you get to him???"
Hassan:"No... I can't reach him. Seems like his phone is off."
S:"Damn. Where the hell is he??"
Hassan:"I feel sorry for his family. Thy will have to wait till the morning in order to do something."
S:"His father is in Emirates. But he is going to come to Iraq tomorrow to help search for him."
Hassan:"Poor guy. He probably is leaving all his work undone. I hope he is well."

     I hung up again. Feeling helpless again. I had to go to sleep since I was going to wake up early the next day. When I went to college this morning. M didn't show up. S was a mess. I don't know how he could show up at all. Right now. It is 9:00 Pm. More than 24 hours since he went missing. I called S a few minutes. He told me that strangers has called his uncle's house, and told them that they have kidnapped M. But they didn't tell a ransom. It is their way to make the parents wait in agony until they make one. Those people don't treat the Iraqis they kidnap well, they might treat a foreigner good, but never an Iraqi. They might not even bother to give him more than one meal a day. I pray for his safety.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Eid Ends Peacefully.....Somehow

I'm making this post through Email Posting. I can't post by the regular way. Each time I press the publish button the post disappears. Am I alone??

I don't know if it was me not following the news, or the Eid actually went almost peacefully. Of course there was a car bomb at the Iraqi Police, but I think that was it for Eid. All that happened. So I can safely say that Eid passed peacefully. We had so much fun in it. We had The Mosul Family as our guests during that. Of course I had already put our two computers on a network and proxied them so there is internet in both of them. Me and Najma won't be at each other's throat for it.

On the morning of the first day, we stayed home. Receiving visitors from all over Baghdad, lots of relatives kept coming during all three days. In the afternoon me, my brother, three of our cousins and three of our friends went out, simply hanging out and spending some of our money. :) . During the second day we simply stayed home. Third day I went to a party that was being thrown for the kids. Saw Treasure of Baghdad and 24 Steps to Liberty there too. We had so much pleasant time there, the most of it was watching the kids play around, running everywhere and then at the end of the party we gave each of them a gift to take home (I might post pictures later if I got some). J.S. was the most person addicted to the kids in there, I think a lot of the kids will remember her when they go home. From the second I arrived to the second I left, she was simply playing with them. Made me think, why isn't there an Iraqi that is so occupied with kids and have such heart for them. I play with my little sister sometimes, and I like her very much. But I don't think I can play with kids for a continuous 3 or 4 hours like she did.

You know I consider it the specialty of Iraqis to be able to have fun in the worst circumstances. I saw a lot of weddings on Saturday, although we usually marry on Thursdays, but what better time to marry than in the middle of Eid. I'm guessing most of you don't know how an Average Iraqi weds, prepare (or celebrates the wedding more precisely.

Of course the first thing they would think about it is usually the place where the main party is going to be held at. It has to be a big hall or an open space with so many seats and space enough for a really large number of people, as usually even the very distant cousins and relatives that you might have seen once or twice in your life, are invited. Neighbors and friends are invited too. Guess you make sure that everyone knows you are marrying. :). The traditional sign of happiness among the Iraqis is used too. Which is of course shooting live bullets in the air, surprised?? Don't be, this is the official sign of happiness for the Average Iraqi. Whether it is his friend's wedding, a win of the Iraqi football team or simply a happy event in his life, he shoots in the air. Whether it is just a pistol, or a classic AK-47 (Klashinkov), or even an extra-noisy rifle. Or in one case I have heard of, an RPG-7 shot at an empty plot. Don't worry no one got hurt, thankfuly.

Back to the wedding, sometimes the hall or the big space is above the financial abilities of a simple Average Iraqi. So a small party held at home would be enough. But a-must-happen is the ride the man and his wife make in a car. This is an Iraqi tradition, that the man and his wife ride in the most expensive car in the party, usually a Mercedes or a BMW, which is always cleaned to the bone, and makiaged in ribbons. That car will lead the convoy of happy cars. All of these cars will be sounding their horns during the trip, doesn't matter if they pass during a hospital or even an American convoy. They just keep "horning".