'How did things ever get so far?' - Vito Corleone
SONG : naaah....
This is a man altered writing here.
U can never fully comprehend a catastraophe until it touches u in some way.
It's been a week since i last scribbled around here, the reason for absence was that i didn't feel like it, or like doing anything for all that matters, plus there's this ever-present exam looming around everything i do lately (i do a lot of things, except studying) and today i finally took my final mid-term, which gives me a break for a week until the encore - that being the FINAL eggzamz.
Well, as i said earlier, shit.
Let me tell u about something that shook me up a bit past week, i was bored, goddammit, but i didn't want this!
I recieved the news whilst innocently bystanding a casual family conversation in the living room, two of my relatives were discussing the kidnapping of someone, the usual Iraqi small-talk these days, pretending an interest, i asked about the name of the guy. they told me it was Haji Amir, and the weirdest thing happened.
I felt my heart sink to my underwear...something like the slight ruffle u get inside ur belly when an elevator going down stops.
Haji Amir! of all the people! they chose the nicest, most loving, caring person. Now i am not a religious dude per se...but i have enormous respect for these people and i wish i could get my act together like them if i could, and Haji Amir was one of the most charming, do-gooders i ever met. An old friend of my father's, i remember him when my dad used to take me out swimming with his buddies, Haji Amir was a hugely-built bearded man with an effacing smile and a tolerant nature, he spent his past few years building mosques. He also had the gift of charisma, and this is from a guy who only spoke to him five words in the past two years, these words were spoken after a Friday prayer, i told him how tough the preacher was and he just laughed, it was the most negligible small-talk ever, and yet i distinctly remember coming out with a big shine inside me and huge grin on my face. Have u ever met somebody who can make u feel very good abotu yourself and the world in general? He was like that, a pure man of God, many men of God are not pure, but Haji Amir was different, and some MOTHERFUCKERS abducted him from a mosque-building location and then butchered him after a few days of torture after picking up the money and running.
God damn it. Of all the people! i felt very shaken by the horrid reality of the world that day, everything felt so dark and for the first time i sensed the true extent to which this country is kcufed-up, forget the gasoline/electricity/water shortages, this country is going to pot...
now i am not an emotional person, i have learned through years of conditiong to my enironvement to harbor apathy and convey distance, but that day i discovered something that i already know, i am terribly sensitive inside....and the stark nakedness of the safana made my apathy unbearable...
my pillow had spots on them the next day.
they did this huge funeral for him and they buried him at Abu Haneefa, his black-rags can still be seen around Adhamiya, rest in peace, Amo Amir, u r in our hearts and prayers, this is God's will and we cannot do anything to it, This may be a blessing for u, now that u have passed through it all. Despair and sincere sadness overwhelms me even today as i write this.
I had several other things to tell u, but since we are discussing abductions, let me give u some more abduction stories. some of this may get me in trouble, but i don't care anymore.
THE ONE WITH THE 3ALAAS
This story is fresh, i know the guys in it.
a rich kid's son is usually seen toting around his mobile and laptop like he doesn't care somewhere around Baghdad, some people don't like that, so they give him the candy and ask the father to cough it up, the father coldly responds that he does not want the boy and that they may keep him.
the next day the the boy is released with apologies and even money thrown in for good measure.
nobody knows what happened until one day the mother of the father wrestles it out of her husband....it seems that the father had many connections, so after he hung up on them dudes he called up some contacts he had with Al-Mahdi's army (Saadir guys), these guys told him that in every major region of Baghdad there is a certain person known as El 3alaas (literally translated means : The Chewer) who is responsible for ticking off people suitable for abductions and informing interested gangs about them. a traffic control, a pimp, whatever, so the Mahdi people went to 3alaas and they beat the shit out of them until he told them which gang and the next day the kid is freed, courtesy of Moqtada & Co.
Don't u just love the weather these days?
There were cigarette burns on the boy's leg (that's what the money is for, anyone?) and he told his father that they used to give him capsala pills (which is the iraqi equivalent of drugs) and burn him with cigs, gangs have no fun.
THE ONE WITH THE PRAYER
Same thing, abduction of a kid. Kid tells gang he wants to pray, gang is amazed at his : YOU PRAY?!? they treat him like a queen and bring him Kebab for dinner before setting him free the next day.
Huh? maybe i'll try saying I WENT TO MECCA on my turn.
THE ONE WITH THE FATHER'S PRIDE
Gang abducts daughter. Calls up dad, Dad is one of these traditionalists, girl's-honor-is-like-a-candle kinda guy. He is rude to the gang and show no fear of them, calls em doggies and pimps and fuckers and offers no money for them screwing his daughter, he tells them to bring her here so he could kill her himself. The gang tries all sorts of stuff with him but to no avail, one day a gang member personally comes to the house and proclaims that the gang leader wants to meet with the father, the father says yes, the gang appears with all cars and fancy stuff and they bring the girl with them, the gangleader comes forward and he says to teh father that he swears that they have never ever touched a single hair of her and that he was impressed and he is turning her back with no money at all....one thing leads to another and everybody's a-laughing over tea.
This is a little out there, but the i know the guy who told it pretty good and he don't show off, maybe he highlighted some, plus it coulda happen if u r really lucky.
FAKE BOMBERS? Taxi driver is a brother of some guy at our university, he drives a '95 Daewoo Prince which is kinda fair deal for a car in Iraq, the fare consists of a bearded arab who kept telling him abotu the prophet and all that Gafaar Abassi talk when all of a sudden they wtiness an american tank...arab tells him to pull over there....taxi driver looks at him weirdly 'no, i can't'
'pull voer here and today u're having lunch with the prophet in heaven above'
'but i already had lunch!'
poor guy lets go of his car and runs, only to find out blocks later the arab guy driving his poor car back the route he came.....
Fun? Yeah, good ones to enjoy while we're in this dumpster hole...let's see what else? what about the one when they kidnap the guy and want money and slit his throat and throw him in the dumpster after bailing with the money???? a gazillion stories are like this, and this semi-war frame sure isn't helping either, it's pretty much a gangland aroudn here, nobody goes to the cops, all negotiations is settled with the gang. but u see there are a lot of dead Sunnis nowadays and it could get pretty ugly....
i have no hopes for this country anymore, i am feeling currently what both Neurotic Wife and Anarki13 have felt about in some eariler time at their respective blogs as well as countless other iraqis, this is so UNGODLY....it gets me so pissed off at everything that all i want to do....is....
well....why, go around and shoot stuff, naturally i'm an Iraqi cha moo hechi el hachi yaba? - so i guess i'd keep it shut and take it like a chicken
Unlike 13 who went and strummed Bob Dylan i was at a loss to put some westernized death song for my Haji Amir, oh i have plenty...Clapton (Tears In Heaven) and the overwrought Cobain/Leadbelly (Where Did You Sleep Last Night) but i feel the only thing that serves him right is a passage from the Holy Quran :
سلام بما صبرتم فنعم عقبى الدار
الله يبسط الرزق لمن يشاء و يقدر و فرحوا بالحياة الدنيا و ما الحيوة الدنيا في الاخرة الا متاع
We are of God, and to God we return.
Out and About, Stay Safe (Stay Home)