Thursday, August 25, 2005

Strangers Have The Best Candy....

Shit...

'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)
The_Kid

'

14 comments:

aNarki-13 said...

Easy now friend. no need to be sad. He's in a far better place by now.. why be sad for him?

Cheer up now, read a little prayer for him before you sleep..

You have your exams now, study hard, grief later.

I still havent griefed for my lost friends. I will when I'm finally far away from Hell.

Smile. You will feel better.

Um Haleema said...

I am so sorry to hear about these horrible things. I will pray that you and your friends and family get through this difficult time. I can't even begin to understand how you must be feeling knowing that all this craziness is going on around you and there is nothing you can do to stop it. It makes me so mad to think of all the brave men and women that gave their lives trying to liberate your country only to have it overtaken by THUGS! Please people, do NOT pay ransom. All it does is ensure that the kidnappings will never end!
Once again, I am very sorry for your pain but try to put it aside for now and take care of yourself and your future. Study and do well on your exam. Good luck!

aNarki-13 said...

Do NOT pay ransom?

Lady, with all do respect, this is NOT a Mel Gibson movie we're talking about.

this is Iraq. We do not go by the California Kidnapping Guide here..

If we do not pay, the kidnapees return in plastic bagS. of various sizes.

Some kidnappings are hate (or sectarian) related, like this one here. they simply did NOT intend to return him from the beginning, they kidnapped him to KILL HIM. the money was simply an added BONUS.

so before you tell US not to pay, think about this:

for every kidnapping you see on television, there are FIFTY you never know about.

oh only if some hotshot journalist with blue eyes got kidnapped, we hear that WORLD organisations are negotiating his release, but us sand-people? hah.

oh and what do you think those organisations are negotiating about? date palms? apple seeds?

Konfused Kid said...

as 13 said here, this ain't Ransom.

this is Real Life.

but i have to disagree, not paying ransom can lead to some positive results, if they had meant to kill him then why should u give them any money? and plus, the likely reaction is to reduce the amount requested.

it really depends on the situation.

Haji Amir was an architect who built mosques, today i heard that the reason for this was that he was building a mosque nearby a Husaynia, and has received threats eariler on...this hit was done by people who want to arise a civil war, Iran could even have a hand here.

tx to all of u : 13, um haleema and my greatest fan, cile, i am really flattered by ur feedback.

cile said...

thank you! ;) hold on in there.

Um Haleema said...

13,
I well realize that this is NOT a movie. Some people paid ransom and their loved ones were killed anyway. You have no guarantee that that ransom is going to deliver your loved one home but you can pretty much guarantee that if kidnapping was not profitable it would stop. Since you don't have some kind of FBI or special police force for kidnappings that you could work with there is nothing that you can do. You must consider your kidnapped loved one a casualty of a disgusting time in history where the people of your country became lawless, murdering pigs. There is nothing else you can do. Unless of course you want to just be selfish and not have any consideration for the people that will just continue to get kidnapped because it has proven to be so lucrative for the kidnappers. By paying ransom you are actually supporting these terrorists. Do you want them gone or not?

aNarki-13 said...

:) in theory what you say is true, but let us not forget that this is Iraq.

we are known for our short tempers and eternally bad moods.. we do NOT have a sense of humor, so a kidnapper would not be in a very humorous mood when he learns he's not going to get back the money spent planning, executing, and tiding up the kidnapping.

people are NOT statistics.
it should NOT be up to US to fight the kidnappings, we should have a police force..

but since they are sooooo busy clearing roads and traffic for the new gods, they dont have time for us lowly nobodies.

they DON'T EVEN HELP YOU IF YOU WALK IN TELLING THEM SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS KIDNAPPED.

oh and btw: kidnappers are not terrorists, 90% of them are Iraqi!

however, they're both doing it for either money, sectarian, or hate reasons.

I dont want to sound like Ed Norton in American History X, but indeed everything in the "New" Iraq is sect related.

but, I digress..
your notes are useful, um haleema, my friend.. excuse me for the rant.

Um Haleema said...

anarki,
I can understand your frustrations. You are wrong though. These kidnappers are nothing other than terrorists. Who says that Iraqis can't be terrorists? The people in "certain" areas of Iraq are being terrorised by these thugs that have taken over their neighborhoods. If you have money, if you don't follow the way they want things to be or if you give them the opportunity you have to be worried that you or one of your loved ones will be kidnapped. This is not terrorism to you? And why do we care if the kidnappers are in bad moods? They are going to kill anyway.

Yes, you should have a police force and the police should have training and policies that they follow. They should be able to help the citizens that they are sworn to protect. It seems however that those are the very people that have the best chance of being murdered. So, in order to have a police force you need to keep the brave people that sign on alive!
Each and every citizen in Iraq has a responsibility to their community. Instead of complaining about how horrible it is you need to do something in order to make it better. Do you have any neighborhood watch programs? Do people pay attention to what is going on in their neighborhood and report anything unusual? Do people pick up garbage that they see laying in the street? If every single person did one small thing it would make a difference.
I'm sorry but I sense that there is an over abundance of selfishness going on in your country right now. You good guys need to get together and decide whether or not you want to live in a civilized society. Time to declare war on those thugs that want to destroy your country. One of the things to do is to make sure that they don't profit from kidnappings.
Whew! Talk about rants! Sorry but I get very disgusted when I think about all the lives that were lost to free you from Sadaam and his horrors. For what? For the country to be taken over by thugs?
My thoughts and prayers are with all the peace loving people of Iraq
as well as those who are there with all the good intentions of helping you create a peaceful place to live. I have to believe that things will get better for you very soon.
Salaam

Konfused Kid said...

people people...

anyway, my two cents on this 'rant' is as follows :

i was talking to my aunt the other day about this and i tried Um Haleema's theory on her (never pay) and she said will u have the heart? THAT is the problem, not whatever else is. Anarki, many of the things u said are not true, Iraqis HAVE a sense of humor and their mood isn't as volatile as u projected it, as a matter of fact, if the guy's dead anyway, why the hell should u pay? as a reward?
but i don't think that not paying should resolve the problem, they didn't get him for the MONEY, they wanted to KILL him anyway, money's the cover story and the bonus benefit.
In the beginning (2003), people got kidnapped all the time and they all returned safe because i beleive those were the NORMAL type of kidnappings, today is insanely different, everybody gets WHACKED, which leads one to suspect that this is organzied and is funded by some larger hand.
Never forget : lotsa dead Sunnis, the Civil War-uprising connection isn't really very far....

If u have hopes of stalling, then i suggest NOT PAYING because it's the only sure way u can do to delay his death, if u have hopes for him coming back in some miraculous feat of u perform on ur side (which is virtually nonexistent). however if u want his death to be merciful and quick, then PAY IMMEDIATELY (like one of the poor families did the other day, guy vanishes, they paid the next day (no negotiations for letting down the prics (50 daftars - which translates to 50000 dollars!) and the guy is returned dead the third.

true, there are a lot of nice guys around but all they do is continue to be NICE, which is not what is required here.

If this country (and nation) is going anywhere, it is by men who DO, not SAY....

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