Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Faith Restored


ANYONE who's been following this blog would have no difficulty finding out that I am as optimistic about Iraq as a dead skunk on the side-road, all the books that I read, all the things I see and hear everyday, from friends, from TV, from parents, all serves to confirm my deductions about the future of the country-to-have-been. You could only imagine my own shock as I found myself trying hard as a I can to resist swelling tears as I was watching the Iraqi team win the semifinal on a penalty shot against South Korea, looking up, I realized something, none of the players were smiling...

They were all crying too.

It was magical, as if they were all thinking the same thing as I am. This is not a regular victory, this is a bittersweet one, a deeper, more meaningful one. To me, that was a 'born-again' movie moment, something which definitely was one of those moments that make life worth living. I did not even care if they won the final, as that moment had singlehadedly convinced me in a very practical manner of something I was dilligently trying to shed my skin away from all this past period : that one can love his country with no strings attached whatsoever - but they did win the final in a historic match.
If you do recall correctly, A similar event presented itself when Iraqi singer Shadha Hasoon won the StarAcademy contest, another event that was trumpeted up our helpless asses as a figure that Iraq was still strong, my reaction was audibly toilety. As a matter of fact, I was not basking alone in my cave of contempt but a great portion of people felt the same way, so why should football, yet another leisure-time concept imported from the infidel West, trigger such emotions? While both singing and football are universal delights, football is too embedded in the national consciousness to be regarded as a 'western import' now, even though some half-brained clerics occasionally try to voice that idea, football has nothing that could be considered as in explicit violation of religious decrees, and it found its die-hard audience as the number 1 sport in most of the world countries, including Iraq.

Here's something interesting: I went out after the game to the commercial Rabia district, where scores of Iraqis gathered shouting and chanting in front of the most popular Iraqi restaurant, Qassim Abu il-Kass, I even shared a bit into the 'mosh-pit' of people jumping up and down and it was all fine for about 10 or 15 minutes, and that's when this black 4x4 came in out of nowhere, somebody was standing on top of it, and he was holding a picture of Saddam Hussein, he was shouting at the top of his voice only for one thing: "our blood, our soul, we sacrifice to you Saddam" (which is hugely ironic, since "we" are still alive and chanting), a few chimed in this, but i believe most did not, and in fact it generated a counter-chant (our blood, our soul, we give to you Iraq), I was revelling with disgust and I really considered hurling a shoe at the picture of the man who was the only one sacrificed so far, but it didn't last long, since the Jordanian security guards came, very angry and rugged, and started dispersing the crowds, they took about a dozen young men for charges ranging from holding the Iraqi flag, talking back, and beating a daff (tambourine like thingie), they may have had a right to disperse us, as the street was a major commercial one and it was clogged bad, but their most violent, uncouth method of doing so was certainly reflective of the solidarity of the Arab nations, and it is really nice if compared to this picture taken in Sweden, where the people there are perhaps 1/10 of the ones in Jordan but the celerbation there was 10 times as bigger, allegedly WITH the help of the police, who closed the place for them (click to enlarge):









Yes, I do realize that probably it may have no effect on the bloodbath back home, and things could be darker than one would ever imagine, but what this thing did for me, and hopefully for many other Iraqis, is that it reminded us that there is indeed something that is common between all of us that is real and genuine, a deep chord that is resonating still inside, whether it was already present and we lost it, or whether we are all hoping for that could transpire practically in the future, in any case, for the first time in my life, I believe in Iraq with conviction, and that is certainly enough.


NOTE: This seminal Zeyad post includes a lot of pictures about worldwide Iraqi celebrations , the ones in Jordan feature the Saddam picture i was talking about as well as a hazy YouTube video of the Jordanian security episode.

27 comments:

tv said...

Congrats!

Sometimes hope is all you have.

Iraqi Mojo said...

'which is hugely ironic, since "we" are still alive and chanting'

That was really funny, kid!

3eeraqimedic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruno said...

Kid, I love the gritty style of writing you have. You should post more ... :)

The Iraq win was great news on so many levels. The re-igniting of the flickering flame of national solidarity is a big part of it. How long it will last ...

I wouldn't have wasted a shoe on the picture, btw ... :D

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I am as optimistic about Iraq as a dead skunk on the side-road,...

ROTFL! Oh, Kid, I have missed your delicate way of putting things! :D

I know it's hard to be optimistic after everything that has happened in Iraq. But, I think, this reaction to the Iraqi win shows the genuine desire of many Iraqis to find unity again. Anyway, I will hope it is so. :)

Konfused Kid said...

thanks everyone...but my personal favorite is : 'my reaction was toilety'.

Sermad said...

The win was a happy event for many people and for once let us leave war, death and politics out we will come back to them on many other occasions. Go Lions go we are happy today!!

PS: Kid your reporting is great even when I do not agree with you or your tone! I love your original style for some reason. Keep up the fantastic work

Marcus said...

Kid, your posts are always a great read. I can only agree with the previous posters here that you have a very cool writing style. Keep posting & congrats for the title in Asias Cup.

Don Cox said...

Excellent bit of writing. Keep going.____I just finished reading "Terror and Liberalism" by Paul Berman, which came out around three years ago. I thought it was very well done and worth reading. You might like it.

annie said...

for the first time in my life, I believe in Iraq with conviction, and that is certainly enough.

wow, that is really good to hear.

Glory Rose! said...

The undeniable effect of football... My mother who never watches it was waiting for the game to begin, holding the remote control in her hand and cheering like all of us, though she doesn't know much about it :P... It was definitely a day away from hell, and what makes me even more happy is that no explosions happened that day to ruin it for us, thank God!

tsl said...

I'm so, so happy for you iraqis. You won! XD

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

but my personal favorite is : 'my reaction was toilety'. Kid

Hmmm...guys always like bathroom humor. Go figure. Well, being from Minnesota I can relate more to the dead skunk thing. ;)

Little Penguin said...

Kid, it's endearing to know that even YOU have a flicker of a flame within you that'll keep burning for Iraq..

putting mushiness aside, the celebrations here in London were out of this world.. it was like everyone was this mass-rave and everyone had taken a pill too many.. I've got loads of pictures and videos which I'll be more than glad to send to you..

you know what, F*CK the jordanian government!

Regards :)

Konfused Kid said...

thanx penguin, i am glad you had fun.

Matt said...

So happy for you guys! Glad you all had a moment of glory and a few moments of "normality". Congratulations again, Kid, to you and all of Iraq!

Caesar of Pentra said...

Yo, man! Hehehe, We got our deal of "respect" from the Syrian security authoroties here in Damascus! We were celebrating the big event in some Iraqi high-populated area in Damascus! Some of us were chanting, some
were jumping and dancing.Our
celebration was so peacful and we did harm nobody with that. But that didn't please the
authoroties here, and they hurried to choke that joy with thier bats and heavy sticks.
the policemen called the fire brigades to scatter the crowds. We've been chased (me and my
bro) from ally to ally. Hehehe, it was hell funny! I heard that the iraqi ppl in Iran got the same deal of "respect" from the police there.
Anyway, leave us from that! The event is bigger than to be touched by some absurd actions.

I, yo

Gilgamish said...

I thought that I restored my faith with the whole Iraqi unity thingi, but I discovered later on, Iraqis mu shgool hichi complex thinking, they just want to have fun and will go back thinking the same old way.

I thought, it had a beyond sports meaning but I do not think so, bcz reality is this.

Or if there is faith, then Iraqis are the laziest people planet earth has ever known, they are not doing anything?

Leave alone refugees or people who can not sustain their living but the ones who can, kulshi maku.

Iraqis think talking politics is wierd, they would rather talk about shopping, and what is their next summer trip.

if they do anything, ok, funraising.....

but the root cause of the problem. !!!

Jaguar b. p. said...

And do you plan on doing something other than running after a ball,
for example, I don't know, expelling the 165,000 Crusaders from Iraq

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