Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Shiqaqnifaq and Lot

the recent two posts by Iraqi bloggers describing their experiences at the Jordanian airport has caused a flurry of activity little seen in the Arab blogosphere,the first post was by Omar at Iraq The Model, and the second and more detailed one involves Last of Iraqis as he tries to spend a little vacation there with his wife, both posts revolve around the rejection, but most importantly humilitation, they receive as they spend the day waiting for a flight back in a room Iraqis dub 'the jail' (pictures available at LastIraqis's post, as well as a video on Zeyad's).
This was soon followed by all sorts of reactions from both sides of the British Sykos-Picot divide, in addition to others from the Arab world, ranging everywhere from apologetic to extreme far-right, I have collected the ones I could find here, there might be others:
Arguing for Iraq: Catholic Sunni Shia, Silly Bahraini
Arguing for Jordan: Black Iris( has the most interesting discussions in its comments),
Moey , Bakkouz(now removed).
Balanced: Mkilany , Qwaider,

Interestingly, further research revealed a Jordanian Facebook group called We Hate Iraqis.
Aimed at expelling the '1)smelly, 2)suddenly rich Iraqis 3)who've been less than 10 years in Jordan', I constitutionally violate the 2nd clause, but obviously i am (3) and I am sure as shit smelly, I'm sorry folks but I sweat a lot and your water is scarce. So i thought i'd save it to you and rot for the sake of keeping your natural resources.

All jokes aside, the treatment of Iraqis in Jordanian airport is certainly unacceptable as a lot of Jordanians have pointed out, but some Jordanians (and Iraqis) have quickly descended into a name game, let us look at some of the arguments:

Jordanian: If you don't like it, get out. This happens everywhere...
Iraqis: We're giving you oil for (10, 20, 100) years and this is how you repay us? We built you.
Jordanian: Who killed Saddam Hussein? You bastards! (few Pan-Arab tears shed here)
Iraqi: You traitors! We are all Arab (national pan-Arab anthem plays here, but the happy commercial does not end on good terms...)
Jordanian: Shut up, ya balad al-Shiqaq wa Nifaq (Land of Discord & Hypocrisy, the favorite Arab slander of Iraqis, thank you Mr. Hajaj)
Iraqi: Shut up, Qawm Lot (the infamous anicent butt-sex freaks people of the Prophet Lot, unfortunately situated near the Dead Sea.)

Etc...
The thing is, while abuse of Iraqis in Jordan is an issue, I don't think Iraqis have that much of a right to complain, considering the complaints issued by the blogs i listed above, and the soccer-celebration incident I posted about before, one fact must be emphasized:

a) WE ARE ALL ARAB. and most importantly
b) ARABS BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF EACH OTHER ALL THE TIME.

Yes, it's a mighty true shame ; but it's true, if Jordanians were in Iraq, I'm sure we'd kick their asses if they were celebaring the national team winning in our country and causing massive traffic jams we don't need. Maybe if Saddam Hussein was in power, he'd make use of the event to showcase his prowess as a Pan-Arab leader, but the people themselves wouldn't feel that happy, to quote the saying "A crow tells a crow, your face is black."
We're not much better than Jordanians, even before I got into Jordan, I was warned by many friends that Jordanians 'hate our guts', judging from personal experience, my homeland (and all Arabs, as I found out) exaggerate in terms of racism, so while I tried hard to shrug this off, I nevertheless embraced Jordan with a huge feeling of self-conciousness, eventually I found out that you basically can get your way around here pretty much okay in terms of day-to-day interaction if you respect people and be pleasant with them. It's hard to exactly describe the love-hate relationship between Arabs of different countries, but it's best summarized by the Bedouin saying: 'Me and my brother on my cousin, me and my cousin on the enemy.', sure, there are stone-faced racists who will never change the way they think, and it is my regret that I actually managed to make friends with one, but there are a lot of decent and generous people as well, the last time I entered Jordan was September 2006 with my grandparents, for the first time I was nervous because of the many rejection stories I have heard, amazingly, it wasn't me who was the problem but my 84-year old grandfather, who had a FAKE passport, my grandfather's passport was done in Iraq through a connection, who brought it to him with somebody else's fingerprints on it, being a stalwart man of principle, Grandpa insisted that he get a clean passport so he can put his own print on it, sure enough, the passport comes a week later, what we didn't know is that the man who did it (either the connection or the passport officer) had simply ripped the page and replaced it with a new one. Anyway, after being held by intelligence officers for about 15 minutes, they gave him a two-weeks admission notice based on his old age, another thing which might have helped was his serving in the Palestine 1948 war, anyway, my grandfather said that the Jordanian officials were 'very respectful' and a few months later he said that they were 'doing a very good job.' My grandmother, a naturally racist person like many others, stranglely agreed.

There is a sizable amount of unjustified racism and blame, but it's hard for me to point any finger because both sides are equally selective in perceiving each other's *virtues*, and this is my way of trying to show Jordanians that there are some Iraqis like me who are certainly thankful for all that they are doing but equally hopeful that they can accept criticism with an open heart. I know some of the words posted at those blogs are needlessly harsh but I would suppose that under the circumstances they were projected to it's somewhat reasonable, have a bad experience with a country at its borders, you're going to label the whole country altogether...we are not asking to be received by open arms, and we are aware of the economic problems caused by a sizable refugee group, but there are also benefits in exchange for those.

While those words are somehow unrelalistic given the circumstances, but in the larger world, we are all insignificant if we continue to squabble like this. I hope there would be one improbable day when Iraqis, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Palestinians and all realize that those phony classifications are drawn by a map based on a British-French treaty held in 1916.

30 comments:

Jonathan said...

Great post as always. You're the most honest blogger I've found, and it's refreshing.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Awesome post, Kid.

Catholic Sunni Shia said...

Nice post, favorite part:

"While those words are somehow unrelalistic given the circumstances, but in the larger world, we are all insignificant if we continue to squabble like this. I hope there would be one improbable day when Iraqis, Jordanians, Kuwaitis, Palestinians and all realize that those phony classifications are drawn by a map based on a British-French treaty held in 1916."

Moey said...

I like the post!

Lina said...

Thank you :)

Treasure of Baghdad said...

I don't know why they call the Arab World as "Arab Homeland". I have never felt any Arab country as my homeland. I know pretty well that Arabs bite you whenever they find a chance. And we all hate each other [i mean Jordanians and Iraqis] whether Saddam was in power or not. It's just revealed at this time.

Treasure of Baghdad said...

well, maybe not all. some, yes.

sentientdevice said...

I don't think the Democrats or Republicans are going to help anyone... or at least anyone who is personally involved in this war.

The more I learn about all the candidates the more sick I feel.

No matter who you pick you're going to lose. Why even play at all..? So your voice can be heard when you pick which way to be violated?

Something very horrible has been unleashed upon the world. You want to reel it in buts its always getting further and further away.

I think all of this is giving me a lot of anxiety and insomnia. I can't sleep and I know I should... but if I go to sleep I'm going to learn more depressing things tomorrow... why would I want it to come sooner?

Oh well, you can't stop "progress" (whatever that means these days anyways).

Anonymous said...

"the infamous anicent butt-sex freaks people of the Prophet Lot"

That was funny as hell,as insults go.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Kid,

That was a wonderful post. I always love your bluntness and honesty.

But even more, I love your ability to look at all sides of a situation. You remind me of how Zeyad used to write.

Don Cox said...

Looking from outside, it seems Arabs are just one big happy family. ;-)

Iraqi Jew said...

KK It's time to dredge up the Israeli Palestinian problem. That usually works in bringing Arabs together. It works in every single Arab country. Too bad there are no Jordanian Jews that they can accuse of spying. They would have made handy scapegoats to occupy the minds of the Arabs and perhaps unify them. I know it works. Because it worked in Iraq in the sixties and seventies.

Anonymous said...

Iraqi Jew that won't work because most Iraqis (Sunni and Shia but especially Shia) hate Palestinians more than they hate Jews.

CMAR II said...

Great post, Kid. I recommended it at IBC.

Anonymous said...

Good piece of writing.

ppl, you think the jordanian airports are bad??? try the kuwaity ones...

Kit
(cant be bothered sign in)

Little Penguin said...

I second that.. Kuwaiti airports aren't just racist to Iraqis.. they'll skin you alive if you don't speak like a bedouin and aren't dressed as a homosexual nancy-boy..

Kid, I admire your honesty and truly hope that one day all geographical borders are bridged by the many common features of our great land.. Religion.. History.. Language.. god it's just insane how similar the whole area is yet how impossibly resentful we all are towards eachother..

Regards

Caesar of Pentra said...

Hehehe, I couldn't stop laughing while i'm reading this post. I've added this post to my "favorites" item on my computer!
Keep rocking, man!
Btw, i'm heading back next month.

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Konfused Kid said...

thanx kit but who r ya? let us see more of ya

u welcome dear penguin.

best luck pentra.

Kitten said...

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grrrrrrrr....!!!

onix said...

What do you think will come of it?
1 million iraqis here and there, but mostly deeply emotionally engaged with a reasonless cause.
I sympathise with the syrian gov there. Being half pan an arab, you might rejoice in the victorys of the country you are adapting into only. I keep wondering who is next (for refugees). Not egypt ofcourse, nor pakistan. Because at some point someone might want to move all these unemployed again. I am not sure, but from the integrated pov, can't one very well support the jordanian security policy? Hurray we are being secured (again)!

neurotic_wife said...

KK, its true, we are sha3ab shiqaq wa nifaq, theres no doubt abt that. Although I detest what the Jordanian officials do to the Iraqis, at the same time, look at us, look at our horrible govt. If our OWN govt doesnt take care of its people, do u really think others will???

Its a shame really, they keep talking about the so called "Arabism" Khalee iroo7oon i6eeroon, cuz they have no understanding of what that word means. Im sick and tired of all this BS. I7na il 3ira8ieen, when people used to idhurbolna alif ta7iya 9irna bil 8anadir nimshee...Shoof il zamen ishsawa beena...

Gilgamish said...

I do not blame the Jordanians, it is not like the Iraqis are better people, if we were good our country would not have been that way.

jena said...

How curious, that the common and strained Iraqi-Jordanian relations are really comparable to what I experienced between (Northern) Irish citizens and English, in Britain. Including the gripes about the football traffic jams, suspected sudden richness, and including smelliness, and from the other side, accusations of denegeration en eccentricities due to living in a too peaceful cuckoo land. But then maybe its not so strange as that is what happens when the Brits just haphazardly bollock around with maps in 1916, such a crucial year in Irish-British relations too. Food for thought, this.

Anonymous said...

Actually Jordanians hate Iranians more than anyone, and that became clear to me when I visited Jordan. To them we are evil heretics, they brazenly call our mut3a "prostitution" and call us hypocrites who practice "taqiyya", and carry on with their bullshit about how we are intent on creating a "7elal ash-shi3a", converting Sunnis on the way, and how we want to restore the Persian Empire on Arab lands. Given that 80 percent of Jordanians are actually of Palestinian origin, I think we Iranians should drop the Palestinian cause from our foreign policy agenda, and let the 21 other countries of the Arab League which are Sunni-ruled pick up the tab. Only Christian Jordanians (i.e. Christian Palestinians) showed me any true affection, because they couldn't give a crap about Sunni-Shia differences. The Egyptians went to war FOUR times for the Palestinians and when they decided it was time to think of Egypt's interests instead of Palestinian interests they were branded "traitors" (why don't the Palestinians ask themselves when was the last time Saudi Arabia ever went to war with Israel?). It is time for Iran to think about Iran's interests, and we should not sacrifice our country for a people that hate our guts because they think we are "rawafidh" (they have no problem taking our "rafidhi" money, do they?). I am sure they celebrate when Iraqi Sunnis slaughter Iraqi Shia...after all in the Sunni faith killing a Shi3a is a religious duty, and it brings them "sawab" the same way killing a "murtad" does when he abandons Islam for another faith.

Anonymous said...

Sayd 3abbas, this was said with all deference to you. Inta khoosh walad :)), and I actually like you in spite of some of the things you have said about Shi3a in your blog.
And yes, maybe our taaziyas have been influenced by the Passion of Christ re-enactments in Catholicism. In fact there are many external Christian influences in Shia Islam (we practice iconography too,an import from Orthodox Christianity, while Sunni Islam prohibits human imagery, and you won't find a single home in Iran that does not have an icon of Imam Ali)...so what? The Ma7di's mother was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor, so a little bit of Christian Byzantine influence would be natural. But Shi'ism is still Islam, the Qur'an is the same Qur'an and its founder Muhammad is the same Muhammad, as much as Sunnis try to portray Shi3a as non-Muslims. Shi'ism rightfully believes divine inspiration can only come from members of the Prophet's a7l ul-bayt. And it is democratic (a Shi3a can choose his own marja3 taqlid, and if he feels one is preaching heresy, he can turn to another one). In today's Iran, where Shi'ism has been hijacked and corrupted by a group of hypocrites and demagogues, this may lead many to believe it is not. But do not forget that Iran's rulers are not true Shi3a, and they have introduced flagrant heresies into the Shi3a faith, such as the late Khomeini's invention: "wilayat faqih" which has never existed in Shi'ism, and Khamenei's "nayib Imam" making himself second to the Ma7di!!!!! These men are heretics, and they have corrupted Qom, and I always tell my fellow Shi3a, do not follow the Hawza of Qom because Qom is in heresy, and there is not a single mujtahid in Iran today that has not been corrupted by such crap, and not a single good marja3 who does not subscribe to such bullshit. That is why Iranians have turned what has always been the traditional Vatican of Shi'ism: Najaf, and to the Hawza of Najaf, and they now recognize Sistani as their marja3.

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