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The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim

Thu. May 08, 2003

Tales of Two Iraqis

Tales of Two Iraqis – As you’ve likely heard, Salam is back online, and every word is worth reading. A Post From Baghdad Station: “Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time. Don’t let yourself ever be talked into having one waged in the name of your freedom. Somehow when the bombs start dropping or you hear the sound of machine guns at the end of your street you dont think about your ’imminent liberation’ anymore.”

“But I am sounding now like the Taxi drivers I have fights with whenever I get into one.”

“Besides asking for outrageous fares (you can’t blame them gas prices have gone up 10 times, if you can get it) but they start grumbling and mumbling and at a point they would say something like ’well it wasnt like the mess it is now when we had saddam’. This is usually my cue for going into rage-mode. We Iraqis seem to have very short memories, or we simply block the bad times out. I ask them how long it took for us to get the electricity back again after he last war? 2 years until things got to what they are now, after 2 months of war. I ask them how was the water? Bad. Gas for car? None existent. Work? Lots of sitting in street tea shops. And how did everything get back? Hussain Kamel used to literally beat and whip people to do the impossible task of rebuilding. Then the question that would shut them up, so, dear Mr. Taxi driver would you like to have your saddam back? Aren’t we just really glad that we can now at least have hope for a new Iraq? Or are we Iraqis just a bunch of impatient fools who do nothing better than grumble and whine? Patience, you have waited for 35 years for days like these so get to working instead of whining. End of conversation.”

“The truth is, if it weren’t for intervention this would never have happened. When we were watching the Saddam statue being pulled down, one of my aunts was saying that she never thought she would see this day during her lifetime.”

And while not as “well known” as Salam, there’s another article about an Iraqi who has been writing about life in Iraq for years … in private. Hussein Foe Tells Of Decades of Pain: “Over two nights, in a house filled with books and memories, he revealed things he has long wanted to share, but dared not. He had been banned for 24 years from meeting foreigners, but here he was pouring out his stories in a jumble, sharing the writings he had hidden for so long.”

“’Before,’ he explained, motioning toward his friend, playwright Khalid Sultan, ’I could only talk with Khalid. But now I can express myself. Something has finally escaped from my mind.’”


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