Episode 34 - "Back to Baghdad"

Ausama hits the streets of Damascus and returns to a distressing surprise in Baghdad.

Viewer Comments

Haha how ironic! And they still ask you if you're feeling safe or not? Good luck man, you need it! Try to get out of there...
Posted on: May 30, 2007

Ausama, All I can say is that I am sorry and that I can only hope that things will get better and hopefully sooner for you, your family, and all other Iraqis. It's just wrong that neither army promotes safety for your family, at least in how you've experienced it thus far. Though everyone's experience is different, I just wish that what you didn't have to go through what you have.
Posted on: May 30, 2007

uh! It's a really miserable to feel that a checkpoint or a line means the difference between life and death! What happened to your grandma's should prove wrong everyone who said peaceful searchs bla bla bla.... I know it's not the American soldiers who did so, but explain that to his grandma who had to leave her house in that horrible way, to Ausama who had to watch the place where he had his childhood memories destroyed like this! Today, a year passed from the explosion that took my uncle's life leaving a one year old daughter.... I don't know what we are supposed to tell the child, who killed her parents or for what reason! I am angry, and watching this video makes me even more angry because I know it did not get better since he died, it got worse!! It is a bad feeling to know that the death of the people you love was just a waste but the worst thing is when you don't feel sad anymore, you just feel hatered and anger!
Posted on: May 30, 2007

Ausama, How do you know the Americans searched your Grandma's home if noone was there? How do you know the Iraqi Army robbed your Grandma's home if noone was there? IN an earlier video you accused the U.S. Soldiers of "breaking the lock" when they searched you Grandmother's home in the earlier "Troops" Video. Did the lock get fixed correctly to prevent a break in by thieves? How do you know that this was done by Amerian and Iraqi Soldiers? What's your proof? Quite the accusations. It looked to me like you Grandmother's home was robbed by thieves.
Posted on: May 30, 2007

Ausama I don't know what to say it's a tragedy too see you guys live in these conditions. I can only hope and pray for you guys that things get better and ask for the impeachment of the current Bush Administration. This was not always my belief but what good has come from this nothing? Nadia I am sorry for your loss it's not easy losing a family member by an act of cowardice people. I appreciate the fact you are honest and open with your feelings. I once lost someone as well too terrorism. I felt hatred and anger for at least 2 years. If you are god fearing person you will find forgiveness in your heart as I have found in mine. I have every reason to hate why did I have to lose my aunt because of Osama Bin Ladin. I have become a political voice since then and I researched the reasons why she was taken from me. What lead us to this point where we will kill each other. The USA can no longer police the world we are spreading hatred that is going to destroy us. It don't matter the attack is iminent but we can start changing our policies today and that is a powerful message to the world that we are a peaceful people. Corruption has taken over my government were waking up to it now. The American people are positioning ourselves to return to what the founders of our country believed in. We are going to restore the republic of America. We have to ask the Iraq people to be strong there is a good chance were going to be pulling out of Iraq come next election. The people are going to run your country if it was the choice of the American people and thats what I am fighting for along with millions other Americans. Please watch the attached video so you can see the man thats going to do it. Peace, James
Posted on: May 30, 2007

Hey Ausama, Houses on the banks of Tigris WERE great, I have a relative who has a palace on the Tigris in Jadreedya ( A district in Baghdad ) rather than in Adamya ( another district ). I want to ask you a question. Are you sure that Iraqi Army who robbed it ??? I am so sorry for your loss. best.
Posted on: May 31, 2007

Ausama, I'm so sorry. You all must feel so violated. I can't believe this has happened again and again. This should not be allowed to happen. I hope you and your family are able to leave Baghdad and be safe and happier until things are stable again. Looking at the video of all the destruction made me so sad. I can't imagine living in that every day. Such a contrast to Damascus where you're literally dancing in the streets. Peace to you and your family.
Posted on: May 31, 2007

:) , we spent 24 hours in the beach , in the streets awake in latakia ... we spent alot of money to go to that city and lots of money to go to the beach , so we didn't wanna miss anything , lol . My Friends !!! , I havn't seen them since I came back from syria .. most of them stayed there and didn't come back to Iraq. Veteran , I have Vedio evidents for everything. and I'm not accusing , I'm telling what happened . Nadia , I'm so sorry for your loss , I understand and know how does it feel . James , thank you for everything you do. Saif , I'm pretty sure of that. Tracy thank you so much , I taped many thing on my way back to baghdad. -I just wanna say : even though that the vedios are showing of how much painful to see my gramma house like that and what not , but we're trying to continue with our lives , we're trying to forget and we're trying to live as much normal as we can ! and Beleive it or not , after all what happened and what's happening .. we still have hope : ) .
Posted on: May 31, 2007

Ausama, It's good to hear that your family is moving on and still has hope. Despite all that you have been through, you are still looking forward. We need more people like that in this world. James, Do you have a link of your attached video? I would like to see it. Nadia, My prayers go out to you and your family.
Posted on: May 31, 2007

Thank you James, Ausama and Iza, your prayers and compassion are much appretiated. I only hope no more families would have to go through anything like it no matter what their religion or nationality is... I am really sorry about your aunt, James and I am glad you found your peace! God bless Iraq and Iraqis.
Posted on: May 31, 2007

James , sorry I forgot this ... I'm truley sorry for you aunt .
Posted on: May 31, 2007

Ausama, its great to see you have fun in this video, dancing and singing with your friends!You had a good holiday then? Your grandma's house is beautiful. Its so sad you had to leave it and she had to leave it. Maybe one day you can go back there again. Peace and love
Posted on: May 31, 2007

Ausama, The editors should have called this one "Back to Reality" Why is it that the video of your return makes Baghdad look so much worse than it did only one month earlier? Is it because of the editing? Either way, thank you for showing us all that.
Posted on: May 31, 2007

Ausama thanks for the mention of my aunt. What is your opinion if the USA leaves Iraq 1 year from now? I believe the Iraq people will have had enough time to gain strength and unite as brothers to stand on their own. Nadia thank you I wish you the best also. Visiting this website has helped me out a lot. Talking to different people from around the world is the only way I could heal myself that and playing guitar. I would Jam with Saif any day of the week :) Iza and to any other Americans who are interested. I am attaching a few videos here. Please check them out this could be the last hope for America. Once the internet is gone and controlled by the main stream media freedom as we know it will be just another word. Bill Maher show HBO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUYDt7kC3Z0 Ron Paul VS George Bush http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zex8uW_9pqo Revolution http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMQSMVSJcd4 The Revolution will not be be televised... Commerce with out nation building no more policing the world...
Posted on: June 01, 2007

I feel BAD ......
Posted on: June 01, 2007

James, Thank you for sharing those sites. I personally have not heard of Ron Paul and though I am a registered Democrat, in my heart I am simply a realist with idealistic tendencies, but then again, aren't we all at certain times in our lives. I am definitely not a fan of the current American Administration, and though we can't do anything about it now, I believe that it's our responsibility to know who we will be electing to be our next president. Afterall, not only will they be the next leader of this country, but they will also have to address everything done wrong by the current administration....and that is a tall order.
Posted on: June 01, 2007

Iza I totally agree with you I was a democrat before I found out about Ron Paul. We have gotten so emerged in 2 party charade Republicans messed up so lets support the other group. This cycle has not worked for us they are both the same group and have many of the same beliefs. Before Bush's got in office Republicans were known for being peace advocates. It sounds so far fetched but its true. Its the difference between a conservative and a Neo Con
Posted on: June 01, 2007

Hello - This is my first time posting on the site. I only recently learned of HB and watched all the episodes in one sitting. Some thoughts: Saif - love the flamenco guitar, man. Move over Paco de Lucia. There's a new act in town and he hails from Baghdad. : ) Ausama - you remind me a good friend of mine. Very cute, but shy and he gets all the girls to fall for him. I think the probability of you getting a date is very high. Go for it! Adel - you are a true artist. Your last two episodes were powerful. I hope your band can still rock out during these crazy times. After watching this last episode, a few questions came to mind. Ausama, Adel and Saif - these are for you: 1) If you were President or Prime Minister of Iraq, what would you do to bring peace to your nation? 2) Let's say President Bush invited you to the White House to meet with him and his cabinet about US policy in Iraq. What advice would you give? Also, what questions would you ask President Bush? 3) What is the last good book you read? Thanks again for taking the time, the effort and the risk to enlighten us. My heart goes out to all of you. You and your families are in my thoughts and prayers. God be with you and the people of Iraq. Peace, V.
Posted on: June 02, 2007

Hello , Lelly, yea it was a great holiday ... I'm not sure if you heard that , but they mentioned this in the news once : " bunch of guys suscpected to be vampires , are roaming the streets of damascus everynight ,so becarefull!!! " :p . Clevergirl , well I'm not sure what did you mean , but I taped some of the things on my way back to baghdad and the crew taped many other things in the same period of time that we were taping for the project , so Baghdad was destroyed MonthS before now ! however what can we do if someones wanted to bomb a building , no one can do anything .. but what makes everything really messy is the rapid deterioration of the services , now it's almost like we're living in the past century ! piles of trashs everywhere , burned cars are left in the streets and ofcourse like we showed you earlier in our vedios .. we don't have electricity ! So the result will be more anger towards anyone involved ! James ,I'm not sure of anything .. However , I dont think that the american forces are going to leave in a year , not even in 2 ... but who knows this is just my opinion !
Posted on: June 02, 2007

Ausama, James seems to have difficulty understanding or even contemplating the possibility that war makes animals of everyone. A good soldier is an oxymoron. Ausama, whomever you believe ransacked the house and tore it it pieces is likely the party that did so. Note to James: American's in Iraq are not saints who pass out candy to children and know all the lyrics to the national anthem and who are only there to "help." And if you think Haditha was a singular occurance, I have a lovely bridge to sell you in New Orleans. eom eom
Posted on: June 02, 2007

I found your website today because CNN ran a story about it. Thank you for putting a face on life in Iraq. My friends and I have watched all your video clips. It's facinating to hear about what life is like in Iraq through the eyes of people our age. Our hearts go out to all of you. We hope your quality of life improves very soon. We want you to know Americans care about the people of Iraq. A large majority of Americans disagree with our government's foreign policy and occupation. Hopefully, things will change soon.
Posted on: June 02, 2007

Maria, no I don't think all soldeirs are bad to be honest. I also don't think all soldiers are good either. Human beings were built with a brains for a reason to think for them selves. So your accusation all soldiers is bad is an inmature insight and way off base of my over all opinion. Here is an example for you. The person who discovered Abu Gharib was an Army soldier by the name of Joe Darby. Joe turned in his entire unit these were 7 MP's that were night watch men they had no rank. He says he was very scared and even slept with a pistol under his pillow. "With my hand on it. I put it in my pillow case, I put my hand on it and cocked it, cocked the hammer and I'd sleep with it under my hand under my pillow," he remembers. He slept like this every night for one month. While the military could develop the case against the military soldiers involved in this crime". I slept in a room by myself. And anybody could come in in the middle of the night. You walk in the door, you hang a left, and then come in and cut my throat," Darby says". He did what was right even if it would damage the reputation of America across the world. To this day the attrocites in Abu Gharib may have never come to light if it wasn't for him. Your idea is saying all Americans want war or all Muslims are terrorists. That is a very uneducated opinion and I am sure a lot of people will agree with me on that. A lot of people say they support Iraq but once they here some positive news they bash it and say its not true. Yes maria good things do happen across the world even in Iraq. Lots of crimes were committed there on all sides including USA soldiers yea thats life and it's wrong. I don't even support the war so not sure why you feel the need to attack my opinion. The Iraq people are very strong people. Their culture is rich in history and they are people who will not only fight with their hands but fight with their hearts. If we elect the right politician in office a complete Iraq with drawl is capable and that is what I support. I am completly sorry for what happen to Ausama I don't know the whole story but I will take his word for it. Note to you Maria don't talk to people like their stupid it's a very ugly way to represent your self. Kind Regards,
Posted on: June 02, 2007

Touché, James. And my response was less than elegant. Let me restate it in a less personal way. If you are a soldier FIGHTING in Iraq, the very act of being at war diminishes your right to use the “I was just following orders” defense. I do not believe that America is in Iraq fighting to protect the freedom of America any more than I believe we are there fighting to establish and ensure freedom for the citizens of Iraq. The policies of our government have been proven to be duplicitous at best and nefarious at least. And knowing this, if you are a soldier, unless you lay down your arms and refuse to fight, you are acting as an agent of the state. I am of the opinion that neither a uniform nor military policy can justify any act of unwarranted violence, which is what this war is all about. If you don't agree, then you would be compelled to give a clean bill of moral health to all of the soldiers of the Third Reich who were only doing their jobs. I am not saying that we are committing genocide, but I am saying that our invasion of Iraq and our stubborn presence there has produced a climate of such extreme violence that hundreds of thousands have died and the numbers who have “just” been physically and emotional injured approaches millions. OUR country with the help of its soldiers and its willfully ignorant and strangely apathetic citizenry has irreparably harmed the entire country of Iraq, its culture, its people, and its history. There is no amount of reparation that we can pay that can buy back our integrity, much less heal the wounds we have inflicted. I am sorry if I have offended your sensibilities. But the brave, and likely very rare, Joe Darby who turned in his entire unit for their gross abuse of power at Abu G. is exactly my point. He revealed that our absolute power has corrupted us absolutely. I love this country, but I love peace and justice more.
Posted on: June 02, 2007

Ausama, Watching you and your friends dancing in the streets reminded me of a party I used to go to in New York City. An Arabic dance party. I would go with a friend of mine whose family was from Palestine. And I would see everyone dancing like you and your frinds in the clip. (My arabic dancing isn't so good =) I can't imagine living in a place where I couldn't dance and feel free to express joy in life. It reminded me of a quote attributed to an American Anarchist, Emma Goldman, "If I can't dance I don't want to be in your revolution". I hope there is a revolution where you and your friends can dance in the streets like you did in Syria. Were you are free to move about and express joy in life without worry. If you are unable to do that in Iraq I hope you find yourself somewhere where you can, safe and free. My prayers are with you and your family for your safety and that you will find freedom, peace, safety, and a place to dance. Insha'Allah Philippe
Posted on: June 04, 2007

Dear V. , thank you for posting , hope to read from you always ... and I'll take your word ;) . regarding your questions , I don't think neither of the 1st or the 2nd will happen .. however : 1-- if I'm gonna the president of Iraq (which is something I don't want to !!! ) ... I will try to bring a secular government with secular ministries and try my best to recruit the best and the professionals in those places. the second step is to provide the people with infrastructural services by any means !!! re-establish building procedure of the Iraqi security forces . and I'll supervise my self on the vital security issues , specially when it comes to building a reliabe intelegence units and operations. During all of that , I must make sure that the voices from all the areas of my country will be heard in the Parlimant and by my government , even if it's extrem opposite. This is the first thing came into my mind regarding this issue , I'm sure the professionals would have better and faster solutions. 2-- If I'm gonna meet Bush , I'll make sure to punch him in the face at first and tell him to go to hell ! if he didn't order to put me in guantanamo after that , then I'll tell him the faults he did and the consequences of everything he did so far . I'm not sure if I'll give him any solutions ! 3-- the last good book I read was actually a novel " Angels and Demons " written by Dan Brown. but why did you ask about the book thing ? : ) Thank you
Posted on: June 04, 2007

Hello Ausama - I guess the book question was a little out of place after posing two serious questions. : ) I ask about books because (1) I am always looking for a good read, and (2) I figured with the frequent power outages in Baghdad, sadly, there's not much else to do to pass the time, right? Thanks for your answer, by the way! I only read The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I may have to pick up Angels and Demons as well. Are you able to find a good selection of books written by international authors? Also, what Iraqi authors would you recommend? Oh and thanks for posting the Naseer Shamma video links. Very beautiful. I read his bio online - he seems like a remarkable individual. I enjoyed reading your response to the first two questions. Your answers were great. I am sure the professionals' answers are not much different - just more words, confusion with statistics thrown in. : ) Your answers made me wonder how many (if any) young Iraqis serve in government (at both the local and national levels). After the fall of the dictatorship, I am wondering if any young Iraqis felt inspired to enter politics and maybe aspire to become President. The reason I ask is this (and correct me if I am wrong): I get the sense (or rather I hope) there is a silent majority of Iraqis who want a unified and peaceful Iraq. However, I understand with security deteriorating, many of these people are fleeing the country and not able to participate in rebuilding their country. I guess what I am asking or contemplating is what would it take for Iraqis to come together. Do you think a complete withdrawal of US troops would help? On a lighter note - how's school? how many years of schooling do you need before becoming a doctor? Are your parents still practicing? Take care and looking forward to your response. Peace, V.
Posted on: June 04, 2007

Philippe , I can teach you some arabic dance if you want to ... i'm not a professional but I do good at that : ) . v. , I found Angels and Demons better than the Davinci code , but both have the same touch . we used to have many great libraries ,we also used to have this street " al mutanabbi " which is full of books , libraries and everything related . Unfortunatly that street was destroyed by a bombed car just couple of months ago and my friend's father died in that explosion ! I know some but to be honest only one name comes to my mind now and it's " Ali al Wardi " whom I like , I'm not sure if you can reach that author . I'm gonna ask fady or Nadia ,I'm sure they know more names. Naseer Shamma , he's a brilliant oud player , I think he won the best world oud player title . I would strongly recommend everyone else to watch his " single handed technique " vedio in the youtube as well . I'm sure many Iraqi youths were inspired and really wanted to join in the politics or to help by participating or volounteering in NGO work , but they were soon isolated and marginalized by those big heads , that call themselves Politicians ! besides , it's really extremley dangerous to get enrolled in anything regarding politics or volounteering ... so most have quit trying ! we're all in this together , no difference .. the only thing differentiating iraqis are the militias ... and unfortunatly due to the illitracy in our society , it is easy to mobilize some people in any direction . School is okay , although having hard time with my final exams I still have 3 more years to go . My parents are still practicing ,but hardly because of the situation. I'm here if you have other questions v. : ) . Take Care
Posted on: June 04, 2007

Ausama, You'd punch President Bush in the face if you met him? You'd probably either have to stand in line for that :-) And I agree. Angels and Demons was a lot better than Da Vinci Code.
Posted on: June 04, 2007

Thanks Ausama! I always have questions : ) Please do feel free to ask questions of me, though I may not always have the answers. ; ) I googled Wardi and found some great posts about him. Here’s a blog with a few translations of Wardi’s text: http://ejectiraqikkk.blogspot.com/2007/06/ali-al-wardi-social-glimpses-of-history.html By the way, someone should write a Wikipedia entry on Dr. Wardi…any volunteers? : ) Also, I was able to find one of Dr. Wardi’s articles from 1967 translated in Spanish and appearing in a Mexican magazine. He discusses the impact World War I had on the social and cultural development of Iraq. The article provides a good background on Iraq’s cultural roots. Here is the citation for anyone who’s interested and has online access to an academic journal database: Wardi, Ali. Un estudio acerca del choque entre la civilización europea y la cultura local de Iraq. Revista Mexicana de Sociología, Vol. 29, No. 2. (Apr. - Jun., 1967), pp. 337-346. I am interested to find some of his more recent writings. Have you heard about Ali Allawi’s book The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace? He was interviewed on The Daily Show and the book is being hailed as the authoritative history of Modern Iraq. You can watch The Daily Show nterview here: http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_daily_show/videos/celebrity_interviews/index.jhtml?start=16 (scroll down to the third row) Ausama and friends- your opinion of Ali Allawi: good / bad / neutral? I don’t know much about him aside from what’s posted online. Is there any merit to his ideas? Given that he has received a lot of positive press about his book, I am skeptical. Enlighten me. Thanks, as always, for your responses. Ouch – exams. Study hard. Wishing you all the best! Peace, - V.
Posted on: June 04, 2007

Hey V. - I'm glad you linked to ejectiraqikkk. He is a great Iraqi blogger. Really passionate, opinionated and smart. He writes at the amazing http://iraqblogcount.blogspot.com/. And I also had read that post (Konfused Kid is in my RSS reader).
Posted on: June 05, 2007

Also - one more thing....check out Kanan Makiya. He is an iraqi exile who wrote a few books about the legacy of Saddam. As I understand, he is occasionally controversial but his books are very interesting. An Iraqi friend (you know who you are!) recommended him to me.
Posted on: June 05, 2007

My Friend in Freedom, What are you thinking? Your time for a chance, just a chance, at Freedom is slowly deminishing. Five years ago I do not think you had the opportunity to "post" your thoughts for the world to see. Did you? Tell the world if you did. The most basic form of Freedom is the ability to tell people what you think without fear of retriburtion. These numsculls that trash George Bush and our government fear nothing from the President or the Government. I mean nothing. Would you like to live under an evil corrupt governemt like this? Would you like to live under an evil corrupt government and president where his or her time is limited and he or she can be removed from office easily? No government offical monitors these numskull's thoughts or what they say. No one is going to knock on their door in the middle of the night and accuse them of crimes against the state. They fear NOTHING FOR WHAT THEY SAY. This Freedom to Think, and Say, and Do whatever a person thinks is Right has been purchased for me and on loan to you at a great price. For me the lives of over ONE MILLION AMERICAN SOLDIERS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF INOCENT AMERICAN CIVILIANS. For you, OVER 3000 AMERICAN SOLDIERS DEAD, OVER 30,000 MAIMED OR WOUNDED, AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF INOCENT IRAQ CIVILIANS, POLICE, AND SOLDIERS DEAD, MAIMED OR WOUNDED. Unless I am mistaken, I do not see any responses from your Syrian friends who are "dancing in the streets". Nor do I see any responses from any other, NOT ONE, middle eastern country. You see my friend, our fates are comingled. Your Freedom and my Freedom to think and say what we beleive is all tied together. The world can not defeat these terrorist bullies with bullets or bombs. The one thing they fear most and the one and only thing that will defeat them is FREEDOM. That's why they are fighting so hard to prevent Freedom in your country. I am ashamed of the world for not standing with you and your countrymen to help establish Freedom in Iraq. I am ashamed of all those that mock the one single man, George Bush, who stands ready to help you achieve this freedom. The President leasve office in 17 months. I hope you, your countrymen, and the world have gotten over their hatred of him by then, or your fate is sealed. Another Sadam. They are all the same. Just different faces, different names. Would you be excited if the Sons of Sadam were still alive and ready to take his place? I don't think so. But please correct me if I'm wrong. Maybe Iraq would be a better place if they were running the show. Please inform your readers how life would be under their rule. Would you prefer that than the current situation. At least now you have hope, although slim. Let me tell you a quick story and then I will ask you one simple question. First the story. There was a simple farm boy, only 17 years old. There were no jobs and he had no future. There was a war and the government offered him $25 a month to fight in the army for one year. The army he enlisted in was badly broken, nearly two thirds died from starvation or desease. He made it through the first 11 1/2 months and still survived. Only two weeks to go and he could go home. (Desertion was not an option. The general was pretty strict. Deserters were hunted down and either shot or hanged.) His army had not won a single battle against the enemy in over 2 years. Everytime they engaged the enemy, they lost the battle. Most of the country thought the general in charge was a failure and almost everyone was ready to just quit and submit to the enemy. As fate would have it, the crazy general planned an un-winnable assualt on the enemy. The young soldier did his duty and marched on the commands of his general. He grew tired and rested on a tree stump. He froze to death on that stump and never saw what his sacrifice brought forth. The United States of America. The general was George Washington, who by the way did not run for office a third time because he was certain he would be "IMPEACHED". The crazy battle was Valley Forge. You know, the one with Washington crossing the Delaware and all that. Now my question. Do you want FREEDOM? For you, your family, your children to come. Or do you want to live under the rule of a dictator? You know how it is to live under a dictator, don't you? Do you want to go back? If not, you have to fight for your Freedom. We, these UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, can only offer you the chance, but we CAN NOT GIVE IT TO YOU. YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT YOURSELF. Time is growing short. You have to act quickly I do wan't to apologize for the way the "occupation" has turned out. You see, the USA does not have a Department of Occupation. We are rather bad at the occupation thing. It just doesn't suit us well. We were kind of thinking that you guys would be ready to take over for yourselves. Sorry for the mistake. DO YOU WANT FREEDOM? ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE? Good luck my friend. Freedom isn't free.
Posted on: June 05, 2007

Hey Ausama and V. , About the books, I have some in mind, *Mahmoud Darwish. "one of my absolute favorites, very moving" *Fuad al Takarli. *Hasan al Alawi. *Jihad al Khazen "lebanon". *Badr Shakir al Sayab. "poetry, I consider him as a must read, though it must be different reading for him in English but I couldn't write this list without putting his name in" those are really good ones, I tried to put what I could find online and translated. Another thing, I think you asked for international authors so I have another name that must be mentioned... It's Milan Kundera, all his books are amazing, my favorites are " Life is Elsewhere" and " Thee Book of Laughter and Forgetting" Hope I managed to help, will tell you of any other writers that I remember... Love, Nadia. P.S that sounds like a good agenda to me Ausama, be sure you'll have my vote on the next real presedential elections 3780 if you decide to run for it :P of course if I can walk by then :P
Posted on: June 05, 2007

BTW, I second to Mike, Kanan Makiya is great, so check his writings too!
Posted on: June 05, 2007

Hey , Hassan Al Alawi , How did I forget about him ? He's great . oh and Nadia , 3780 ...hmmm ... I was thinking more like 3779 ... so are you gonnna elect me in that year too ? ( If you can walk ? ) : P . Sam my friend , Ofcourse I want freedom , all Iraqis want freedom and I think I mentioned this before ... we all partly agreed first for the american invasion , first because saddam hussein was gone and 2ndly bcause we don't have any other choice . Do we ? now sam , I don't wanna go through " me having freedom" , it's a forgotten issue here ! you also mentioned , why people from the middle east don't post here ,that's because this is mostly directed to the places outside the middle east. but you can see some posting from Middle eastern countries. V. I'm sorry but I don't know that writer .. I'm gonna try to read for him , and then I'll answer . Iza , I'm looking for simliar novels .. so what do you recommend ? Thanx
Posted on: June 05, 2007

Sam: "No one is going to knock on their door in the middle of the night and accuse them of crimes against the state. They fear NOTHING FOR WHAT THEY SAY. This Freedom to Think, and Say, and Do... " Er- WHAT?THE?F***? What america are you living in? They are tapping people's phone lines and anyone who disagrees with Bush and his cronies is vilified as anti-american. America is no longer free! As for its ally, Britain - if you speak against the governments views/opinions, you can often get arrested! Ive never heard such drippy,slimy,false propaganda in my life. Actually, I tell a lie. Tony Blairs last speech may just be a little worse... Freedom is not free, and you and people like you are making it alot more expensive!
Posted on: June 06, 2007

To James and anyone following his portion of this thread. Col. Ted Westhusing died tragically by his own hand, in part, because he could not deal with the gross abuse of power being wielded by our country in Iraq. Here is the very sad story of how and why he took his own life: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003594048
Posted on: June 06, 2007

V. , Just though I should tell you, Konfused kid "ejectiraqikkk.blogspot" posted the second part of his translation of Al-Wardi's book if you are interested :)
Posted on: June 06, 2007

Maria that was a sad story thanks for sharing. I disagree with this war with my whole heart it sinks in more every day. Only one man is going to bring the US freedom from Nation building and Policing the world. Its not a Democrat or Republican their both Neo Cons. he is a patriot by the name of Ron Paul. He denounced an attack on Iran and said its disgusting how this pre-emptive war has driven us so far from our founding beliefs. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=RonPaul2008dotcom
Posted on: June 06, 2007

James, nice to see your post. Not to get political, but I am definately not a Ron Paul fan. I completely agree with you that he is spot on on the war, but he doesn't believe in the social contract, among other things, and therefore, he is a non starter. IMHO, what I believe would really end this war in the short term is for mass demonstrations on college campuses across the country that involve "the man's" children. Unfortunately, the demonstrations that helped bring about the end of the war in Vietnam were inspired in part by the draft and since we currently have an all volunteer army, I don't see that happening. I believe most students are against the war, but until their lives are on the line, they are not going to put their educations on the line, so we will be in Iraq well into the next administration, be it Republican or Democrat. Too, I've read that once the decision to withdraw takes place, it will take a year+ to draw down all the troops. Not to mention the monumental disaster we're going to end up leaving in our wake. If we're lucky, this little venture of Bushco's will one day be referred to by historians as The Great Seven Year FU. My best.
Posted on: June 07, 2007

Ausama, I want you to know that 70% of all Americans that voted, in our last election, did so in order to put an end to our occupation in Iraq. I’m ashamed of our part in your personal discomfort, sadness and loss. My heart goes out to you and your family especially your Grandmother. Might I also add that your continuing to be responsible to the individuals who respond to your videos is a remarkable achievement. Considering your situation I will say, with amazement, that being able to put aside your difficulties with nobility and grace as well as a healthy bit of real anger proves your resilience as a person and reflect on the strength of your family. High praise my friend.
Posted on: June 08, 2007

Ausama, I happened to miss your last comment, but now that I see it...though I have yet to pick up a book by him, I hear Nelson Demille is pretty good too, one that was recommended to me was "By the Rivers of Babylon" and "Night Fall" which was highly recommended. I've been told that much controversy was made regarding the "Night Fall" novel that the author was threatened. I'm not sure if these types of conspiracy theory books are the recommendations you are looking for, but they are entertaining. A few different others I recommend for really light and easy reading (they are short) are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I would also recommend Memoirs of a Geisha, but I'm not sure how much you would consider that a more "girly" novel :-)
Posted on: June 10, 2007

*scrolls down the long text posts* Whew, lots of long discussions going on here :P lol Loved the beginning xD *falls off her seat laughing* hard to keep myself from dying of laughter.. xD I'm sorry about what happened to your grandmother.. D: The nerves of those troops! They're supposed to be protecting, not stealing and ransacking people's houses.. even if they're looking for militants!! Did they even have any proof (besides supicion) that there might be militants staking out in your grandmother's house?! (of course, we'll never know) I think all of us filthy rich countries should be more helpful then just sending troops to your country and doing who knows what.. We need to be more open to people who are trying to flee the violence.. and we can't just boot people out if we don't want them to stay.. Wonder how the Canadian troops are doing.. Hopefully they haven't done anything stupid yet :x Wish there was something more we can do.. but it's so hard.. with the militants being so determined to mess everyone up.. we all need to rally together because I think.. that the troops are not enough. We need to break people from the militants' lure, we need to stand up against them. If we just keep cowering in fear, and waiting to be rescued, it makes things much more easier for the militants, and much more difficult for the troops. Ok.. I'm starting to sound like I'm in Iraq.. lol I probably just confused everyone ^^; Peace!
Posted on: June 22, 2007


  1. Brains on Campus

  2. The Dentist

  3. Forbidden Salad

  4. Powerless

  5. Songs of Pain

  6. Abdullah Leaves

  7. Symphony of Bullets

  8. Last Resort

  9. Iraqis Shooting Each Other

  10. Mentally F'ed Up

  11. Saif Heart Noor

  12. Exams

  13. Hidden Camera

  14. Barbwire

  15. Kiss and Tell

  16. Across The River

  17. Hubbly Bubbly

  18. Anger Pain Death Madness

  19. Security

  20. Liberation

  21. My Best Friend Zaid

  22. Sick of This

  23. Iraqi Man

  24. Troops

  25. The Palace Maid

  26. Beggar At the Gate

  27. Market Boom

  28. Tickets & Popcorn

  29. Nothing But Guitar

  30. Over Here and Over There

  31. City on the Sea

  32. Goodnight, Baghdad

  33. Out of War

  34. Back to Baghdad

  35. Trouble finds Its way

  36. Zaghareet

  37. One of Thousands

  38. Jimi Hendrix