Friday, February 23, 2007
"Stockholm -- On February 17th, 2007, the GENOCIDE MEMORIAL WALL in Tarzana in southern California, USA, was unveiled. The monument was raised in remembrance of the victims of Seyfo, the Assyrian genocide during 1914-1918, and of the Simele massacre in Iraq in 1933, when more than 3000 Assyrians were murdered by the Iraqi military. Among the speakers during the ceremony was author Rosie Malek-Yonan, who has written The Crimson Field, a book about Seyfo.
To see video clips and pictures from the ceremony in Tarzana click here.
The first Seyfo monument was inaugurated on October 15th, 2005, in Sarcelles outside Paris, in remembrance of the Assyrians who fell victims to the genocide. To see pictures of the Seyfo monument in Sarcelles, click on the following links 1, 2, 3, 4.
A third monument is close to becoming a reality. According to the latest information from the authorities of Sِdertنlje (Sweden), only technical details remain, before the construction of the Seyfo monument can start in the city. Sِdertنlje is today the home of one of the largest Assyrian "colonies" in the world."
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
However, I would like to think that Iraqis still despise Saddam, and that they haven’t already forgotten what it was like living under his tyranny. I was shocked to read that many of the bloggers either disagreed with the death sentence or were apathetic about the ruling. APATHETIC?!!! How in the world can Iraqis be apathetic about giving Saddam the justice he long deserved??? If Iraqis are apathetic about this, then what reaction should we expect from the rest of the world? This is just so baffling to me!
Yes, I admit, when I first heard the news I was not as excited as I should be, because of the worsening situation in Iraq. But then I started thinking about what this means…SADDAM IS REALLY GOING TO DIE!!! I mean that is great news, and even though it will not fix the current situation in Iraq, it is a step forward to achieving the justice that the Iraqis have been longing to see in their country…shouldn’t the mother whose son was killed in the many wars waged by Saddam be ecstatic to see the man who caused it all brought to justice? What about the families who lost their fathers, sons, brothers because they dared to have some kind of political affiliation other than the Ba’ath party? What about the families whose girls where kidnapped and raped? Shouldn’t EVERY Iraqi who lived and suffered under the past regime be overcome with joy that the verdict against Saddam has been reached and it is nothing other than DEATH BY HANGING? I think the answer to such a question is obvious.
So to the Iraqi people I say you absolutely CANNOT be indifferent about this decision. We have all been waiting for this day for so long and now that it is here you say you’re indifferent? This is one of the first victories for the Iraqis against the haters and destroyers of Iraq, so how can you be apathetic about your victory? You should be celebrating and gaining confidence in winning more and bigger battles against the evils that have invaded our country!
SADDAM’S DAYS IN THIS WORLD ARE NUMBERED, AND THAT MY FRIENDS IS REASON ENOUGH TO CELEBRATE AND REJOICE
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Ms. Malek-Yonan’s statement had some very powerful words, and I am hoping that, as the Chairman said, Congress will pay some serious attention to the issue of the Iraqi Assyrian Christians. At the moment no one seems to be doing anything to help this religious and ethnic minority in Iraq, and it is shocking how much is going unnoticed when it comes to our suffering…In fact, despite of the use of the word “unnoticed” by Ms. Malek-Yonan, I believe that is actually an issue of noticing and yet ignoring or disregarding the matter. Not only by Iraqis, but also the U.S. is doing nothing to help the ChaldoAssyrian Christians, which is where I am hoping Ms. Malek-Yonan’s testimony will help.
Ms. Malek-Yonan states:
My churches are being bombed. My elders are being killed. My young brothers are being assaulted and kidnapped. My fellow students are being harassed and beaten. My children and neighbors are being beheaded. If my sister refuses to wear a Muslim hijab, she is raped or tortured by having acid thrown in her face. And yes, the majority of these incidents have gone unreported in the western media. These atrocities are occurring right under the watchful eyes of my American government since the “liberation” of Iraq.
Yes, I could not agree more…the U.S. government is doing nothing to help the Iraqi Christians, neither is the current Iraqi government. But then again, the current Iraqi government is doing nothing to help any Iraqis, let alone the constantly ignored and victimized Iraqi ChaldoAssyrians.
After reading a small passage from her book “the Crimson Field” to the Congress Committee, Ms. Malek-Yonan asserts:
That was an excerpt from my book, The Crimson Field. I could have very well been writing about the plight of today’s Assyrians in Iraq. History is repeating itself and no one is taking notice; No one except my people.
This is what happens when a problem keeps getting ignored and pushed aside rather than revealing the truth and taking steps to fix the problem and move forward. No one, except the ChaldoAssyrians themselves, wants to deal with our problem and try to amend things. In fact, even some of the ChaldoAssyrians are sadly working against our cause only because it means securing their own interests (such as those ChaldoAssyrians who decided to join other political parties who have nothing to do with the ChaldoAssyrian Christian cause).
We do not want our problem to be solved in a way that will bring on more violence, Iraq has enough violence anyways. We need solutions that will work, solutions that will bring about a real change in the situation. Violence never establishes anything. Furthermore, the problem of the Iraqi ChaldoAssyrian Christians will not be solved by this minority’s efforts alone. We are working hard to ensure that we get our rights like the rest of the Iraqis, but if we do not have the support of the other Iraqi segments, we will not be able to get anywhere. In order for the ChaldoAssyrians to continue their presence in Iraq alongside other Iraqis, we need the support of our Iraqi brothers and sisters. Those in power need to include us in their plans for a new and better Iraq, not only in a symbolic manner (i.e. by giving one ChaldoAssyrian a chair in parliament) but in actions too.
However, I do not believe that will be an easy thing to achieve or sadly even if it is possible. Many Iraqis, especially those in power, talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They make statements where they claim that the ChaldoAssyrian minority are Iraqis as much as any other Iraqi and have nothing to fear because they will be protected by the government. Yet, the threats and assaults against this Iraqi minority are increasing everyday causing them to live their lives in complete fear and looking for the nearest exit out of their homeland into exile!
Ms. Malek-Yonan mentions in her statement that:
Today in war-torn Iraq, being denied their most basic human rights, these ancient and indigenous people continue to be the target of systematic oppression, murder, intimidation, kidnapping, and violence. Assyrians in Northern Iraq are marginalized by Kurds who have gained momentum and are exercising the same brand of violence they once complained of during Saddam’s dictatorship.
You would think that the Iraqi Kurds would be more sympathetic towards us given that they themselves were an oppressed minority not too long ago. But no, they are in fact treating us the same way as they were being treated under the Saddam regime. There are many villages north and east of Mosul that are inhabited by ChaldoAssyrians, and during the Saddam regime of course there was a Ba’athist militia base in each one of these villages just as was the case in the rest of Iraqi villages, towns, and cities. I was shocked to find out that instead of emptying these posts and allowing the elected ChaldoAssyrian officials to now run these villages as officials of the new government, these stations are now being housed by the Kurdish secret police and the Kurdish militia groups that are doing their best to intimidate the people of these villages. Also, the Kurdish propaganda machine claims that they are helping the people of these villages when in fact they are trying to occupy and control these Christian villages. Many ChaldoAssyrians have reported being abused by the Kurdish militia for protesting the presence of these people in their villages, and no one, neither the Iraqi government nor the American authorities have done anything about it. When the high Kurdish officials hear of these incidents they claim that they will deal with their people as long as the incident does not get reported to other authorities!
In one part of her testimony Rosie states that:
There is no aid or funding going to the Assyrian regions under our American watch. Basic medical need is non-existent for these Christians. A woman cannot have a c-section in her neighborhood. She has to drive miles away and risk her life and the life of her unborn child to receive medical care.
We, Assyrians, are not asking for anything beyond the aid that is already going to Iraq for redevelopment. But we are asking that Assyrians proportionally receive aid sent to the Assyrian regions.
That is true, but I would have to say that the “aid” money is actually not going to the rest of everyday Iraqi people either, but as I had mentioned in my posts before these funds are being pocketed by government “officials” and everyone else who can get their hands on it. There needs to be a change in the strategy for handling the money that is supposed to be used for the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraqis have yet to see even a small tiny result of the “reconstruction” effort. The government must start working on the essentials (water and electricity) and making them the number one priority while continuing their work on the security situation as well. I know that when water and power are restored, the Iraqis would then start believing again that there is still hope for the country. Restoring water and power might not seem like such a big issue that would actually change people’s attitude, but believe me, when the lack of water and electricity become part of one’s everyday life for a long time then it becomes very hard to bear, especially in a country where people had taken these things for granted in the good old days.
Ms. Malek-Yonan also states that:
It is estimated that if things continue to proceed as they now are, within 10 years, the Assyrian population of Iraq will be eradicated because of the ethnic cleansing, the forced exodus, and migration.
This declaration disturbs me a great deal…I find it hard to accept that there might come a day when I will actually be considered a “foreigner” when I visit my homeland, the country that I have loved and where I had formed many cherished memories…I hope and pray to God that a day like that will never come, because it is the most devastating thing to find out that what you considered to be your motherland does not consider you one of its children, and even more devastating when you feel like you do not belong to any land and are bound to be a “foreigner” wherever you go in this world!
People need to stand by the ChaldoAssyrian population…the Iraqis need to hold our hands, support us, and let us know that we are a significant part need for the rebuilding of a democratic Iraq just as the Arabs, the Kurds, and other minorities are…the government needs to protect us by not turning a blind eye and allowing others to abuse us in our own villages…and the U.S. needs to make it clear that the ChaldoAssyrians have their support, just like they did, and continue to do, with the Kurdish population of Iraq.
Other interesting points that Ms. Malek-Yonan brings up are:
Article (2)b of the Iraqi Constitution states: “No law can be passed that contradicts the principles of democracy.” Article (2)a of the Iraqi Constitution states: “No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.” These two articles are in contradiction with each other.
I had made this exact point in one of my old posts (which I’m having trouble locating)…but these are the two opening statements of the Iraqi constitution, and I remember telling my dad well what if something applies to one and contradicts the other? It was after reading these two lines that I thought to myself “oh great so this is our new constitution!”
Finally, I thought that Ms. Malek-Yonan’s closing sentence offered a strong comparison; one which I’m hoping will have an effect on Congress to actually take action to help the ChaldoAssyrians Christians of Iraq:
How shameful it would have been if the tragedy of 9/11 had gone unnoticed. How shameful it is that the tragedy of the Assyrian genocide of last century went unnoticed. How shameful it is that the current Assyrian massacres are going unnoticed
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
As I was watching these many games I got a creative idea that will of course never happen in real life. I was telling my brother that humans are idiots for having wars and fighting each other over issues that I consider to be insignificant, such as land. Throughout humanity’s history there have been many wars where people die and countries get damaged. The more advanced our technology becomes the deadlier these wars are becoming.
But why do we have wars to settle our disputes? Why is war the best idea that humans came up with?
I have a better idea….game matches! Yes, sports’ matches…there is a dispute between two countries over a piece of land? Fine, they can arrange a soccer game where the winning team’s country gets the land…or we can have it be best 2 out of 3 matches. Would that not be a beautiful solution? No lives lost, no homes destroyed, no gunshots and missiles heard. Instead of a military, countries can have teams…hell, they can even call their teams “military” if they like this word that much…and if we have multiple countries involved in a dispute, it’s still not a problem…instead of starting a World War, we can have the World Cup with specific rules and regulations to settle the disagreements fairly.
Now you seriously tell me this isn’t a better solution to resolve disputes between countries than war…why don’t humans choose good clean solutions to their problems, but always prefer the gory, violent, and messy answers to get out of a difficulty? Perhaps, it is as that famous ancient philosopher said (whose name I cannot recall right now) that man is evil in nature…I am starting to believe that more than what the other philosopher who countered his argument said that man is good in nature but it is the environment that makes him do evil things (as you can see I am really bad in recalling names, but anyone who has studied some ancient philosophy would know who I am talking about…I hope).
At any rate, I really think this amazing insight of mine is much better than war wouldn’t you say? Hmmm, maybe I should be made president of a country so that I can start working on this war alternative of mine…I personally would vote for soccer matches since that is the only sport I like, but I would be open to suggestions for other sports as well (basketball, baseball anyone?).
Oh, and if you are wondering how can dictators be removed this way…it’s simple…if the dictator’s team loses the match, the dictator gets removed. And any country can beat the dictator’s team…why? Because if he is a dictator, then that means his team would be poorly trained since everyone knows a dictator does not take care of the people of his country. In fact, his team, even if well trained, might purposefully lose the match so that he gets removed from power, and that way their country is freed without the people getting slaughtered daily!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
I still cannot believe that Al-Jazeera actually showed this...this woman is AMAZING!!!
in my opinion, this is what courage and speaking one's mind looks like...the broadcast is in Arabic but there is English translation.
her words keep playing in my head....I really praise this woman for her strength and courage!
Friday, April 28, 2006
Iraqis have many questions; their lives are miserable and they are fed up with the insanity that has become a daily routine of their lives. In their despair, they want to point the finger on someone; by pointing the blame on someone other than themselves they can just throw their arms in the air and say there is nothing they can do about it.
So who is to blame?
Some like to blame the U.S…I’m sorry but I do not see the U.S. killing civilians randomly, so how is the U.S. responsible for the many civilian deaths occurring daily? I am not saying the U.S. is doing everything right there because certainly they are NOT. They have made, and continue to make many mistakes, especially in terms of the reconstruction efforts; putting the money in the hands of people who should not be trusted and such. However, in terms of the security situation, which should be a priority to resolve, the U.S. is trying to keep things calm and fight the insurgents to restore security in the country.
Do we blame the terrorists and the insurgents performing these acts? For sure they are the ones doing the killings and they are responsible for these deaths. They try to justify their monstrous doings by pretending that they are doing it for some cause, what cause? Well it’s all part of their babble.
We, the Iraqis…Sunnies, Shiites, Kurds, ChaldoAssyrian Christians, and all other ethnic and religious groups are the ones to blame for the state that Iraq is in now…The finger should be pointed on the Iraqis and the responsibility is no one’s but ours…we are fighting each other instead of fighting the insurgents who are destroying our land…we are looking after our own individual interests and gains instead of working towards the betterment of our Iraq as a whole…we are working hard to ignore the “other side’s” point of view, disagree with everything that they say and stomp our foot on the floor saying that our side is right and not yours….what “other side” is there anyways? Are we not all Iraqis? Of course we are despite all of our ethnic and religious differences…in fact, it is these differences that make Iraq all the great things that it is.
we should be joining each other hand in hand to secure and rebuild Iraq; we should be putting our differences aside at least until we get Iraq on its feet and functioning again. But, nooooo each side things they are right and God forbid that they agree with or acknowledge the other side, what about their dignity? Agreeing with the other side will be seen as succumbing to the other and all of their dignity will be lost.
As long as the Iraqis, starting with the government and the leaders of the country, continue to think in such a way Iraq will continue to deteriorate, the “bad guys” will continue to destroy our country, and the reconstruction efforts will continue to be stalled….I wonder when the Iraqis will finally realize this and start working together instead of against each other!
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Saturday, April 01, 2006
it is April 1st again...Happy Assyrian New Year 6756 to all the ChaldoAssyrians worldwide!
today also happens to be the Persian New Year...I don't know if I have any Persian readers but if I do, then I wish you a very Happy New Year as well:)
here are some pictures from last year's April 1st ChaldoAssyrian celebrations in northern Iraq:
Friday, March 31, 2006
1. Flag Symbolism 3/29/2005
(I think this is the post that means the most to me)
2. We have a president... 4/7/2005
(yeah I was too optimistic a year ago, I am NOT anymore!)
3. Prejudice is in all of us… 4/23/2005
4. Seeking Democracy or… 5/21/2005
5. The Freedom tower age 6/29/2005
(I really love this post)
6. ChaldoAssyrians making us proud 7/28/2005
7. The Four Candles 8/13/2005
8. Saddam: your time has come… 10/19/2005
9. Caricature drama 2/3/2006
10. Memory Lane 2/22/2006
I never realized that my blog was created on the same month as the Iraq war anniversary until now…hmmm, so with the 3rd anniversary of the war just a few days ago I have had very mixed feelings. The country is still in shambles; the violence continues and at times escalates; people’s lives are still far from being normal. To me a positive end does not seem to be coming anytime soon, and that really saddens me.
However, people who are using the 3rd anniversary to keep protesting the troops’ presence in Iraq are really getting on my nerves...for example, one demonstration that is supposed to take place in Atlanta on April 1st have flyers that are using “peace in Iraq” and “bring our troops home now” in the same sentence. Who are they kidding? Do these people honestly believe that pulling out the American troops now would bring peace to Iraq? That is the craziest thing I have heard. The troops leaving Iraq now would mean complete destruction to Iraq and whatever minimal idea of Democracy that is already in the making there. It would mean the Islamic parties (who have already regrettably won the majority of seats in the new parliament) cutting loose and ruling the country under the Islamic Sharia. This is the thought that scares me the most, in my mind the American troops leaving now before stability is ensured and a good secular leader coming to power makes me wonder if Iraq would turn into another Iran. Thankfully, President Bush seems to be sticking by his plan to stay in Iraq as long as needed. Then again, President Bush is going to be in power for only 2 more years, who knows what the next president will do and where Iraq will be at that point.
Anyways, I have to say that I don’t know if my blog will get to celebrate its 2nd anniversary. I am starting medical school in August and as many of you can guess that will basically take over my life. Yeah for those interested, I got accepted and I am just really thrilled but at the same time scared of what is to come. So in about 7 or so years you can look me up when you need a doctor (probably for your children since I am planning on becoming a pediatrician:))-and yes it is 7+ years: 4 years medical school and 3+ years residency depending on what specialty one chooses.
Friday, March 10, 2006
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Happiness is what we make of our lives…perfect happiness for me is loving and appreciating what and who I have in my life.
What is your greatest fear?
losing the people I love.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
ummm, so these questions are really hard!
Which living person do you most admire?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
always trying to predict what people are thinking about me/my actions/my words etc.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
snobbishness and lying.
What is your greatest extravagance?
excess of anything is bad...I really can’t think of anything right now.
On what occasion do you lie?
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Which living person do you most despise?
despise is a really strong word…I don’t think I despise anyone…there are people I dislike though.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
"oh really?” “yeah” “I know”
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
physical: my height
personality wise: care less about what people think about me.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Overcoming many obstacles and getting into medical school.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I do not desire to be anything other than human…I think I would want to be me minus the things I don’t like about myself…in other words, the ideal perfect me:)
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
how is this different from the previous question???
Who are your favorite writers?
I don’t go looking for books by one particular author, I just read whatever seems interesting to me at the time and usually end up forgetting the author’s name as soon as I finish reading the book.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
I don’t know, Nemo?
What is your most treasured possession?
a pink rabbit bag that I’ve had for as long as I remember…actually it was my sister’s first then I got it from her when I was like 5 years old. it was the one thing I made sure I brought with me to the U.S. now it sits in a place of honor on top of my bed.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
excessive self-pity that prevents one from getting anywhere in life.
Where would you like to live?
"home is where the heart is”
but I must say I love california or any place that is as gorgous as california!
What is your most marked characteristic?
smiling and appearing happy all of the time…I don’t like to show people that I’m having a bad day (with the exception of close friends and family).
What is the quality you most like in a man?
his personality…and nicely toned biceps never hurt either:)
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t really have anything major…give me a break I’m only 22.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Who: Haven’t found him yet.
What: my family.
How would you like to die?
Fast…painlessly…and without prior knoweledge of it.
Finally, as my attempt to stop this tagging insanity, I will not be tagging anyone.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I think of my beautiful Baghdad, even though the rational part of my brain realizes that it has lost all of its aesthetic beauty, I still like to think of it, in my mind, as being beautiful. Yes, I like to preserve the image I had of my Baghdad despite the fact that it was on the road to destruction since I was living there (or more accurately since the day I was born during the Iraq-Iran war).
I do not care; I will always keep the image I have formed in my own mind even if it does not exist now. Maybe someday it will, and maybe it never will, but this picture holds the most important memories of my life, my childhood days, and that is something that will always remain with me. Despite the hardships my country was going through, yet these were the best days of my life and they constitute the most wonderful memories of mine.
These beautiful memories are much stronger than all the car bombings, civilian killings, and bloodshed that are currently taking place. No matter how powerful they may be, these acts of destruction will not succeed in stripping me from this one thing that I deeply treasure: Memories of my beautiful Baghdad!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Friday, February 03, 2006
ok, I know I said I won't be blogging for a while, but this is one of those topics that I absolutely had to blog about...
Freedom of speech means exactly that: FREEDOM OF SPEECH…this concept seems to be hard to understand by the Muslims protesting the cartoons that were first published by a newspaper in Denmark and now are being published by many European newspapers. What exactly are they protesting?
The cartoons apparently depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammed in a way that Muslims are claiming to be “blasphemous” and now they are raising hell all over the world demanding what exactly? I have no clue. The Danish newspaper apparently apologized to the Muslims, but that does not seem to satisfy the protestors. They have attacked the Danish embassy in Indonesia as well as going on various protests in other Muslim countries and burning the Danish flag.
What these people need, in my opinion, is a wake-up call…maybe they would rather live in a society where every word that comes out of their mouth is censored by the almighty and powerful government, which can ensure that no one would draw such caricatures or any other caricatures that have political, religious, social, or any other insinuations that the government does not like. That is completely fine if they prefer to live in such an environment. All they have to do is go back to the countries where they came from, and they will no doubt be welcomed by all the suffocating restrictions and prohibitions that they love and desire so much. But, DO NOT move to western countries and expect to impose your sick un-democratic ideals and beliefs in places where freedom and Democracy reigns, where you have been provided with a home, and where you are allowed to express your opinions and thoughts freely!
It is absurd and laughable that these people are making such a big fuss about this. This is not the first cartoon that mocks a religion or a point in a religion. Just look at the many television shows that constantly ridicule Christianity, Judaism, or other religions like “Family Guy” or “the Simpsons” etc. In fact, that is what caricatures do: they make fun of religious, political, and social institutions. It is completely acceptable if you find some of these works offensive due to your personal beliefs, I know I do sometimes, but you know what you do in such a case? You flip the channel; stop reading the newspaper or magazine; ignore what you are seeing/reading and recognize that the person behind this does not share your beliefs or viewpoints, or counter it with your own civilized non-violent response. However, you do not demand that the person’s freedom of speech/thought/expression be taken away, because his/her work was offensive TO YOU (but perhaps funny to someone else).
You want to live in the west, then you follow the rules of the west, and freedom of speech is one of its main tenets. Ever heard of the saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”? Apparently these people have not. Actually, you don’t even have to do as everyone else does. That is the beauty of the west; you can be and do whatever you like as long as you don’t threaten other people’s freedom. You don’t like that? Then please do us all a favor and stay put in whatever hellish tyrannical country you may be living in, and enjoy your life there (trust me it is more suitable for people like you anyways!).
On another topic…
I think our friend Iran is craving a little spanking, or as a saying in Aramaic goes “its skin is itching”. Why exactly is it defying the U.S. and the European nations who are demanding that it stops making nuclear weapons? Perhaps it is like our old friend Saddam who was under the illusion that he could defy and defeat the entire 35-country coalition (and look where he is now). Oh how I would love to use psychological and neurological methods to see what goes on in the brains of these nut cases!
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Saturday, December 31, 2005
1. Saddam’s trial:
What a complete mockery of the court system! First of all, who in the world picked this judge to reside over the trial? He is the worst judge ever; during the whole part of the trial that I watched he was sitting there resting his hand over his cheek and listening to Saddam and the others talk as they pleased without telling them to shut-up even when they had clearly crossed the line. He seemed scared of them, or maybe he is just apathetic. In fact, there were times when Saddam told him and the prosecutors indirectly to shut-up by telling them not to interrupt him and let him finish, as if he was the one running the trial! By the end of the segment, my blood was boiling with rage from both watching the proceedings and listening to Saddam talk. It is like they had taken over the court and were running it their own way.
My favorite part from Saddam’s talk was when he said (roughly translated): “there is nothing closer to a person’s heart than his own sons right? By God, the feelings I had for my sons are only a drop compared to how much I care about Iraq”!!!!
at this point I told my dad I was ready to attack the TV screen and shatter it…no, it’s ok I was able to control myself and I didn’t break our TV.
This is what you get for trying Saddam and his goons in a democratic system…but, wait a second, if I am not mistaken even in the American court system the defendant does not get to speak except for the beginning when pleading guilty or not guilty (only the defense lawyer gets to talk), am I correct? And I thought Saddam was supposed to be tried according to the Iraqi justice system. I am not very familiar with that system, but I am almost certain the defendant is not allowed to talk and babble on and on about irrelevant topics to the trial, and I am damn sure the defendant would not be allowed to wave his finger in front of the judge’s face!
2. Baby Noor:
The Iraqi few months old infant dubbed “Baby Noor” is heading my way for treatment in Atlanta’s children’s hospital. I read about her story on CNN and I was very excited that she is being brought here to try to save her life. However, I was also thinking about so many other Iraqi children who are in need of urgent treatment to save their lives, and whose families may now be watching the story of baby Noor and wondering why they weren’t so lucky…why their little kid does not get a chance at survival like Noor…my heart hurts just thinking about these children and their families, and I wish there was some magical power to be able to treat all of them. May God be with all of these children and their families and give them strength, and may God bring Baby Noor safely to Atlanta to get the surgery she needs. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I will try to get in touch with the hospital to see if the family needs a translator or anything else that I can possibly help with (her father and grandmother are accompanying her).
picture of Baby Noor
3. New Year’s in Iraq:
We talked to some of my relatives in Baghdad today, and they said electricity has been so bad the past week that they have been having it for one hour or less for the whole day! I do not understand at all what they are doing over there…immediately after the war they used to have power, I think, around 6 hours daily, why is it getting worse? Why are they not making electricity and water the number one priority in their reconstruction and progress efforts? Electricity and water are clearly the number one priority to the Iraqi people, and their lives will be much better and they will be much happier if water and electricity are improved. When will that be?
I am not very happy this New Year’s Eve…I keep thinking about my relatives and other Iraqis who just welcomed the year of 2006 without power (and probably without any celebrations)…I keep hoping that maybe next year will be better for Iraq, and will bring more improvements, but did I not hope the same thing at the end of 2004? And 2003? Things seem to be getting worst not better, and I am sick of seeing the people in power not doing anything about it. When will Iraqis get a normal life like the rest of the world? It’s been 15 long years that Iraqis have been suffering from power shortages (or no power at all) and lack of proper water…when will the end to all of this come?
Despite all my pessimism, I still pray, hope, and dream that the year of 2006 will bring unseen progress to Baghdadis and all of Iraq.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO IRAQ AND THE IRAQI PEOPLE, AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!
I HOPE THE YEAR OF 2006 WILL BE MUCH BETTER FOR PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD, AND THAT JUSTICE WILL FIND ITS PLACE IN OUR HEARTS THIS YEAR.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
I did not want to ruin the blessedness and purity of this holiday season by discussing or writing about dirty politics…so I will leave you with this post about some interesting information I found on the web about the meanings and history of some Christmas traditions.
Note: this is how I want to decorate my house in the future for Christmas!
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May the year of 2006 bring with it promises of peace, progress, and a better life to Iraq and the world over. May 2006 be a better year for all of you, and bring you opportunities that you need and deserve.
Who is Santa Claus?
The original Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, was born in Turkey in the 4th century. He was very pious from an early age, devoting his life to Christianity. He became widely known for his generosity for the poor. But the Romans held him in contempt. He was imprisoned and tortured. But when Constantine became emperor of Rome, he allowed Nicholas to go free. Constantine became a Christian and convened the Council of Nicaea in 325. Nicholas was a delegate to the council. He is especially noted for his love of children and for his generosity. He is the patron saint of sailors, Sicily, Greece, and Russia. He is also, of course, the patron saint of children. The Dutch kept the legend of St. Nicholas alive. In 16th century Holland, Dutch children would place their wooden shoes by the hearth in hopes that they would be filled with a treat. The Dutch spelled St. Nicholas as Sint Nikolaas, which became corrupted to Sinterklaas, and finally, in Anglican, to Santa Claus. In 1822, Clement C. Moore composed his famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nick," which was later published as "The Night Before Christmas." Moore is credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly fat man in a red suit.
And more from another source:
Nicholas was a Christian leader from Myra (in modern-day Turkey) in the 4th century AD. He was very shy, and wanted to give money to poor people without them knowing about it. It is said that one day, he climbed the roof of a house and dropped a purse of money down the chimney. It landed in the stocking which a girl had put to dry by the fire! This may explain the belief that Father Christmas comes down the chimney and places gifts in children's stockings.
The history of the Christmas Tree:
The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and colored paper. It is believed that Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, was the first to light a Christmas tree with candles. While coming home one dark winter's night near Christmas, he was struck with the beauty of the starlight shining through the branches of a small fir tree outside his home. He duplicated the starlight by using candles attached to the branches of his indoor Christmas tree. The Christmas tree was not widely used in Britain until the 19th century. It was brought to America by the Pennsylvania Germans in the 1820's.
One last thing…did I mention how much I love Christmas? It is my all-time favorite holiday:)
Friday, December 16, 2005
obviously, my dad was right...you can trace mostly anything back to the great Mesopotamians...I personally hate beer, but now I think I might reconsider my hatred for it though, you know just as a support for my great ancestors:)
so next time you are enjoying a good time with a beer in hand, just don't forget to thank the great people of Mesopotamia for their invention...and remember, I am one of their descendants so I guess you can thank me instead!
here is the link to the story...enjoy!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
I have had an idea of holding some sort of drive at Emory U. this year to help Iraqi students, see this old March 22nd post...
well, now I finally did it! we are holding a school supplies drive for Iraqi elementary school children starting today thru Friday Dec. 9th...I am really excited about it and I'm hoping that people will be generous with their donations especially now that it is during the holiday season. I am working on trying to find a military base in Georgia who will ship the supplies for free since I imagine they will be shipping a lot of stuff to the troops during this time, hopefully they will.
I have contacts in northern Iraq to ship the collections to once the drive is over, and they will distribute them to elementary schools in the northern villages of Iraq.
I will keep you posted about the progress of the drive.
In the meantime, here are some great websites about the children of Iraq:
American Aid for Children of Nineveh, Iraq
Children's Voice from Iraq
Thursday, November 24, 2005
but, I'm always so excited when Thanksgiving is here, because it makes me feel like Christmas (my all-time favorite holiday) is just around the corner...cannot wait 'till Christmas, but I will leave you first to enjoy Thanksgiving and all the good food...
here is something funny I found while browsing the internet:
Top 10 reasons to have a Happy Thanksgiving:
I especially like #4: which is why I celebrate Thanksgiving with my family even though we're not Americans, and it is technically an American holiday.
ENJOY YOUR TURKEY EVERYONE:)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Look at their beautiful happy faces!
How adorable is she!!!
Looking at these pictures you would not think that this is Iraq...it is so normal, quite, peacful, and happy...it makes my heart flutter seeing people happy and just trying to bring normalcy back to their lives despite how hard it may be.
oh my Baghdad, when will it be that we meet again...
Sunday, November 06, 2005
First, I am surprised I have not heard about this on T.V. since I normally turn on the news every morning when I am getting ready to go to classes. The riots have started since Oct. 27th and I do not understand how I did not hear anything in CNN or Fox being reported, hmmm...
The part I found most disturbing was this:
two schools...were burned, Hamon said. A child care center was burned in Lille in northern France.
and then it says somewhere else:
The vandalism has spread to around 20 communities with large immigrant and Muslim populations who've been plagued by poverty, unemployment and alleged discrimination. In some areas, unemployment is 25 percent
How exactly is burning schools and child care centers supposed to fix their unemployment problems???? Are the children responsible for their unemployment? I understand they are trying to the government aware of their problems (which I am sure it is); but, first rioting is not going to end their poverty or provide them with jobs; second there are many other ways to make their problems known to the government (and burning children's education places is NOT one of them); and third I don't think many people will be sympathetic to their situation when they are burning public places and endangering their lives...in fact, I would want my government to take action to stop these lunatics (which I am sure do not represent the majority of the impoverished OR immigrant OR minority families who are probably sitting quietly in their homes trying to feed their children and live their lives , and shaking their head while watching these maniacs bring chaos to the city....ok, ok that is a little dramatic but who knows maybe I'm right)
(long sigh) crazy world we live in...and it seems to be getting crazier everyday (another long sigh).
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Seven things I plan to do:
1.Get my bachelor’s degree this year
2.Go to medical school
3.Travel the world starting with Europe
4.Visit Alkosh / Iraq
5.Remain optimistic in spite of obstacles (which is too hard to do)
6.Make some difference in the world
7.Find the man of my dreams (preferably riding on a white horse, hehe:))
Seven things I can do:
3.Express my opinion
4.Shop for clothes and shoes:)
5.Be a loyal friend
6.Drive a car
Seven things I can’t do:
1.Live without hot black tea
2.Sing or dance (although I pretend that I can)
3.Lie (really, when I try I’m so bad at it)
5.Go bungee jumping or skydiving
6.Change a flat tire (although I want to learn)
7.Eat sushi / seafood
Seven things I say most often:
3.I have to study / go to the library
5.I know (when I probably don’t:))
6.MCATs / med school (these words seem to dominate my life these days)
7.I’m so cold (even during summer!)
Seven people I want to pass this tag to:
1.Zeyad of “Healing Iraq”
2.Tara of “Tara”
3.Liana of “Ishtarria”
4.Ahmad of “Iraqi Expat”
5.Omar and Mohammad of “Iraq the Model”
6.A.J. Nolte of “Rightward bound”
7.PebblePie of “PebblePie”
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Today is judgment day for Saddam, or at least the start of it. He will stand trial for one of the many charges brought against him. This charge is about the Dujail incident that took place in 1982 (3 years after he seized power). I had never heard the story before, probably because I was not even born then. Apparently during one of his visits to the town an assassination attempt was made against him, but he escaped unharmed only to later return to the town and unleash his wrath on its people. He killed and imprisoned many including women and children. Imagine, this was only 3 years after he had seized power…three years and people were already fed with him and his crimes. I mean what was it? Wasn’t it just when he had become president that they showed that televised meeting where he started pointing people out from the audience and his guards would go escort them out of the room (to their death!). The Iraqi people watched in their homes the pleas and cries of these men, while the bastard showed no mercy at all. His plan from the start was that of terrorizing the Iraqi people, letting them realize that “I own you now, you better do as I say or else you will never see the light of day again.” And I cannot believe people around the world fell for our act, and at one point of time, thought that we actually loved him…
The Dujail case is one small tiny example of how much people despised him, and wished him dead. I remember when I was in Iraq and a conversation with relatives or close friends would start about cancer or some other terrible disease of this day and age that so and so has (or recently died from or something), and the conversation would always turn where someone would say “with all these people wishing him dead, you would think he would be the first one to get cancer…how come it’s the good people dying, while the bastard reigns freely…why doesn’t he get cancer or some other terrible disease?” Now I understood that people were saying this as their way of expressing their deep frustration, but you know with me being me I did not like hearing things like that, because I would always think that there must be some reason for this (which I have not figured out yet).
Anyways, so the whole world will get the opportunity to see Saddam’s trial as they are allowing it to be taped with a 20 minute delay…finally the people of Dujail, as well as the rest of the Iraqi people, can watch this monster get what he deserves for all of the crimes that he has committed over the 23 years that he was in power (or maybe a little less of what he deserves since what he deserves would be to cut him into little pieces while he begs for mercy, but we cannot do that because that would make us like him). Finally, we can see justice (or the beginning of it) take place in Iraq…all of these years Iraq was the ideal example of injustice, fear, totalitarianism, discrimination, and murder of innocent people…it is about time that the Iraqis start setting a different kind of ideal for the world (maybe setting an ideal is too extreme, a good start would be just working our way to some already existing model) that of justice, peace, democracy, and equality…qualities that have been so foreign to the Iraqis up until now, but it is about time that they start learning and implementing them, and Saddam’s trial and sentence (since there is absolutely no doubt that he will be convicted) is the first step towards achieving these beautiful ideals.
p.s. sorry for not blogging for so long, but my life is way too hectic these days (and will probably be this way for the rest of the semester)...but Saddam's trial is way too exciting for me to miss blogging about.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Assyrian International News Agency
A Cry of Help By the Assyrians
Dr. Dogu Ergil
I have been awed by Assyrian art twice: The first occasion was while standing before a huge ancient stone relief depicting a war scene exhibited in the British Museum during my university years. The second was a collection of silver ornaments called 'telkari' made by fine threads of silver. They looked like metal embroidery of the finest kind. Decades later I visited Mardin and Midyat to discover that long after the disappearance of the Assyrian Empire, the fine masonry they have left behind had lived on.
Indeed, the heirs of one of the magnificent civilizations of Mesopotamia are the Assyrian citizens of Turkey. I include myself here too, the elite city folk of Turkey know very little about them, indeed, nor have they read anything in our history or citizenship books at school about them, either. I felt ashamed of my ignorance and I still feel that as an academic and an enlightened citizen of Turkey I owe a duty to demonstrate some awareness of the needs and expectations to this talented -- and one of the most peaceful -- groups of the republic.
During each of my travels to the southeastern provinces of Turkey I witnessed the shrinking of the Assyrian population. Some villages have sought refuge in Europe as towns shed their Assyrian inhabitants by the thousands. Most of those who wanted to remain in the country moved to national metropolises, especially to Istanbul where their Christian creed was less visible and their craft (mostly gold and silversmiths) was rewarded.
They were neglected by officialdom because they did not fit into the official identity of citizenship defined as "Turkish in ethnicity and Sunni Muslim in religion." Although they possessed the two other components of the official identity that are "secular" and "obedient to the state," their Christian creed set them apart from the mainstream body of "trusted citizens." Left alone, they did not enjoy the protection of official bodies. Reckless Kurds inspired to lawlessness by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) usurped their property and deterred them from staying on by destroying their crops as well as issuing outright threats on their lives.
I am a personal witness of this sad phenomenon: A powerful and prominent Kurdish figure in the Mardin area known for his righteousness is trusted with the trusteeship of the property of many Assyrians. The title deeds of dozens of expensive properties is transferred over to this man in return for his word that upon the death of their legal owners they will be handed over to their scions/heirs. What a pity for the citizens of a country who has to take refuge in the honesty of a few selected individuals rather than being protected by the institutions and officials to whom they bear allegiance.
However, lately it was very refreshing to hear and see that some of the Assyrians were coming back after decades of asylum in Western countries, at least to die in their own land or to spend a few peaceful years after the violence subsided. After all, this is their country. However, some have faced severe difficulties in recovering their property from loyal Kurdish village guards who had been instrumental in neutralizing the PKK in certain trouble spots. Some found it hard to obtain permission to build new residences to a much higher standard than the locals liked. Nevertheless, like rare and shy birds, they came back and brought gaiety to the gloomy Southeast, which had been a war zone for decades. Now that terrorism has been artificially resumed by the PKK to disrupt the peace and stability of the region and the country as a whole, Assyrians may shy away once again, thus leaving the region to militancy and the rule of force.
In the face of this danger they are appealing to every receptive heart and every listening ear for protection and the respect they most definitely deserve.
The situation is much worse to the south of the border, with Assyrians in Iraq crying out for help. Here are their own words concerning their concerns and expectations for the non-Arab and non-Kurdish groups:
"The Turkmen alone cannot survive against the aggressive Kurdish oppression. Turkmen politicians are in danger of their lives and they are being kidnapped. Kurdish militias and peshmergas oppress and threaten Turkmen businesses.
"The Assyrians are under even more aggressive political conditions than the Turkmens. There is the Nineveh Plain region with about 300,000 Assyrians, Shabaks, Yezidis and Turkmen. These people categorically refuse to be 'Kurdified.' This region is huge but the Kurds are trying very hard to incorporate it in a future 'Kurdistan or northern Iraq. It's still not under their administration and control officially. That is also why the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) prevented ballot boxes reaching this region during the previous elections!
"What the Kurds are doing in this region is a great crime. KDP offices are being built in even in the smallest villages; clerics are being bribed; civilians are being killed and alternative political parties of other peoples are being oppressed in a very aggressive way.
"Turkey must support the Assyrians who do not want to be divided into Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian, as is written in the present Constitution. They wish to be referred to as ChaldoAssyrian, as it was in the Transitional Administrative Law (TAL) representing all. "If Turkey only supports the Turkmen but refuses to support the Assyrians, Shabaks and Yezidis in northern Iraq, then a future Kurdistan in northern Iraq and Southeast Turkey will be a fact; even if the PKK is neutralized by Turkey, the United States and the European Union."*
I have not added a word to this analysis and cry for help. Anyone with some sense and conscience should heed the words above if they really want peace and stability based on equality and justice in a region that could be the fuse of the next world war, not fought with nuclear weapons but with hatred and a militant ideology that is no less dangerous and devastating.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
اعلان عن فقدان وطن
فقد وطن اخضر اللون يدعى وادي الرافدين يرتدي مليون نخلة واهوار بحجم معاناته . عمره يناهز العشرة الاف سنة مجروح من كل جانب يوزع الحب والحكمة لبني البشر كان ملاذا للخائفين صار خوفا للامنين يتجول في شوارعه الموت والخوف والرعب يزين ارصفته دم الاطفال الابرياء الذاهبين صباحآ الى مدارسهم ليتعلموا كيف يكتبوا كلمة الوطن في درس القراءة ويرسموا خارطته في درس الجغرافية وينشدوه احلى نشيد (موطني )...على من يحن عليه يصلي لاجله ليضمد الرب جراحه وينشر السلام في ارضه.
Share with us the prayer for IRAQ
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
But, today I saw an interesting thing happening...gave me flashbacks to media pictures of Iraq two years ago and I could not help but compare:
after the disastrous and tragic hurricane that hit three states in the U.S. the media was reporting looting in parts of New Orleans....hmmmm, now what are people in a first world country that happens to be the greatest power in the world doing looting their country men and women instead of lending them a helping hand?
By no means do I intend to insult anyone by this. I also know that some of you reading this post will be upset by it, but I have a point with all of this...different kinds of people exist everywhere...a looter is a looter whether he is American or Iraqi or whatever, and the same applies to an honest person. Decent people can be found worldwide even in the least expected places.
So, maybe this looting should teach us a small lesson that we should not judge a whole nation’s citizens based on the acts of a few…oh and also learn to pick and choose what to believe from what the media shows.
Just a thought that came to mind…
Saturday, August 20, 2005
I feel a little bit more confident this time about my performance, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best...what's important at the moment is that I am finally a FREE person (for just a week at least and then I start the school year again
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Four candles were quietly burning. The wind was calm so that it was possible to hear their conversation. The first candle said: “I am Peace, but no one seems to be able to keep me lit forever, so I think I am going to be put out.” Then, its glow started getting dimmer until it completely extinguished.
The second candle said: “I am Faith, and I don’t find myself necessary anymore; there is not point of my staying lit any longer.” Just as it finished saying this, a strong wind blew and put the candle out.
The third candle sighed sadly and said: “I am Love and I don’t have the strength to stay lit, because people have placed me aside and don’t understand my importance anymore; they even forget to love the closest people to them.” So the third candle went out too.
Suddenly a little kid walked in and saw that the three candles were not lit. He asked them “why did you go out, weren’t you supposed to stay lit until the end?” and he broke into tears.
Just then, the fourth candle spoke and said: “don’t be sad my friend, because as long as I am lit I can light the other candles as well. I am Hope.” The kid’s eyes sparkled; he took the fourth candle, and with it he lit the other three candles- Peace, Faith, and Love!
Hope is the most important thing in people’s lives; without it we would all wither away. Just as the story above shows, Hope has the power to restore the lacking aspects in our lives. This is why I am always praying that the Iraqis will keep their “Hope” candle lit and prevent any winds or other external factors from putting it out, because as long as we have our hope we will achieve our dreams no matter how impossible they seem.
**p.s. I am trying to keep my “hope” candle lit to maybe help me light my “intellect” candle next Saturday as I will be taking the MCATs again…I don’t know if it will work; there is a possibility that my “intellect” candle has been completely burnt out :)
Thursday, July 28, 2005
**One of the members of Congress named Anna Eshoo is actually a Chaldo-Assyrian originally from Iran…Representative Eshoo has not forgotten her roots, and is seizing the opportunity and using her power in Congress to add another strong voice in the Chaldo-Assyrians’ fight for their rights. Ms. Eshoo recently urged Congress to offer support to Iraqi Chaldo-Assyrians and Christians in general, and ankawa.com has the full article posted (it is in English except for the short intro which summarizes the article).
**the House of Lords in the U.K. have also been discussing the important issue of Iraqi Chaldo-Assyrians…to listen to their session click here….this is also a good to listen to if you want to know more about the history of Iraq’s Chaldo-Assyrians, since the speaker offers a lot of details about our history…the session is long and I did not listen to all of it, so I am not sure if they talk about this issue the whole time, you can find out for yourself and listen to the whole thing if you have that much spare time in your hands, but the important part is at the beginning.
**looking away from politics, Ramona Amiri, a Chaldo-Assyrian originally from Iran, received the title of “Miss World Canada 2005”, and will of course be representing Canada in the Miss World Pageant! Way to go Ramona!!! Click here for more info.
**finally, this should make you smile, I stumbled upon it while googling something...
now I love Homer Simpson more than ever seeing that he is promoting the Assyrian flag and fighting with us for our rights in his own odd way of dealing with things…I love it!
Saturday, July 16, 2005
I encourage all of you to sign the statement as it is a small step to show these terrorists that we are not giving up to them and that we will fight them to the end...I signed the statement today...to sign, click on this link, read the statement, then scroll all the way down to sign your name.
Friday, July 15, 2005
The reason why I am writing this is because I received an article via email from a friend that I really liked, which I am going to paste here….these are the real Heroes and Stars that we should admire and look at as role models, not some Hollywood big shot….enjoy reading!
""""Ben Stein's Last Column...For many years Ben Stein has written a biweekly column called "Monday NightAt Morton's." (Morton's is a famous chain of Steakhouses known to befrequented by movie stars and famous people from around the globe.) Now,Ben is terminating the column to move on to other things in his life.Reading his final column is worth a few minutes of your time.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Everyone probably realizes by now that I am talking about the terror attacks that took place in the London subway and bus system. The whole world has turned into a war zone, with the civilized trying to battle a phantom called terror. I cannot accept that such attacks are political. Killing or attempting to kill a president or a high official (like the murder of the Egyptian Ambassador in Iraq today) IS political; a COUNTRY going to war against another country is done for political reasons. However, killing a whole lot of civilians who have done no wrong to the attackers must not be accepted as done on a political nor religious basis.
I am kind of getting tired of the west not protecting itself right…I mean sure the U.S. and Europe have democracies, but these democracies were installed for the citizens of those countries…they should not be democratic towards individuals or nations who are attacking them or supporting their attackers. The CIA, MI6 and other similar organizations need to send clear messages and THREATS to those countries supporting terrorists in various ways whether directly or indirectly (and oh believe me they know who they are!) that if they do not stop they will face severe consequences…I am sick of seeing the American president or the British PM and others meeting DEMOCRATICALLY with Saudi princes and shaking hands as if they are good old friends….damn Saudi’s oil if obtaining it means the death of innocent civilians…I sincerely believe that action needs to be taken against countries that harbor terrorism…I understand that western relationships with countries such as Saudi Arabia and others are established to protect the interests of their countries, but what is more important economical interests or the security of the citizens of these democratic countries? If any American or British citizen is given the option of becoming unemployed or paying a higher price for gas, OR dying/losing a loved one, I am certain everyone would choose the former. So it is time for these western democracies to start taking stern actions and stop simply giving empty threats before other such attacks occur and too many innocent lives are lost.
May God be with all those who died in London today, with their families, and with the survivors of the attack that they may heal both from their physical and psychological injuries.
One last thing, I have noticed that whenever such an attack takes place all of the countries increase their security tremendously specifically in places similar to where the attack took place (i.e. today it was the subway system)…now I do not understand why they do that; honestly even the most dumb terrorist would know not to attack the same thing twice in the same period of time wouldn’t they? I know it is just an extra measure of precaution, but these precautions need to either be taken BEFORE the attacks occur, or the security need to be extended to other places and things…For example, just look at the trend: first in 9/11 the terrorists used planes, then they used the train system in Spain, and now they attacked the subway system in London. In my opinion, security in the subway system (in fact, the whole transportation system) should have been increased after the first two attacks, because it was obvious that the terrorists were targeting transportation but they were changing their specific targets.
Monday, July 04, 2005
I would like to extend A special wish to all of the American troops serving in Iraq and elsewhere in the world...have strength in the fact that your nations' thoughts are with you every moment of every day...and know that we are praying for your safe return to your families.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Now, when I read this piece of news an image flickered in my mind about what the world would be like in the summer of 2010 (or at least how I wish it would be like)…here is what I saw:
It is July 2010, the year the Freedom Tower has opened to the public, and among the many tourists traveling to New York City to marvel at the new building are many Iraqis who decided to escape Iraq’s summer heat and visit the Big Apple, the city that everyone talks about. At the same time, on the other side of the world, Iraq is seeing a large number of crowds like never before in the country’s history as many American tourists decided to take a vacation to the much talked about cultural and historical sites in Iraq that have only recently been restored and opened for tourism again.
Thus, simultaneously, as the Iraqi tourists are being amazed by the sight of the Freedom Tower and other skyscrapers that define NYC, American tourists are being fascinated by the gates of Babylon, the statue of the Winged Bull, and the many cultural centers and museums that once, not long ago, used to serve as palaces for the thugs who ruled the country.
This rush in tourism between the two countries is proving to the few skeptical people left around in the world that the war initiated 7 years ago has been won, and the experiment of Democracy in Iraq has proved to be successful. Iraqis have truly demonstrated to the world that they are a people of courage; their strong will and determination along with the help of their best ally, the U.S., have granted them their long-sought dream of a free country where peace roams around without being disturbed by terror and fear!
Sure there is still a lot more work to be done around the country in all aspects of life, but steady progress is being made daily. People have jobs. Profits are flowing into the country from the two main sources: oil and tourism. Above all, security has been established and there no longer exists fear of the kind people were experiencing several years ago. There is no longer fear of explosions from cars in public places; no longer fear of leaving ones home and not being able to make it back in one piece, no longer fear of having a random bullet strike the wrong person who happened to be standing at the wrong place in the wrong time. Iraqis have fought terror for a long time, and they were now reaping and enjoying the fruits of their long battle; and oh boy how good it tastes!
Now back to the present, 2005: some might criticize my vision above as being childish or unrealistic; they might say that I am just dreaming and it will never be like that. I am here to tell those people that without dreaming a person cannot achieve anything; dreams create ambitions, ambitions lead to motivation and hard work, which in turn lead to results. Furthermore, dreams give people hope, and the one very important thing that Iraqis need right now and should not give up on is HOPE…so, keep holding on to your hope and your dreams, and one day they WILL become reality-your reality!
Friday, June 24, 2005
Now about my trip…New York City was great! I had a really good time and I just loved it there…surrounded by the crazily tall buildings everywhere; the crowds walking all over and trying to cross the streets without getting hit by cars that get so close to pedestrians you would think they were crossing the street too. I haven’t seen this kind of bad driving or heard so much horn honking since I’ve left Iraq…driving in New York is just outrageous…every time I sat in a vehicle I thought I was not going to make it back alive.
I visited almost all the attractions…actually, after a few days we found out that 10 days was way too long since we could have seen everything in like 5 days, but we took some days off in the middle of the week to rest. I saw the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Little Italy, Chinatown, Rockefeller Center, World Trade Center site (ground zero), Wall Street and New York Stock Exchange, The United Nations Headquarters, Bryant Park (my absolute favorite place to chill out and drink a Starbucks frappaccino), and became extremely familiar with the Times Square area from 42nd-47th street on 7th and 6th avenues because that’s where our hotel shuttle would drop us off and pick us up everyday. We also visited every single Starbucks around this area since every time we would get tired or hot we would sit at a Starbucks. I wanted to see a Broadway show but they were just too expensive, so we just passed by the theaters and enjoyed them from the outside.
Some other updates aside from my trip for those who want to know…I got my MCAT scores back, annnnnnnnnnnnd,I did not do so well so I will be retaking it again in August, agh!!! I hate this, but I have to do it if I want to get to medical school. Anyways, so you know what this means…it means that as of July 4th, which is when I will start my summer courses and reviewing for MCAT again I will probably not be able to blog a lot if at all…these few months ahead of me are very critical in determining my academic future and I really need to concentrate on that more than anything else.
Enough about me…click here to enjoy some pictures of the ever so beautiful New York City…oh and by the way, if you were wondering (like I always did before I went there) it is EXACTLY like they show on movies and shows…the crowds, the bad driving and the traffic, people’s diversity, the little pretty shops, the flashing signs and lights everywhere all add together to create the unique beauty of the Big Apple!