Thursday, March 06, 2003

Article in the
you see that woman on the right [piclink] her name is not Janon as the article says, it is Jinan (the name means heavens) and she is the evil witch of the department of architecture. You can see it in her smile. The woman on the left makes the whole engineering college march to her whistle, really very strong and well known women in the college of engineering. One of them has a very eloquent daughter apparently:
"I hope they see us as people," says the increasingly anxious Nihal, in a separate interview. "It's a feeling you can't describe: You worry about yourself, and your family, and aunts and uncles in their houses - it's like your heart is in a million pieces all over the place, and you don't know how to keep it together."
and Jinan kicks ass too:
"It's funny," she says of the cultural disconnect. "Why should we be sitting here trying to convince you that we are OK? Why should I have to make you feel like we are people worth living?"

The dinar is miraculously keeping its cool and still around the 2360 for a dollar, the lowest it ever got during the last 10 years was 2500 for a dollar but I think we will hit that bottom in the next couple of weeks. A relative of mine who works at a bank says that everybody who comes into the bank is complaining that “al suq waguf – the market is at a standstill”. They are a “private bank” - there is no such thing as a private bank really, they are all partially owned by the state - they have been told to stock on biscuits, dates and water, can’t imagine why, as if anyone is going to come to work when things start dropping on our heads. But to be fair, after GW I the banks opened pretty fast, people who lived near their work place and could walk to work did just that, the banks limited the amount you are allowed to take from your account to 100 dinars which was around $200 or so at the time, today 100 dinars buys me a pack of local chemical-flavor bubble gum. Since we are talking about money today was payday. It is amazing what the sentence “we’re sorry but you know how things are at the moment blablabla” can do to your paycheck, in one single year I have gone down from $200 to $100 and hit rock bottom at $50, in retrospect deciding to go back to living with my parents was the wisest decision I have made for quite a while. My friend G. is getting half his salary in money and the rest in alcohol, really no joke, but good imported stuff which we wouldn’t buy anyway. His fatcat-filthyrich boss turned seriously Muslim and is giving away his stash of the devil’s beverages. Good for us, I say.

Human Shields Bashing #124
"Basically, they said we are not going to feed you any longer," said John Ross, an American who has been active in radical causes since he tore up his draft card in 1964.
Excuse while I wipe the tears from my eyes. Outoutout. He could have at least say something more in line with his “radical cause”. This is a bit insulting actually for some reason I feel offended. FEED YOU? Why does the Iraqi government have to friggin’ feed you, you have volunteered to “help” in country which can’t feed its own population properly (well it could if it spent a bit less on itself and on people like you). There is another good bit:
The activists accused the Iraqi authorities of trying to use them as pawns in the war with America.
oh, shockhorror, what a surprise. Back to where you came from. Don’t wait for thank you speeches, outoutout.
The bitter flight from Iraq follows a showdown with the Iraqi authorities who demanded that they decamp from their hotels in central Baghdad and take up their self-assigned roles as civilian protectors.
No no, just stay in your hotels, buy souvenirs and make fun of the backward ways of these Iraqis, hope you sent all your friends postcards telling them about the pita and tahini you have been eating while strolling around Baghdad, you tourists. Did you take enough pictures of children begging in the streets to show your friends back home how much you care about the plight of the poor in the third world. Bet they were all shaking hands and promising to see each other at the next “worthy cause” party.

Today is “mumarasa - practice” day in Baghdad (maybe tomorrow too nope I checked it was a one day thing), all the security forces, police, civil defense units and the like excluding the army are going thru the motions. Besides parading up and down all over the country all units were supposed to go thru the events of an “emergency situation”. The funniest were the policemen; they have been issued army helmets with green camouflage fluff on it. All the main squares and intersections had at least 12 people wearing their full gear, carrying Kalashnikovs and a couple of extra ammunition magazines. There were also firefighting guys with big red cars and Kalashnikovs, everybody gets to carry guns (I don’t get where the myth that firefighters are sexy came from). And other assorted killing machines mounted on cars, some were going around the city some were stationed. They all looked a bit self-conscious and hot because of the helmets. It was around 24C at noon today, pretty warm to be wearing all the stuff they had on.
People in Basra are saying that for them it does feel like war already, lots of raids down there. A couple of days ago in the 7 o’clock local news bulletin they showed a number of Ba’ath party members overseeing the burning of leaflets (the ones which look like $100 bills) they only said it was in the southern parts of Iraq. I wish someone can bring me one of them, imagine the ebay potential it would have in a couple of months time.
There is an incredibly strong rumor that Uday is in Russia (Belarusia), what makes it even more suspicious is this; I wrote that google was blocked from last night, well now it is open but type a search for anything in Russia and you get the “access denied” page on the search results.
And have you seen the speech by Izat Ibrahim in the Islamic Summit today, was that diplomacy in action or what? Calling the Kuwaiti foreign minister a monkey, he actually called him a monkey, and insulting his “moustache” – a very serious offence in Bedouin code, like insulting his manly pride – we have a master in abuse hurling in our government. Although Libya and Saudi Arabia did quite well a couple of days earlier. And they ask why the Arab nations are such a farce; it is because we have kings and presidents who behave like kids in a sandpit.