Sunday, February 08, 2004

Friday 6/2
I am still in Amman,. Khalid and Majid returned to Baghdad to follow up on school matters. Studies haven’t started yet. Raed stayed with me. Today is his birthday. We will have a small birthday party for him at his aunt’s house. He will be surrounded with his little cousins. They can be rowdy, they spend the whole day screaming and yelling at each other. Me and Raed usually open our mouths in amazement at the behavior of this new generation. I think that Raed is afraid to get involved with them in a discussion so that they won’t attack him and eat him alive. Raed will turn 26. I wish him a long and fruitful life, fruitful for himself and fruitful to others. I remember myself at his age. I was married and I had Raed and about to have Khalid. I was working then. I was busy with my husband running our family life. I didn’t have time to go through youth anxiety. I had anxiety of another kind. My kind of anxiety was much less harmful from the other kind. What will I be? How will I be? In honor of Raed’s birthday, I am going to get the embarrassing question. How old
am I? I usually smile and hide my annoyance with that question. Why do we get annoyed with that question? Because when people criticize a behavior they don’t like, they say how old are you? Aren't you old enough to know better? I don’t mean acts of foolishness-these must be rejected at any age.
I mean ambitions. All those ambitions that were delayed because of the kids and the family and the situation. I was young then. When the kids grew up I felt freed from a huge burden. The time has come to rest and watch the fruit of my labor and compensate for all those things I was deprived of.
But then somebody think, what do you want? It is too late, the time has passes and you are over forty, in fact I am over forty by a few years. but i think they are just a silly and stupid creature.
I went outside to do some shopping. I bought a birthday gift and astrawberry and whipping cream cake for Raed. It looks so delicious. I called thesaleswoman to show me perfumes on sale. I told her I will give you a chance to explain but I am not in the mood to buy a new perfume brand. I have lots of perfumes and I don’t want to take a chance with a new kind that will make me sneeze all the time. So the saleswoman stood there explaining about each perfume, how they will transfer me to a different ambiance. Each one has an introduction and a concept. At the beginning I was taking it
lightly but then I imagined myself standing in my own store explaining the importance of having a water filtration system. The girl was putting lots of effort into convincing me. I saluted her spirit of persistence to win a customer over. So I decided to buy, now I am asking myself, is that what happens with me at the store? When I sell to customers, is it because they feel sorry for me? This is a disaster. Anyway, I bought a perfume with a fruity smell. It is nice. I can use it in all times and seasons. When I went home, I found that Raed had a guest. He introduced him to me. He is an American working for a press that is against the war on Iraq. He has been in Amman for two days
and trying to go to Baghdad to write about American companies and the truth of their activities in Iraq. He doesn’t speak Arabic and he has money. He is afraid that it will get stolen. Raed agreed to keep some of his money here and we would give it to him in Baghdad. Raed helped him to get a reservation with a group of Iraqis in a car heading to Baghdad. That is better than him traveling on his own. He will travel in the evening. Now he will have lunch with us at the neighbors. We were invited over for lunch yesterday.
I always wonder when I meet a foreigner, is he afraid of us? Does he think we will betray him or hurt him? We usually have sympathy with such people, we take care of them and we surround them with care until he gets back to his family. When one of the foreigners that we know through various organization is hurt, we all hurry to give him support. Not because we are agents to America, it is a humanitarian issue. We say this person is not responsible for what happened. Just like us, we are not responsible either. I was asked a question by a group of young women writing a report about the war in Iraq. How do you see the American families involved in the war in your country? I see them as victims just like us. They are paying the price for a bill due to the big investors that will earn lots of money from this. We are the losers. We the people. I don’t look at it the way Ben Laden does. "The base of the government is a nation that is supporting war and oppression". That is
why he is resorting to violence and murder towards the base. I see this vision as being stupid, hostile and unrealistic. For example the Vietnam war stopped as a result of pressure from the average people on the government. We hopped the same would happen with regards to the war on Iraq. That
means that our help and support are the American people, not our enemy. The American people are not our enemy and we shouldn’t direct murder or violence against them. Even those of them that are sympathetic to us, have a different vision than us. We have a saying, the people of Mecca are more
knowledgeable about its pathways. That means that those that are dedicated, nationalistic and loyal to Iraq have the independent vision that is suitable for their country. These people know the history of their country and its mood. That aids them is creating a leadership from the people that would execute a program that would be beneficial. From all our pains we no longer trust political parties. Only god knows who is funding and directing those. We want a dignified and a free life. We want a life with justice and guaranteed human rights to each citizen. Also freedom. A mature and aware freedom. A freedom that is respectful and doesn’t hurt others. We don’t need imported ideas
and strange experiments. You can’t grow strawberries in the desert. These need a suitable climate to grow and flourish. Where is the suitable context for a western democracy? Each place has its own context. We should respect those and give them amble consideration, otherwise we turn out to be
fools. We become a target for criticism from a peaceful opposition or we will become open for violence and murder from an opposition that has a different value system. These will leave more victims and more complicated issues with no solution on the horizons.

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