Monday, June 20, 2005

Saturday, June 11th, 2005
Good evening…
This morning I attended a discussion about the conflict in Somalia, presented by a Somalis student who lives here, in America, as a refugee. The funny-sad thing is that the American government is the usually-participating party in all conflicts in the world, and, at the same time, has emigration laws permitting to receive a certain percentage of emigrants from all over the world… so, I see resident emigrants from Vietnam, Philippines, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, and of course, the Iraqis were added to the list…
From one point, the government wages wars, killing people, displacing them from their homes, and empowering greedy companies, who can never have enough, to suck their wealth, then, opens the emigration doors to them, playing the " kind mother" role who defends human rights…
There is an understandable part of the story?
As Adel Imam, (a famous Arab comedian) says: Who was it?and who was here? And who was there??
Anyway, the Somalis student explained the torn state of his country fro 15 years; tribes fighting among themselves, wrestling for water resources, land, and pasture…
Never agreeing to form a government…
And the (USAID) organization implements small economic projects to develop the society.
After the presentation, someone asked him: Why do the tribes fight? Why don't they reach an agreement to choose a president?
He answered: They think narrow-mindedly, each wanting the president to be from his tribe…
And he looked at me and said: Perhaps in the Arab world you have tribes, who compete among themselves, and are bigoted against each other….
I had no wish to argue, I only wanted to listen, but as long as he pulled me into the subject, I shall be glad to answer, and clarify, for most of the audiences were American, and I want them to understand what is really happening there, from our viewpoint, not by that of the Media, or this poor student who works under the supervision of an American teacher, working for the (USAID).
I raised my hand to ask: Did your tribes fight historically?
Is this a historical tradition in your country?
How did you live, before the last 15 years?
Did you have a republic, a state, a president?
Did the tribes use to behave like this?
He said: yes, we used to have a strong state, and a president, but the government was ousted under the pretext that it was dictatorial, not a democracy, and today we say; would that strong state have remained, even if it weren't democratic…
I said to him : Listen, I intended to listen to this lecture to hear about Somalia…after the fall of Saddam, the shredding of the state, the entry of the occupation forces, along with strange, odd Parties, and the start of chaos, I began hearing Iraqis wonder: what is this? What shall our future be? Will we be like Somalia?
So, I came here to find out what happened to Somalia?
Well, now I know what happened…..
The same story; a dictatorial regime, targeted by the Media, portraying it as the No. 1 monster, then, it was toppled, disturbances were planted among people, so they would turn into different tribes fighting against each other for selfish benefits. Somalia contains the same language, the same religion, the same race, they looked for a cause to divide, and they found it; The Tribes, so, they brought them to fight among themselves…and the country's future, security, and stability were lost….
In our case, in Iraq, they created the story of Sunnies, Shia'ats, Arabs, and Kurds, making people fight among themselves, then, comes a western organization, like (USAID), to play mother hen, creating small projects, to develop the country and raise it…
I heard the same story a few days ago from Afghanistan, as our Afghani colleague who worked for (USAID), coming from Afghanistan, spoke, to convince us of (USAID)'s kind role in repairing the society after the war…..
After my experience in Iraq, I began to see the world with new eyes…
Western governments steeling and plundering the wealth of poor nations, enlarging their empires from sucking the blood of others…then they would send us organizations, like (USAID), and tell the world how kind they are to us….
In all this, they are aided by dummy or corrupt governments ….
After the Iraq catastrophe, I started believing that people should decide their fate and future by their hands… away from corrupt local governments… or western governments who know no mercy, nor how to respect our rights and dignity….
The shiny future is made by the people's own hands….
We no longer trust anyone….
I know I was angry…
And that the Americans in the hall felt my hostility towards them…
But I only wanted them to know we are not stupid, or naïve….
Then I left the hall… on my way to the door, I heard the Somali student whispering to me: Thanks a lot…
I smiled, and went out….
I suppose he wished to find someone to say those words instead of him…
My heart tells me he was afraid and shy from saying the truth…..
I found nothing to bring more happiness to a human's heart…as much as the relief after saying the truth
Ha, ha, ha….
Ask an experienced person, and don't ask a wise one…this is how the saying goes in our land….
And may peace be upon you all…
Translated by May/Baghdad.

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