Friday, February 13, 2004

Wednesday, 11/2
I am still in Amman, I am leaving tomorrow evening with Raed to Baghdad. I have missed Baghdad so
much. A small earth quake happened in Amman this morning. The people’s reaction was exaggerated.
Schools and buildings were evacuated, people were standing out in the streets. This caused stifling
traffic jams. I could hardly find a Taxi. The driver was a character. The whole way he was
sticking his head out and cursing at people. Insha allah (god willing) everyday will be an earth quake,
you dogs. So that you have to spend your money and I get to work. I laughed, one person’s disaster
can be be somebody else’s benefit. Insha allah (god willing) all your buildings will fall and all
your money is lost… you dogs…you have sold Palestine and now Iraq…All you care about is money.
Insha allah you will all die. I laughed very hard, while he screamed like an idiot. On one hand I
was afraid that another earth quake would come on the other hand, I was surprised by his behavior
and laughing. I was wondering where did this retard come from? And why did he have to pick me? Then
we passed a public security building, some police officers were standing in front of the building.
He looked at them, and continued to curse…you dogs…you too, insha allah your building will fall on
top of you right now.
At the moment everything is quiet and it’s nighttime. The city returned to its normal life. I
remember that poor driver, not even one of his wishes came true. I feel sorry for him. I sympathize
with his anger at the rich and powerful. Tomorrow will be a boring day for him. He will have to be
quiet and feel sorry at missing the chance to get revenge from his enemies.
Today I got many emails, most of them from America. They are critical of my previous article where
I mentioned that capitalism is a bad idea from the west. Everybody is upset at me, because I am
not being fair towards capitalism, an construct which has its benefits towards society and the
individual. They are all telling me that I am wrong. I would like to clarify my point of view in a more
accurate way. I think that capitalism is useful to a society that implements it as a way of
thinking and living. Everybody gets the chance to live a life and fulfill his ambitions. To build a
family and a professional future. But we have seen nothing but the ugly side of capitalism. With
military occupation, the looting of the people’s wealth and spreading new concepts. All these destroy
what the people were used to and everybody’s motto becomes everything for more money. I will
explain again, the application of capitalism in western societies took decades until things stabilized
and the society was able to control the negative and unwanted side effects. In the beginning there
was production, greed and abuse, over time and due to competition, everybody desired better sales
and naturally companies were forced to provide better services at lower costs. This didn’t happen
for the love of god. Competition, production and demand, the citizen found himself to be spoiled.
Everybody wants to keep his customers and sell his products. Here is the description of my
product, here is the price list and you decide. It would be foolish to pay more for something that you
can get for less somewhere else. With the passing of time and within this vision, there was less
cheating and the desire to produce a better product increased. How long did that take? Probably
decades. In our countries we try to emulate the west, things are unclear and immature. The companies
that startup find no competition and control the market in an ugly and cruel way. No mercy. Over
here survival not to the fittest but rather to the cruelest. This reflects on people’s manners and
the way they treat each other. Money becomes the priority. All the beautiful and sincere
relationships between people become tainted. We are a nation that is used to giving first priority to values
and ideals and not materialism. All this confusion is making pour our anger at the western
capitalist system, where religion and the state became separated. Religion became a private matter,
nobody should interfere with it. With the passing of time people realize that life without values is
unbearable. Religion is a beautiful value, that teaches us our boundaries that we shouldn’t
trespass. Religion prevents us from committing foolish acts that destroy our lives and maybe the lives of
others. We don’t steal, we don’t kill, we don’t oppress other people, no bribing, we don’t destroy
our family life with other relationships that are not innocent. That leads us to respect ourselves
and find the sacred things in our life that give us respect. Respectful people deserve to live
respectfully. Many people in western societies are returning to religion. I don’t know how high is
their percentage? Or how much influence they have? Maybe their percentage is small the their ability
to influence the decision making is limited. Because governments over there don’t make decisions
from a religious point of view. Had they been religious they would have not resorted to wars
against other nations. In reality the reasons for the war were purely economical. To find new markets
and find new sources of wealth and to revive a falling economy. And here comes the role of the
individual. Should he stay quiet and complacent with his government, since he will benefit from all
these efforts, for himself and his children’s future, even if it destroys the lives of others? I
return again to Ben Laden and the theory of destroying Al Qaeda. We find nations that are happy and
applauding their governments, voting for those that most hostile and most willing to declare war. To
benefit their own nations and to revive their own life, even when it is at the expense of other
nations. These other nations all have the right to live and see the light. I don’t believe in
violence as a way to resolve problems. I think it is a failed way. I don’t believe in the theory of the
clash of civilizations. I believe in opening civilizations one to another and living in peace with
one another.
The Arabic proverb says, the people are the enemies of that which they are ignorant of. This
ignorance in the relationship between us and the west, makes us hate each other, we believe all the
accusations made against the other party. It is a defense mechanism to protect our believes, people
do that when their understanding of the world is limited. If I don’t understand the other, then it
is easy for me to take an extreme stance against that person. I might justify his killing or his
destruction because I don’t think that he deserves to live like I do. Because I hold values that I
believe in and I am distrustful of other values. Why give him a chance? He is nothing...let him go
to hell. Isn’t that the truth of the way the west looks at Muslims? And the way Muslims look at
the west? Each side thinks that they are right, and the other side is odd, the other wants to
interfere with my life, I won’t give him the chance, let him go to hell. When I was little, even as a
young woman, I used to hear that the west has no values, their families are broken, their
relationships are rotten, they have aids, perverts, fallen women and drunken men. When I stared to meet
western people, especially after this last war, I met many western smart, well mannered and shy
people. Both men and women. I found that they are people just like us. They have families and values,
who distorted their image in our minds like that? And then I ask myself, how do they see us? Maybe
they see us as an ignorant and stupid bunch? Maybe they think we all ride camels… terrorists like
Ben Laden…we don’t understand anything except violence. The cultures need to open up one to
another, so that we could see properly from all angles. I remember a Quranic verse, I remember this open
everyday when I read my email from all over the world,”We created you different nations and tribes
so that you would know one another, The most righteous are those that fear god the most.”, that
means the most just, the most close to god without a nationalistic identity. There are no special
privileges with god. I feel like there is some kind of a mistake in the way we see each other. This
mistake was caused by the barrier between us. Barriers of language and culture. We must on both
sides attempt to destroy these barriers and create a closeness and understanding between both
sides. So that the next generations can live in a beautiful world surrounded with peace. A world that
is better than the one our generation lived in, useless wars and destruction.

[translation by]

Thursday, February 12, 2004

الأريعاء 11/2
ما زلت في عمان ... سأغادرها غدا مساء مع رائد..الى بغداد..كم مشتاقة الى بغداد...
اليوم صباحا حدث زلزال صغير في عمان ,لكن ردود أفعال الناس كانت شديدة ومبالغ فيها..حيث أخلوا المدارس والعمارات ونزلوا الى الشوارع ..وصارت أزمة مرورية خانقة..ووجدت سيارة أجرة بصعوبة..وكان السائق شخصية مميزة ..حيث ظل طوال الطريق يمد رأسه من نافذة السيارة ويسب على الناس ويقول لهم ..ان شاء الله كل يوم زلزال يا كلاب..حتى تطلعوا فلوسكم ونشتغل مضبوط ...ضحكت وقلت له مصائب قوم عند قوم فوائد..
ان شاالله تسقط عماراتكم وتروح فلوسكم ..يا كلاب بعتوا فلسطين ..وهسه العراق..بس يهمكم الفلوس ...ان شالله تموتوا كلكم...
غرقت في الضحك ..وهو يصرخ كالمعتوه ...وأنا مرعوبة من الهزة القادمة المحتمل وقوعها...لكن كلامه أدهشني وجعلني أضحك ..وأتساءل في داخلي من أين جاء هذا المعتوه أمامي وفي هذه الساعة ؟
وحين مررنا بمبنى للأمن العام ..كان ثمة ضباط شرطة يقفون أمام الباب ..نظر اليهم ..وأكمل السباب ..يا كلاب ..انتوا كمان انشالله توقع بنايتكم عليكم..
الآن ...الوقت ليلا ..وكل شيء هاديء ..والمدينة عادت لحياتها الطبيعية ..وأتذكر ذلك السائق المسكين الذي لم تتحقق ولا واحدة من أمنياته..وأحسست بالشفقة عليه ..وقدرت مدى سخطه على الأغنياء والأقوياء...غدا سيكون يوما مملا له ..وسيلزم السكوت ..ويتحسر على الفرصة التى ضاعت منه لينتقم من أعدائه ...
وصلتني اليوم رسائل كثيرة في البريد الألكتروني..معظمها من أميركا , وينتقدون مقالتي السابقة ,ذكرت فيها الرأسمالية بأنها أفكار من الغرب , ورديئة...
الكل يعتب ويقول انني أظلم الرأسمالية لأنها نظام فيه حسنات للفرد والمجتمع..وإن ما ذكرته غير صحيح..
أريد أن اوضح وجهة نظري بطريقة أكثر دقة .
الرأسمالية نظام فيه حسنات للمجتمعات التي تعتمد هذا المبدأ كأسلوب تفكير وحياة.. حيث الفرصة مفتوحة للجميع ليعيش الحياة ويحقق لنفسه ماأمكن من طموحات ..لبناء عائلة ومستقبل مهني .
أما نحن فلم نرى من الرأسمالية سوى وجهها القبيح ..حيث الإحتلال والإستعمار وسلب ثروات الشعوب الفقيرة..ونشر مفاهيم جديدة ..تحطم ما تعود عليه أهل تلك البلدان...وكأن شعار كل شيء من أجل المال هو الذي يسود...
سأعود للشرح مرة أخرى, حين بدأ تطبيق الرأسمالية في المجتمعات الغربية ,أخذت عشرات من السنين حتى يستقر وضعها وتتم السيطرة على أعراضها الجانبية, غير المرغوب فيها. يعني في البداية كان ثمة انتاج وجشع وسوء استغلال ولكن بمرور الوقت , وبسبب المنافسة والرغبة في مبيعات أفضل وانتشار أوسع ,وليس لوجه الله , فقد لجأت الشركات لأسلوب تقديم خدمات أفضل ,بتكاليف أقل,وصارت المنافسة شديدة , يوجد عروض ويوجد طلب متزايد...والمواطن وجد نفسه مدلل ومستفيد , فالكل يريد أن يكسبه زبونا له,ويبيعه سلعته,فهذه المواصفات وهذا السعر وأنت صاحب القرار...فلماذا تظل مغفلا تدفع لسلعة مبلغا عاليا ما دام بإمكانك الحصول عليها بنفس المواصفات , وبسعر أقل؟
بمرور الوقت .وضمن هذه الرؤيا , قل الغش وزاد الإخلاص لتقديم منتوج أفضل. كم أخذت هذه العملية ؟ اليس عشرات السنين ؟
أما عندنا ,هذه الدول التى تحاول تقليد الغرب , فما زال الأمر غير واضح وناضج بعد...فالشركات التي تدخل السوق هنا لا تجد منافسة شديدة , وبالتالي تتحكم بأخلاق السوق فتجعلها قبيحة قاسية لا تعرف الرحمة, فالبقاء هتا ليس للأفضل, بل للأشد قسوة وتحكما...فتنعكس هذه على أخلاقيات الناس مع بعضهم,فيستغل أحدهم الآخر ,وتصبح الأولوية للمال ولمن يملكه,,وتتحطم العلاقات الشفافة الجميلة التي كانت تسود تلك المجتمعات قبل حدوث هذه التطورات في اقتصاد البلاد.
نحن شعوب تعودنا أن تكون الأولوية في المباديء والقيم قبل أن تكون الأولوية للمادة ... لكن ما يحدث يسبب ارباكا وعدم وضوح للرؤيا يجعلنا نصب غضبنا على الرأسمالية..
في المجتمعات الغربية فصلوا الدين عن الدولة منذ زمن بعيد ...وصارت مسألة الدين هي أمر شخصي ..لا علاقة لأحد ليتدخل فيه .وبمرور الوقت , ربما أدرك كثيرون أن الحياة بدون قيم جميلة لا يمكن أن تطاق , والدين هو القيم الجميلة , التي تجعلنا نعرف حدودنا ولا نتخطاها,ولا نرتكب الحماقات التي تدمر حياتنا وربما حياة الآخرين...
لا نسرق ولا نقتل ولا نظلم ولا نرتشي ولا نحطم حياتنا الأسرية بعلاقات أخرى غير بريئة خارج حدود الأسرة, يعني نحترم ونقدس قيما تجعلنا نحس بأننا مخلوقات محترمة ,تستحق الحياة بطريقة محترمة..
عاد الكثيرون من افراد المجتمع الغربي الى الدين ..لكني لا أقدر أن أخمن كم نسبتهم في المجتمع ؟ وكم تأثيرهم فيه ؟
وربما نسبتهم قليلة وقدرتهم على صناعة القرار أو المشاركة في صنعه معدومة ,لأن الحكومات هناك لا تتصرف من منطلق ديني , وإلا ما اتجهت للمشاركة أو القيام بحروب ضد دول أخرى بحجج مختلفة , والحقيقة ان الأسباب مادية بحتة , وهي البحث عن أسواق جديدة, أو البحث عن مصادر ثروة جديدة ,لإنعاش الإقتصاد المهدد بالضعف !
وهنا يأتي دور الأفراد ..هل سيظل ساكتا متواطئا مع حكومته لتفعل ما تشاء ,باعتبار أن ثمة مكاسب ستصيبه وتحسن من حياته ومستقبله ومستقبل أولاده ؟...حتى لو كان في هذا دمار لحياة بشر آخرين ومستقبلهم ومستقبل أولادهم ؟
أعود مرة أخرى الى بن لادن ونظريته في تدمير القاعدة ...وهي هذه الشعوب التي تصفق لحكوماتها وتنتخب من هو أكثر قدرة على العدوانية وغزو الآخرين ..لجلب المكاسب للبلاد ..وانعاش الحياة...حتى لو كان ذلك على حساب شعوب أخرى , لها الحق أيضا أن تعيش وتنتعش وترى النور...
أنا لا أؤمن بالعنف انه سبيل لحل مشاكل البشر , أنا أجده أسلوب فاشل خاسر...
ولا أؤمن بنظرية صراع الحضارات , بل انفتاح الحضارات علىبعضها , وعيشها بسلام مع بعضها..
المثل يقول الناس أعداء ما جهلوا ..
وهذا الغموض في العلاقات بيننا وبين الغرب , يجعلنا ننفر من بعضنا , ونصدق كل التهم ضده , كطريقة دفاعية لحماية معتقداتنا..
عندما أكون محدودة الإدراك والمعلومات..وعندي عدم وضوح في فهم الآخر..أكون معرضة لتقبل نظريات متطرفة أحادية الجانب .فأحلل قتله وتدميره لأنني أظن أنه لا يستحق الحياة مثلي ,,لأنني أحمل قيما أقتنع بها ,وأشك في قيم الآخر وأستخف بها..فما جدوى إعطاءه فرصة ؟ إنه لا شيء ...فليذهب الى الجحيم ...
اليس هذه حقيقة نظرة الغرب للمسلمين ؟ ونظرة المسلمين للغرب ؟
كل واحد يظن انه على حق ,والآخر غريب ,يريد أن يتدخل في حياتي ويعيد صياغتها بطريقته الخاصة, لن أعطيه الفرصة ..فليذهب الى الجحيم !
عندما كنت صغيرة ,أو حتى شابة صغيرة , كنت أسمع دائما أن الناس في الغرب لا قيم لهم ,,عوائلهم متفسخة,وعلاقاتهم فاسدة , وعندهم أيدز , وشذوذ, ونساء ساقطات, ورجال سكارى !
وعندما بدأت ألتقي بأشخاص من الغربيين , وخصوصا بعد الحرب الأخيرة على العراق..وجدت فيهم أناسا أذكياء ومهذبين وخجولين ..نساء ورجال ..ووجدت أنهم بشر مثلنا , لهم عوائل وقيم وأخلاق ,,؟ من شوه صورتهم هكذا في مخيلتنا ؟
وأعود فأسأل ..ما صورتنا نحن في مخيلتهم ؟ ربما مجرد أغبياء جهلة ..يركبون على الجمال ..أو ارهابيين مثل بن لادن ..ولا نفهم سوى العنف والحدة في معالجة الأمور...
لا بد من الإنفتاح بين الحضارات ..لكي يتم تصحيح الرؤيا..من كل الأطراف..تجاه الطرف الآخر...
وأتذكر آية في القرآن ..كل يوم تتردد في ذهني حين أنهي قراءة البريد القادم من أماكن متفرقة من العالم..
(إنا خلقناكم شعوبا وقبائل لتعارفوا , إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم )...أي أشدكم خوفا منه ..وأكثركم تطبيقا لعدالته ,هو الأقرب الى الله...دونما هوية ..دونما امتيازات أخرى .
فأحس ان ثمة خطأ.. في تقديرنا لبعضنا..وهذا الخطأ سببه الحواجز ..حواجز اللغة والثقافة..وأشياء أخرى..
وينبغي علينا ..من طرفنا وطرفهم السعي بكل الوسائل الممكنة لهدم هذه الحواجز..وتقريب وجهات النظر..لتعيش أجيالنا القادمة بسلام وعلاقات أجمل من التي عاشها جيلنا ..ودفع ثمنها حروبا ودمارا...لا فائدة منها ...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Monday 9/2
I am still in Amman. I will go back to Baghdad by the end of the week, insha allah (god willing).
Now I want to discuss some small details about life in Amman. In the last two days, I encountered two things that reminded me of the cruelty of being in a foreign land. I registered to study typing at a learning center; the owner is my husband s friend. Off course I get special treatment. Eventhough I committed to pay for a week s worth of tuition, I paid half a months worth of tuition instead. My sister objected and said that is too much. I told her, it doesn t matter; I don t want them to feel that I am using the friendship between my husband and the owner. I will try to attend all my classes if possible regardless whether they are held in the morning or the evening. After
two days at the center, I got to know one of my fellow students there. He works as an accountant at a company. He was working with the program Excel and I was practicing typing. What a jam, to remember which line I am on, where to place my fingers and remember their positions. I became hysterical and started to laugh. What torture this is. To stare at the screen and let your finger work on their own. I felt sympathy for all the secretaries in the world. I felt depressed, an engineer that
can t do the job of a secretary. While I was there busy with my typing dilemma, and trying to do the homework that was demanded by our teacher, who had left the center already. The accountant came up to me and asked me with lots of shyness and hesitation, if I knew anything about the Internet. I smiled and said, yes a little. How may I help you. He complained to me that he knows nothing about it and asked me to help him. Why don t you know, I asked him. How many lessons have you taken
here? He told me that the teacher gave him a 5-minute explanation about email and the internet after he finished working with Excel. Then the teacher left. He told me that he felt too shy to ask anybody else for help. Why are you shy? I asked him. You paid full tuition for a full course, you should leave here with full understanding . He nodded his head but he told me he is afraid. What are you afraid of? I asked him, just go and talk to the person responsible for all the courses and she will get one of the technicians to explain everything to you. His attitude was negative towards that idea. So I turned my chair around and I dragged him to the computer he was working on. I
grabbed the computer mouse and showed him how to enter news websites, sports pages, economy and technology. I showed him how to click on links and then return to the main page. He was very happy. I left him and went back to my table. He came back calling me. Where did the browser go? What did you do? He said that he moved the mouse accidentally and it closed the browser for him. Then I noticed that he doesn t know how to control the mouse. I got angry! How many lessons did you take? 10. I
laughed in a nervous way, you have taken 10 classes and you haven t even learned how to move the mouse. What did you learn then? Why don t you ask questions when you don t know something. He said that he does ask question but the teacher ignores him. You know the people here, people from good financial backgrounds get good treatment here, a poor employee like me, who care about me? His words
annoyed me. It reminded me of my younger years, I was shy and sensitive, I was eager to learn. I found many selfish engineers who had lots of knowledge and years of expertise but would not help me. That was when I started my professional life in Beirut and then Amman. I left the room and called one of the people in charge, he came running, yes madam. I told him in an angry way, this student has been taking 10 classes and he hasn t learned the simplest things. The person in charge looked angry suddenly, he entered the room and started a discussion with the poor accountant. In
summary he told him that he only paid 25 dinar and therefore should not expect to understand everything.
If he pays 40 more dinars he will be able to learn the remaining details. Then the person in charge left the room murmuring to himself about how people are stupid and have no manners. The poor accountant stayed sad staring at me. I smiled at him and told him to take further classes. He said that he can t afford all the extra expenses. I was very surprised. These are imported manners, the manners of a capitalist state. When they take root, people forget humanitarian relationships and everything becomes money. Isn t that the life style that many people live, it destroys their
In the evening, I went with Raed to an internet Caf鮠The place was nice, quiet and clean. All the people there were mostly youngsters. A beautiful quiet was enveloping the place. Then suddenly, the quiet was gone. An argument erupted between one of the customers and the person at the cashier.
You must pay two dinars, no! only one, you are thiefs, look at the screen at the computer, it says clearly that you took up 1.95 worth, then why do you want me to pay 2 then? You are a thief. The argument lasted 35 minutes. Non of the other people in the caf頷as paying attention.
Me and Raed laughed. How embarrassing, Raed tried to intervene by offering some suggestions, but the customer was angry and wouldn t agree to any of them. Then Raed suggested that all the other customers in the caf頳plit the difference so that the customer would go away and we could have quiet again., they all refused the idea. It is non of our business they all said.
I told Raed why don t you just pay the money of behalf of the customer and solve the problem. Raed said, mom, it is not about one or two dinars, it is about the principle. We left the internet caf頊in surprise and laughing about what we witnessed. Will Baghdad become transformed into such a place? Once we implement the western culture? I told Raed, do you remember our surprise when we went to the kebab place in Baghdad and all the customer would pass the cashier person on their way our.
They had no bills or anything, the cashier person would ask them in a quiet and polite manner, what did you guys have? And they would answer so many kebabs, so many soft drinks and he would tell them what they had to pay. Each person would pay and leave. The cashier would say as they were leaving, thank you friend, welcome. They would part with these nice words. Is it because of the sanctions and the backward conditions that followed that made us hold on to these values? Is that why some sympathy stayed in our hearts for the poor and orphaned? If the future is promising, yet we become hard hearted, slaves to materialism. Then I suggest that we let somebody else enjoy the promising future, people who have forgotten their roots or became too arrogant to even remember. With all our hopes for Iraq, we still have compassion in our hearts for each other and respect for each other. Money can be a motivator for some of our actions but it is not the primary one, not even the secondary one. Here! I am happy now. I found a positive aspect to our life there. I miss that
here. I miss it intensely.

Monday, February 09, 2004

الأثنين 9/2
ما زلت في عمان...سأرجع الى بغداد نهاية الأسبوع ان شاء الله....
الآن أريد الدخول قليلا في تفاصيل صغيرة ...تخص الحياة في عمان .
في اليومين السايقين , حدث أمامي موقفين..جعلاني أتذكر حياتي القاسية في الغربة مرة أخرى .
سجلت في معهد , صاحبه قريب لزوجي , لتقوية الطباعة. طبعا لي معاملة خاصة. مع انني التزمت بدفع رسوم الدورة لمدة اسبوع.. دفعت نصف الرسوم المطلوبة لشهر , عن دوامي لأسبوع , أختي اعترضت وقالت هذا كثير
قلت لا يهم ..لا أريد أن يحسوا انني أستغل القرابة من أجل الإستفادة .. سأحاول الإلتزام بالدوام ما أمكن ...في الصباح أو المساء .
بعد يومين من دوامي , تعرفت الى زميلي في المعهد , يعمل محاسبا في شركة ..وكان يعمل على برنامج أكسل ..
وكنت أطبع ...ووجدتها ورطة ,عملية الإلتزام بسطر الإرتكاز وتثبيت الأصابع وتركيز جهدي في تذكر أين يقف أصبعي ؟ وعلى أي حرف بالضبط ؟ ..أصابتني هستيريا وضحك في البداية ووجدتها عملية تعذيب ..مسألة البحلقة في الشاشة ..والأصابع تعمل لوحدها , وأشفقت على السكرتيرات في كل أنحاء العالم..وأصابني إحباط ,
مهندسة لا تقدر أن تكون سكرتيرة !
وفي غمرة إنزعاجي وانشغالي بإتقان عمل الواجب الذي فرضته المسؤولة عن الصف ,التي غادرت بعد نهاية دوامها. جاء المحاسب , وسألني بشيء من الخجل والتردد ,, هل تفهمين في الإنترنت ؟ ابتسمت وقلت ..قليلا ..ماذا تريد ؟
قال شاكيا ..لا أعرف شيئا ,ساعديني ..ولماذا لا تعرف ؟ كم درسا أخذت ؟
قال أعطتني المسؤولة عن القاعة شرحا لخمسة دقائق عن الإيميل والإنترنت ,بعد نهاية عملي في برنامج أكسل . ثم غابت ..وأنا أخجل أن أسأل غيرها ..قلت لماذا تخجل ؟ أنت دفعت أجور دورة شاملة ..والمفروض أن تخرج من هنا وأنت فاهم ...هز رأسه موافقا ..لكنه خائف . مم تخاف ؟ سألته ..إذهب واشرح موقفك للمسؤول عن الدورات هو سيكلم واحدة من البنات المشرفات فتساعدك..كان موقفه سلبيا...أدرت الكرسي وسحبته وذهبت وجلست أمام الكومبيوتر الذي يعمل عليه... أمسكت الماوس وحركته وشرحت له عملية الدخول الى موقع أخبار مثلا وفيه صفحات رياضة واقتصاد وتكنولوجيا ..علمته طريقة فتح كل عنوان ثم العودة للصفحة الرئيسية..كان سعيدا جدا..تركته وسحبت الكرسي..وعدت الى طاولتي..ثم عاد ونادى ..أين ذهبت الصفحة ؟.عدت فوجدته خرج نهائيا من البرنامج ..ماذا فعلت ؟ سألته ...لا شيء..قال..فقط يدي حركت الماوس ولا أدري ماذا حدث ..
انت لا تعرف حتى كيف تمسك الماوس وتسيطر على الحركة ! قلت غاضبة ..كم درسا أخذت ؟ عشرة !
قال ..ضحكت بعصبية ..عشرة دروس ولم تتعلم بعد كيف تمسك الماوس ؟ ماذا تعلمت اذن ؟ لماذا لا تسأل؟
أسألها ولا تبالي بي ...يقصد المسؤولة من القاعة ...أنت تعرفين الناس هنا ..الذي حالته المالية جيدة يحترمونه
والموظف الفقير مثلي من يبالي به ؟ استفزتني كلماته ..وذكرتني بنفسي بداية حياتي خجولة وحساسة وأتوق للمعرفة ومن حولي مهندسين أنانيين أكثر مني خبرة لكنهم يبخلون بمساعدتي ...عندما بدأت حياتي المهنية في بيروت ثم عمان ...
خرجت من القاعة صوب المشرف على القاعات ...وناديته فجاء مهرولا مبتسما ..نعم ست ؟ قال يستفهم .
قلت له غاضبة ..لماذا هذا الطالب يداوم عندكم لعشرة دروس ..ولا يعرف أبسط الأشياء ؟
تغير وجهه وظهر عليه الغضب...ثم دخل القاعة وفتح حوارا مع ذلك المسكين , خلاصته أنت دفعت 25 دينارا وتريد أن تفهم كل شيء؟ ادفع 40 دينارا أخرى وسنعلمك باقي التفاصيل ...
ثم خرج من القاعة غاضبا يبربر مع نفسه من غباء الناس وقلة ذوقهم ...
ظل المحاسب حزينا يبحلق في وجهي ...ابتسمت وقلت له في رفق ..حسنا كما قال ..خذ دورة أخرى لتتحسن معلوماتك ..من أين ؟ قال ...لا أقدر على هذه المصاريف ...أضاف , وأشاح وجهه صوب الشاشة..
غرقت في دهشة ...هذه أخلاق مستوردة ,أخلاق الدولة الرأسمالية ...تترسخ فتفقد الناس علاقاتهم الحميمة...
كل شيء من أجل المال ...أليس هذا الشعار هو الذي يعيشه كثير من البشر...ويحطم ما تبقى من انسانيتهم ؟
في المساء ..
ذهبت مع رائد الى مقهى انترنت ...المكان لطيف وهاديء ونظيف ..
والجالسين فيه معظمهم من الشباب صغار السن ... وهدوء جميل يلف القاعة..
ثم فجأة ..ذهب الهدوء ..كان ثمة جدال بين أحد الزبائن والمحاسب...تدفع دينارين ...لا ..أدفع دينارا واحدا ..
أنتم لصوص ..أترك هويتك , وغدا تسدد باقي المبلغ ...لا أريد ..لست مقتنعا بالحساب ..أنظر الى الشاشة ..هنا على الكومبيوتر يظهر رقم طاولتك والوقت الذي قضيته وحسابك ...كم حسابي ؟ هنا مكتوب 1.95 دينار لماذا تريد 2 دينار أنت لص ...وأستمر الجدال 35 دقيقة..ولا أحد في القاعة يهتم أو يتدخل ...
ضحكنا أنا ورائد مما يحدث , انه شيء مخجل ..تدخل رائد وأعطى اقتراحات , لكن الزبون كان غاضبا ..ولم يوافق ..قال رائد للجالسين في القاعة ..دعونا نحل المشكلة ..ندفع الدينار مشاركة بيننا ويذهب الزبون ويسود الهدوء..كلهم رفضوا الفكرة ..ماشأننا ؟ قالوا ثم ألتفتوا الى شاشاتهم ...
قلت لرائد ادفع عنه كامل المبلغ وحل المشكلة ...قال : ماما هي ليست مسألة دينار أو اثنين ...هذه مسألة قيم ومفاهيم ..
خرجنا من القاعة مدهوشين نضحك مما رأينا ...
هل ستتحول بغداد الى هذا النموذج ؟ بعد أن نطبق الحضارة الغربية ؟
قلت لرائد ..أتتذكر ضحكنا ودهشتنا حين دخلنا مطعم الكباب في بغداد قبل شهور ؟ يأتي الزبائن في طريق خروجهم من المحل ..وبدون وصولات أو فواتير ..يسألهم المحاسب بهدوء ..ماذا طلب الشباب ؟ فيقولون كذا نفر كباب ..مع المشرويات الغازية كذا علبة ...ويجيبهم المحاسب ..المطلوب كذا ..فيدفعون ..ويخرجون ..شكرا أغاتي ..أهلا وسهلا حبيبي ..يفترقون على هذه الكلمات...
هل الحصار والتخلف جعلنا نلتزم بتلك القيم ؟ وأبقى في قلوبنا بقية من شفقة على الفقير واليتيم والمحتاج ؟
إن كان المستقبل الواعد ..أن نكون قساة القلوب ...عبيد المادة ..فأنا أقترح أن يتمتع به غيرنا ممن تورط بتلك القيم ونسي كيف يعود للأصول أو ربما تكبر عليها ..
بكل آلامنا في العراق ...ما زال في قلوبنا رحمة تجاه بعضنا ..وتقدير لبعضنا ...ومن أجل المال ممكن أن يكون السبب الأخير ...وليس الأول والوحيد..
ها أنا سعيدة...فقد وجدت وجها ايجابيا لحياتنا هناك ...أفتقده هنا ...أفتقده بشدة !

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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