Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Friday, January 21st, 2005
Good evening….
These are the days of Al- Adha’a Feast, I wish you many happy returns… and hope the next feast would arrive, with Iraq in the best condition, and all Iraqis would be in peace, security, and welfare. I see this as a far-off dream….but I shall never stop praying, working, and waiting, to fulfill this dream….
I cried on the eve of the Feast, while I was in my hotel room, at the Dead Sea, to attend a Conference about Iraqi Societies and their Funding. I remembered the preceding years, when were a whole family, Azzam and I, and the boys; Raid, Majid, and Khalid… we used to go shopping before the Feast, to buy new clothes, sweets, chocolates, and juice, to present to our guests… and Azzam used to distribute the “I’diaa = Feast Pocket Money” to the family members, on the morning of the Feast… then we would gather at the house of the elder brother, exchanging greetings, then, on the other days we would visit more friends and relatives…until the Feast vacation would end… but today…Azzam is in America, on business with a company, Raid is visiting the U.A.E. with his Fiancé, Majid is in Canada, I am in Amman, and Khalid is in Baghdad… I cried bitterly, sadly… I miss my family, my house, and my neighbors. I miss my friends and colleagues at work, my naughty cat, and everything there…
I do not know when I’ll be back, and when we will all gather again, in a secure, settled country, with a clear, shiny future.
So, I want to talk about the conference I attended at the Dead Sea area. It was organized by an American organization concerned with financing privately owned projects…and it was attended by members of different Iraqi Chambers of Commerce … Baghdad, Najaf, Basra… and by the Iraqi Business Men Union, the Iraqi Industries Union, the Investors Union, and many others, old and new organizations, joined by one interest, and that is; dealing with Capital Money, investing them, and trying to find new ways to increase and revive the income for each organization.
To tell the truth, I realized since day one that I do not have any wish to participate in such conferences, but the invitation came through our Women Society, without presenting details about the agenda of lectures. So, I went with curiosity to find out if there was anything useful?
There were American lecturers, and Arabs, the topics revolving around subjects like: Business/Markets/Democracy/Strategic Planning/ Business Programs/ Income Resources, and the means of enhancing them/ Budget/ and the Financial Management of the Organization. There were also discussions about forming a coalition between Societies, then holding a workshop to discuss proposed projects for each Society apart.
I benefited from many notes that were useful for me as a Manager at my work, but not in the Society, because I do not relish the idea of joining a Society for projects and profits. I like working with Societies that think of helping the Iraqi Women socially, developing their subjective abilities in starting small, productive projects, and thus increasing the family income, or solving family problems, raising children, teaching husbands and wives how to deal with each other, for the sake of a more successful marriage life… like each would learn to respect the privacy of the other…and they would both agree to give the priority to the Family, in their minds, and sacrifices, to provide a better future for all the members of this small foundation: the Family. Then, as time passes on, the children would grow, and would be less dependant on their parents, the mother would be a little more free of these burdens, so, she would join in the public life of society, through different Women's Societies, to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate women in society; less fortunate in education, financial conditions, or experience… life is sharing, this is a beautiful principle I trust in; sharing in material objects, like giving extra clothes to poor people, or donations to poor families, or mental sharing, by giving advice to those who need it, and thus sharing our experiments in life.
But instead I found myself in a conference that thinks differently, thinking how to increase the income of originally old, rich organizations…
Huh…once more I find myself in the wrong place. But, nothing would be without a benefit, for I learned a lot that helps my work, as an engineer in a company that deals with different others, and with employees, and how to run this company financially, and administratively.
The lectures program was long, and tiring; starting at 8.30 a.m, till 5 or 6 p.m, interrupted only by short recesses, then the lunch break, then back to the lectures.
The delegation of our Society included the three members of the old Society, who resigned after being Board-Members, and so we became founding members in this new Society, and then added a new member, and that means four. We were in agreement on almost everything. There were some old projects we talked about in Baghdad, and they had it brought, printed, then we added a new project to it, about starting training courses for Iraqi women in Jordan, in subjects like Leadership skills, communications, marketing, and so…
When we were in Baghdad, we suggested to one of us three to become the Chairwoman, because the others were very busy with their daily work, and the one we nominated had an office, but no real business, she joins in supplying announcements for computers or other machinery needed by state offices, but didn't gain any real thing yet.
As she had an office, and the spare time, we suggested to her to become the Chairwoman, and her office would be the home base of the Society.
I gave her a sum of money to cover the starting expenses, like any printed leaflets, designing the Society's logo, and a web site for the Society on the Internet, and told her to pay the same amount herself, then, we might regain our money back from the Society's projects some day, or give them up as donations. I said to her: our children have grown up, and this Society would be like a young, new son for us, to love, look after, and wish the best for….
Everything was going quietly, and in harmony, during the first two days of the conference. On the third day, we were supposed to be divided into groups, and each group would discuss the suggestions of its projects with a member of the organizing committee, who were responsible for financing the projects proposed by the Iraqi Societies.
So, we spent all afternoon printing the projects, adding sentences, and alterations, then, we typed a C.V. for each of us, with a list of her activities, to send them Along with the introductory letter of our Society.
We saw some other Societies who were introduced in the morning, then got the financing of their projects, and would sign the contract tomorrow. By GOD we were happy for that, and hoped this new Society would stand on strong feet, and by the financing we shall get, we would help many Iraqi women, by developing their skills through educating courses, financing small projects, or by marketing the products of poor Iraqi families.
In the evening, before dinner, a sharp argument arose between the Chairwoman, and a Board member. I tried to keep silent, or interfere to calm things down. The core of the matter was that the Board member objected to some of the Chairwoman's behaviors, and the Chairwoman was arguing with her nervously… then, the situation got very tense when the Chairwoman shouted in our faces: Listen, I've had enough of you… I endured a lot from you…from now on, you should know that I am the boss, and you would say or do nothing without my consent… then she waged her forefinger in our faces….
I looked at her, and laughed…
I said to her: But you have nothing better than any of us, neither in thinking, planning, nor abilities… we allowed you to become the Chairwoman, in appreciation from our side, and it is a symbolic position…you have no rights more than any of us… the three of us are supposed to be founding members, and friends, none of us has any authority over the others… there are no differences between us…
She said nervously: No, that is enough, I endured you a lot… I worked alone in following up the logo and website design, and the registration of the Society papers…
I said to her: But you know our circumstances, we didn't run away from that responsibility, when I was in Baghdad, I joined you in thinking, writing the Society Message, and its aims, and going to the Ministry, for the registration, then calling around to gain new members, but I traveled because my circumstances were bad and tiring more than yours, and we kept in touch, and from Amman, I contacted International Women Societies, to provide support for our Society, and open contact channels with the outside world, to help Iraqi Women….
The argument heated up between them, each started accusing the other of being at fault, and intending to insult….
We were on our way to the restaurant to have dinner, when I stopped, turned around, and went back to my room. I felt some thing has collapsed inside of me….. a beautiful being we all gave efforts to bring to life, in a spirit of sincere collectiveness, and now comes this dumb woman to smash it all, with her selfishness, and her love to rule.
Oh, my GOD, it is an inherent disease in this nation, one we inherited from long ago. Where is the devoted leader who works in the spirit of All, and wouldn't be broken? People seem to love the cruel selfish, the one who sticks to his own opinion, like Saddam Hussein. And even when he falls, some small, minor copies of him would appear, that look like him, claiming to be against him, but all the way imitating him unconsciously, and walk on his steps.
I sat in my room thinking, shocked, what shall I do??
I want to help the miserable Iraqi Women, but I do not want to clash with this dumb, pea-brained fool…
The failing leader is the one who raises his fingers in the faces of people and say: I am the leader… remember this!!
This is a disaster, and a disease that befell this nation, how shall it be cured??
And the poor Islam is accused, first, and last.
And Islam is innocent of what they do.
The Holy Quran is the Referanciation of Islam's Intellectuals, and The Holy Quran pushes towards the collective spirit- (The Hand of GOD goes with the Group), but what prevails among our leaders is the spirit of the individual, loving one's self, the love of control, and ruling the people.
The Prophet Mohammad (May the Prayers of GOD be upon him, and HIS Peace) was not a ruthless tyrant, nor any of the four Caliphs who rules after Him. But the Umayyad and Abbasid states that came later, enhanced the idea of worshiping the leader, and groveling to him, so he would stick to the Ruling Chair until he dies, then his son or brother would come along, only to stick once more till he dies, then again, some other Heir would come, and stick to the chair till he dies… huh, by GOD it is a comedy. And the Muslims must correct their wrongful course, for they have moved very far from the true rules of Islam, ending up lost in endless darkness.
The west accuses Islam of being a religion of violence, and backwardness…. And Islam is innocent from all these charges. The Muslims have badly marketed Islam, that is, they distributed the Mentality of Islam to the world badly.
Some people, when they look upon the disappointments that has befallen the nation, take various reactions, some run away from Islam, ignoring it, while getting near to west, sweet-talking to it, sadly, these are a minority of educated, intellectual people. Others feel sad for the deformation that has befallen the image of Islam, for the misunderstanding that Religion has got, so, they would end up silent, lonely, with a negative attitude, and they would draw back from life, and again, sadly, those would be the majority of the nation, miserable, and weak even in their own countries.
And there is a faction that, for all their disappointment, the lack of ability to change things, and their over-much enthusiasm, have taken the path of violence to express their anger, and these are mostly the young men of this nation, whose energy, anger, and love of Islam perhaps have been used in the most ugly way, so they made themselves a tool of destroying, and deforming Islam, making it hateful to the world, instead of presenting it in a rational, mature way, that would give the benefit to the nation, and instead of looking for calm, intelligent solutions to draw the nation away from its dilemma.
Yes, there are so many unjust people, who collaborate with each other to destroy this nation, but, God is the Lord of all the Faithful, is there any better Lord than GOD??
The west accuses Islam of being Anti-democratic… Democracy is the Collective spirit. To respect the decision of the people, is to respect Democracy.
The Muslims themselves were unjust to their religion when they moved away from its true, original doctrine, so, they were deformed, and the existing heritage became Worshiping the Individual.
Is this true to Islam??
Humans are creatures who make a lot of mistakes, then they are tiring, stubborn creatures, who insist upon the same mistake, and thus bringing disaster upon disaster to the people on earth.
For example, Christianity is the religion of love and peace, and some of Christ's teachings say; do not drink alcohol, do not commit incest, do not hate your enemy, do not hurt your neighbor, if you were slapped on the right cheek, turn the left to them.
Where is the west now, from all the teachings of Christ (Peace be upon him)??
And Islam forbids incest, foul behavior, lying, hypocrisy, bribes, drinking alcohol, and injustice….but, people are fools??
Some Muslims commit all these acts, so, is Islam to be accused?? Or merely that the people are fools???
There is a saying by The Prophet Mohammad (May the Prayers of GOD be upon him, and HIS Peace), saying: (Islam shall return a stranger, as IT has begun…. So, Hail the strangers), meaning, He is praying Mercy and Help from GOD to those misrables who hold on to the rules of religion, for yes, they see themselves as strangers from another planet…
People are running, panting behind the pleasures of this world, caring nothing for right and wrong, truth or false, just or unjust…. Who cares, as long as they get what they want, regardless of the price.
I feel sorry for this world, who lost all beautiful values.
What is the worth of a life without morals, and beautiful values???
I don't know….
Life becomes a boring, heavy burden…we all wish to shed, as quickly as possible. The heart becomes heavy and sad, as he sees the world moving to the decline.
Whenever I see a baby… I would stare in his face, wondering in my heart; what possible future awaits you, poor thing?? What are the adults doing today, to provide a better future for your generation?
The adults are fighting, biting each other, to get more riches…caring nothing for the devastation that would befall the planet, and the sad legacy we would leave behind, for the generations after us…would be a legacy of malice, greed, and injustice.
Going back to our poor society… the Chairwoman ruined everything for us, the next day, during the discussion of our projects, when she said: I did all these things, these are my efforts.
The word "I" destroyed us… I told her a thousand times; say "we" and do not say "I".
Our Society was not funded with one Dime, because the funding sources lost their confidence in us, after seeing the esteemed Chairwoman, and her way of handling the situation.
Of course, I handed in my resignation from the Society before going back to Amman.
I said to her: my dear, learn the importance of the word "we" in our lives, work, and future. I see it as the key to success in everything in the world. Look at the west, and how they succeeded?? By the word "we", and working under the slogan "we".
Even Israel, how did they succeed against the Arabs, with it being a small state??
The spirit of "we" rules them…and the spirit of "I" destroyed the Arabs, making them the joke of the world…
When will you learn???
When will you revise your mistakes???
When, when, when….
I do not know….
But I have a tired heart, from all that is happening….
Translated by May/ Baghdad.

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