Monday, March 21, 2005

Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Good evening…
The weather in Baghdad and Amman is similar these days… heavy rainfall, then, a bright summer sun, then back to winter and cold. The weather is in a turning mood. Like a person going through one phase of age to another, different one. This is what the weather does, moving from winter to spring….as if universe is ruled by the same laws, for the weather, planets, and creatures…. change and transformation… are characteristics that remain with everybody, as long as they are alive.
Only GOD is constant, without changes….
The news from Baghdad is still not happy. There are still some car explosions, occurring every now and then, by trapped cars in front of mosques or hospitals, killing Iraqi civilians.
These are operations carries out by criminals, who have nothing to do with Islam, nor the love of Iraq, and GOD will reveal them all one day.
Those people are nothing but the enemies of Iraq, and Islam, to deform their image, and destroy then more and more.
The parties who won the elections, (the Shia’at’s, Kurds. And Sunnies) are still in conflict, and hasn’t reached any agreement yet. I do hope these wouldn’t be conflicts to gain some faction’s narrow material benefits. Iraq is going through a difficult phase, and the mentality of the narrow, self benefit should be passed, for the interest of Iraq comes first, its security, independence, and settling are the priorities now, and all else are worthy of postponement, until other circumstances.
Then, there is the news of tensions in the relations with Jordan, because of a mysterious, non-comprehensible story, about the death of a Jordanian young man in Iraq, in mysterious circumstances; some say he was a martyr in an operation against the occupation soldiers, while some say he blew up a trapped car, killing Iraqi civilians. I see that the story carries the marks of someone who wants to disfigure the relations between Iraq and Jordan, opening a new door of intrigue. Isn’t it enough, what we are going through?
There was also the news of punishing some American soldiers, for killing Iraqi civilians, by throwing them into the river, so they drowned, or were shot dead, merely for violating the curfew, for instance.
How many innocent Iraqis went as the victims of the follies, and rushing behavior of American soldiers, for two years, till now?
But the equation of the matter always looks like this: This is an American soldier, so, he is above questioning, and this victim is an Iraqi? Huh…who cares?? If the victim was an American soldier, the media would have talked about his sad family, and their noble feelings, crushed by their son’s death; they would have spoken about his noble manners, his friends who would miss him, his piano, or bass, on which he used to play. They would have shown his picture, along with his mother, crying…..
But for the Iraqi? Hummmm. He might as well be just a petty creature, worthless, nameless, without a picture of him to show, or a crying mother. Nothing… who would suppose he had a family, friends, a music instrument to play, a basket ball or football team, in which he was a player??
The media is leading this war, before the tank, and the artillery.
The media is still working…and deforming as they wish.
Who owns these media?? Who directs them??
Who pays them??
Perhaps the people in the west know the answer better than I do……
Yesterday noon, as was going home, I saw a flower shop… there were some beautiful, seasonal flowers, just opening their blossoms…
I bought a colorful bouquet, with many kinds…and two sunflowers, oh, how much I love them! Their faces shine, as if smiling to the sun, and life…
I put the bouquet in my lap, as I took a taxi. I looked at it, wondering: Is there something more beautiful than flowers?
Memory took me back long years ago, as I looked into the faces of my sons, when they were babies, as I carried them in my arms, and gazed into their faces, as every mother would, smiling, telling myself: Blessed be GOD, the Best of Creators.
Then, yesterday, I wondered in my mind: GOD the GREAT Created these beautiful things, and Created criminals, and monsters?
Great Creator. He is the Master of decision, and I do not always understand His Wisdom.
I sometimes wish this earth had only beautiful flowers, innocent children, and good people.
Then, I consider again: This is earth, not heaven!
I am now reading a book I bought in a bookstore in the U.A E., (thanks to the friend who showed it to me). The book is called:” The seven habits of highly effective people”, written by “Stephen Covey”.
The book is amazing…it kept me glued to it, pulling me out of my business, just like when you meet some amazing person in your life, so you would stand still, listening to him, abandoning everything in your hands.
This is what I did, when I started reading this book.
Well, it seems like an entry into the western mentality in life, and business, the relations between people; (family, friends, and business colleagues). But I see it as the evidence of the similarity of people, in every spot on this planet.
I see the same mentality in the creative people in our country, as few as they are, and the book also says they are few, in the west! Otherwise, the author wouldn’t have been so famous. Because he speaks with the mind of a person who walked through the trials of life, collecting experience, (in most cases, he gave examples from life to explain some point he mentioned).
I said to one of my friends here: If I didn’t find this book, I would have written one like it, perhaps in some ten years time. Ha,Ha,Ha.
Most of the time, I nodded my head while I was reading… how honest he is, and how real?
The author divides the life of a human on his way to maturity into 3 phases: first- depending on the others, then, depending on one’s self, then, lastly, supporting the others.
A human lives the first phase while young, weak, and without experience. Then comes the second one, which is important in my view, and only a few people could pass it through, and make use of it, so they can join in the last phase. The people who take the lead in the last phase are those who were successful in the second, undoubtedly, because they are the most brave, and able to carry the responsibility.
The author says; there are differences between people, according to their mental view to life, and what their reactions would be to those views. Some would sink into the circle of distress, becoming negative, and hesitant, others would be brave, bold, and with a clear influencing circle.
The difference between them would be that the negative would wait for outside factors to push him to do a good act. While the second, who believes in the spirit of initiative, who believes that change comes from inside of us, pushing us to the outside, aiding us in change, and reforming the defects of our lives.
The author sees a necessity for each of us to own a clear vision about one’s life, future, and the path he shall take, calling this (the mission of life), for people, and institutions. Meaning, for example: I want to be a good, successful mother, bringing up my children to become useful people, to serve their society, and be happy with their relation with me, for I would be their friend, when they would grow older, a faithful wife to my husband, a faithful friend to my friends, a helpful, supporting sister to my brothers and sisters, when in need, an understanding manager for my employees, and, a creature who has faith in GOD, obedient to HIM as much as I can, offering help to every weak person, and in need. My mission now is to help Iraqis to pass this difficult stage, and I shall study all that would be useful to me, in re-building the after-war society, transforming the country from the state of chaos and fighting, to the state of peace, making every possible effort to achieve this.
This, for example, is the mission of my life.
I know it is a difficult task, and one we can not handle, perhaps in a long period of life, and experiences, the mission of life becomes more clear. And I know that a lot of people live without a mission in life. They would live and die without knowing why they came, and where are they going?
It is really something sad….
But I see this as something justified in nations who live under ignorance, backwardness, and injustice for tens, or perhaps hundreds of years, until they have lost the meaning of life…and its mission.
But I do see it strange, that some people in the west live without a life’s mission?
What made them lose their path? The loss of religion, values, or the right teachings in their lives? I don’t know…
I used to think that freedom alone is good enough for people to live happy. But I discovered that not all people are happy, in countries full of freedom.
And in countries such as the ones we live in… the smart, positive person would live threatened…facing some choices… either he would collide with the state, in some stage of his life, and they would hurt him, or he might work for them, becoming a petty loud speaker, or, he might pull himself away from the social and political life, and live with his dignity, as we used to do in the times of Saddam Hussein. Or, he might immigrate to the west, to work and live with dignity, finding someone to adopt and respect him.
The book I am talking about today made me convinced that Man can not live without values. Even the western societies, who separated religion from the state, went back again and re-established the same values religion talked about. Truthfulness, sincerity, love, mercy, building confidence, honesty, and removing oneself from hypocrisy, and other positive aspects, became the daily life vocabulary between people, in their relations with families, work, neighbors, and others. While we were societies ruled clearly by religion, so, what was the difference?
Aren’t the scales unified? Isn’t cheating the same, here and there? Isn’t being unfaithful in marriage the same? Isn’t our love of our children, our anxiety to bring them up well, and protect them from corruption the same, here and there?
So, what is the difference, then??
Perhaps the difference is that Man there chooses to be free, without hypocrisy, choosing all the good values by his choice. And in the states where religion is a basic factor in evaluating people, hypocrisy moves in, to the pity, and deforms the beauty, honesty, and spontaneity of things.
Why did religion come to be? It is supposed to have come so that Man would become more free of fear, from having to refer to hypocrisy, (fear is from GOD alone, not from the creatures), so he would make his acts better, in front of people, and in secret, and not merely in front of people, thus becoming a hypocrite.
The defect is not in religion, but in the people, and how they implement the instructions of religion.
Today, the most important items became about keeping the rituals, (fasting, praying, the Hajj-making the pilgrimage-, and others), but the spirit of religion was lost, in many cases, like having mercy to one another, pure loving, helping the weak, standing in the face of the unjust, honesty, sincerity, and planting confidence.
People (in our Islamic societies) became deformed, keeping up religion in their houses; praying, fasting, memorizing Quran, while in their trading, and other daily dealings, they might perhaps forget religion, or omit it. That who has the ability would marry two, three, or four women, and also open up companies as much as the wives, no longer thinking much about what calamities are facing Islam, and the accusations against it, that it is a religion of terror and killing, as if that man’s motto in life is : why should I care? The important thing is My self….
People became afraid to go into these subjects, preferring their closed, personal lives, instead of wading into useless arguments. People are turning towards being negative and selfish, and fearful….as if they do not see, nor hear, nor talk. And these are the characteristics of crushed nations, whose will-power was taken away, and nobody respects their opinions. Religion has nothing to do with the matter….so it wouldn’t be said that these nations moved backwards because of religion’s influence upon them.
People here, in the Islamic countries are under pressure from their governments so they wouldn’t talk more than a permitted line. You are permitted to dance, sing, buy or sell, pray in your house, or marry four times; these are permitted, but, do not interfere in politics, or the performance of the governments, that is prohibited.
The governments here are under pressure from the west, especially from America, to stop people from expressing their anger, for example, against what is happening in Iraq or Palestine….. That is forbidden talk. And this created a big gap between most people and the Arabic/Islamic governments.
People have different opinions from those of the governments. And America is pushing the governments, so the governments would push the people to keep them silent, without objections.
A few weeks ago, I saw a program on an Arabic satellite channel, (the Abu Dhabi channel), talking about the contradiction in the relations between the Arabic nations and their governments, with the United States. Then, there was some voting in some countries (Egypt, Morocco, Turkey), that revealed (for example, in Egypt, 81%), a majority of people against America, hating the American administration, and how it handled the Middle-East cases, its support of Israel against the Arabs, its war on Iraq, its pressure upon the Arabic governments to prevent democracy from being achieved in the Arabic countries, so, no government-opposing vice would be heard. And on the same time, the governments of those people enjoy strong relations with the American administration.
The people themselves say that they do not hate the American people, nor their culture, so, they wouldn’t mind sending their children to study, or work there, but, the people have feelings of anger and resent against the American administration, (and I do not think this means only the present administration, for all the former administrations behaved the same way, for tens of years).
Really, it is a sad thing…..
The American administration talks about the democracy they want to deploy in the Middle East, but this seems to come in special measurements, designed and carried out by the American administration’s tailor, so, the Arabic governments should wear it, while the Arabic people are angry, and unsatisfied…
When will the voices of the angry get out, to be heard by the whole world?
And on the same time, the American administration is carrying out an unjust campaign against the Arabs, and against Islam, deforming their picture through the different media means, (Newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV.). Putting pressure aiming in the direction of separating religion from the state.
Isn't this an intrusion, compulsion, and dictation? Each nation has its culture, history, and way of life. Is everyone supposed to wear the American dress, to get approval? Should we change ourselves, so America would approve of us, to open the doors of dialogue, and extend the bridges?
These are strange conducts, as further as can be from democracy. I do not know who invents them?
The way is: give up your identity, religion, history, culture, and I shall recognize your existence, and approve of you!!
Is this a way of dialogue between nations? Or is it a new type of tyranny, and monopolization?
That who lives in the Middle East countries sees the picture like this… but for those who live in the west, GOD only knows how the picture reaches them. And if the way of dealing goes on like this, there won't be peace among nations… one party is arrogant, thinking himself on the right side, another party is trying to explain his view point, and the first party wouldn't listen to the first. We call this a dialogue among deaf people. Useless….. a blocked dialogue.
Next week, the Friday prayers shall be held in a mosque in New York, the Friday sermon, then leading the prayers shall be by a Muslim American woman, a professor in religious and philosophical studies, in the Virginia University. Men and women shall be present in the prayers.
The situation is new, and confusing to the Muslims, for usually the prayers are led by a man, and I think a woman is allowed to lead the prayers for women only. But this is anew situation.
I shall be asked: What do you think?
And I smile and say: if this would have happened in the Muslim countries, we would have discussed it as a special issue for Muslims, but in the western countries, I do not know…
The story has other justifications…away from religion, and endeavor.
The subject wants to evoke conflicts, and endless discussions, about women, and women's rights… and playing with words.
I do not like getting into such debates, right in its face, but rotten in its core.
Here, silence would be the best answer.
Translated by May/ Baghdad.

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