Monday, April 14, 2014

Did Solomon Called the Queen of Sheba by Mobile Phone?

I was in “The Book Club” last Wednesday in Kerbala. A new novel by Ala’a Mashthub was recently published. In that novel Mashtoub talks about history of Iraq. He doesn’t name them frankly but his protagonists seems to be: Arbaham, Ismail, Hajir, Hamourabi, and others. An old man commented that Mashthub is fabricating. Mashthoub answered: “I don’t understand what is fabrication, do you mean collage?”
Another attendee, Jasim A’asi, reminded us of a short story by Jaleel Al-Qaisy in which the protagonist flies in a space ship to Sumer and meets ancient people. A’asi said that the novelist’s duty is not that of the historian. The novelist wants to transfer the soul of that era to us.
Another old man then commented: “But now the question is: is it acceptable for a novelist to write that Solomon had called Bilqis, the queen of Sheba, by mobile phone?
That was such an interesting evening.

At home I was packing some old newspapers so that I throw them in the garbage and found "accidentally" articles by Ala'a Mashthoub, most of them about the body, or the body-soul dichotomy, and about Merleau-Ponty. I cut all the articles and kept them together so that I read them. I burrowed a book about the work and ideas of Merleau-Ponty from one of my friends who kept telling me that it is vital that I read phenomenology since I am a psychiatrist.

I think I got much to learn.

A good thing.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tea in the Jar

Thursday 6 p.m. Two bags, one is held by hand, the other is on the back. Both are heavy. Both are not so clean. The door is little heavy to open. It was didn't opened for the last few days. He puts the bags on the ground and try again. The door is opened. Take the bags from the ground and go in. A smell of dust. Mixed with some other things. The kitchen has its acidic aroma too. He doesn't mind it. Actually he likes it. He is so sleepy. He puts the bags anywhere. He tooks off shoes as fast as can be. Navigates to sleep. 
As I was goin' over
The Cork and Kerry Mountains 
I saw Captain Farrell
And his money, he was countin'
I first produced my pistol
And then produced my rapier
I said, "Stand and deliver or the devil he may take ya"

I took all of his money
And it was a pretty penny
I took all of his money,
Yeah, and I brought it home to Molly
She swore that she loved me,
No, never would she leave me
But the devil take that woman,
Yeah, for you know she tricked me easy

 He wakes up. Actually he just opens his eyes. There is a difference between waking up, and opening the eyes. He sees things near him. Banana skin from the last week. Cigarettes butts. They emit no aroma. No more of smell they emit. Dry. He looks around and finds some DVDs he ought to see. He likes movies. And likes yawning too. Now he pulls himself with suffering form the sleeping matrices. His bones and joints make some cracking. He heads to the kitchen like a truck heading in a highway to a finally-found gas station. He puts water over the fire. Puts the fire at the highest possible level. The kettle is used to it. Water boils in one minute. Throughs tea dry leaves over the water and brings his orange mug. Not so clean an orange mug. Orange jar-ro. Musha rain dum a doo, dum a da, Whack for my daddy-o, Whack for my daddy-o, There's black tea in the jar-ro 
Being drung and weary
U went to Molly's chamber
Takin' Molly with me
But I never knew the danger
For about sic or maybe seven,
Yeah, in walked Captain Farrell
I jumped up, fired my pistols
And I shot him with both barrels

Lits a cigarette. And another till tea gets little cold. Turns T.V. on. Politics. Lying. Silly things. Yet not that kind of silliness he likes. He loves to look at life from a silly window. Yet this silliness he sees in T.V. is annoying to him. He turns the channel to T.V. 5 Monde and see somebodies nose getting longer and longer.

Now some men like a fishin'
But some men like the fowlin'
Some men like to hear,
To hear the cannonball roarin'
Me, I like sleepin'
'Specially in my Molly's chamber
But here I am in prison
Here I am with a ball and chain, yeah

If he isn't numb from tiredness he would have laughed. He feels good in spite of the fact you cannot see him laughing. In an unexplained act, or better to be called a compulsion, he took one of the pair of shoes he was wearing yesterday and puts it over the T.V. screen. He adds that strange colored socks in the shoe's mouth and puts his ass back in his seat. He sips tea. 

This was wrote while listening to "Whiskey in the Jar" performed by Metallica. The lyrics are included in the post.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

He Sends Flies to Wounds He Should Heal

 Noon. A sound of a rusty acoustic guitar from Kansas. April's sun tinkle the skin of the forehead, and the hairs, from between the leaves of an acacia. The polarized sun glasses help you to look at the tree of ... life? and remember that film director... of Tree of Life, and that other new film about a French woman coming to the US and falling in love with a monk. A priest. You don't know the difference between a monk and a priest. You don't care much. Yesterday you saw a debate downloaded via the youtube between Tony Blair and somebody called Christopher H??? itcher?? . Wait I will google it.

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Christopher Hitchens. The google said that. The google don't lie. The google is real. Virtually real? Drop it.  .... .... Look at the chair next to you. It is empty. What do you dreaming of these days? You cannot remember? I dreamed one past night of some friends and some family members sending messages via the facebook. Notifications. I decided to decrease my facebook use. Thinking about the validity of relations via facebook. Or the addiction of facebook. Or at least abuse. Now drop this down the flush. (don't know exactly what that might be).

 Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Flies are doing some acrobats around you while you are waiting for the tea to get colder a little. Lord of the flies. You are the lord of the flies. Why don't you open your mouth a little? Aren't you sleepy? Then why you don't yawn? That would be beautiful. Tea alone, without "biscuit" is not so... Don't you see?
جتي الطيارة تمشي....

 Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
The fade tea is so sweet. Much sugared. Oversugared. Hypersugarded. Polysacharidized. Almost Honey-flavored. Mind if I melt a fly in it? DROP IT!!

 Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind (all we are is dust in the wind)
Dust in the wind (everything is dust in the wind), everything is dust in the wind (the wind)

Your best quote from "Tree of Life" movie is:
"He sends flies to wounds that he should heal."

Dust in the Wind is a song by Kansas and that is all you can write while listening to it.
The Director that I forgot his name is Terrence Malick
The other film of Terrence Malick I talked about is: To the Wonder

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Hold On My Heart

Hold on my heart
Just hold on to that feeling
We both know we've been here before
We both know what can happen

 Got nothing specific to say. I just woke up from a deep long siesta. Hy head feels pretty good although a little bit seems heavy and dull. Actually numb. I have no feeling. No idea. Just like an animal. Like a dog walking around for no "reason". Just to explore or, to implore. To implore an odor or a sight. A light. A dim sun. As dim as a numb head. As quite as a summer afternoon. No sounds but a wizz in the ears. A slight wizz that you can only attend to if you want to.

 Hold on my heart
Cos Im looking over your shoulder
Ooh please don't rush in this time
Don't show her how you feel

I bring my tea kettle. Put some water. Lit the fire. Wait for the water to boil. And took some other pictures.

Hold on my heart
Throw me a lifeline
I'll keep a place for you
Somewhere deep inside

I remember some old incidents. Some old conversations. Actually fights. Verbal aggressions. Misunderstandings. Moments of tension. Moments of tears. Yet my face show no expression. A face of a statue. Eyes are widely opened. Blinking was forgotten. Actually not needed. A sigh comes. A breath in. The eyes close for a while the breath is going out. The legs finally moves a bit. A look at the kettle.  

 If I can recall this feeling
And I know there's a chance
Oh I will be there
Yes I will be there
Be there for you
Whenever you want me to
Whenever you call oh I will be there
Yes I will be there

I shut down the fire. "Shut down"? No surprise you took low marks in EILTS. Another sigh. I don't know the verb. I put some dry maron-black tea leaves over the water. I good aroma relaxes the air in the common kitchen of the dormitory. I go for few steps around til the tea gets... gets what? ripe? Ripe tea? You need to work on your English. Meanwhile, take few other pictures.

I wrote this while I was listening to Hold On My Heart by Genesis.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Freedom of Speech

The speech was for that handsome young man named Husam Al-Haj. Husam Al - Haj was presented to us as the founder of the group "I am Iraqi, I am reading" and a writer in Al-Mada Newspaper. Husam talked to us about what freedom in press mean. He gave us examples and make comparisons.

After Husam started talking an old man starts walking quietly between our chairs spreading on us his smiles and some newspapers. The old man looks like a janitor or a cleaner. He wears some respectful clothes but they are old fashioned a little. His eyes, which hide spangles you can touch of you look after them, are little sad, sometimes.

Husam told us about the Iraqi law and how it talks about freedom. Freedom of expression, in the first place. The Iraqi law "gives" the freedom of expression but it must not contradict the "ethics of the society" or "the moral rules of the society" and the law does not say what that might mean. Also, there is no access to details of all major things, since the Iraqi law says that you can get access to all the documents of all the ministries accept to those that "can affect the national security". Husam told us that national security must mean the well-being of the people and that they get enough to eat and got good services. But the idea of the national security that most of us have is something related to how the military defines it.

The young man also told us that there is no time in Iraq that we had stable and "not a temporary" constitution.

Well, the young man said much that made us feel under which dim skies we are living.

The old man, who brought us tea cups by his hands while we were listening to his guest, and who took them when we finished and then came again with another tea cups for those who like to drink two cups, that old man who looked like a simple janitor looking after the cleanness and organisation of the meeting, that old man approached the seat near Husam when Husam was about to end and he sits there.

When Husam ended his speech that young man talked. Well, I just took a sigh. He TALKED that old man and let the things out. He talked about how a civil state cannot stay civil if its base is sectarian. That the identity of the country does not need another identity. The Identity of Iraq does not need another identity of being Sunni, or Shiite, Kurdish or Arabic. That man talked some fluent words with a very amazing voice that I wish I had registered. Word by word. That old man is a diamond. I asked the man sitting next to me: "Who is that man." The man next to me looked at me a little estranged that I didn't know, and then he whispered: "He is Khaleel!"

I held my tear at the end of what Uncle Khaleed said.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Douce France

Yesternight I turned the T.V. on the TV5 Monde channel and saw a live broadcasting from France about their municipal elections. I like how they look. I especially liked a young woman in a talk show after the primary results were declared. I then read her name and found that she seems from Arabic origins. Najat- something- Belkacem. She is a minister of woman's affair. Well, a little disappointment when I knew her ministry. I hoped she is the minister of, say, Education... Industry... something like that...

An Asian looking man was also in the talk show. He is French too.

The new Maire of Paris is of Spanish origins.

I slept thereafter and cannot remember if I ever dreamed of something or not. But if I did dream then it must me related to France.

Douce France.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sun's halo over Erbil citadel

I walk in the Erbil's citadel and raise up my head to see the sun. There was a halo around it. I don't understand what that halo is. 
 I remember my neighbor the engineer who told me once that when he was working in a mountain in Kurdistan and developed a sun burn the back of his neck and in his ear lobes. When I asked him for an explanation for what happened he said that he was working in a mountain, so he was nearer to the sun. That was the first, and only, time that I heard of such a thing. Being nearer to the sun.

I am now in the hotel writing this post and hearing "Magnificent" by U2. The video clip is somewhere in place looking like Morocco. I am trying to understand the lyrics without looking them in the Google. The chorus says something like: "only love can leave such a mark. only love can leave such a star." It goes well with the halo of the sun above Erbil citadel.

I see the green grass and feels fine. It feels fine. 

EILTS in Erbil's Sun

So, I come to Erbil to receive my EILTS certificate, a certificate with marks that are not enough to join that training/working in the UK. A certificate with no clear benefit for me. I go back to the hotel. The hotel's name is MONTANA. Near the citadel. Erbil citadel. I think Montana is a city in Canada. With some Etymological root referring to the word "Mountain". A mountain. I go to sleep at about 11:00 am. Yesterday I didn't sleep well. I sleep deeply. I wake up gradually. I take my mobile phone and play "Taffic Racer". Raise up some money to buy a truck. Quit the game. Take on clothes. Go to have a lunch. Much red meat. Drink yogurt. Drink another yogurt. I cannot finish the meat and remember my friend Ammar who became a vegetarian in Germany. He came for a visit before days and brought me a present from Paris. A book of photos in black and white picturing the quotidian life of Paris. I stand up and go to wash my hands. I find a young woman washing her hands and mouth. I am a little surprised. In Baghdad there is a strict rule of separating men and women when washing hands and I don't know why. The separation, I think, started from the W. C. and then was generalized. She finishes washing. I go and wash my hands then I head to the square near the fountain to drink tea.    
The sun starts entering through the water. The sun washes its light beams in the waters. I drink tea. I remember the EILTS speaking part when I was asked about whether I like the sun or no. I said I do. Sun means happiness, brightness, and one feels lighter when the sun is shining. The next question was whether I would go for tourism in a sunny country and I answered that: as an Iraqi, I am saturated with sun. I would rather chose a country with thick clouds.

The sun stays washing in the waters and the numbness slowly fades. I chat a little with the one sitting next to me and we smile. We even giggle. I distribute my sights a little to the orange color of the oranges, another little to the sun washing in the water, another little to the citadel, and much others to the people walking around... Tomorrow I will head to Baghdad.