Saturday, 22 November 2008

The iraqi parliament sure know how to sweet talk

Now I have tried not to excessively over post, but the aim of my blog is to record my life and possible future in Iraq. I guess I failed on that front, rushing upstairs at the end of each day to type up what happened to me, but the thing is, I never want to forget. Despite the bombings, scares and threats I have faced in Iraq, I have actually enjoyed it.

Now for today, I woke up quite late- almost 12pm, that's actually quite early for me. :D
Anyway, after yesterday's fiasco, everyone had gathered around the tv to watch the debate in the iraqi parliament (majlis), in the evening.

So sitting on the couch I am surveying the iraqi channels. My nana, sister and mother have all gone into the kitchen, and I guess that my uncle and brother are outside. My father and grandfather have decided to walk to the shops. leaving me all alone with the t.v remote, which I can't help but smile at. So, I decided to change the channels,and see the views of each of the iraqi channels, concerning the military pact.

Al sharqiya, Al Iraqia, and Al Baghdadia al show the same events taking place. The camera is focused on a balding grey haired man, who is making large hand gestures, and is throwing pure distilled rhetoric at the guy sitting in the high chair. the rhetoric is full of grandeuar and self righteousness. The guy in the high chair,clearly gets bored and asks the former opera singer "Eee, Leash tham rasak?" - translated "Yes, why hide your head?". Basically the parliamentary official is being sarcastic to the rhetoric guy. Writing whizzes across the bottom of the screen, informing the viewer of yet another economy crash in yet another country.

Al fayhaa has a different part of the meeting. It is quite funny- I think they have chosen the funniest parts. It looks like the guys on the high chairs- the official, are playing muscal chairs, a lot of them get up, and swap chairs. A guy in a suit is now replaced by a guy wearing the shia turbans. The guy in the turban is now shouting at an unseen member of the audience. He exclaims "Mu ibkeefak azizi", which basically translates as " Its not up to you, my dear". Yes, these are actual iraqi parlimentary officials.

I finally encounter Al Forat channel. This kind of shocks me. there is no news whatsoever about the agreement, and instead, there is a cleric being questioned by iraqi youth. First he talks about how coloured hijabs and decorated jubbas are wrong. The colour and decorations attract looks. then he says it is preferrable for girls and boys to dress modestly even in front of the same sex. A guy stands up from his plastic white chair and basically asks him what the hell he is talking about. The cleric replies that there is all girl parties, where the girls go to and dress up in tight revealing clothes and dance. The guys eyes light up, then the cleric warns that these are wrong and hypocritical. The guy sits back down smiling nevertheless, and writes something down on a clipboard. The camera then turns to the women's part of the hall, where the women are listening intensely. All wear hijabs and jubbas, but many of them are clutching their handbags pretty tightly. I actually start worrying about the safety of the cleric, because these women look like they are about to inflict some serious damage.

I finally end up on MBC where another turkish soap opera begins with its wailing songs, and gun shots. Silently I wonder why women are watching this over here, when our actual lives are a lot more dramatic than all these soaps put together. Only difference is, our lives doesn't have a music backing track.

39 comments:

dave said...

Hey, I'm from London (the UK one) and just wanted to say your blog is really fascinating and funny. I'm actually at University and have had so many debates on the situation in Iraq and used facts, NGO reports etc etc to argue various points and yet I still do not feel that I really know that much. Your blog has helped me understand a bit more. Thanks!

touta said...

thank you for the comment dave, sorry i can't be of more help to you politically, as i'm quite ignorant in that respect, but socially, i'll try to explain what is happening over here.
i wasn't aware there was more than one london in the world, i thought the one in england was the only one
:D

dave said...

the social is the political :P. I often prefer hearing about the 'normal' lives of people in various countries because it's often more interesting then looking at their politicians and it's usually comforting to realise how similar people are around the world. without sounding too utopian.

I think there's a London in the US and one in Canada but obviously there is only one cool London :).

touta said...

I suppose you are right, social is directly linked to poltics, its just that the politicians over here, clearly don't see it that way as they drone about all these idealistic theories.
Utopian is good. :)
And I'm guessing london is raining now? I suppose that makes it cold/cool.

dave said...

I think most countries complain about their politicians, over here the most common complaints are 'they are all the same' or 'they don't listen/care about me'. I sometimes end up thinking this but it seems it is often just an easy excuse not to do anything yourself and not vote.

I'm at University in Birmingham and yes it was raining all day lol and has just this second started again! the whole country has had an Arctic wind blowing in so its pretty cool :).

Is Utopian relative though?! I like to think not.

C.H. said...

Hi Touta,

A friend of mine just introduced me to your blog and I must say you are doing a very good job with your writing.

I will link to you over on my blog :)

Please stay safe in Baghdad...it is a beautiful city I am praying for everyday.

Anand said...

Touta, I noticed you left a warm comment for violet. That was nice of you. :-)

I hope you have recovered from your flu?

I told Corey about your website.

I see that you like IraqiPlume, Violet, EyeRaki, Neurotica, Abbas, and Healing Iraq. You have mighty fine tastes. Are you royal?
:lol: just playing.

Count your blessings that you aren't a member of Iraq's parliament. All those meetings where very boring people talk about very boring things, using big words that not even they understand. Now that is hell. ;-)

touta said...

Dave,
In iraq, its more like 'what the hell are they talking about?'. I hope to vote as soon as i'm 18. :D

C.H.
Thanks for your comment, it is a beautiful city, and I hope you the best of luck with your journalism. :D

Anand,
Flu has manifested into one giant health draining sickness, but I still manage to drag myself into school. I might end up being on the iraqi parliament one day- I'll update it with my 'cool slang' and excessive use of swearwords..;)

Anand said...

Please get better soon. Or else all your friends and family will be most upset. :-(

"I might end up being on the iraqi parliament one day- I'll update it with my 'cool slang' and excessive use of swearwords..;)"

Parliament desperately needs some 'cool slang.' But it has an excessive use of swear words as is. :lol:

touta said...

haha, excessive use of swearwords- very true.
Now as for slang- wassup, yo, dude, these are about the only slang words I know- let's leave the parliamentary dreams for a few years until i can build up my streetwise 'lingo'. :D

Anand said...

"wassup, yo, dude"

Not bad lingo dudette. Ya could give old PM Maa liki (American pronunciation) a few pointers gal. Ya could brief him for his Saturday Night appearance.

PM Maliki on Saturday Night Live. Now that would be something to see.

Naah. Parliament is not for you, unless they make you PM. Then maybe you will consider it. :lol:

Have you thought of applying to foreign universities? How about a Saudi University for woman?

touta said...

Malaki on Saturday night!
hehe, I wonder who would act as him? I suggest bruce willis :)

haha, I have applied to some foreign universities, I will get an answer next week! :)

Although I am sincereley thinking about turning it down if i get anything- being alone in a foreign country requires a lot of work/strength/independence. :D But saudi sounds good- had it not had soo many restrictions.

Anand said...

Sister Touta, you could apply to American universities. The deadlines are November 30th, December 15th, Dec 31st, Jan 15th, etc. But you have to apply quickly.

Have you taken the SAT and Achievement tests.

Anand said...

I want to make clear that I respect Saudi all woman universities. No doubt many of them are good quality.

C.H. said...

Touta, I understand how you feel...I have come down with the flu too! I probably shouldn't be online lol

C.H. said...

BTW, what does Fog al-Nakhal mean? I'm trying to study Arabic, but there are still many words I need to learn :)

touta said...

Anand,
i have taken far too many achievement tests to remember which ones they are,all I know is I have applied to universities practically all over the world. Saudi universities are good, but no woman drivers? I can't deal with that! ;)
C.H.
Going online releases good feeling endomorphins which aid in your recovery. That's my excuse anyway. :)
Fog al nakhal,means over the palm trees, its a classic iraqi folk song. Its got almost a haunting melody. :D

C.H. said...

Haha, I guess you are right. Going online and talking to my friends certainly does feel good. Not to mention, international politics is pretty much my life, so it would be hard for me to go a day without it.

touta said...

hahaha,people over the world really are not as different as the media portrays. :)

C.H. said...

Touta, have you considered getting a gmail address for your blog? Many Iraqis I know use gmail :)

touta said...

I have a gmail :) I'm not sure whether to make it public though. If you want, ask and I'll post it.

Anand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anand said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C.H. said...

Don't worry, there's no need to post your gmail address. I have my email available on my profile...you can send me a message if you would like.

...and BTW, my name is corey :)

touta said...

okay corey, :) my nickname is touta. close to me real name. :)

touta said...

*my real name

Miss Violet said...

Hi Touta, How are you? Firstly congratulation for your nice blog. Although you are a new blogger but I observed that you have too many comments :) good for you !
Your blog's name really interested me, I like this song very much especially when Elham Medfa'aie sings it …
And finally I wish you a day full of happiness ..sis,

Miss Violet.
BTW, can I call you sis, Touta ?

C.H. said...

Touta, I can be reached at this address: unitedworld.ch@gmail.com

I agree with Violet...congragulations on all of your comments! Your blog is off to a terrific start.

touta said...

Miss violet,
thanks for your lovely comment- the only reason i have so many comments is because i write half of them, as replies, which i love doing. :D
I love the song, as well as the lyrics, its just one of those songs that instantly captures your heart. I hope your day is full with happiness and love as well. And sure, you can call me sis, sis. :)

touta said...

:D thanks corey.
I hope my blog will continue down this path- it may just end up with me whining or garbling. Perhaps one day, I might even address some actual current issues. Just not right now. :D
As for the comments. I'm one of *those* types of people who love to read them. :)

Anand said...

Friend Touta, can I call you sis as well? Can I call you Ukhti Touta? I am jealous that the smart and wise Violet gets to call you sis, and I don't :-(

Touta, could you send your Akhwat, Ukhwat and friends an audio file of the song?

If you want, you could e-mail CH. He could connect us offline. But if you prefer to talk on your blog, that is cool too. :-)

Thanks,

touta said...

anand,
of course akhi anand. You can all call me sister, or ukhti, or sis, or touta, or sissy. :D
As for the song, I'll post it, or even email it. No problemo. In fact, i'm thinking of putting me email up anyways. :D
I'll give you a taster of the song *singing badly* foog al nakhaal fooog...

C.H. said...

If its okay, I would like to call you "Ukhti Touta" as well :)

touta said...

haha, go ahead. :D

Jeffrey said...

Touta,

Perhaps one day, I might even address some actual current issues. Just not right now. :D

I think there are enough Iraqi political bloggers. We need more personal-diary bloggers, like Shaggy, who stay away from politics and tell us about their everyday life. We learn more that way -- just my opinion, of course.

*

touta said...

Jeffrey,
I prefer writing personally to tell you the truth, but politics is one of those annoying things that is mentioned every single day, and its come to the point, where i will probably end up denouncing politics on the whole, just because absolutley nothing else occupies people's minds. No movies, no music, just the harsh uselessness that is politics.
:D
Rant over.

Bruno said...

Today's the day of the vote on whether the occupation continues for another three years or not. There's bound to be a lot of friction over this, so be extra careful today, Touta. :) Take care.

Bruno said...

BTW I just also want to tell you how good your post was on the demonstration at Firdous Square was. That is, very good! Don't be shy in posting more. ;)

touta said...

Thank you, and currently, there is news that curfews may be in order. As for the firdous square post- i always leave before the 'fun' begins!
:D