Monday, 4 May 2009

No thanks.

As i sit here listening to 'zedene' by kathem el saher, i can't help but type to the beat as i sway my head.
Yes, the stress is clearly getting to me, as i get concerned looks by my head swaying. "Want to join the sufis Touta?".

Anyway, I shall share some occurences, that i wanted to type up, but just didnt have the time or ambition.

My relatives managed to gain a win, where i was concerned. At first I should explain, amongst iraqi families there is an ongoing battle to who can control, and decide the future of the children. Recently my father had to spend two hours arguing with his cousin, over why he didn't want me to get a tattoo (the tribal ones). This whole episode began when my grandmother (Allah yirhama) once asked my father why i had no tribal tattoos. I sat and listened to this surreal conversation (have you ever seen a 80 year old woman telling her granddaughter to get tattoos?), it went along the lines of my father telling my grandmother, that the tribal tattoos were outdated, old and had no place in modern society. Annoyed, she replied I could always get colourful, pretty tattoos like the american soldiers had. The conversation ended with, 'she's not old enough'. My grandmother made a snorting noise, and remarked that in the days gone by, girls my age would have been running a house.

Notice, that my opinion was not actually taken into account. Nice.
So, this argument was once again brought up, and it was funny watching my 'modern thinking' father trying to find any excuse to stop me from having circles and lines tattooed onto my ankles and back. One point was something about HIV, and i had to suffocate a laugh. Unreal.
After this conversation ended with silence, and tension, i think it was my dad's aunt, who then questioned why i didn't have my hair dyed blonde. This time it was my time to choke and throw any arguments.
Two hours later i am sitting freezing cold, while old women are putting a gooey substance on my head. Worry not though, it wasn't blonde hair dye. It was Henna. By some miracle, they managed to convince my parents to have henna put on my hair. And all my arguments, and objections were quietened with shouts of approval and 'its good for you'. I honestly felt like crying and/or screaming. 'Its only going to make it tinted red' whispered my sister, 'don't be such a baby'.
She wasn't the one who was going to end up looking like Bree from Deesperate Housewives.

I heard my mobile singing 'Ashgar bil Shama' in the distance.I relaxed slightly at the song.

Eight hours later, and three buckets of boiling hot water later, the women, as well as a small boy, were looking at the efforts of their work, unsatisfied. The Henna had doen nothing. Not even a red tinge. Nothing. This was pure henna, that could easily dye afros to flaming red (i've seen the proof). I couldn't help laughing with relief as well as bemusement. But to my relatives, this was a challenge.
The whole next day, was spent dyeing my hair twice with henna, and leaving it on overnight. By the end, they had dyed my hair three times with henna.
You can imagine their suprise, as they dried my hair, and it remained the black it had always been. I giggled, and unsteadily swayed (sleep deprivation).
They have their theories though, old wives tales cover every possible aspect of life. So once they decide I'm not the awar al dajjal, i'll get back to you on their predictions of my future.

And lastly, i am not sure whether to be offended, or shrug my shoulders and realise it was inevitable- the Pope will visit Palestine and Jordan, but has ignored Iraq. I never liked him anyway, (Pope John Paul II was undoubtedly better), and nor does most of the teachers and monks in the catholic school. As i recall, catholcism has had its fair share of 'things evil and inhuman' (iraqis have impossibly long memories). Remember St Batholomews massacre? Each religion has its problems, and dark patches. So there.

Now back to listening to why my hair didn't dye. An old woman coughs that at least the henna has made my hair healthy and shiny. Yes, so shiny that it now looks like a greasy wig.
Oh look, they're now using my hair as a mirror. Well, at least some good came out of it.

115 comments:

programmer craig said...

The Pope almost has to visit the Holy Land, because it's the Holy Land and all that :)

So don't take it as a slight that he isn't visiting Iraq! That's my interpretation, anyway, but I'm not Catholic so I may be wrong. I never liked this Pope either, but again - I'm not Catholic, so my opinion doesn't really matter.

Tattoos and hair dying? What's next!? Are they planning on marrying you off?

geatg said...

maybe the henna was expired or sth! About tattoos, if you like gettin one you would get one of those stickers that provide temporary tattoo thing, although they are mainly used by children but why not giving it a try!!

JG said...

have you ever seen a 80 year old woman telling her granddaughter to get tattoos?--

NO! ;) I didn't even have to think about that.

Btw, why did they want to dye your hair so much?

Touta said...

programmer craig,
and i wonder why my parents want to send me far away to university. :D
As for your opinion, i think it does matter, when people are in a place of power, they should learn to respect that.

geatg,
i thought that, but they told me, they had ground it themselves. Their failure to turn my head red made me laugh. :D
as for tattoos, i'm a scaredy cat, but the sticker ones were always so great. I remember the ones that used to come wrapped around the bubble gum. Cars and grendizer ones for boys, and flowers and folla for girls. :)

JG,
well basically, the lighter hair you have, the nicer its considered. What people lack is what they want most no? i remember all my friends in the UK being hooked on fake tan, and here they are all hooked on lightening cream. Go figure. :D

JG said...

What people lack is what they want most no?--

So true. It's a pity really because beauty comes in many different shapes, sizes, and colours.

In Thailand all the girls wear huge heals to make them look taller! They die their hair too, and avoid the sun so their skin doesn't get darker.

The tall, blonde European girl is considered the quintessence of style and beauty.

I used to always tell my female friends that yes, a lot of European girls are beautiful but so are a lot of Thai girls, in a different way.

They just gave me a weird look! :(

You want what you can't have, it's just human nature I think...

Jeffrey said...

Tribal tattoo?!

Well, in San Francisco they'd think your elderly relatives were all very cool. If they also forced you to get a nose-ring and a tongue-ring, well, you'd be ... hold it, I wonder if those trends have already passed?

Or maybe you could just be branded with a number. I'm partial to the number 47. My father used to yell at me a lot and always used the number 47 for some reason. "I told you 47 times to ..."

*

attawie said...

"So once they decide I'm not the awar al dajjal, i'll get back to you on their predictions of my future."

I hope you're not! lol

Actually, I had such an experience but with different herbs which supposed to make hair lighter. I'm already blond and they wanted to bring back my golden "khosal" as they got darker by time. and guess what? nothing worked. It made me think I'm special and I decided not to change my hair color whatsoever :)

Tribal tattoo? is there a certain sign or something? I remember there were this blue daggat, is there a chance your late grandma (allah yer7amha) was talking about that?

We had such a thing and the nose ring too but it stopped to generations back, Thanks God.

"Cars and grendizer ones for boys"

What!!!!! I had hundreds of those! flowers were really lame!

Touta said...

JG,
tell me about it, my paler friends had orange complexes from tans, and in the middle east, their face is paper white.
perhaps its a female thing though, i haven't seen any men complaining of how pale/dark they are.

jeffrey,
in my family its the number 100,000. 'i've told you 100,000 times'.
yes, these elderly relatives are the old fashioned village ones as well.

attawie,
well if i am awar al dajjal, i hope you won't start avoiding me. *sigh*.
Yes, there's many signs and out of interest, i learnt them all from my grandmother (allah yirhama) on rainy afternoon. It was quite fun to listen to their meanings, i may draw them on paint and put them up.
The cars weren't as nice! they were only one colour! I mean really who would want a tattoo of a car?! :P


as for the tattoos, i'll describe to all how they're done....the women get black coal stuff mix it with oily stuff, cut pattern into your skin, then press the gooey mixture down.
I'll go into more detail later.. :D

JG said...

That sounds bloody sore!!

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Annoyed, she replied I could always get colourful, pretty tattoos like the american soldiers had.---

*muffled laughter*

I can just see someone telling a macho Marine that he has a "pretty" tatoo! :D

Oh look, they're now using my hair as a mirror. Well, at least some good came out of it.---

ROTFL! It's always nice to see the bright side of things. Er...no pun intended. :P

I tend to agree with you on the Pope. I'm catholic, although I don't really practice, and I preferred the former Pope as well.

JG said...

I agree on the 'pope' too. I don't think the last one was any better though. I am technically a Catholic too, just waiting for someone to tell me how I can delist myself! ;)

JG said...

Oh.. and you don't have to go back to St Batholomew to find examples of evil within the Catholic Church. Sadly there are plenty of contemporary examples.

Touta said...

JG,
"That sounds bloody sore!!". haha, i know, they even had tattoos on their chins and neck-ouch.
hahaha, 'delist'? If you delisted, you wouldn't be able to go see the da vinci code and feel rebellious afterwards!

Lynnette,
yes, it was a surreal conversation, where i was being told that i could have flowers or a mermaid (soldiers tattoo-was naked though, and i don't think she saw this...) if i wasn't partial to the tribal tattoos.
hehehe. :D No pun intended? pfft...its soo bright its causing car crashes.


i've blinded enough people by my reflective hair today....so good night! :D

moonlight said...

Hhhhhh. oh how you've made me laugh. My Grandma has neen wanting to dye my hair with henna and told me how healthy and shiny my hair will become but I always refuse and make the exuse that I dont have time or I don't wnat to risk my hair turning red... she's done it to my sister once and though her haircolor didn't change,it didn't look like much fun.

3 times lol and I bet it took forever to wash out each time at least your hair didn't turn red :P.

Corey said...

Touta,

I agree with you about the Pope...I don't like him very much either, not at all in fact. I remember in 2007, Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrats in Congress cited the Pope as a reason to believe that all hope was lost in Iraq...I believe he referred to a speech by the Pope in which he said that "nothing good is happening there" in regards to Iraq. This wasn't long before General Petreaus and Ambassador Crocker came to Capitol Hill to urge the public to maintain their patience as Iraqis stood up against their enemies.

Its amazing, Reid trusts the Pope, who has never set foot in Iraq, but he dismissed the testimonies of two men who risked their lives everyday to try and stabilize the situation. Its really sad. Its impossible for me to keep a straight face when I see Reid on TV.

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Touta,

Henna three times in one day and tattoos! I thought you have exams?!

Anyway, I have to say, based on the fact that they failed to hennaize -give a red color to- your hair, that they are two reasons for that:

1 The henna is not bladeiah -pure- bought from certain shops in Shorjah

2. The genetic make up of your hair


Take care,

Michomeme said...

what? Tattoos? you know I'm sure the tribal tatto is not that easy as the modern one. I can't remember someone from my family had that kind of tatto only my mother's grandmother allah yrhamha.
touta yous the removable sticky tatto is better anyway you can change it any time you want.

Hinna, I don't like it, my hair is naturaly brown, you can't imagine how orange it became when I put hinna about ten years ago. so about five months ago I dyed my hair to purple red and I'm planning to turn it to blond for my wedding. :)

Michomeme said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Touta,

Salam

شخصيات من دفتر الغربة
الجزء الاول
حجي عبودي


Individuals from the book of exile
Part 1
Hajy Aboudy

http://kahlid-iraqi.blogspot.com/2009/04/blog-post_27.html

Have a look whenever you have time.

Take care,

khalid jarrar said...

Touta i am beginning to think that your life story was written by the same authers of some of my favorite sitcoms.

poor touta! lesh heech everyone yil3ab bkhiliqtich? :) just beucase you are a poor nice girl? :))

Touta said...

moonlight,
oh its shiny alright, and as for the washing out, i let the relatives do it after my hands got stained red.
:O still are for that matter! :))

corey,
cool, although i'm no expert on american politics, but i see from that incident, a lot needs to be done for the pope to win his way back into the hearts of people.

khalid (iraq blog),
haha, i didn't get any tattoos, and i thought i had exams too in a week, but family comes first. :D
It was the pure version, which is why i must have super genetic hair! :D
I'm going to read about haji now, so take care too.

Michomeme,
I don't want tattoos! But they think its a culture thing and part of tradition, but i'm not getting one. :)
It went orange?! :D
I'm sure your blond hair will look very pretty for the wedding, and i hope you are enjoying planning it. :)

Khalid J,
hahaha, yep, it is even better than most of the sitcoms.
Yilaboon ib khilkatee, because i sit there moaning, but i can't muster the anger to scare them off, so i let them use me for their experimental traditional ways...:S

Corey said...

So there you didn't get any tatoos, Touta? I guess that's a good thing, haha, although I've thought of what it would be like to get one. When I go to Nepal and India this Summer I am thinking of getting one...maybe one that has a phrase in Hindu or something like that ;-)

Speaking of which, there has been some political turmoil in Nepal...I have been blogging about it. Have any of you seen what's going on?

programmer craig said...

What people lack is what they want most no? i remember all my friends in the UK being hooked on fake tan, and here they are all hooked on lightening cream. Go figure. :DYou're a very perceptive girl, Touta! It isn't always true, though. Have you ever heard of a guy saying he wished he was shorter, for instance?

When I go to Nepal and India this Summer I am thinking of getting one...maybe one that has a phrase in Hindu or something like that ;-)Heh. Be careful, Corey! You don't want to end up with an "American Idiot" tattoo on your arm, do you? If you do decide to get one, I advise you to go to the places where military guys get their tattoos. That's pretty "safe" usually. Though, I never got any tattoos while I was in the Marines so I can't say first hand.

JG said...

Have you ever heard of a guy saying he wished he was shorter, for instance?--

lol That's a fair point. I'm pretty tall myself and I've never wished I was shorter! I suppose the rule isn't universal, but it seems to apply in a lot of cases.

You don't want to end up with an "American Idiot" tattoo on your arm--

A guy I used to work with got his name (Joey) tatooed onto his arm in Thai while he was in Thailand. I would never do that. Even if the person seems cool there would be nothing to stop them printing 'idiot' or worse on you for life!

Something in Hindi would be cool, Corey. Or something in Tibetan, which is a very beautiful script. There's a big Tibetan community in both India and Nepal so I'm sure you could easily do it.

Corey said...

Don't worry, I will check with my Hindi and Nepalese language advisors before I would get a tatoo...I'd design it first myself, haha :D

JG said...

Maybe you should get one in Arabic.

It would be funny if they put 'Long Live Saddam' or 'Sadr' on you!! :)

Touta said...

Corey,
all i cans say is ouch. I think the nepalese and tibetans do tattoos the old way, which undoubtedly hurts more, but whatever floats your boat! :D

Programmer craig,
well guys generally don't talk, but i think a few might. :P especially if he kept banging his head on doorframes for instance. As for the Marines-why do a lot of them have so many tattoos and the whole macho attitude? i've never quite understood that. :D

JG,
aaaah, you should see arabic calligraphy, it would be amazing to have arabic calligraphy tattoos, though it takes ages, and hurts like hell.

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Salam,

An example of Arabic calligraphy:

http://www.plumsite.com/palace/arabic/HMfalcaosm.gif

Enjoy!

Touta,

How much time per day did you spend preparing for your exams?

You've every right not to answer my question.

Thanks,

JG said...

That's lovely, Khalid.

I thought about getting a tatoo a few years back but now I'm glad I didn't. I know I'd just get sick of it and be stuck with the damn thing for life.

attawie said...

Today I made a tour in the iraqi blogsphere and most of the places I visited were of young girls same as touta's age. All off them talk about their exams and how it's hard to concentrate! but they found time to blog.

I was thinking of a mean conspiracy with blogger.com to freeze their accounts *evil smile*

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

It's nice when we enter the hotel freely while the owner is away, only Allah knows where Touta is now, may be busy studying Physics."Poor girl"

JG,

I love nature so no doubt that I don't like tatoos.

JG said...

Attawie,

I blog more around exam times than any other time! :)

Khalid,

Sure. I think they look nice on some people but it's not for me.

mhmd said...

Touta with a tattoo?!
U freak out at hair dye, so i'm guessin they tied u down?

moonlight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
programmer craig said...

well guys generally don't talk, but i think a few might. :P My brother is 6'7" and my father is about 6'5". They both say they are too tall, but I don't believe they mean it! I'm about 6' and that's OK but I think I'm the shortest guy in my whole family. I wouldn't complain if I had a couple more inches on me lol. I really hate only coming up to my little brother's chin.

As for the Marines-why do a lot of them have so many tattoos and the whole macho attitude? i've never quite understood that. :DWell, I get the macho attitude thing. The USMC turns regular guys into alpha-males so that's just the way it is when you get a bunch of alpha males together at the same place at the same time. I don't understand the tattoo thing either though, to be honest. I think I was the only guy in my unit without any tattoos at all. Never really had any appeal for me.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

All off them talk about their exams and how it's hard to concentrate! but they found time to blog.-

Funny how that works, isn't it?

:D

I was thinking of a mean conspiracy with blogger.com to freeze their accounts *evil smile*-

lol!

Such an evil person, Attawie. :P

I like it. :D

Touta said...

khalid,
i don't spend enough time revising- thats for sure. :D
And not physics - chemistry. :S
as for the hotel, i am sorry for abandoning you all, but it is necessary...so just help yourself to wander for a while. :D

attawie,
its either blogging our stress away, or erupting into a volcano of anger and hate. :P

mhmd,
i didnt and will not get one. they go mutated as you grow older.

programmer craig,
hahaha, you have managed to alientae every iraqi with your height now. :D
i also notice marines have those massive boots- they have to add some height with their thick heels. ;)
i suppose the tattoo thing goes hand in hand with the alpha male thing (warriors long ago carried feathers/shields etc.)

Lynnette,
blogging improves our language skills, therefore it is revision! :D

attawie said...

JG,

I noticed the pattern! It seems I used to blog more often before I finish my thesis. Now that I'm done with that I'm not blogging!

Lynnette,

I'm a bit evil when it comes to boring stuff like healthy food and studying. I guess that's because I feel like an older sis who's worried about these girls' future :)

Touta,

OK, good save! to improve your language. Go ahead and give us a new post ;)

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Touta,

I pray that ALLAH will be with you wherever you are and whatever you are doing. It seems -according to Mohamad- you are doing exams so I pray also to ALLAH for you to be focused and pass all these exams successfully. Make use of your unique location on the top of the date-palm tree i.e you are Iraqi! and study hard.

I think the hotel should be closed for a while and we will stay in the streets for some time waiting for Godot.

You have my prayers Touta,

attawie said...

I agree with Khalid I,

All the best Touta :)
*saying a lot of prayers*

Touta said...

attawie and khalid,

شكراً جزيلاً ، والله شرفتوني

:)

programmer craig said...

i also notice marines have those massive boots- they have to add some height with their thick heels. ;)Yes, about an inch :)

So, tell us, did they figure out how to make your hair take the coloring yet!? :P

Corey said...

Touta,

I hope you are doing well as the school semester comes to a close. My exams start next week and I'm excited about it being over...its time to get focused on traveling :D

Touta said...

programmer craig,
shhhhhhhhhh, i'm trying *not* to end up looking like run lola run.

corey,
i don't think i'm prepared for exam season! :S
Good Luck!

Melantrys said...

Too tired to read any of the above comments.

Natural resistance to henna, eh? Good thing I am not suffering from that. *happily throws her red hair around*

Ok, I did see the first comment by my old nemesis, er, blog acquaintance Programmer Craig.

Like he said Holy Land, yadda, yadda, yadda (not that I am catholic.
But I am German, and I still do not understand how they could choose such a backward person as Ratzinger for Pope.
So hate him all you like. :)

Melantrys said...

P.S.: Skimmed through the comments after all.

Modern tattooing sounds a whole lot healthier (read mostly as: less painful) than the old Iraqi way.
Should you for some reason suddenly decide you want a tattoo, choose the modern way of getting it done but make sure the tattoo artist runs a clean place (proper sterilization of needles, wearing gloves etc, as various illnesses are indeed a risk).

Personally, I view tattoos as a form of permanent jewelry, and I am proudly wearing two.
(Ask Caesar if they look good or not... ;) )

Touta said...

melantrys,
i never hate anyone i havent yet met... :D
(*cough cough*)
german eh? *is tempted to unleash bad german at melantrys to show off*. :D
Old tattooing is waaay more painful than modern methods, which is why i was always told how tough village women were. The cut you, poke some burnt stuff in your skin, then press it down slowly. Over time, the tattoo turns a bluish colour because of the breakdown of the black burnt stuff.

As for tattoos....they are cool, but i am sticking to sticker tattoos, i'm far too indecisive to choose, and frankly, a little bit scared. :D

khalid jarrar said...

**KJ dropped by and wondered where the little crazy iraqi is and how come she havent updated her blog**

khalid jarrar said...

**KJ dropped by and wondered where the little crazy iraqi is and how come she havent updated her blog**

khalid jarrar said...

**KJ dropped by and wondered where the little crazy iraqi is and how come she havent updated her blog**

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Oh, sure, sure, she has time to skim through comments, but no time to update her blog. The pictures only lasted so long, Mel. The natives are getting restless. :D

attawie said...

Mel is here!

Yesterday I check Mel's blog hoping there would be an update. At lease we know she still remembers her password.


KJ, she's preparing for her exams and whenever I see her online or fb-ing I say "back to your books". Pray for her and don't encourage her to refresh the page.

:D

Touta, I know you're reading this from your hiding place ;) and you know that we missed your post so much but... yep same boring line. no need to copy and paste :P

all the best :)

Touta said...

KJ,
*touta is wondering why the comment was posted three times. Is KJ really that anxious to read my fabulous posts? :P*

Attawie,
hehehe, fbing sounds positively rude for some reason. :D
oops, *runs back under blanket*. I *swear* I'm revising.... *cough cough*. :D thanks.

Melantrys said...

Well, I could start a lengthy discussion on tattoos and ppl's varying pain thresholds, but, nah....

I know why Khalid commented thrice btw.... men and technology.... *rolls eyes*

(@Lynnette: Shush, you!
I could post some photos of the weeds that are growing like crazy atm, lol.)

attawie said...

Touta,
KJ refreshed his page recently. I sense he wants us to pay a visit.

Hmmm, I'll believe you and trust your word touta, that you ARE revising.

Mel,
lol

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

KJ, she's preparing for her exams and whenever I see her online or fb-ing I say "back to your books".-

Aha! That explains it. Attawie strikes again! :D Keep up the good work. We want nothing short of a perfect score from Touta. ;) (No pressure, Touta. lol! )

(@Lynnette: Shush, you!
I could post some photos of the weeds that are growing like crazy atm, lol.)
-

Weeds! Aaargh! Careful, Mel, or I'll start posting excerpts from some of my trashy romances in your comments section. lol!

Hmmm...course maybe that would draw Caesar out of retirement...:D

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Scratch that Caesar's retiremnt line. I see he has actually put up a post again. :)

khalid jarrar said...

"fbing sounds positively rude for some reason"

hahahahah:D horrible, hoeeible iraqi!

atta! stop boring the innocent child!

lynette, hello there:D

MYLANTRISSSS!!! noway you are still alive!!! how are you crazy german i almost miss you! :D

programmer craig said...

But I am German, and I still do not understand how they could choose such a backward person as Ratzinger for Pope.Lol. It still surprises me to hear Germans say things like that. Just yesterday there was a German on Iranian.com talking about how unbelievable it was for an Iranian Muslim to have been excluded from an award that was intended to promote religious tolerance after he called Christians idol worshipers. He/she said that seemed like something that could only happen in a backwards country like the US, and shouldn't happen in a liberal country like Germany.

Melantrys, both of my Grandfathers fought in World War II. One of them is still alive. It wasn't that long ago. I know you didn't say anything about the US (this time!) but I really get tired of Germans talking about the US like we're the Nazis, when we're actually the ones who stopped the Nazis.

Melantrys said...

Craig, no-one's saying the nazis shouldn't have been stopped. (Ohhhkay, there are ppl saying that, but those ppl's opinion doesn't hold any value for me...)
This country's history is the main reason I do not understand deep-rooted patriotic feelings, as I sure don't have any concerning mine.

Nazi is a word that gets used way too often these days and out of context as well.
Still, I am of the opinion that George Bush lied and invaded and thoroughly disrupted a country based on those lies.
And I still hold that it is a fact that experts on the region warned him of just marching in there with no plan, predicting exactly the sectarian trouble that followed. (Mind you, they didn't all say "Don't invade". Enough said "Just don't march in there with no plan; think your actions after the displacing of Saddam thoroughly through first, please.") He chose not to listen, which was another wrong, and which also puts a part of the blame of the Iraqi civilian deaths on his shoulders.
For some Iraqis that wrong may surprisingly one day transform into a brighter future... if they're not dead by then, that is...
Also, some soldiers committed crimes (not to mention Blackwater....). I am aware that this is a sad fact of war, no matter who is doing the soldiering, but that still doesn't mean we should accept the explanation as an apology and not punish those that commit crimes.
Guantanamo is a crime, and it's about time the circus that is now facing Obama has an end (and that Obama remembers there are other places just as outside the law as the infamous Guantanamo and closes those too).

I do not generalize though.
A (former) president and a few soldiers dehumanizing the populace of a country they're stationed in just that notch too much don't make every American the devil.

But let's not start any flaming wars here again. :P
I was quite content with our truce.

Sorry, Touta, very long comment, and not at all about henna or tattoos. Also, I am forced to use something other than OpenID, as Blogger (and not for the first time) is having a severe hickup concerning OpenID. Why can't everyone have their blogs elsewhere? :P

Touta said...

melantrys,
not at all, it was really interesting reading the debate. :) Since i have to do german history (in german :S), i like reading the preconceived ideas about war etc both old and modern. :)


khalid,
haha, you have a habit of calling everyone crazy....*cough cough*. We're not. Honest.;)

pfft. three weeks left of these exams. During this time, i shall unleash said worries through excessive fbing (hehehe) and commenting. :))

programmer craig said...

Craig, no-one's saying the nazis shouldn't have been stopped. *

Mel, I was trying to get at the fact that young Germans today seem to think they hold the moral high ground, for some weird reason. A fairly large part of your population was alive during World War II. For the younger generations, it was their parents or grandparents that OUR parents and grandparents fought against. If we're going to close the book on the past that's fine - but all that happened in living memory so it isn't OK (at least it isn't OK with me!) if Germans re-invent themselves as the good guys, at my country's expense :p

Still, I am of the opinion that George Bush lied and invaded and thoroughly disrupted a country based on those lies.*

Well, I didn't support the invasion of Iraq but I have to tell you I thought Saddam still had WMD. Can you honestly say that you didn't? As for the Bush Admin, I don't think they deliberately lied, though I do think they exaggerated the evidence.

And I still hold that it is a fact that experts on the region warned him of just marching in there with no plan, predicting exactly the sectarian trouble that followed.*

Not sure what that has to do with your previous point. If the war had been justified, would this have made it unjustified, somehow? I ask, because while I didn't support the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I would have supported the invasion of Iraq in 1991. Sectarian violence or not.

(Mind you, they didn't all say "Don't invade". Enough said "Just don't march in there with no plan; think your actions after the displacing of Saddam thoroughly through first, please.")*

Yeah, I have to admit the incompetence the administration showed in the early days of the occupation is pretty appalling.

...but that still doesn't mean we should accept the explanation as an apology and not punish those that commit crimes.*

I agree. But the US has prosecuted hundreds of people for committing crimes in Iraq. You think we're let a lot go unpunished?

Guantanamo is a crime...*

I don't agree with you there. There's nothing "criminal" about a POW camp.

I do not generalize though.*

I'm not sure if I've ever seen you do that or not, but a lot of Germans talk like their shit don't stink and like the US is the worst country ever and stuff like that. I'm not buying it. And, I get suspicious whenever I see a German passing some sort of moral judgment about others, which is why I commented here earlier.

But let's not start any flaming wars here again. :P*

That wasn't my intention. You were just the unlucky German who commented on a blog I read after I ran into that German assclown on Iranian.com :p

David said...

Hi Touta,

It seems that your blog is a major nexus of the Iraqi Blogosphere! :)

I never heard before that some Iraqi women have tribal tattoos. Do the men have tattoos too? Can you provide a link where I can see some of these tattoos?

Why does everyone want to dye your hair? Are your relatives trying to get you married? ;)

Maybe I ask too many questions, but the topics here are interesting.

Good luck with your exams!

Melantrys said...

@ Craig:
Not sure what that has to do with your previous point. If the war had been justified, would this have made it unjustified, somehow?I 'spose, but I rather meant it the other way around, sort of, i.e. the war was unjustified, but did he at least have the decency to get a proper briefing (and heed it) before unjustly waltzing in there? No.

Well, as ppl are being held in Guantanamo without a trial, and even some military lawyers pointed out that they consider a huge number of the inmates totally innocent, I cannot agree with you there.

Well, as I see it, a lot of the younger generation here are of the opinion that they were born way after the war, and aren't to blame ('course not), and are for some reason annoyed that teachers debate the subject in various subjects.
They're sick of it being "over-discussed".
Maybe they do have a bit of a point (For example I think it just doesn't do to dredge up the old Nazi history every time a German "dares" to criticize America or Israel. YES, it happened, and it was wrong, but that doesn't mean our nation as a whole has to just keep their collective mouths shut if they consider something somebody else does to be morally wrong.), but for as long as there's a breed of new fascists every generation my opinion is that the topic isn't being discussed enough yet at school.

My parents were kids during the war, and have seen things kids shouldn't have to see during their displacement and flight.

I guess that puts the ppl of fighting age back then more in the grandfather range, thus lowering the number of ppl still alive today, but whatever, I do agree that a genocide (Does that term really apply to religious "cleansing"?) of that magnitude should not simply be forgotten.

Well, Touta, I am a very senile old woman (just ask Caesar, but better not call me old or he'll get angry at you ;) ), so better not ask me about any correct dates, numbers, etc, but feel free to ask me stuff.

And why hasn't *$%*§$&*§* Google Blogger gotten rid of the OpenID glitch yet?!?!?!?!?!

Touta said...

David,
I don't know what nexus means! *panics*. I'll wikipedia it later. :D

Women have tribal tattoos in Iraq, but men don't have tribal tattoos. Some men do have tattoos, but they're never the tribal ones, but are modern and just tattoos, whereas the tribal ones on women mean a whole lot more. For exam, some iraqi women have a tribal tattoo around their belly button to secure safe births etc.

As for the hair dying, when you start university in Iraq its a big thing. Students over here are not like students in the west-since university is the first time where males and females are mixed, everyone dresses as well as they can-guys wear ironed trousers, shirts and shiny shoes, and girls wear high heels and have their hair dyed.

essentially to a lot of people, university is where the iraqi dating/relationship game begins, and my relatives who want to dye my hair are the tribal ones, who merely see university as the place to meet future husbands, rather than as an educational institute.

phew, hope that helped. :D

Melantrys,
i also think that nazi germany is ridiculously over emphasised- during my secondary school years in the UK, the topics were Britains history and world history-for world history we learnt about nazi germany. And this was for three years. Now if you go to a 11 year old and ask them whatthey know about germany, i guarentee they will say hitler.
what happened to the history of the yugoslavian war? the finding of the west indies? the continual independence struggle in south america?

and why would i call you old in the first place? if anyone's old its me-i have the mind of an 70 year old trapped in the body of a 17 year old. :))

programmer craig said...

Well, as ppl are being held in Guantanamo without a trial, and even some military lawyers pointed out that they consider a huge number of the inmates totally innocent, I cannot agree with you there.Melantrys, trials are not customary for prisoners of war. It isn't a criminal act to fight in a war, or to be captured. This wouldn't have even been an issue if the Bush Admin had simply classified them as Prisoners of War in the first place. But then they would have had full Geneva Convention protections and I guess they didn't want that. In any case, PoW camps are perfectly legal under international law. They are even discussed extensively in the Geneva Conventions.

Are you trying to compare it to a German Concentration camp in World War II? Do you think that is appropriate?

Well, as I see it, a lot of the younger generation here are of the opinion that they were born way after the war, and aren't to blame ('course not), and are for some reason annoyed that teachers debate the subject in various subjects.*

To blame? No, they aren't at fault if they were born after the war, no. But where does their sense of righteous anger against the US come from? Who taught them right and wrong? Their parents and grandparents, right? The people who ARE at fault for what Germany did during WWII.

I just have a problem with people whose parents and grandparents perpetrated the most hideous barbarities in modern history acting as if they are morally superior to Americans.

They're sick of it being "over-discussed".*

But they aren't sick of discussing how evil the US is, eh? lol.

Maybe they do have a bit of a point (For example I think it just doesn't do to dredge up the old Nazi history every time a German "dares" to criticize America or Israel.*
Why not? It isn't ancient history. My mother was born in 1945 while her father was away at war. My dad was born in 1942 while his father was away at war. As I said before, if we are to put the past behind us that is fine, but it is hard to forget what germans did 60 some odd years ago, when Germans are today acting as if they stand on moral high ground.

And, why don't Germans expect Palestinians and other Arabs to forget what happened in 1948? As you say, it was a long time ago! Right? ;p

YES, it happened, and it was wrong, but that doesn't mean our nation as a whole has to just keep their collective mouths shut if they consider something somebody else does to be morally wrong.)You're right. But there is a difference between speaking out against something you view as wrong, and acting as if you are superior. A German superiority complex is what empowered Hitler in the first place, and it's a shame we see it resurfacing in a different form today. Do you disagree?

...but for as long as there's a breed of new fascists every generation my opinion is that the topic isn't being discussed enough yet at school.Maybe it isn't being discussed properly? I don't see much humility in Germans I encounter on the internet. I lived in Germany for about 6 months back in the 1990s and I found them to be very nice people. However, my Chinese ex-wife who was with me reported an entirely different experience. I think of that, every time I see a German accuse Americans of racism, you know. My ex, being a minority in both the US and in Germany, makes for a pretty good test subject in my opinion.

My parents were kids during the war, and have seen things kids shouldn't have to see during their displacement and flight.OK. To be honest, I feel more sorry for the other Europeans who weer kids during that war, but I can also sympathize with innocent Germans.

programmer craig said...

Touta,

...the finding of the west indies? the continual independence struggle in south america? *

I can't speak for the British, but American kids do learn about all that stuff in World History :)

Actually I think if anything we kinda glossed over World War II when I was in school. But maybe it was still to recent to merit extensive coverage in world history classes, back then. Seems like the main focus was on Rome, Greece, Egypt and medieval Europe.

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Touta,

"i have the mind of an 70 year old trapped in the body of a 17 year old"

Agreed!
I discovered this fact long time ago, say at least 60 years ago when you were just 10 years old.

A new scientific study suggested that more time is now spent by some bloggers during their exams on commenting rather than
writing for the blog itself.

Take care,

Melantrys said...

But then they would have had full Geneva Convention protections and I guess they didn't want that.No, they chose to keep them in a state of limbo outside of everything that might grant them some rights... and off American soil for exactly that purpose.

I have not been comparing that place to a concentration camp. Guantanamo is nasty but far from a CC....

It's been a while longer than WW2 but I was talking about valid criticism brought forth in an orderly manner that tends to get the answer "Well, you're the one to voice criticism, with your history!", so it often feels like it'd be the same to tell you for saying Germany was in the wrong during Hitler's time that you'd better shut up cos your nation embraced slavery.
Not in living memory, but you can't deny it still effects part of the relationships between black and white ppl in America.
Get my point? A past mistake does not exclude whole nations from the right to voice a valid opinion at a later time...

Ah, but now you're doing exactly what you're acusing today's young Germans of....: you're blaming the whole adult German nation of the time of WW2 for what happened then.
YES, too many applauded or didn't do anything. I don't really grasp the concept behind it, but if you haven't yet, maybe you should read the book "The Wave", which explains how even normal ppl could get sucked into such a system... It's a very scary book, especially considering why that teacher started the experiment...

Anyway, I have no reason to be ashamed of my grandparents.
I never met either of my grandfathers; one died in Stalingrad as fuel to a war he never believed in (as a matter of fact he and a brother once donned red shirts and went and beat up some nazis...), the other managed to refuse to join the party and still keep his post in some farmers' union thing of the region (but only cos someone yet higher up protected him), and even got himself into trouble for daring to say that he couldn't give any old clothes to the army cos he had to cloth his workers and the Polish PoW they had assigned to him for farm work. ("Are you implying that your dirty PoW is more important than our brave young lads?! How dare you!" Whoops....)
Some of us have ancestors they need not be ashamed of, you know.

I don't think that a superiority complex is resurfacing here, no.
No clue how gleeful the criticism you have heard from ppl is, but keep in mind that ppl on the internet often don't act their most polite best. If I were to judge American ppl by some of the stuff I have seen uttered on the internet by Americans I'd have to conclude that the US is full of fascist, religiously fanatic lunatics. I strongly doubt that though. ;)

Not that seeming to be a nice person excludes anyone from being an idiot.
For instance, a colleague of mine generally is a nice enough woman, but is constantly bickering with her eldest son because of him having Turkish and Arabic friends.

Stupidity is not dying out here, much to my regret, but we do have normal ppl too.

Melantrys said...

You know, Craig, while I was out pruning some hapless shrubs, I've been thinking.

Maybe a lot of the perception of self-righteousness lies in the eye of the beholder.
If criticism comes from "an outsider" maybe we are more inclined to feel attacked and looked down upon.
I sure know that the way you talk about Germany feels rather self-righteous to me and surprisingly - me usually being the first to badmouth Germany and the Germans, past and present - always makes that tiny little spark of national identity, that until recently I didn't even know I had, flare up and prod me into actually defending Germany and the Germans.

So, as I said above, maybe a lot depends on who's doing the criticizing.
"Who are you to call my momma fat? I am the only one who's allowed to say so." ;)

Er. Say, Touta, how's the weather?

Touta said...

programmer craig,
in the UK, virtually most of the history of europe was history on Nazi Germany, i'm glad its different in the US.

Khalid,
Hello! Hahaha, your comment is indeed correct, and factually true. :DI have so much to write about because so much is happening i do not know where to begin!
Best wishes.

Melantrys,
Its extremely cold,cloudy and rainy, but at least i now have 24 hour electricity and clean water. :D
The other day....i used a hair dryer!! :O
Wie ist das Wetter In Deutschland?
;)

Melantrys said...

Pffffffff, frag' bloß nicht!

Sonnig und warm, dann plötzlich kalt und stürmisch mit Regen, dann wieder warm....

Ich glaube, ich habe mir jede Menge Sonnenbräune UND eine Erkältung geholt im Garten heute.

:D

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Hi, Khalid. :)

Mel and Craig,

Very interesting discussion you are having.

Just wanted to say one thing about people you meet on the internet. It seems that those people who frequent the political blogs tend to be the most passionate, and one might say opinionated, sectors of the population. And it is very easy to let your emotions run away with you when you comment because you are somewhat anonymous.

I know I have run into some very unpleasant people that I would not want to consider representative of their various countries of origin.

programmer craig said...

Hi Mel,

Maybe a lot of the perception of self-righteousness lies in the eye of the beholder.Dunno! You tell me. This is the part of the comment from Iranian.com that set me off:

[I must apologize I´m sure that both my summary and translation show latent Germanism ;)]

By the way, this can happen in a banana republic like the USA or Saudi Arabia, but should not happen in a liberal and cultural improved country like Germany. Navid Kermani´s article was not the right piece, although excellent, to support the interreligious dialague, but still it must be possible to talk about it and not behave childishly sanctioning an award.
*

Am I wrong to feel offended by that?

I'll reply to the rest in another comment.

programmer craig said...

If criticism comes from "an outsider" maybe we are more inclined to feel attacked and looked down upon.*

That post which the comment was made under had nothing to do with the US. It was about some kind of award in Germany that an Iranian Muslim had been disqualified from getting. And then some German dickhead shows up and starts insulting the US, for no reason?

That's out of line :p

I sure know that the way you talk about Germany feels rather self-righteous to me and surprisingly - me usually being the first to badmouth Germany and the Germans, past and present - always makes that tiny little spark of national identity, that until recently I didn't even know I had, flare up and prod me into actually defending Germany and the Germans.I guess I'd have to go search the archives on a few blogs to be sure, but I think our first exchange was when you were insulting Americans. So don't play the victim, now :o

So, as I said above, maybe a lot depends on who's doing the criticizing.That's right. It does. It pisses me off when the British make fun of Americans, because the British are supposed to be our friends. And it pisses me off when Germans criticize Americans, because they have no moral high ground to stand on. For everyone else, they can say what they want and it won't bother me much.

So anyway I answered these out of order! I'll check your earlier comment now :o

programmer craig said...

Hi Lynette,

Yes, I think you are right about people on the blogs, and maybe on any online forum. People act in ways that aren't really "them". I've run into people online that I thought were jerks, who ended up being nice people. And the other way around, too! I try not to worry about it any more, and just take what people are saying at face value.

Mel,

It's been a while longer than WW2 but I was talking about valid criticism brought forth in an orderly manner that tends to get the answer "Well, you're the one to voice criticism, with your history!", so it often feels like it'd be the same to tell you for saying Germany was in the wrong during Hitler's time that you'd better shut up cos your nation embraced slavery.*

People say that all the time about the US. You'd almost think the US was the only country that ever had slavery, eh? But anyone who has read a history book knows better.

Not in living memory, but you can't deny it still effects part of the relationships between black and white ppl in America.*

Considering blacks are also Americans, and considering that most Americans come from families that weren't even living here when slavery was still practiced, do you think it's correct to slam the country as a whole for that?

In any case, that's at least a valid criticism :)

Get my point? A past mistake does not exclude whole nations from the right to voice a valid opinion at a later time...*

As I said before, it isn't the criticism that is the problem. It is the superior attitude.

Ah, but now you're doing exactly what you're acusing today's young Germans of....: you're blaming the whole adult German nation of the time of WW2 for what happened then.
YES, too many applauded or didn't do anything. I don't really grasp the concept behind it, but if you haven't yet, maybe you should read the book "The Wave", which explains how even normal ppl could get sucked into such a system... It's a very scary book, especially considering why that teacher started the experiment...
*

So, now I should try to understand what made Germans act the way they did in World War II, while at the same time Germans are all over the internet being intolerant of "fascist' America? lol.

Some of us have ancestors they need not be ashamed of, you know.*

Of course.

If I were to judge American ppl by some of the stuff I have seen uttered on the internet by Americans I'd have to conclude that the US is full of fascist, religiously fanatic lunatics. I strongly doubt that though. ;)*

Yes, but that's the problem isn't it? What gives so many Germans the idea that they have the right to publicly and offensively pass judgment on America? I don't see many Americans on the blogs talking that way about Germany (or any other country really, except maybe Iraq, Iran, couple others) so what's the deal? Are you guys just so much better than us that you feel a need to let the whole world know that if you were in charge everything would be better? Even though everyone saw what things are like when Germans are in charge, not that long ago?

Stupidity is not dying out here, much to my regret, but we do have normal ppl too.*

I know. I met a lot of good people in Germany. Some of them even came to visit us in the US. Anyway, thanks for having it out with me on this one. I know I've been saying some offensive things :)

Melantrys said...

I hope this comment doesn't turn out to be complete gibberish, considering that I have been dozing off in front of my pc like some old granny only a couple of minutes ago....

Hhhhhhhhm. That German comment is a tough one.
If it were coming from me it could even have been sarcasm (and, yeah, even a few Germans apart from my lonely self are capable of using sarcasm) that was actually aimed at Germany. Ugh, I am too tired to explain that any better right now.
Not knowing that person, one must assume it was a snide comment at the US packed into his criticism of Germany though.

I guess I'd have to go search the archives on a few blogs to be sure, but I think our first exchange was when you were insulting Americans. So don't play the victim, now :oAhaha. But that's the point, actually: I wasn't. I was merely criticizing the way you were criticizing Iraqis' rights to complain about the current situation, and then plunged into reasons for them to be having every right to, including some of the stuff I also said here.
When you exploded into my face and called me "the abusive German person" I re-read my comments and could find no abuse.
Then I asked Shawn (whom I had hardly had a private word with at that time, and whom I considered to be impartial, what with him being Canadian and all) to read my comments, and he couldn't find any abuse either.

People say that all the time about the US.
(...)
Considering blacks are also Americans, and considering that most Americans come from families that weren't even living here when slavery was still practiced, do you think it's correct to slam the country as a whole for that?
Hhhhm, that was the reason I likened that to "Who are you to criticize, you person from the Nazi country".

So, now I should try to understand what made Germans act the way they did in World War II, while at the same time Germans are all over the internet being intolerant of "fascist' America? lol.That was merely meant to point out that not even all who participated in Hitler Germany have necessarily been evil ppl and unrelated to any Germans of today annoying you. :P

If you really don't know "The Wave", short summary: American history class learns about nazi Germany, pupils say "How could they let that happen?!", teacher starts experiment on them and turns school into a mini nazi state. He himself even gets drawn in way too deep, riding on the feeling of power. And this actually happened. In the US. The book is not fiction.
F'ing scary....

I know I've been saying some offensive things :)Yup, that you have, let's talk about the weather as well, shall we.

Melantrys said...

And why is *&%%&*&*/&$* Blogger not only still having the OpenID bug, but constantly eating the breaks after the "end italics" code?????!*glares*

programmer craig said...

That one has been bugging the hell out of me too, Mel :)

David said...

Don't worry Touta, a nexus is not a bad thing. ;) Actually, my meaning was that you seem to have a very popular blog. :)

It sounds like tribal tattoos on women might have some sort of magical symbolism. I suspect that they predate Islam. Is that correct?

Najma has talked some in her blog about how different it was to have males in her classes in her university. She is in her third year now and recently got engaged to one of her readers who was also a fellow student.

I see where you told Mel that you are 17 going on 70. :) Well, honestly, I am very surprised that you are only 17. Your writing style is very sophisticated and your thoughts seem quite mature.

Anyway, thanks for answering my questions. I expect there will be more. :)

Touta said...

melantrys,
aaahhh, you answered in german!!! I was going to reply in german too, but i found no umlauts on my keyboard and gave up halfway through copying and pasting umlauted letters. :D
So Germany has schizophrenic weather? UK does too. :S I'm starting to think that i just shouldnt leave the house anymore. :)


programmer craig,
i'm not sure what the open id is, but whatever isw going wrong it wasnt me...*shifty eyes*.

David,
yes, the predate Islam and are just a outstanding tradition of villages. You wouldnt find this in any cities. :)
Luckily for me, i have never been to a school that was not mixed boys and girls, but that means that the way i interact with people is sometimes misunderstood in Iraq, because i am used to mixed gender. :S Oh well.
and thank you, not many people call me sophisticated. :P

Melantrys said...

Well, Touta, you can always use ae for ä etc. ;)

Programmer Craig wasn't agreeing with me on the OpenID issue (as he has an account with Blogger he doesn't need that) but on the issue that Blogger is eating the breaks between paragraphs, if they are following a closing tag.

Something has been severely wrong with Blogger these past couple of days.
The problems with OpenID started 2 days ago, and since then I've been following their "Known Issues" (no update there since Thursday; they're probably too busy crying to post any updates on their problems...) and Help Forum.

Blogger is having a whole fascinating range of problems, from blogs not being displayed properly over blog owners being unable to delete spam comments to blogs disappearing.

So.

I guess you're lucky that only your comment section is having 2 comparatively minor bugs.

What annoys me is that - while I can comment on your blog as you also offer the name/url and anonymous options - I cannot comment on Caesar's blog anymore.
I don't have (or want) a Google email address and Blogger's OpenID function is broken.

*wonders when Blogger will finally manage to fix the mess and whether the poor ppl whose blogs disappeared will get them back or not* :|

Touta said...

Ja, ich kann ae benuetzen, aber ich habe schon gesagt, ich bin eine alte Fraulein, und natuerlich vergesse ich alles. :)

Wenn Sie an Caesar's blog gehen (Ich weiss nicht, was 'blog' ist in Deutsch :)) ), koennen Sie das CBox gespammen (es tut mir Leid, ich weiss auch nict, was 'to spam' ist in Deutsch) hehehe.

Seriously, maybe i should just give up on the german already and admit i havent revised it yet. :S
I will though....i will.... *shifty eyes*.

Melantrys said...

Ja, ich kann ae benuetzen, aber ich habe schon gesagt, ich bin eine alte Fraulein, und natuerlich vergesse ich alles. :)

.... z.B. das ä/ae in Fräulein. :P
Wobei eigentlich eher die Frauen alt sind und nicht die Fräuleins. (Und heutzutage sagt auch keiner mehr "Fräulein"; das ist inzwischen schon eher ein Schimpfwort.)

Öm, wenn du Deutsch mit mir redest, dann duz mich bitte, ja?

Meinst du wirklich, ich sollte auf Caesars Blog die CBox spammen gehen?
Das wäre aber nicht besonders nett.

Welcome to the new techno-German. A lot of computer and internet related words are simply the English ones.
Easy, eh? ;)

Touta said...

".... z.B. das ä/ae in Fräulein. :P"
Ja....natuerlich....O_o. hehehe

"(Und heutzutage sagt auch keiner mehr "Fräulein"; das ist inzwischen schon eher ein Schimpfwort.)".....
hmmmm, ich mag mich zu beleidigen.
Wahrscheinlich wegen der niedrigen Selbstwertgefuehl aus meiner kurzen Hoehe. :))

"dann duz mich bitte"...Ja sicher, es ist eine Ehre fuer mich. :)
*ich wischte eine Traene weg*

Techno german...reminded me of a youtube clip i saw. Sorry! :P

Oh and i beat you at spamming caesars cbox already. I think i'm off to attawie to spam hers now. :D

attawie said...

Touta and Mel :)

Warum nicht Sie zwei e-Mails austauschen und genießen Sie den Chat und Deutsch-Unterricht

If that makes any sense to you :D

*Waiting at her Cbox door with tootheyya in hand* :|

lol kidding :P we're welcome to spam in my Cbox anytime, oh and we've been distributing cake if you like some :P

David said...

I feel humbled in the presence of so many multi-lingual bloggers! I studied Latin for three years in high school, but I didn't learn to speak it. At one time, I was reasonably good at translating ancient Roman writings, but only if I had my Latin dictionary in my hands. ;) The American educational system leaves a lot to be desired!

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Я надеюсь, что вы изучаете на экзаменах.Я знаю, это не простой для вас, но я надеюсь, что вы это
делаете.Я хочу, чтобы вы гордились вашего успеха.

халид

khalid jarrar said...

Touta,

if i come here next time and dont find a post, not only that its possible that i would cry, but i could also send a bunch of my hareem after you.

so here you go, consider yourself officially threatened.

and i dont care what atta says, drop the damn book and go write something! grrrrrrrrr!

Touta said...

attawie,
i feel as if a private code has been deciphered! :O
i kid, but good idea. :)

David,
if you think america's education system is bad....think of Iraq's ;) My unfinished secondary school education in the uk covered like almost half of iraq's university course. :S

khalid, iraqblogupdates,
greek? latin?
Russian? weird blog language? whatever it is, google will decipher it. :)

khalid j,
:O
hmph, i cant believe you want another post when it took you months to update your blog. :P
Post coming soon though!
as for the crying....i might make the post late just to see such an event. :))

David said...

My public school education wasn't all bad. I had some very good teachers. Actually, my Latin teacher was one of the best. :) I was just thinking that in most countries of the world, students spend years really learning other languages. In America, that is rarely the case. I have had friends from various other countries who all spoke or wrote pretty good English, but I had no ability to speak or write their language.

I am surprised that you say that education in Iraq is not very good. Maybe I have gotten a false impression from a few Iraqi bloggers. From reading the blogs of Najma, Hnk, Attawie, Sunshine, Anarki13, and a few others, it seemed that they are either getting a very good education, or they have had a very good education in Iraq.

Touta said...

Davidm
as the war and fighting went on, many lecturers, teachers and educated people fled.
As time went on, more and more fled, and now in primary schools you get teachers who are just barely my age struggling to teach classes of either 50 or classes of 3.
Most students in Iraq depend on private teachers, and university professors are no better (some always arrive late, so don't arrive at all), and the curriculum leaves much to be desired. :)
As for people who learn different languages, for most its the necessity of moving to different countries, or just fun. :S

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Touta,

It's Russian and yes google is capable of dealing with the job of translation.

I just thought, seeing the many languages that are in use here + your behind-the-scenes leading rule, to write my thoughts in few Russian sentences.


Take care,

JG said...

In Ireland we learn own language (called Gaeilge or Irish) from the age of four and either French or German when we get to secondary school.

The motivation to learn these languages isn't really there and I'd say most people don't speak any of them especially well. But in countries in which English isn't the first language the motivation to learn English is obviously huge as it opens up so many opportunities.

I have a Maltese friend who quit school at the age of 13 yet speaks three languages fluently. It's not really a matter of the education system being good or bad but of motivation and a general attitude that learning languages is beneficial.

Hope the studying is going well for you, Touta. I'm finished my course now. Phew! The stress of the past two months nearly tipped me over the edge! ;)

programmer craig said...

David, I took Spanish for 2 years in high school and I live in an area (Los Angeles) where I hear people speaking Spanish just about everywhere I go, but my Spanish is pretty bad! And that's an understatement! I used to just claim I didn't have a talent for languages, but since I've never met an American who isn't hispanic who speaks Spanish better than me, I guess that doesn't really work. I think it's like JG said... a matter of attitude and motivation.

My ex-wife is Chinese and she had a white-girl friend who spoke Cantonese. I'll never forget the open-mouthed shock of the staff when she'd talk to them in Cantonese whenever we went out to eat in Chinatown. That's pretty good evidence in my mind just how rare it is for an American to speak Cantonese, anyway :)

nadia said...

Americans have no excuse to not learn spanish IMO, and it's a fun language anyways, but yeah anglophones on this continent are terrible at it.

Touta said...

khalid,
i translated it thanks, and i laughed at " your behind-the-scenes leading rule", because i'm not leading, i just talk too much. :D
Best wishes, and its very interesting that you know russian, it seems a very difficult language to learn. :)

JG,
I didn't think of it that way before, but yes, countries which aren't particularly nice to live in, there's motivation to better yourself by learning.
You've finished? Words can't justly describe my jealousy. ;)

Programmer craig,
there's a chinese restaurant in Baghdad, where we have to book 2 weeks in advance its that popular. Its run by a chinese couple who speak only Cantonese. As a result a few of the iraqi waiters can now muster their way through cantonese sentences.

Touta said...

nadia, terrible at spanish?
It always amuses me to see KKK on the tv sometimes, when they fail to realise the origins of America and well who lived there first, but i suppose this happens everywhere...it just happens more when a country faces trouble (bombings, economic crises) that racism and anger erupts, probably in a bid to find someone to blame. :)

nadia said...

They are terrible at learning languages in general, but like JG said they don't really need to, honestly I forget that so many people I talk to on the internet have english as their 2nd or third language cause they write so well.
Oh damn I saw a while back people were actually protesting that some school somewhere in the south was introducing spanish classes, but that attitude definitely isn't the norm. Lots of people will take a language for a couple of years and just forget everything once they graduate, unless they are going to work with a lot of people that speak it.

And yeah weirdos like that exist everywhere, take the BNP or gangs in Moscow, we have like that in Canada too. It's just important to remember that they're the extreme and not the norm.

nadia said...

we have *groups* like that in Canada, I meant.

.it just happens more when a country faces trouble (bombings, economic crises) that racism and anger erupts, probably in a bid to find someone to blame. :)Yeah, this is unfortunately true :/

Touta said...

"And yeah weirdos like that exist everywhere, take the BNP or gangs in Moscow".

After watching Eastern Promises i went through a phase of reading as much as i could on gangs in general, from the badr brigade in iraq, to crips and bloods.
Weirdos exist everywhere. Perhaps we should round them up and deport them back to where they came from. ;)

nadia said...

Yeah, I agree that stuff can be fascinating in a trainwreck kind of way. Also, depressing.

JG said...

Very depressing, Nadia. There was a series about gangs on Sky a while back. I saw one episode on Polish soccer hooligans. It is frightening how utterly insane these people are!

there's a chinese restaurant in Baghdad, where we have to book 2 weeks in advance its that popularCool! I remember reading about that restaurant in the newspaper two or three years ago when it opened. I actually wondered once or twice if it was still going.

And they only speak Chinese? My friend's mother has been in Ireland 30 years and still hardly speaks English. Crazy!

nadia said...

I went through a phase where I was fascinated by Russian fascists despite that I'm probably never going to visit there. Actually we had some nazi vandalism issues around here in areas primarily of Eastern European immigrants. I try to keep in mind that most racism is expressed in way more subtle ways than that, though.

I always wondered if anyone made any movies about football hooligans that are like the UK equivalent to Slapshot. If not, someone totally needs to.

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Touta,

Thanks and no doubt you could say you're not leading the show but the reality you are, may be in your subconscious then.

I lived in Moscow for few years and learnt Russian language in the streets of Moscow talking to old people about the time of war and to the young people about other things. Russian is a tough language but once you start talking you'll get Ras AL Shelilah
راس الشليلة the tip of the thread.

Take care,

Touta said...

nadia,
there are movies about the footbal hooligans, the ones i've watched being Green Street and the Football Factory.

JG,
yes, last time i went i heard they're thinking of opening a branch in Mansour, although i don't know how anyone can tell since they only speak cantonese and iraqis don't. :S
:) I love the funny things that happen between people due to different languages, its fun to watch.

Khalid,
Moscow?! Wow, i've always wanted to visit there, because the architechture and history is amazing. Perhaps we can read some of your stories about an Iraqi living in Moscow one day. :)
Best wishes.

programmer craig said...

Touta, its so cool that you have a chinese restaurant in Baghdad where the proprietors only speak chinese! I'd love to hear their story and how they ended up there.

JG,

And they only speak Chinese? My friend's mother has been in Ireland 30 years and still hardly speaks English. Crazy!*

My ex's parents moved to the US when they were in their 40s and they never learned English. That was 30 years ago! The kids all speak English perfectly though, except for my ex-wife who has a bit of an accent. She's the oldest and was high school age when they left China. I guess age matters when it comes to learning languages.

nadia said...

Where's the first restaurant set up. I'd say that is crazy but I have a cousin who married a Japanese living in the middle east so it's not that weird I guess. But still weird enough.

I def heard of Football Factory but I never got around to checking it out for some reason, I so need to get on that. I watched some really bad movie on British racists a while back called This is England-do not recommend.

Touta said...

Programmer craig,
i go back there very soon, so i'll ask around and perhaps 'borrow' some stuff from their restaurant to take photos of. :)

Nadia,
too late, i already watched This is England, its got a weird storyline, and its kind of sad how the little kid has to watch that skinhead losing it.

Khalid from iraqiblogupdates.blogspot.com/ said...

Touta,

Mosocw or MOCKBA and the B is compatible to V in English then it's MOSKAVA, one of the largest and the most beautiful cities in the world. The city centre is a mixture of of old -Red Square & the Kremlin- and new -Arbatskaya- architecture which reflects Russia's troubled history.Surely worth a visit.

As to the stories I'm busy at the moment finishing the last part of Salman Kajakjy and writing Katiosha. I have kept in my memory too many stories from my time in Moscow and I hope to write some of them in the near future.

Take care,

JG said...

Craig,

There's a bit about that Chinese restaurant here:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article3247908.ece

It's a cool story. I say kudos to them for being brave (nutty?!) enough to do what they did and I'm glad to hear their business is doing well.

On the subject of Chinese people not learning English, I think it's sad to live in a country and not be able to converse meaningfully with your neighbors. I suppose they stick to their own communities and that's enough for them but it wouldn't be for me, that's for sure. I'm too nosey!

programmer craig said...

Thanks for the link, JG... I'll check it out soon as I'm done for the day :)

On the subject of Chinese people not learning English, I think it's sad to live in a country and not be able to converse meaningfully with your neighbors. I suppose they stick to their own communities and that's enough for them but it wouldn't be for me, that's for sure. I'm too nosey!Oh, the young people all learn English! It's mostly the older generations who don't bother learning for whatever reason. And here in LA there are whole suburbs that are 95% (or more) Chinese, so it's not a big problem. They seem quite happy, my former in-laws. I hope I'm as contented when I'm that age and retired. Although, I doubt I could sit through that much majong :o

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