Friday, 24 July 2009

Bored I am

I'm alone again. I’m 18 :D. Its 6am, and it seems i have developed a very bad habit of staying awake until the sun slashes the sky with red and orange.

I lack passion. It seems everything these days seems so trivial and meaningless to me and i don't know why. I swear I’m almost approaching a catatonic state.

The romantic heavens opening each sunrise to let your dreams wander above, the deep prayer call resonating in the dark, the red and orange landscape fused with crumbling but proud buildings. Your senses are always assaulted by the most overpowering scenes and smells. The dream like state you feel yourself in. The list can go on forever, and you would still not understand.

At the same time, the very things that i hated, are the things that i secretly long to see. I want to see the tiny lizards walking on the ceiling. I want to see the layer of red sand that would engulf every possible thing. Swirling sands keeping the whole city still. I want to feel the waves of heat that tire you out, before your day has even begun.

There is no place like home. I have learnt the majority of Iraqis have a love hate relationship with Iraq. But what that really means is we yearn for Iraq. There is no hate, just an empty resentment that life couldn’t be different. That it’s taking so damn long.

I lost my flag the other day, in the mess of travelling. I felt such a deep remorse, that i would have grieved for it, and wore black for a day. The badly sown piece of fabric had been with me for so long. It had re enforced me through times of feeling lost, calmed me through irrepressible anger. It almost seemed to define who i was at one point. Everyone has something which reminds them of their very foundation. I went on a mission to find another flag. Every day i became more agitated. Almost afraid that if I didn’t replace it, i would lose my identity.

The queues are endless, the vocabulary of the people now resembles a almost South Park-like frequency of swear words. Baghdad has piles of rubbish rotting on pavements in most areas, even next to some of the most prestigious hotels and streets. Old men sit on white plastic chairs, sipping tea whilst commenting on the messed up generation of today. Young guys walk around street corners irritably, as if waiting for something that will never happen. Girl’s loud laughter rings through your ears, as their strong perfume wafts into your nose, even though they are meters away. Children sell you sweets or cling onto their mothers, their eyes yet unfilled by a childhood lost.

Is it possible to love something that brings back so many bad memories? That leaves a bitter taste in your mouth? And instead of any emotion, all you feel is a longing? Passion? It is possible, though at times, it would be easier if it wasn't. Iraq is the first place that i learnt how to smile. How to laugh. How to see beauty.

I often forget, amongst the sour scenes of Iraq, we all learned to appreciate life that little bit more with every round of gun fire, with every smashed window, with every dark stranger lurking.

It also instilled this great fear in me. This aching fear that i need to do everything now. Achieve all that i wanted now, before i ran out of time. Do good, do bad, be stupid. I rarely thought about anything, and acted on impulse. (I still do, these days, it seems i have no moral sense of right and wrong anymore)

These days are Iraq is seen as a political orgy. I rarely see people refer to Iraq as a country, a Land, a Home.

My Home.


programmer craig said...

Hi Touta! Glad to see you back to your blog.

You sound nostalgic more than anything. You are way too young to be living in the past, even if you are 18 now :P

Leave it to those old guys in their white chairs!

On a serious note, I have noticed that traumatic experiences can create a kind of perverse longing... or fascination... or something. Not sure what that's all about, but it's there. This is a common problem that war vets with PTSD have. They can't get the source of their pain out of their head, and a lot of them want to go back to that place because they feel like it's the only place they belong. Even though they hate it, and hate the memories. Maybe some Iraqis are experiencing something similar.

Hey that was a nice video. I'm not sure what I was watching, but I enjoyed watching it :)

Khalid from said...

Dear Touta,

I feel sad reading all your contradicted thoughts and confused feelings.

Your words are elegant that you made me cry and in particular your sorrow on losing our national flag.I hope that you got the replacement flag by now.I want to believe that your lost flag is looked after by a fellow Iraqi citizen.

I don't know what is best to say but surely I will pray for you to come out of this difficult crisis in much better spirit and strength.

I feel strongly that you are a gifted Iraqi girl who wil make a solid bridge over this troubled water to success and glory.

May ALLLAH be with you today and everyday!

JG said...


Hope you had a happy birthday. Best wishes.

افتَرحيموني said...

يايابة هاي الأغنية شكد قديمة كلبت امعائي كلُب!!! عبالك تفلزيون العراق رجع من جدة وجديد

Touta said...

programmer craig,
the video isnt really important, its the song, which is about longing to return, and being away from the ones you love.
I agree with you, its not just some iraqis but probably most of them. I'm not going to deny that you may even probably be right, but i dont see any way of changing the thoughts of millions of people, it may be perhaps why iraq is struggling ti socially improve. :)

thank you, i'm very humbled by your words, and i do like to think that my flag is flying into the sunset somewhere. :D Thank you, and i hope i didnt make you sad too much... :)

Finally! thats the first birthday wish i've got (blog wise) and you get kudos for spotting my not so subtle hint. :D thanks,and best wishes too.

مو يابة ؟ شمدريني ليش جتي في عقلي . بس أغنية حلوة والله
ما فتهميت معنى اسمك

mhmd said...

ummmmmm, stay well? I heard u'v been to not so respectable places in syria, aren't u going 2 share the stories? ;)

good post, but wat i really wanna say is 'women and their hormones'.
Now excuse me while i go hide..

khalid jarrar said...

speaking of hormons, did she just say orgy?


JG said...

Yes very subtle, Touta, four words into the post! Haha!

As mhmd says, let's have some stories about your travels! :)

Touta said...

who told you?! i've thought about posting it soon-ish. it kind of depressed me. :(

hormones?! hormones?! oh i'm going to get very hormonal on such machomen. *throws a fit and shouts at a speed of 100 words a second*

i cant seem to find a word other than orgy to represent the mess. :P

Touta said...

four whole words?! thats subtle for me. ;)
okay okay. ;P

pepe said...

"So in planning a new picture we don't think of grown-ups and we don't think of children. But just of that fine clean unspoiled spot down deep in every one of us that maybe the world has made us forget and that maybe our pictures can help recall." - Walt Disney

I believe in the existence of this spot and also that our mother country has a perpetual place in it. Maybe the world made your fellow iraqis forget it for while, but it will always be there. :)

nadia said...

Hey I noticed you were fishing for birthday wishes, when I got around to reading this. Happy birthday,

JG said...

Hey I noticed you were fishing for birthday wishes

Nadia! She was not. What on earth gave you that idea? ;)

Touta said...

aah, its good to hear from you, and when i read the quote i kind of understood my longing a bit more now. :) thanks

"Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do."Jean de la Bruyere

thanks,:D 18's a big turn of the wheel you know. its significant. :D

:"> ahhh, forget it, i'll be shameless this once ;)
i want birthday wishes! and cake *hint hint attawie*

JG said...

Haha... I'm just poking fun. You have every right to be shameless! As you say, 18 is a big one. I made a big song and dance about turning 30 at the start of the year so I definitely can't talk!

khalid jarrar said...

touta, i dont know if its a wise idea to turn to attawie for cake, havent you smelled what she did to the last cupcake?

Sandybelle said...

Hey touta!!

a really very nice and wonderful post, really i loved it!! it contains different feelings, the same thing i get sometimes - we got not a little in common :)-

I am sorry about your flag touta, its ok, the flag is not important, the important is the message that it carries and the goal you look forward to ..

Be safe touta and thanks so much :) :) :)

kisses and hugs :) :) :)

deeri balich 3ala nafsch 7abibti

attawie said...

I've been a silent reader for a while now just because I'm too busy for follow up so I decided to "Hide & Read" :)

Happy birthday dear, and I'm gonna bake something for you. You'll get a photo of but it's "the thought" what would make us happy, after all.

as for someone in *hint hint* You're grounded.

btw I'm bored too and I'm stealing your title :D

Touta said...

yup, being shameless is pretty good isn't it. I wonder if i should make a song and dance...i'm just worried all the glass might break. :P

i said i want a cake not a cupcake! :P Well, since you're such a good cook, you can make it. :D

yup, we're both born in July as well! :D Thank you, and keep posting.
lots of kisses and love too. :) Stay sunny Sandy, :D

i'm too bored to actually read or answer your comment. :P
You could always send a slice of the 'thought' to me though.... ;)

annie said...

hi, when men start talking about womens hormones it is time to ignore them.

there is an amazing amount of talent wrapped up in this post. write a book for heavens sake. only 18 you say? lucky you. i love this paragraph

Is it possible to love something that brings back so many bad memories? That leaves a bitter taste in your mouth? And instead of any emotion, all you feel is a longing? Passion? It is possible, though at times, it would be easier if it wasn't. Iraq is the first place that i learnt how to smile. How to laugh. How to see beauty.

the answer to this first question is of course yes. there is a saying 'i am so miserable without you it is almost like having you here.'

when i first read this paragraph i thought you wrote it would be easier if iraq wasn't the first place you learned how to smile, laugh and see beauty.

okiedokie and goodbye. thank you for one of the most exquisite posts i have read in ages. happy birthday.

Touta said...

firstly thank you for the compliments, if you threw me into the sea now, i would sink on account of the size of my head ;)

i love that quote and haven't heard of it before, its kind of like damned if you do and damned if you don't.
thanks, and i look forward to posting more. :)

David said...

Happy belated birthday Touta! :D

From your self description, I am inclined to believe that you are feeling depressed. Well, perhaps going from the order of London to the chaos of Baghdad is enough to depress anyone. Or, perhaps there is something else going on. Either way, I hope you will feel better soon.

Let me ask this. How are you sleeping these days? Do you still have trouble falling asleep? Do you dream a lot and have trouble waking? All these are symptoms of depression.

Don't tell Attawie (well, I guess you already did ;) ) that you like lizards walking on the ceiling. She will freak out! :D

I hope your flag will turn up. Maybe it was packed in an unexpected place.

Take care.

Touta said...

thank you about the birthday wishes, and as for depression, perhaps, as well as that, results which will determine my life will soon come out, and as soon as they do, i might go back to seeing the world through rose coloured glasses. :)

aah, i havent dreamt in ages, i wish i could dream....*launches off into daydream*

best wishes

زهرة الراوي said...

فدشعور كلش غريب اسرني وآني أقرأ البوست مالتج ..
مصلج آني أعيش بالغربة .. بس آني كل اللي أذكره من العراق همه أشباح شهرين ..
دا أتخيل وضعج مثل الطفل يجيبوله حلاوة يخلو يضوكهة، ثم يجروهة من كدامة ويكولوله روح بلط البحر!

العراق غير عن كل البلدان سبحان الله .. ما أدري بس إلا يدك قلبي لمن أسمع كلمة عراقية أو أشوف العلم أو أتذكر العراق ..

بالغربة نتمسك بأبسط الأشياء وبأقلها قيمة، كأنها تخلينا نعيش بالعراق! مثل العلم أو الميدالية أو غيرها، ولا ليش كل المغتربين وأخص بالذكر العراقيين يحرصون على اقتناء هيجي أشياء؟؟ عبالك العراق كله جمعناه بالعلم لو بالميدالية لو بالقلادة!!

يمكن إنتي شفتي وجه موزين للعراق .. أكثر من اللي أذكره آني بالتأكيد .. بس تبقة مرارة العراق أحلة من مرارة غيرها ..

أحس كأنه دنعيش حالة حب مستحيل .. ما ممكن نلتقي باللي دنحبه .. ذاكوه موجود بس منكدر نلمسه!!!

غريب حبنا للعراق .. وبالفعل بالفعل ما أعتقد كل الناس تحب بلدها مثل ما إحنة نحب بلدنا ..

دعواتي إلج الله يكتبلج كل الخير، ويريح قلبج ويريضيك بالخير اللي يكتبلج إياه بإذنه إن شاء الله.


Corey said...


I have an Iraqi flag, hehe. I wish I could give it to you, cause it sounds like you might need it more than me ;)

I hope you are doing well...I see you've been busy, just like me. Tomorrow night I am leaving for Delhi...once I find an internet cafe, I will do my best to resume updates on my blog, lol.

Keep safe

David said...

Touta, you have been daydreaming too long! Come back to the real world! ;)

I am going to make a cake. What is your favorite flavor? :)

Touta said...


ممرود قلبي من كلامج، شكراً . انشالله
بس أقول على حالة العراق . كل حبي

:D thanks. nice to see you back to blogging, and enjoy delhi. :)

hehehe, if only you knew what a daydreamer i was! I have been forced back into the real world (unfortunatley), though i havent been greeted by any cake...*coughs* ;)

David said...

Here Touta, have a piece of this delicious chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. :)

So, what do you like to daydream about?