Thursday, November 20, 2003

Iraqi Orchestra Concert

I'm really good at finding the "good news" articles in our press. Here's a tip, don't look for the good news under the front page, search under pages that nobody clicks on. It's sad but true about our press. So, I found the following good news coming from Iraq:

Iraqi orchestra moves into new home, practices for U.S. concert

The orchestra will have a concert in Washington with the U.S. National Symphony Orchestra on December 9th.

If you live in Washington area and can afford a ticket, please go and listen to their performance. We're proud of them. I feel there will be a modern Iraq if we keep the music going.

I'm really afraid for my native country to end up with an Iranian-style Islamic government. I know Iraqis are smarter than that. I also know the American administration does not want to interfere with Iraqis choice of government type. May be they should in this case as there's no point of getting rid of Saddam just to end up with a worse government.

It's my only worry. So, let's keep the music going.


Saturday, November 08, 2003

Nouman H. Subbar

I listened to an interesting interview with Philadelphia police sergeant Nouman H. Subbar on fresh air from

I recommend listening to the interview. Nouman was born and raised in Iraq. He fled the country in 1981 and moved to America. He decided to take a leave from work and travel to Iraq to spend 4 months helping with the re-construction of Iraqi police.

He helped in capturing former Interior minister Samir Al-Shekhli. Actually that was a shocker for me since while living in Iraq a rumor circulated once that he got executed by his big boss (you know who) during the nineties.

What I liked most is when the interviewer asked Nouman weather he and others struggled when getting arrested. He said that they told him "We did nothing, why are we getting arrested?" (or something like that, listen to the interview). He replied to them: Tell that to the people in the mass graves.

I would've actually told former interior minister :Tell that to the students of university of Basrah while you were minister of Higher Education.

I studied at University of Basrah between 1984-1988. Samir became minister of Higher Education during that time (for our bad luck of course). My campus (School of Science) was on the worst location that you would ever wish for yourself Not that far from the "REAL" war zone. He INSISTED we HAVE to keep going to college whatever the situation is, even though we could've moved and shared buildings with another college in a campus far from the war zone (not really, but sort of a safer location).

That lasted till bombing between Iranian and Iraqi troops was just few miles from the campus, and the campus itself got bombed few times before we moved permanently to the "safer campus". But that was after war situation in Basrah got really bad (light version of "Shock and awe"), even our parents left the city and moved to other parts of the country. It became city of ghosts after Spring 1987 when only people you could see in town were students of University of Basrah and Iraqi soldiers.

I still don't know how we made it to college everyday to finish our degrees. We kept joking the war would finish after graduation. Yes, it did just two months after the graduation ceremony. That's how lucky we were if you could call this "luck".

"We did nothing"..Oh, yeah..

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