Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Iraqi Woman and The Genie

I know, I know. I should be talking about Saddam's court case(s). But, I had to publish the following joke. My Iraqi friend sent it to me from Jordan, where she lives and works.
An Iraqi woman was walking around in Baghdad when she stumbled upon an old empty bottle.

She picked it up and rubbed it, and lo-and-behold a Genie appeared. She talked with him a while then the Genie told her he would grant her ONE wish.

She said she heard from a cousin that she would get three wishes if she ever found a Genie.

The Genie said, "Nope, sorry three-wish genies are a storybook myth. I'm a ONE-WISH Genie. So... what'll it be?"

The woman didn't hesitate. She said, "I want peace in Iraq. See this map, I want these countries to stop fighting with each other, and I want all the Arabs to love Jews and Americans and vice-versa. It will bring about world peace and harmony."

The Genie looked at the map and exclaimed, "Damn Lady, what's wrong with you? PLEASE BE REASONABLE! These countries have been at war for thousands of years. I'm out of shape after being in a bottle for 500 years. I'm good, but NOT THAT GOOD!!! I don't think it can be done." PLEASE make another wish and please I beg you... Be reasonable."

The woman thought for a minute and said, "Well, I've never been able to find the right Iraqi man... You know, one that is considerate and fun, likes to dance and helps with the cooking, housecleaning, and is FAITHFUL. That's what I wish for... a good Iraqi man."

The Genie let out a long sigh, shook his head and said, "Let me see that friggin' map again."

No offence to any Iraqi men. But, the cooking and housecleaning part is very true. To be fair, many Iraqi-Australian guys have improved. They help their wives more than you could imagine. Many of them learned how to cook, prepare and serve drinks for guests, and help with house work -- I wouldn't call it housecleaning. They even help with changing baby diapers when the wife is busy.

Iraqi girls, if you get a marriage proposal from an Iraqi guy living in Australia, you probably need to consider his proposal. Not to mention Australia is a very beautiful country and has a perfect weather.

Arabic Word of The Post:

perfect : مثالي - / mee-thAlee /

Monday, June 28, 2004

Big Day For Iraq

Wow, this was a real surprise. I didn't expect an early handover of sovereignty to the new interim Iraqi government. I'm actually so happy for this decision. It was a very smart decision. It reminds me of smart chess moves.

I'm sure the hopeless terrorists from Falluja didn't see this one coming.

I hold high hopes in Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and his courageous team. Yes, you could say every negative thing about them. But, those people wake up every morning to go to work not knowing if they'll be alive be end of the day. Cowards don't do that.

Thank you to everyone who helped Iraq since the collapse of Saddam's regime. Thank you to everyone who encouraged the Iraqi bloggers to write their thoughts even when everyone felt down. No, I'm not going to stop blogging. I'm just thankful to the people who read these amateur Iraqi blogs, which represent the new Iraq and its newborn democracy.

Talking about Iraqi bloggers, check the newest Iraqi blog written by the youngest Iraqi blogger so far. It's titled "A Star From Mosul" (via Life In Baghdad). It's written by a 16-year-old magnet school girl. Please, give her your support and good wishes.

Happy Day Iraq.

Arabic Word of The Post :

sovereignty : سيادة - / see-yada /

Saturday, June 26, 2004

How Chaldean Funerals Work

This week, Iraq's events were bloody and sad. I couldn't find the energy to post anything about those events. We all expected these things to happen. I expect the worst will happen until the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi people next week on June 30.

Meanwhile, I read the news of two Assyrian sisters who were killed in Basra four days ago. That really halted my appetite to write anything. I probably should write briefly about Chaldean funerals. It's not a pleasant subject, but you need to know how our funerals work.

I'm not sure which funerals are more complicated -- ours or yours. You could decide for yourself after you finish reading this post.

First, we bury our dead people. We don't have cremation or embalming options. I knew about cremation and embalming from watching the American movies and TV shows. In Iraq, we don't worry about the coffin's quality or how much it costs. We use standard and simple wood coffins. I think that's good. What's the point of being buried in a fancy coffin?

Second, we don't keep the dead in a morgue until letters are sent to people inviting them to the funeral. We're casual about our funerals. The dead are buried the same or next day, unless the family decides to bury the person in another city (like the birth city). This doesn't preclude people from attending the funeral. You'll be amazed of how many people show up at the church for the funeral service.

After the burial of the loved one, the family returns home. People who attended the church service would return with the family. Many relatives, neighbors and friends come and pay their respect to the family on this day. Hopefully, there is enough space to seat all those people. I'm talking scores of people.

First thing, you're served a cup of Turkish coffee without sugar. You may be served tea afterward. But, coffee is a must as a start. Then, there is the food. Usually, friends and relatives help provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyone. I'm not talking hamburger sandwiches. I'm talking REAL Iraqi meals like Biryani, Roasted Lamb, Kebba and other delicious meals. Let me tell you, our funerals have the best food.

This usually lasts for three days. Most people who show up on the first day will return on the second and third day too. It's always sad for the family members as they have to sit on the same chair for the whole day while trying to weep and show signs of sadness. If not, people would think the family didn't love the deceased one.

Female family members dress in black during the funeral without any makeup. Most of them continue to wear black and no makeup for one year. It's one of these traditions I never followed, and I have no intention to follow in the future. I'm not fond of black clothes.

The family usually has a smaller-scale church service on the 40th day after the burial. This is usually attended by family members, close relatives and friends. Then there is the 1st anniversary which ends this long circle of sadness.

I didn't include many details about our funerals. It's a depressing subject. But, I thought you need to know a bit about it. I hope I didn't bore you.

Tomorrow is another day. I hope it's a better day.

Arabic Word of The Day:

funeral : جنازة - / jannA-za /

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The White Page Truce

Dale Carnegie says in his book "How to Win Friends & Influence People" :
"You can tell people they are wrong by a look or an intonation or a gesture just as eloquently as you can in words -- and if you tell them they are wrong, do you make them want to agree with you? Never! For you have struck a direct blow at their intelligence, judgment, pride and self-respect. That will make them want to strike back. But it will never make them want to change their minds. You may then hurl at them all the logic of Plato or an Immanual Kant, but you will never alter their opinions, for you have hurt their feelings."

We could all learn from these words to improve our daily life, couldn't we?

Lt. Col. Tim Ryan, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas, took control of the Abu Ghraib district in March -- just the name "Abu Ghraib" brings all kinds of bad memories to most of us.
When Ryan arrived, the American troops were attacked daily by insurgents. Ryan first thought he could offer money for improvement projects and the situation would get better. Well, it didn't. The insurgents continued their attacks and many American soldiers died.

One day while in a meeting with the district council members, Ryan again offered money for a reconstruction project. An Iraqi guy said to him:
"We don't want your money, we want your respect."

That's what they needed: NOT money but respect. Respect of their culture and tribal leaders.

Ryan chose to listen to the local people. He wanted to know what they really wanted. He went so far as to tell the Abu Ghraib sheiks that both sides had made mistakes. His understanding made everything different. After many friendly -- maybe not so friendly -- discussions they agreed on responsibilities and rights of both sides, which became known as "The White Page Truce." The name came from the Arabic phrase "Let's start a new white page."

Ryan's method was so successful in bringing peace to this district that the Higher Headquarters sent people to study his method. Well done Ryan.

Now, how hard was it?

Arabic Word of The Post:

truce : هدنة - / hud-na /

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

The River

I think we need some humor instead of talking about politics. So, here's a humorous e-mail I received from an American friend who lives in California. I met her while living in Sydney, Australia. We kept in touch since then. Her e-mails will always make me laugh.

Here's her latest e-mail:
One day, three men were hiking and unexpectedly came upon a large raging, violent river. They needed to get to the other side, but had no idea of how to do so. The first man prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength to cross this river." Poof! God gave him big arms and strong legs, and he was able to swim across the river in about two hours, after almost drowning a couple of times.

Seeing this, the second man prayed to God, saying, "Please God, give me the strength...and the tools to cross this river." Poof! God gave him a rowboat and he was able to row across the river in about an hour, after almost capsizing the boat a couple of times.

The third man had seen how this worked out for the other two, so he also prayed to God saying, "Please God, give me the strength and the tools... and the intelligence ... to cross this river." And Poof! God turned him into a woman. She looked at the map, hiked upstream a couple of hundred yards, then walked across the bridge.

This should be sent to all the smart women you know,or to a smart guy who needs to remember who keeps him afloat!.

Arabic Word of The Post :

river : نهر - / nehr /
rivers : أنهر - / an-hor /

Monday, June 21, 2004

Life In Baghdad

I can't believe I missed this Iraqi blog. The blog is written by Ahmed Kharrufa. He's an Iraqi who lives, works and posts from Baghdad -- I hope I'm not wrong with these assumptions. He started writing on January 2004. He brings another view of life in Baghdad. It's a blog worth reading.

Another site worth mentioning is From Baghdad To New York, which was mentioned on Ahmed's blog.

Arabic Word of The Post :

from : من - / min /
to : إلى - / eela /

Friday, June 18, 2004

Paul Johnson's Death

I wished MORE for Paul Johnson's safety after I saw his wife plead for his safety on TV. A few hours later, the news channels reported the beheading of Paul Johnson -- WARNING: the link contains graphic photographs.

I can't imagine what his wife, family and friends are going through today. I wish something could've been done to prevent this new tragedy. I wish Saudi Arabia gets their forces together and crack down on those terrorists once and forever.

It amazing how the Saudi government found and killed those responsible of Paul's death hours after his death. Why didn't the police capture them before they committed their crime? I'm losing my patience with the Saudi government. I think it needs to take tougher actions against these criminals.

I send my condolences to Paul Johnson's wife, family, friends and colleagues. May his spirit flies high above blue skies.

Arabic Word of The Post :

sky : سماء - / samA-a /
skies : سماوات - / samA-wAt /

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Rebuilding Iraqi Scouts

One advantage of my husband working for The Dallas Morning News is getting access to information before it runs in the newspaper. He notified me last month that Erich Schlegel took photos to run with a story about Iraqi Scouts. Since I was a Girl Scout during elementary, intermediate and high-school, I checked the newspaper every day for the story. I didn't want to miss it. It got published on Monday. So far so good.

The report starts by introducing Mike Bradle, a Texas businessman, who is planning to raise $4 million to rebuild the Iraqi Scouts program. I kept reading with excitement until I get to this part of the report:
"American servicemen and Scout leaders in Baghdad jump-started an Iraqi Scouting council. The U.S. government and American donors are paying for it, and a former CIA operative, William "Chip" Beck, is promoting the program in Iraq."

A former CIA operative is promoting the program in Iraq ? OH NO. Houston, we have a problem. America is sending the wrong message to the Iraqi people.

Don't start throwing stones at me. This would have been your reaction if a former KGB or Mukhabarat operative came to America to start a similar scouting program. No matter how decent the person was, you would have many suspicions. Right?

Additionally, I think he's the wrong leader after he asked The Dallas Morning News to exclude his CIA background from the article. Also, Malek Gabr, deputy secretary general of World Scouting in Geneva, said Beck didn't tell him he was a former CIA agent when they discussed the idea of Iraq's Scouting rebirth in March.

The term "CIA operative" is not favored at all in the Middle East. I'm sure these agents do a great job to protect the security of America and many of them die in the line of duty. But, it's never wise to put oil next to flames.

Now, if this person was a former FBI agent, I would have no problem at all. FBI agents are the good guys in my opinion. I wish I arrived to America while I was young. I would have studied criminal justice. I would've joined the FBI-Special Victims Unit. Could you tell I watch Law and Order? I LOVE this show.

Anyway, let's not jump to any conclusions. I still wish success for this project, but I think it would be better served by someone with less baggage.

What I wrote doesn't mean I dislike the CIA. It means Middle Easterners don't like spies, which is the case with any other country including America. Right ?

Folks, see the big picture from the eyes of a Middle-Easterner, and I'm sure you'll get my message right. We can't afford to make more mistakes in Iraq. The Iraqi model can become a good or bad example of establishing democracy in the Middle East. It all depends on how careful America is with every step it takes in Iraq. You may not like my opinion, but you need to think about it.

Arabic Word of The Post :

Girl Scout : مرشدة - / mur-sheeda /
Boy Scout : كشاف - /kesh-shaf /

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Peace Begins With a Smile

A big photo of two young girls from Honduras hangs on the wall in front of my computer. At the bottom of the photo is printed "Peace begins with a smile - Mother Teresa." It always reminds me of the power of a smile and laughter.

The smile and shyness of Asma Muhana, a 10-year-old Iraqi girl, stole the hearts of sailors and marines at Alpha Surgical Company serving in Camp Al Asad, Iraq. Asma was born with a hole in the upper chamber of her heart. She also has several heart valve defects. Over time, the defect can severely degrade her heart and possibly lead to death. Luckily, her father worked on Camp Al-Asad and word spread of her ailment. The doctors offered to help. Everyone else at the camp offered their assistance. She underwent surgery at the camp hospital. She's currently awaiting a flight to take her to a U.S. hospital for her heart surgery.

This is the sweetest and most emotional story I've read in a while. Thanks Cynthia for the link.

Arabic Word of The Post :

smile : أبتسامة - / ibtee-sama /
smiles : أبتسامات - / ibtee-samat /

Sunday, June 13, 2004

New Hope For Mutilated Iraqi Men

You probably heard of Saddam's campaign in 1994 to amputate army deserters' ears. Iraqi doctors estimate there are around 3,500 Iraqi men who remain with physical, emotional, personal and social scars due to his brutal campaign. Here's the good news, the Iraqi Ministry of Health now offers these men free reconstructive surgery.

It must have been too hard for those men to live in a society were appearance is very important. I'm glad the Ministry of Health is helping these men by restoring their pride and confidence.

The new Iraqi government has a tough job to do. I really hope them the best. Expect them to make some mistakes in their long journey, but wish them the best during the next five or 10 years. I'm not stupid. I don't think everything will be great in Iraq by the end of the year. Give it at least four years before you make any conclusions.

Arabic Word of The Post :

man : رجل - / re-jol /
men : رجال - / ree-jAl /

Friday, June 11, 2004

Kirkuk: Newest Dallas Sister City

Dallas has a new sister city as reported by The Dallas Morning News:
First lady Laura Bush announced Wednesday that Dallas is one of three U.S. cities to gain an Iraqi sister city, part of the Partners for Peace Initiative.

Dallas will provide humanitarian aid to Kirkuk in northeastern Iraq in the unofficial partnership. Denver has been paired with Baghdad and Tucson, Ariz., with Sulaymaniyah

The Rocky Mountain News has more details on this story. It looks like Laura Bush surprised many people with this announcement. I was surprised and HAPPY when my husband called me from work to tell me the news. I also wish Basrah was one of the sponsored cities. Oh well, it may have a better chance next year.

Whether you're a Democrat, Republican or independent, you've got to admire Laura Bush for different reasons:

  1. She's the reading advocate.

  2. When the Harry Potter movies and books became a religious issue, she read the books and encouraged everyone to read them too. She went further and decorated a special section of The White House with Harry Potter themes last Christmas. Almost everyone got the message afterward.

  3. Listening to her comments about stem cell research this week, made me think there may be some hope that one day we could resolve the ethical and religious issue with this subject. I'm not predicting anything, I'm only hoping. Yes, I fully understand the religious issue -- remember I'm a practicing Catholic. But I don't think God would punish anybody trying to help sick people, whose progress condition relies on advanced research in this field.

Anyway, back to our sister city subject. I must admit I'm happy. Kirkuk is similar to Dallas. It has a blend of different ethnic and religious groups. I wish this sisterhood the best, and it's time for me to go to sleep.

Arabic Word of The Post :

city : مدينة - / me-deenA /
cities : مدن - / mo-dun /

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Election Iraq 2004

Emigre couldn't wait until Election Iraq 2005 and is running an online poll to choose the new Iraqi government. It's there for fun. BUT, She found that people who visited her blog during the last two days didn't participate in this anonymous poll. This matter worries me since most of her readers are Americans.

Folks, we have a presidential election in few months. Some of you will cast your vote using the e-voting system. So, this is a good chance to practice your ability to vote electronically.

It's fun, go check her blog for details.

Arabic Word of The Day :

election : أنتخاب - / intee-KHAb /
elections : أنتخابات - / intee-KHA-bat /

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Empower The Iraqi Women

If there is one thing I'd like to see in the new Iraq, it would be empowered Iraqi women. A nice thing is happening in parts of Iraq these days, women are undergoing basic weaponry and first-aid training -- Thanks Greg for the link.

That's a good start. But -- and there is always but -- I'd like for someone to run self-defense courses for Iraqi women. I talked about it in one of my first posts. Not all American women know how to defend themselves against attackers, but at least they know the basics of self-defense. Also, American women are protected by many laws that make it stupid for men to attack them. Some men don't get caught for their crimes, but the ones caught get many years in prison.

Here, women can file a restraining order against any man who harasses her by any means. In Iraq, if a man stalks a woman, there isn't much she can do about it. The best she could do is tell her family, which mostly results in a restriction of her movements. This is something she won't want to happen. So, most of us rarely tell our families about any stalker we encounter on the streets.

Even under Saddam's tyranny, Iraqi women enjoyed THE BEST women rights in the Middle East. That's why most of the Iraqi bloggers went crazy when the old governing council tried to replace the Iraqi family law with an Islamic family law last January.

I must admit I'm less afraid for the future of Iraqi women after the announcement of the new Iraqi government. I hope the elected women will make a difference in the lives of their peers.

Sorry for not posting much during the last two weeks. I've been busy reading books. I needed to take a break from blogging. Now, I'm back to normal.

Arabic Word of The Post :

woman : إمرأة - / im-ra-'aa /
women : نساء - / nee-sA-'a /

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Kidnapping of Iraqi Christians

Zeyad wrote more than once about Iraqi doctors being kidnapped. Unfortunately, kidnapping has become a good business. Now, each gang has its own turf. One of these gangs makes money by kidnapping Christian business owners.

My friend's dad was kidnapped before Easter. They demanded $200,000 ransom. His family couldn't afford this amount of money. After weeks of negotiations, the amount was dropped to $40,000. They released him after his family paid the $40,000. He was tortured by the gang and came back home in a very bad shape. The family fled Iraq to Jordan after this incident.

Another friend's brother received kidnap threats last month. He was able to escape to Jordan. He and his family moved permanently to Jordan. Other Christian families fled to Jordan after family members were also kidnapped.

These families loved and served Iraq for many years. It's unfortunate to see them leave everything behind and seek refuge in Jordan.

Iraqi Christian families are well established in Australia, America and Canada. Almost every family has a family member who is a citizen of one of these countries. So, there is hope they could move to one of these countries in the future.

My dad sent my youngest brother to America during the 80s. He wanted our family to have an exit plan if things went wrong for Iraqi Christians. He made sure we were well educated. He knew we could go anywhere with good qualifications. I appreciate his efforts. It paid well.

I hope the new government cracks down on these gangs. Iraqis need to see an improvement to the security situation before they could enjoy the new Iraq. The new government team is too good to be true. I'm keeping my hopes high.

Arabic Word of The Post :

Christian : مسيحي - / me-see-'Hee /
Christians : مسيحيون - / me-see-'H-'yoon /

Making Good on Slain Journalist's Promise

I received this story from Kathleen in New Jersey. The story was reported by The Associated Press. Here's the heart of the story.

While on assignment in Iraq two months ago, photojournalist Shinsuke Hashida was so moved by a boy partially blinded by glass shards during a gunbattle that he made a promise: To return to Iraq and bring the child to Japan for medical treatment.

Hashida went back for the boy, only to be killed in an ambush.

But his promise stands.

On Thursday, 10-year-old Mohamad Haytham Saleh boarded a flight to Tokyo from Amman, Jordan. The Rotary Club in Numazu, the photojournalist's hometown, is sponsoring the boy and his medical care, following through on arrangements Hashida made before he and his nephew Kotaro Ogawa, also a journalist, were killed in an attack south of Baghdad.

"I'm grateful to all the Japanese for helping me," Saleh, smiling shyly, told Japanese reporters before boarding the plane. "I'm really excited."

May the soul of the two journalists fly high above clear blue skies knowing they fulfilled their promise before being killed. Their life was worth living.

Arabic Word of The Post :

life : حياة - / 'Ha-YAt /

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Happy Birthday To The Egyptian Twins

Wonderful Mohamed and Ahmed, the formerly conjoined Egyptian twins, turned three today.

Yes, I love these two angels and will always post their news on my blog. I know some of my readers are their fans and like to be advised of their health progress.

UPDATE Apr. 15, 2004
Wonderful Mohamed and Ahmed Ibrahim will meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Houston today.

If you're a resident of Texas, watch the news on your local channels. I'm sure they'll cover the meeting. I wonder if President Mubarak understands these two boys are celebrities in America.

UPDATE Apr. 06, 2004
OK, time for some good news. Formerly conjoined Egyptian twins, Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim, have been discharged from North Texas Hospital for Children. This is the first time the twins have lived with their parents and older brother in a home environment. The twins will turn 3 years old in June. Isn't that wonderful?

It's nice to browse their new photos and see their smiles. They always look happy. It's always a pleasure to see these happy photos.

Thank you all for your e-mails. More information on the formerly conjoined Egyptian twins can be found under The Dallas Morning News' special section on the Egyptian twins.

Mei-Chun Jau and Kim Ritzenthaler, staff photographers for The Dallas Morning News spent a lot of time with these two boys since they arrived in Dallas from Egypt. Mei-Chun is known for making them smile. I'll make sure to send both photographers a thank you e-mail for their nice work and continuous reporting-- newspaper photographers don't get many thank you e-mails.

ORIGINAL POST Feb. 05, 2004
On Oct. 22, 2003, I wrote on the status of the formerly conjoined Egyptian twins, who had their separation surgery at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. If you are not a resident of Dallas, this story may not mean much to you. But, the sweet twins are Egyptians -- I'm originally from the Middle East -- and I live in Dallas where they had their separation surgery last year.
Mei-Chun Jau and Kim Ritzenthaler, staff photographers for The Dallas Morning News, bring us new photos of the twins who are doing well and looking good and happy.

Last year, when the Iraq and the Middle East situation looked so dark for me, these two boys brought lots of peace, joy and hope to my heart. They made me realize that Middle Easterners and Westerners could love and care for each other during bad times.

There is a lot of misunderstanding and distrust between the two parties. I wouldn't say either party is right or wrong. I will say, let's listen to each other. That's all I request these days. When both Westerners and Middle Easterners are not taking steps toward understanding and trusting each other, the terrorists are the only happy people with this situation.

Dallas Morning News Article - Update I

Here's the article I wrote for The Dallas Morning News:
Iraqi bloggers keep hope alive

One day before Operation Iraqi Freedom started, I searched the Internet for news from Iraq, my homeland. I found the Web log — or “blog” — of architect Salam PAX. That was my first experience with blogs. Salam was the first Iraqi blogger. He risked his life to write from Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad.

After Saddam fell, Zeyad, a Baghdad dentist, started his blog, hoping to change the world’s view of Iraq. A few of his Iraqi readers, including myself, started our own blogs. He inspired us, and we wanted to change the world, too.

The Iraqi blogs discussed things we didn’t hear from the international media. The bloggers reported changes in their daily life. The optimistic bloggers like Firas, Ays and his mother, the Three Brothers and Sarmad saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I call them the future of the new Iraq.

A few of the Iraqi bloggers still are cautious about the changes. Their reports are not as upbeat as the bloggers above. For me, they’re as important as the rest of the Iraqi bloggers. Together, they are writing the first draft of Iraqi history after Saddam.

I write my blog from Dallas. My blog is about building a bridge of understanding between the Iraqi and American peoples.

I’m an optimist who lived through the Iran-Iraq war and Operation Desert Storm. I know peace comes with a price. Things won’t get better in Iraq immediately. But it will never be as bad as it was under Saddam. The fact that there are more than 20 Iraqi bloggers proves Iraqis enjoy freedom of speech they didn’t have before. Some of the Iraqi bloggers may not be happy with the presence of the American troops, but they are all pro-Iraq. That’s what makes these blogs important.

I hope I did a good job and introduced more people to the Iraqi blogs.

You may also want to read this article from The Dallas Morning News, which ran on the same page as my article.

Arabic Word of The Post:

optimist : متفائل - / moote-fA-'el /
optimists : متفائلون - / moote-fA-'eloon /

There are different plurals for the word optimist. Something I'll talk about it in my Arabic Lesson 101. It's coming soon.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

A New Day For Iraq

A new day has come for Iraqis. The list of the 30-member Iraq interim government is promising. I hope they serve Iraq and its people in an honorable manner.

Like other Iraqi bloggers, I wanted Al-Pachachi to be appointed as the new Iraqi president. I hold great esteem for him. I respected him more when he decided to step aside to let the governing council choose the new Iraqi president without any influence.

I think the appointment of Ghazi Al-Yawer as the new Iraqi president is going to bring Iraqis closer. He's a powerful Sunni Muslim tribal leader, who could bring other Sunni tribes to the table. A very good choice.

The 30-member interim government includes five women. That's more than wonderful. I also noticed the Minister of Immigration and Refugees has a Christian-sounding name -- could someone correct me if I'm wrong. That's a good choice too considering more than 50 percent of the Iraqi Chrisitans are scattered around the world in countries like America, Australia and Canada.

The new interim government may not be perfect. But, it's a good start. I only hope for the women and Iraqi Christians to have their full rights in the new Iraq.

Let's all pray for the Iraqi people. I hope they achieve a democracy that befits their culture and society.

Arabic Word of The Post:

start : بداية - / bee-DAYA /
starts : بدايات - / bee-da-YAT /