Friday, December 08, 2006

Meet The Iraqi Beach Volleyball Team

Source: Ankawa Online
Iraqi sisters Lydia and Lisa Aghasy

I first heard of the Iraqi volleyball team playing in the 2006 Asian Games on Ankawa Online. Then, I received an e-mail from my cyber friend Mister Ghost asking if they were Christians. The answer is yes, they're Christians.

Some newspapers and bloggers have turned this into an Islamic vs. Christian cultural issue. Others have turned it into an Iraq before and after Saddam issue. That's when I decided to post it here for the general audience.

First of all, Iraqi Christians are known for being the most liberal community in Iraq. It's something that makes me proud. Some Iraqis probably call us Westernized. So, let it be. Our families let us follow our dreams and commuincate with the outside world without much scrutiny. It's why it didn't surprise me when I first read about the beach volleyball sisters on Ankawa Online.

Second, this team has nothing to do with democracy in Iraq. In the old Iraq, the two sisters would have been under the spotlight of the rapist Uday Saddam Hussien. They would have most likely been invited into his home, raped by him or one of his circles of friends or bodyguards. In the new Iraq, backwardness forces like Muqty, Hakim or Sunni militias will most likely issue death threats against the sisters for showing some flesh in public. They'll probably end up leaving the country.

In short, these are two sisters who wanted to make the best of their lives while living under the current violent circumstances. So, please don't turn it into an sectarian or political issue. I'm sure neither the sisters nor their family is interested.

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