Friday, April 30, 2004

Iraq Analogies: It's Vietnam. It's Lebanon. It's Algeria. It's ... Hell, you can even make comparisons to ancient Rome and how they governed their provinces. One thing for sure, as Solomon once said, there's nothing new under the sun, including the mess we're in, in Iraq...

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

This blog is reviewed; it's good to hear what an outsider's point-of-view is...

Monday, April 26, 2004

Image by Christopher Allbritton

This is Dohuk, Iraq. Dohuk is a Kurdish city in the north of Iraq. It is also where my son-in-law has been living and working for some time now.

Many of his family and friends live in this city, some others live in Zakho. The village Bigdowdi that he remembers the most from his childhood, no longer exists, thanks to Saddam.

Meran will be coming home soon. We are all so looking forward to seeing him again. I many times wish I lived closer to my daughter and her family. I really enjoy Meran's family and the time I have spent with them...
Very exciting news, from someone I consider a friend. I've never met him in person, only communicated with him online. But his search for truth, and the integrity he has demonstrated over the past 2 years since I've come to know him, has made it an honor to consider him a friend.

Christopher Allbritton is about to embark on another trip to Iraq. Before he goes, he shared with his supporters, including myself, that he's actively shopping a book proposal about his unique experiences in Iraq, as they relate to

Saturday, April 24, 2004

But what I tell myself is this: I can't change the course of this at the moment and if they do point a rifle at me or hold a knife to my throat and I know it's the last moment of my life then for sure there's nothing I can do then I'm determined not to beg or flinch because I was right to come to Falluja and to try to evacuate people and get supplies to the hospitals and to die for trying to do that isn't ideal but it's OK.
Jo Wilding spent this week helping refugees flee Fallujah, to Baghdad. She and her colleagues, along with civilian refugees, some wounded and dieing, some even in ambulances clearly marked, have been shot at, repeatedly, by our soldiers. THAT is what is going on. Tens of Thousands of citizens of Fallujah are fleeing, fearing for their very lives. It is rumoured that once the population is gone, the city will be destroyed...

Pray for them all. Pray for the victims of war. Pray for the soldiers to be more compassionate - not a diametrically-opposed goal, despite what they're trained to do, i.e. kill. And pray that the arrogance of America as seen in many of our soldiers in how they act and what they say - our representatives in Iraq - by Iraqis, doesn't do even more irreparable damage.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Eva/Nirgaz says:
I just had a webcam conversation with Gullizar's brother-in-law Ferhad, he is a friend of mine. He is a lawyer and is online frequently. It was just cool to see someone in Iraq. I told him to bring Meran with him next time.
Da Mouse says:
How are things where he is (where is he?)
Eva/Nirgaz says:
In Duhok...Almost everyone we know lives in Duhok, a couple of families live in Zakho.
Da Mouse says:
I heard about Basra this morning. Very bad sounding
Eva/Nirgaz says:
what happened there? I didn't hear anything about it yet.
Da Mouse says:
Bombings going off simultaneously at police stations, at least one taking a school bus out with small children dieing...Iraqi kids! What are the terrorists thinking?!
Eva/Nirgaz says:
oh my God!!! They aren't thinking that's the point, any sane person would never be able to do something like that. It is inhuman.
Da Mouse says:
Eva/Nirgaz says:
If that works out about the picnic thing, that would be nice, I really want to meet Brittons Husband.
Da Mouse says:
I think it should work out from the sounds of it. I think it would also be a great opportunity to help everyone get to know one another and that's always a good thing.
Eva/Nirgaz says:
Da Mouse says:
Jason is kinda quiet, but I have a hunch he probably has a chattier side if you get to know him. He reminds me of Uncle Bill, Grandpa Short, and my Christopher - all nice men that are low key but great guys.
Da Mouse says:
So Gullizar's brotherinlaw is a lawyer. I take it he's brother to her husband, you mean? what does her husband do?
Eva/Nirgaz says:
He used to have a store, woman's clothing, but he sold it when he tried to go to Jordan in December. Now he is doing a liason business, working with Meran getting things for the soldiers, supplies they need etc.
Eva/Nirgaz says:
We got more paperwork for her husband and the process to get the visa interview has finally started. This is a good sign, he should be able to come by the end of the year, if no problems occur.
Da Mouse says:
Interesting. Sounds like a good family. Hard working then!
Eva/Nirgaz says:
Yea, they are really nice, I am also good friends with his sister Nazdar. She is around my age, in college, and loves anything English. His brother Fadl, Meran's age, was Meran's best friend when they were little. While I was there I was told how they went from eachother's houses terrorizing their mothers. Meran was quite a handful as a child I gathered.
Now we know where his sons get it from
Da Mouse says:
*laugh* Somehow, I can believe that. How long have the families known one another?
Eva/Nirgaz says:
A long time...but Meran's family has only been there since his Grandfather's time; this family is one of the original families there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

So I'm chatting with Eva online, and she lets slip that Meran will be home for his visit on May 10th!

The plans? Eva plans on taking her family to the Tennessee Renaissance Festival for some plain old family fun. For the practical side of things, she plans on working with Meran to resolve the problems concerning his direct house payments, i.e., too much is going to the house, much more than necessary, leaving nothing for household expenses for her.

Eva thinks they'll be coming around Memorial Day weekend. I plan on having a picnic when they're here. Eva and I both want to shop at the local international markets, and do some serious cooking together! My sister hopes we can all come out to their place, and have a multi-family picnic. Eva and I love the idea. I'd like Daniel and Amanda to be a part of that, too...

The waiting (for now), is over...

Friday, April 16, 2004

A conversation between Eva my daughter, and myself...
Ajiza is separated from her hubby, pending divorce. He proved to be a very irresponsible young man. He had over 20 jobs last year. She got him a good job with Dell Computers, Assembly work, but a good job with good pay. He has no education so he can't be picky, but he quit after only two weeks. She also is immature, and together they are like dating teenagers, vs. being responsible young adults. They get mad at each other for the stupidest things.

Sounds like what your cousin Kris, Aunt Betty's son, was like with Cindy, his son Andrew's mother. Too young, too soon. Now he's married to another lady and is father to her two children and they are doing great...

And from the onset his family did not like her, his mom has been advocating divorce even prior to the wedding!! They at first faked they liked her, but after they got engaged, they radically changed. And the worst part, they have yet to consummate their marriage, I told Ajiza maybe that is for the best, if they had had children it might have got worse and been harder to contemplate ending it.

They must have a lot of self-control!!

Even now she is disillusioned with the possibility of him changing. She says if he was such and such...I told her listen to what you're saying "if " is the key word here. He is not and has proven he is making no effort to change how he is or has a desire to.

No, the old saying that a leopard doesn't change his spots is a saying for a good reason. I know only too well.

Meran told her not to beg for him back, and said that Divorce is a good option. In fact all her brothers and sisters are supportive of that, they don't trust him because he has proven himself otherwise. In fact they would feel betrayed if she tried to go back.

Well good for them. Practical.

There is a Kurdish saying that Gullizar said - "You will go blind before I let you go back with him again." Meaning she would stand in the way.

Gullizar and her sayings! You'll have to start writing down all those Kurdish sayings. I'd like to read more of them.

Gullizar had a dream about this in the beginning. Eerily, she has these prophetic dreams often, I have learned to listen to her advice or be told I told you so later. Anyways about her dream...

[not to interrupt, but when you're done with the dream, what's status on Gullizar's husband getting here? Didn't you say there was good news regarding him not long ago...?]

...She had a dream where the Imam here and Ajiza's husband and his father all came to their door. Gullizar's father said don't open it. Their brother Shabban ( the one who is deceased) said, no it's ok let's see what they want and he opened the door for them. Gullizar sees this as her father not approving of the marriage and a bad omen about the marriage. And she sees Shabban as Meran. Because he was the most supportive of Ajiza, and "opened" the door for her marrying him by giving her away. In the Islamic and Kurdish tradition, Dead people in dreams are usually telling the truth...Once Remzia had a dream of their mother and in it she was displeased with me and my relationship with Meran. Remzia told me about it, and at that time me and Meran were going through a very rough time. We were fighting a lot and I was to be honest vicious at times. After I heard the dream, I tried to be more patient with Meran. It worked for the best...We got along much better...I don't know if what they say is true or not...but is something to contemplate...

Well, I'm glad you were able to see truth when you hear it. That means you have a good heart.

No news yet about Gullizar's Hubby. Just he has been approved and is awaiting when his visa interview will be.

Ahhh...I see. Well, hopefully it won't take as long for this next phase!

Yeah, hopefully! We are hoping that he will be here by the end of the year at the latest.

I think that will deserve a party!

There will be a wedding, they are Islamically married, but in the Kurdish tradition they have only had an engagement party. The wedding is yet to come...

Monday, April 05, 2004

Many people in the last two weeks have published links to Elena, the biker, and her amazing photographs and commentary concerning her solo trip to Chernobyl. However, little if any notice has been given to this particular mirror site, done in honor to Elena - and eventually gaining her official approval.*

If you have not seen her images and words, I highly recommend you making the time.

*On this approved site, commenting has been made available, as well as a method to forward emails to Elena...