Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Back to the Future: November, 2003.

Omar, Ali, and Mohammed announced today at Iraq the Model that they had 190,000 hits on their blog last month, twice more than any previous month since they put up their first entry on November 14, 2003. Omar explains how as a student in grade school and high schood he had been forced to write lies in praise of Saddam. Then came April 9, 2003, and Saddam Hussein escaped from Baghdad hiding in the back seat of an unmarked car. And suddenly the internet was wide-open in Iraq as a means of communication and Iraqis were beginning to start their own weblogs.

When Zeyad and AYS suggested that I start a blog, I hesitated a lot and I was telling myself ”I used to feel shy of letting 30 of my classmates hear the words I write, and that would happen only twice a month, how am I going to publish my words on the internet every day where everyone can read them?” but after huge encouragement from my brothers and friends I decide to do take the first move and I thought “why should I be shy now, when I’m writing what I believe in, not what I’m ordered to?”,so I decided to break that shyness wall and soon after that, your comments, e-mails and responses made me believe that what I did was right.

I thought it would be interesting today to dig back into the Comments Pages from those first days of ITM as see what we could find. Here are a few posts that might interest you.

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Omar,

I join others here in welcoming you to blogging. I know you will enjoy your freedom of speach. Don't let anyone stop you or try to make you change. They will try, don't listen.
River\'s Bend | Email | Homepage | 11.16.03 - 4:40 pm | #


River\'s Bend?! Is this the same doleful dame of Baghdad we have come to love?

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Months ago, I was thinking how little I knew of Iraq and the minds of its people. Now I am thinking how interesting are the minds of its people, and shame on me for knowing so little about Iraq.

Tell us what you think!! What you teach us will in turn, guide you.....
Scott from Oregon | Email | Homepage | 11.16.03 - 1:05 am | #

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Dear Omar, Welcome, and thank you for the new blog. This helps so much to learn about your country and people. It makes it so much more personal.You're now our friend and "next door neighbor"with the use of the wonderful internet.
Dianne R. Fout | Email | Homepage | 11.16.03 - 11:33 am | #


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Very nice start Omar

What happened to every single Iraqi family where ever they are and what are happening now whether to the Iraqis or the American families & the others is the responsibility of Saddam and his evil intentions.

East Europe got its freedom from its dictators and now the time for Middle East starting from here.
Sam | Email | Homepage | 11.16.03 - 11:01 am | #


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Hi, Omar. Welcome to the blogosphere! I've really enjoyed reading Zeyad's and A.Y.S.'s blogs (as well as Alaa's at "The Messopotamian"). I look forward to reading yours, also.
Lisa, New York | Email | Homepage | 11.15.03 - 10:10 pm | #


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May the voice of Yi Hong be noticed.
Lee C. -- U.S.A. | Email | Homepage | 11.18.03 - 9:13 pm | #


This could be the shortest post ever written by Lee C.

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Omar,

Thank you for your very moving and thought-provoking post. A rabbi I respect highly lost several family members in Germany back in those years. Certainly what happened in Iraq is comparable to the holocaust; and I do not think we need to nitpick over whether one was "worse" than the other.

I don't want to add another long-winded post to this board, so just let me extend my deepest sympathy for all that the Iraqi people have suffered, my profoundest regret that the free world did not act sooner to end that suffering, and my hope and belief that the Iraqi people will build for themselves a better future.
Asher Abrams - Portland OR | Email | Homepage | 11.18.03 - 8:14 am | #


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A lot of y'all seem to have overlooked the part where Omar explained he didn't have time to listen to a lot of self-serving rationalizing nonsense.
Lee C. -- U.S.A. | Email | Homepage | 11.18.03 - 12:20 am | #


Down Boy! Bown Boy!

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This is a fake, bullshit blog.
Not fooled | Email | Homepage | 11.17.03 - 4:20 pm | #


Not fake, not bullshit. You lose.

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Er, as Brit, perhaps I may be permitted an attempt at explaining the anti-Bush marches in London last week. First, people are very worried about international security, which has got far worse since the US started its "war on terror". Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and the other man (whose name I have forgotten) have not been captured. I am absolutely certain that Roger Short, the British Consul General in Istanbul, would be alive today had my country's Prime Minister not invited the US President on a visit last week. Second, pulling down a statue of Bush was intended to shock, was intended to embarrass *our* Prime Minister and, of course, to make good tv. Three, there is a lot of controversy about the election in which Bush came to power but he is President and - unfortunately - he heads up an extreme right wing administration. Four, everyone agrees that Saddam Hussein had to go but not everyone agrees about how it was done - the citizens of the UK and the US were *lied* into war (we were told that Saddam's WMD posed an immediate threat to the UK, that he could launch a missile attack upon us within 45 minutes, and we know now that was all lies) - and about the failure to "plan the peace".

Forgive me, but I have misgivings when you write so uncritically of the US. History will judge us both.
Rachel, a Brit in London | Email | Homepage | 11.23.03 - 12:37 pm | #


Er, what is a day without a post from Rachel!

And yes Rachel, history will indeed judge you both. Strange, I haven't heard much from Rachel the last month or so. I wonder why.

If anyone finds any more interesting posts, add them on the Shako-Mako Comments Pages for others to enjoy.

Thanks again to Omar, Ali, and Mohammed at Iraq the Model!



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