Thursday, May 12, 2005
The In T View: Sam From Hammorabi
Sam from the Hammorabi Blog is the most Elusive, Passionate, and Mysterious of the Iraqi Bloggers to share his thoughts
on his country of Iraq, the Middle East, Terrorism, and Geo-Politics. We really don't know who he truly is, but appreciate his contributions to the Blogosphere, and are
presented with the opportunity to learn more about his views on Blogging,
Iraq, Sistani, Childhood, Islam, Food, Terrorism, Muqti al Sadr, and more in:
The In T View: Sam From Hammorabi
MG: Hello Sam, How are you?
Sam: Hi MG.
MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog: Hammorabi come about?
Sam: Blogging is another way of communication, finding local news not covered by the media, and it gives (me the opportunity to converse with) lots of friends from all over the globe. I discovered it by seeing the other blogs through the Internet. Hammorabi is the Babylonian King who produced a full written law and I found this as a good name for something about Iraq.
MG: You have been writing your interesting blog for more than a year now.
What are the challenges associated with writing it and what is the best thing to you about blogging?
Sam: Writing to different readers who don't know the exact magnitude of the adversities and problems in Iraq since 36 years is by itself a challenge. It is about how I can tell you about the size of our suffering for many years? I only can say drop of the ocean. The best thing is learning from other people like you and having friends that you never seen. Communication and changing ideas is a big advantage and a challenge.
MG: Are there other Blogs you like to read and can recommend?
Sam: I read many blogs but can't recommend specific blogs.
MG: In your blog, you often refer to history. What is the most
interesting historical era -- in the Middle East or the World -- to you?
Sam: I like the ancient history of the mankind and how the man starts to make civilizations. Also interested in the history of the Arabs region and Iraq. I am not historian but some time read about the English and the American recent history.
MG: So, how do you view the commentators to your Blog?
Sam: Difficult to say a view about all the commentators because they are different, however I got lot of them like friends or say friends. I respect any views and ideas but without insult to the others or their religion as far as the others are not terrorists.
MG: What are your favorite places in Iraq and the World?
Sam: Historic places especially the very ancient, nature places and my favorite place in Iraq is where there are palm trees and water. The desert represents some thing mysterious that I would like to explore. I love the Iraqi marshes which could represent a beautiful tourist place and natural sanctuary for birds, fish, and it is the place of birth of the first human civilization where the first letter and syllable written.
MG: Let's chat a little about food, Sam. Months back, you talked about a Camel barbecued with honey and figs, that you would like to make for your friends and posters. Do you have a recipe for this?
Sam: The Camel BQ needs no recipe! It needs no salt either because the camel meat a bit salty. Well the recipe is a surprise.
MG: What was the best meal you ever had and why?
Sam: Iraqi Dates fresh from tree, yogurt and cream when all are fresh! Kiln grilled Iraqi marsh fish with freshly made Iraqi bread plus onion.
MG: What were your favorite subjects at school while growing up?
Sam: Math, science, biology.
MG: Could you tell us about a fond memory from your childhood?
Sam: When you are a child and being irresponsible, free like a bird not to worry about any thing is all nice. My school was certainly the nicest thing for me however the best thing in the school was when I receive my results and on the top of that when the summer holiday starts.
MG: Sam, what makes you laugh? What do you find funny?
Sam: Is there anything funny now a days?! Laugh when things go wrong unexpectedly some time to strong comedy shows and the secret cameras good show.
MG: Sam, I understand you're far from being a materialistic man,
but if you inherited about 50 Million Dollars, what would you to do with the money?
Sam: I will give some to my family and some to charity for sick children in Iraq and start a good business. If you like I will donate some for you!
(MG says: Yay, my credit card companies will be very grateful for Sam's donation.)
MG: Sam, what is essential to you in life?
Sam: Without God I won't survive. Peace and respect with values are important. To be good towards my God, myself, my family, the others, the environment and the world as a whole.
MG: What is your favorite book of all time?
Sam: The Holy Quran and the Holy Bible.
MG: What is the link between God and religion?
Sam: Strong without human manipulation
MG: What is the importance of ritual in religion?
Sam: Sort of exercise for the soul and programming the self to be on that religion.
MG: Al Sistani has been a force in Iraq. What do you see in the man and as a spiritual leader?
Sam: Wise, respecting the others and their views irrespective of their religions so can work as a symbol to unify. He is against the use of force and terrorism and the good thing he is calling for, (is) separation of the state from religion in a way not allowing the Mullas to impose themselves as politicians. This is the main difference between Najaf Hawza and Iran Hawza.
MG: Now Sam, should al-Sistani, unelected and not chosen by the Iraqi people to govern them or even represent them, be a force in a modern democratic state?
Sam: No he is not a political force but a spiritual leader and he was so during Saddam regime as spiritual leader so nothing changed now a part from taking his advices and views become public and important for the time being. Once the democratic process established and mechanism for election and constitution set out then Sistani or whoever comes after him will not impose themselves on the politics of the state unless asked to give advice. Indeed he is now not giving his views unless asked to give and he only suggest whether the others will take his suggestion or not. However a man like him is so important in this time like a father in the family.
MG: Some of the rules in Qumran are often interpreted in rigid ways, especially those related to women. What do you think of these interpretations?
Sam: This is a long subject and you need to be specific which role you mean? However not all the interpretations are correct.
MG: Do you think Islamic practices that are in contradiction to modern society and life can be reformed and modernized?
Sam: Absolutely not Islamic practice is so easy and it is the reverse in a materialistic life and stress when need to turn our faces at the end of the day to the highest power in this universe to pray and to sooth our hardship and suffering.
MG: What place should Sharia law have in a modern democratic state?
Sam: I don't think this can be implemented in Iraq.
MG: What are two of your favorites passages in the Qumran?
Sam: In the name of God (Allah) most Gracious most Merciful.
All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, the Lord of the 'Âlamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)
You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).
Guide us to the Straight Way
The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger nor of those who went astray
MG: Would you like to tell us about your family experiences under Saddam?
Sam: This is so long story but we lost a lot and many of my family have been executed.
MG: Saddam's regime was unforgiving. What marks did it leave on your beautiful country and you?
Sam: All what you may see now are the outcome of his mischiefs. The scars he inflicted will not go so easily.
MG: Sam, how must Iraqis cope with past decades of terror and death imposed by Saddam's Baathist Regime?
Sam: They pay thousands to try to topple him but he was supported by big states and Arabs in the region.
MG: What would you like your government to do to improve the security situation?
Sam: Well equipped army and police and punishment for terrorists with the
help of your country and other states.
MG: What special skills does it take to be a good Iraqi Prime Minister?
Sam: Educated, wise, just and not sectarian.
MG: Sam, there's a great deal of mistrust between the Bush Administration and
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, with Adminsitration officials questioning
the Shia Leadership and Parties -- SCIRI and Dawa -- ties to Iran. Can
al-Jaafari and the Shia leadership be trusted or are they just stooges for the
terrorist supporting Iranian government?
Sam: He is just (part of) an interim government and there is going to be another election in Dec 2005, but he is Iraqi and not Iranian. Iran and the USA will be friends so soon and I assure you about this and Iraq could play a major role in this in future.
MG: How badly has Iranian Intelligence penetrated the Shia leadership?
Sam: I don't agree with this.
MG: What does it mean for Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, if Iran
becomes a Nuclear State?
Sam: I think all the nuclear weapons should be destroyed from the world to be safer and better.
MG: Sam, let's talk about Muqti al-Sadr. Why hasn't he been arrested yet?
How much murder and mayhem is one allowed to commit, before one faces
criminal proceeding in the new Iraq? Is he being coddled/protected by
Sistani and the Shia Theocracy?
Sam: This is multiple questions clustered in one - need to be asked to Alawi government. The last part is no he is not.
MG: Women in Iraq have been more prominent in society than in other ME
nations. What should their role be in the future of the country?
Sam: As the role of the women in your country.
MG: In Saudi Arabia, women have few rights. What are your thoughts about
Sam: Should change.
MG: Do you think Iraq could be a model for other Nations in the ME?
Sam: Not in its blood bath now but in future yes and we started to see
the effects in many Arab countries.
MG: If you were to spend a week as a substitute teacher in
a classroom of Iraqi children, ages 8 to 13, what would you tell them?
Sam: To be good to their parents, their selves and their country.
Build peaceful Iraq.
MG: How would you describe Iraqi society to a group of
students in America?
Sam: Friendly, generous, respectful, peaceful, hard workers and they love life.
MG: Do you have any hopes for the ME in terms of social, economic,
and political progress?
Sam: May be.
MG: Do you think Iraq should lead by example and develop friendly
relations with Israel (economic, political)?
Sam: Why not?
MG: Sam, would you ever consider entering politics, if you were
asked to do so?
Sam: Not impossible perhaps not
MG: Terror is the plague of our time. What do you think are its
roots? And secondly, how can the people of the Middle Eastern address it?
Sam: The Saudi Wahabism ; definitely.
MG: Sam, Why didn't Western Leftists denounce Saddam and his regime?
Sam: They are like him
MG: What do you think of Westerners, especially those on the left,
could learn from what is happening in Iraq?
Sam: A lot!
MG: Why doesn't Mainstream Islam denounce terrorism?
Sam: Who said so?!
MG: Thanks Very Much, Sam, for a Nice Interview, and final question:
Have you ever seen a Ghost?
Sam: No but only you after reading your long questions which make me at the end to see it like a ghost which is not going to finish but thank you for your interest indeed and good luck.
The In T View by Diane Carriere & Mister Ghost ~ Artwork by Mister Ghost