Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The In T View: Ahmad From Iraqi Expat
The Straight-Shooting Ahmad of the Very Fine Iraqi Expat Blog was exiled like many others from Iraq by the Abhorent Policies of Saddam and the Baathists, and now makes his home in a Secret Location
somewhere in London, England, where he
forthrightly Comments on events of Iraq,
the Middle East, his new Homeland, and the
World, sharing his Expatriate Perspective,
as only an Expat truly can.
It's The In T View: Ahmad From Iraqi Expat
Interview by MG; Art by MG/DC
MG: Ahmad, Ahmad, Ahmad, How is the
Ground shaking beneath your feet or How
Ahmad: Not too bad, MG. My luck is changing at the moment, to the better, so I can't complain and I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)
MG: Ahmad, Is Islam a Death Cult? Do you think that Non Muslims could interpret it that
way, what with all the Terrorism, Subjugation,
Honor Killings, Dictatorships, Repression of
Rights, Female Genital Mutilations, Internecine
Battles Between Various Sects of Islam, and a Generous Population of Radical Islamicists who
want to destroy the West and those of Us who
live in it?
Ahmad: I think it is more like a sick cult rather than a death cult. At least that's how I would interpret it if I didn't know better, or if I didn't believe. However, since I believe, I can say that Muslims and Middle Easterners are the problem and not Islam; nonetheless, Islam must be reformed, it must evolve. There are too many reasons for this sickness like backward thinking, fear of progressiveness, oppression, tribal traditions, being self-absorbed, etc. Muslims claims that Islam is a religion of love, peace and humanity; yet the most pathetic and disgraceful donations for the tsunami victims, many of whom where Muslims, came from oil-rich Muslim country!
MG: What's your Favorite TV Show of all
time and why?
Ahmad: It's got to be 24. It's great, intense, gripping and highly addictive. Once I start watching it, I can't stop. And the best part is when the sick fanatics lose and Bauer saves the day :) Friends is a close second!
MG: Ahmed, have you ever watched Gilligan's Island? If so, do you think something was going on between the Skipper and Gilligan? Do you think the Skipper called Gilligan "Little Buddy" with much
too much fondness? And why weren't the Skipper and Gilligan shacking up with Ginger and Mary Ann, two single, beautiful, desirous, probably lonely women?
Ahmad: No, never watched it, never heard of it!
MG: Do you have a Favorite Brand of
Breakfast Cereal? I love Blueberry Morning
Ahmad: Honey Nut Shredded Wheat.
MG: What was the Best Birthday Present you ever received?
Ahmad: This is a tough one, MG! I am gonna have to pass.
MG: Ahmad, tell me about your Parents?
What's special about them, and what's your Fondest Memory of your Mother?
Ahmad: Well, they are very loving and caring parents, and I've been fortunate to have be brought up be well educated, well respected, adorable parents who supported me through tough times. My mother is a fantastic and brave woman who were able to work and raise five children at the same time.
MG: Is your Mom a Good Cook? What Iraqi
Meal or Dessert that she made or makes, causes
you to go absolutely Ga-Ga over it?
Ahmad: A good cook? No, she is a great cook. Her food is delicious and everyone who tried her food can confirm this :) Teman Bagala (fava beans' rice is rice cooked with fava beans and dill, and eaten with lamb meat or chicken) is my favorite dish.
MG: Ahmad, why are Iraqi Men considered
the Best Lovers in the Middle East? What makes
you Iraqi Men such Funky Sex Machines?
Ahmad: Probably because we ARE the best :) We are fun, romantic and passionate, yet dominant and want to please; what more do women want?
MG: Have you been Lucky or Unlucky in Love?
Ahmad: Both! Lucky, because I loved and been loved; unlucky, because it didn't work out!
MG: Ahmad: Brush With Greatness: Who's
the Most Famous Person you've ever encountered?
Ahmad: Sadly, Saddam is the most famous person I encountered! It happened more than once actually; but I will tell you about this specific one. I was about 8 or 9 years old with my older brother in the Hunting Club in Al Mansoor. My brother and his friends went to watch a movie in the outdoor cinema of the club and I went to join them; but I didn't find a chair! So, I searched the cinema to find an empty chair to take and I found a table at the back of the cinema with many empty chairs and only one person sitting at the table. It was dark, so I went to the person and asked if I can take one of the chairs; but the man asked me why don't I sit there with him on the table. I answered by saying I want to go and sit with my brother, and he said, bring your brother and sit here with me. This conversation kept going for couple of minutes, before I realised that this man's voice is familiar! I looked around and I saw dozen or more bodyguards standing behind him. I looked at the sitting man again, and I realised that it was Saddam. At that point he was saying take the chair, but I interrupted him and said no thanks and ran away. I sat on the floor next to my brother and I didn't speak a word until I got home later that night, when I told my brother what happened.
MG: You have a lot to say about the
Arab Press, most of it Bad. So, what is the
Problem with the Arab Media?
Ahmad: Oh man, the Arab media is as messed up as the Arabs themselves. Maybe the media is even more messed up because either it is controlled by some backward thinking dictator or some backward thinking agenda. The lack of logic in the Arab media and the people they bring to their shows is astonishing. It makes you think that these people are happy with the way things are or were. It never cease to amaze me how shameless some people are when they defend or praise the actions and words of dictators or backward thinking Muslims and Imams. It is a big problem, MG. For us to move forward, the media has to evolve; because it is an important tool in enlightening people and educating them.
MG: Jihad TV... Al Jazeera is coming to
the United States, Ahmad. Should it be Banned or does Freedom of the Press hold sway?
Ahmad: Banned and shut down. Freedom of press and freedom of speech must never be free enough to incite violence and promote terror. There is a fine difference between freedom and chaos, that difference is defined by responsibility, accountability and rule of law. I can't go and advocate killing because I am free to say what I like to say, can I?
MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog: Iraqi Expat
Ahmad: I have read many Iraqi blogs since Salam Pax, and at some point I decide to start a blog to write my opinion because of the negative/backward views that I was reading and hearing everywhere.
MG: Besides your Fine Blog, what other
Blogs do you Read and can Recommend?
Ahmad: Thanks for calling my blog a fine blog :) I read many Iraqi, Arabic and international blogs; mostly I like ITM, Ali Fayrouz, NIW, Akbar, Sami, Sandmonkey, Big Pharaoh, Nadz, Amarji, Tony , Athena, Karfan, and many others.
MG: Who's your favorite Iraqi Blogger?
Ahmad: That's a tough one since many of them are my favorite; but I will say the ITM brothers.
MG: Ahmad, Are you a fan of the original
Star Trek, the one with Mister Spock the Vulcan?
He used to perform Mind Melds on other sentinent beings, allowing him access to their innermost thoughts. Would you yourself like to perform a
Mind Meld on Sexy Iraqi Blogger Riverbend?
Ahmad: Hahaha... LOL. I am not a fan of Star Trek; but if I can read someone's inner most thoughts it wouldn't be riverbend for two reasons: 1. Because she is a classic case of Baath intoxication and you don't need to read her thoughts to know how she thinks, if you know what I mean! 2. Why would I waste such a gift on someone like riverbend? I would want to read the thoughts of the women I making love to, to give her what she wants the second she thinks of it ;)
MG: Ahmad, if you got in to a Fight with
Sam from Hammorabi, who would Win? You know that
Sam is a Crafty Old Guy. He knows the Famous Baghdadi Death Grip, so you better watch out.
Ahmad: So, he knows the death grip that I spent 18 months formulating and perfecting? Interesting!
MG: Ahmad, What goes Up, must come Down.
True or False?
MG: Ahmad, Do you ever take a look at the Moon and want to carve your name there in Giant Letters, so it can be seen from the Earth?
Ahmad: Did you get the impression that I have narcissistic personality disorder? Saddam did, not me! In the 80s, one of Saddam's bootlickers suggested to Saddam that they should create a giant golden statue of Saddam to orbit in space! Can you imagine how crazy some people are? Of course he was rewarded by Saddam for his creative thinking!
MG: Ahmad, What's the Greatest Feeling in
the World to you?
MG: Ahmad, Tell Me something about the Iraqi Expatriate experience:
Ahmad: I have wrote about Iraqi expats in general.
MG: ~ How did you get from Point A in Iraq to Point B in England?
Ahmad: It wasn't easy; but I was luckier than many. I left Iraq with forged document because I was banned from leaving the country; I wasn't banned personally, but I was banned because of my profession. When I left Baghdad I was very sad and I almost cried; but I was also extremely afraid and nervous until I passed the Iraqi borders. Anyway, I stayed in Jordan for over a year until the British gave me a visa. So I must say that I didn't have it as bad as many others, including my friends.
MG: ~ Who or What forced your family and you to leave Iraq?
Ahmad: The situation forced us to run away from danger, from the brutality of the regime, from the place where we were suppose to be safe at, from home. We left because we can no longer tolerate being at risk and we lost hope. One of the thing that Iraqis who didn't leave don't know is that leaving Iraq is one of the hardest decisions in life because it is a decision of hope, uncertainty and hardship. Many Iraqis lost their life or got imprisoned while trying to reach a safe haven.
MG: ~ What was it Like to Live in a Culture of Fear?
Ahmad: Very hard. Hard because you are not only suppose to not criticise, but you are suppose to praise what you hate with passion. It is hard because you are living in a big lie and you can't talk about it; you can trust no one. On top of that, and even if you are compliant, you might get into trouble or get killed at any moment without any reasons. For example, Omar Sabawi, Saddam's nephew was driving in al Arasat when he started looking and flirting with some girls in a car. That car was being driven by the girls brother, and their mother was with them. When the brother noticed, he drove away and didn't give way to Omar. Omar and his bodyguards stopped the car and wanted to kill the brother. The mother pleaded for her son's life, she dropped on her knees in the street and kissed Omar's shoe to save her son's life; finally Omar agreed to save her son's life if the son is willing to close his eyes and open his mouth so that Omar can spit in his mouth. The mother begged her son to accept, and he did. When the son closed his eyes and opened his mouth, Omar put the gun in the son's mouth and killed him. Omar and the bodyguards drove away and people in the street where standing by watching but can do nothing to stop it.
MG: ~ Was it a Hard Adaption for you to
live in a Foreign Country?
Ahmad: For me it wasn't too hard, because I opened my mind and my eyes and realised that I have been living in a prison and should try to understand the world from a different perspective. So I worked on the basis that what I knew before wasn't necessary right, and should try to reason it according to what I know today; and that I didn't - and still - don't know everything.
MG: ~ And what were some of the difficulties you faced in your new Homeland?
Ahmad: The main difficulty is my residency. I have been badly advised, represented, and have made some mistakes in the process, which resulted in a long fight with the home office. It is almost settled now.
MG: Ahmad, there seems to be some Jealousy, perhaps Envy, and even Anger directed towards
Iraqi Expats, from those Iraqis who never left
Iraq. Why is that?
Ahmad: I don't know, shouldn't you ask them that? :) Maybe because we didn't have it as bad as they did, maybe because we ran away, maybe because we changed our fortune. I am not sure why if any, but I think a combination of all, plus the Arab/Iraqi nature of being envious!
MG: Is there a Locale in Iraq that holds
a Special Place in your Heart for you, or just
a spot in Iraq that's special to you?
Ahmad: Many. Too many. Ah, home, Baghdad Medical College, Baghdad College, many spot in al Mansoor district, do you want more?
MG: Ahmad, Do you have a Favorite Color
of Nail Polish you like to see on a Woman's
Toes? I like Red myself, but everyone's different.
Ahmad: Sexy Red!
MG: Ahmad, Are you at Liberty to discuss
the Famous Iraqi Curse of the Hairy Toes?
Ahmad: Hairy toes? Man, that is a curse;
I am glad I don't have to worry about this.
MG: Thanks for a Very Nice Interview,
Ahmad, and Final Question:Have you ever Seen a Ghost?
Ahmad: Thanks MG. No I haven't, but I've
been interviewed by one ;)