Friday, November 11, 2005

Swingers!

Hamza Hendawi, an Egyptian journalist who has been covering Iraq for the Washington Post and now the Associated Press, has returned many times over the last few years to a bookstore in Baghdad called Iqra to interview the two owners, Mohammed Hanash Abbas and Attallah Zeidan (photo of Abbas in the bookstore).

While Hendawi had written about the owners' optimism in an article from January of this year, his latest news article, based on one of his recent visits, suggests that the optimism of January has been worn a little thin after a year of bloodletting by terrorists in Iraq.

Abbas revealed the depth of his anger at the actions of the suicide bombers when he told Hendawi that he wanted to "collect all the terrorists in one place and kill them like insects." I wonder if Hammorabi Sam hangs out at Iqra.

Hendawi also talked to them about the upcoming December 15 elections. While they had voted for Al-Jaafari in the January 30 election, they are uncertain who they are going to vote for on December 15. Hendawi writes:
Abbas had become something that never existed in the days of Saddam-vs.-nobody elections -- a swing voter. "I have not made up my mind yet on who I will vote for," he said.
Welcome to the Swingers Club, Abbas.

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Because I only recently found out about Omar's blog, 24 Steps to Liberty, I haven't had time yet to read through his archives. Today on the comments page Omar stopped by and mentioned that the "24 steps to liberty" reference is explained in his first blog entry.

Here is Omar's first blog entry, which includes a photo of Omar taken not so long ago.

Omar, my parents live far away from New York, but this summer my mother and father and several of the children and grandchildren were able to visit the Statue of Liberty together. It was a beautiful day and we made the tour with people from all around the world. My mother still talks about. "I never thought I'd ever be able to see the Statue of Liberty," she says, smiling.

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SANDMONKEY, WE'RE NOT WORTHY!

WE'RE NOT WORTHY!

C'mon, just go over to Sandmonkey's now. I'm telling you I fell off my chair THREE TIMES as I alternately laughed, slapped my knee, and exclaimed "Yes!" while reading his Jordan is angry, Al Qaeda explains.

And watch out for that punchline. It'll knock you on your arse.

SANDMONKEY ROOLZ!

Get outta here! CASE CLOSED!

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Salam Pax is now back in Iraq and blogs about the terrorist bombing in the restaurant that Baghdad Treasure covered and wrote about yesterday.
That was Kaduri’s. If you are person who likes BIG Iraqi breakfasts then that’s your place. While G and I were working for the NY Times we used to joke that the best way to put western media in Iraq out of action is to attack Kaduri’s. Every morning drivers, interpreters and fixers for many of the media organizations staying at the Palestine or Sheraton Hotels in Baghdad would be there. It was always like this, very busy. Kaduri’s morning shift ends around 11 because he opens very early.

It’s like a Baghdadi institution. You could get takeaway for some culinary slumming or go wait for a seat. Kaduri had a strict no loitering policy, he didn’t even let people just drink their little glasses of tea inside because there would always be way too many people waiting to get a chair. And tables are obviously communal, grab a seat, say good morning and order. If you don’t like strangers on your breakfast table them you better not come here.

That’s all gone now. And what really gets my goat is that all the news say things like “this was a restaurant frequented by policemen” as if this is an excuse for the bombing, enough of an explanation as to why places get blown into smithereens.
Read the rest and tip your hat to Salam Pax.

After reading that, I wonder what Salam Pax thinks about Raed Jarrar sitting in the Bay Area waiting for his greencard. Is Raed Jarrar so far up that he's looking through Uncle Sam's eye sockets too? Hey, I know they're friends, probably always will be. That's fine. But sometimes you have to wonder.

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