Thursday, April 19, 2007

How Iraqi are You?

Responding to a commenter on his blog, Majed Jarrar proclaims that the "+2 million Iraqi refugees scattered on earth are a million times more Iraqi than the ITM brothers." A million times more? That's a lot, isn't it?

Majed and his two bothers are born of a Palestinian-Jordanian father, Azzam, and an Iraqi mother, Faiza, and yet Majed also claims that they are MORE Iraqi than the two Baghdad-born bloggers Omar and Mohammed. "[M]y brother Raed who lives in DC, is more Iraqi than them," he writes. "While Raed along with other hundreds of thousands of refugees wish to go back to Iraq to live there, ITM brothers wish that they were been born Americans. They, and everyone who thinks like them, are a shame on Iraq."

Faiza and her husband, Azzam, are currently living in the family's penthouse apartment in Amman, Jordan, Majed is going to university in Egypt, Khalid is somewhere in Jordan, and Raed is living in Washington, D.C. Omar and Mohammed Fadhil, on the other hand, are still living in Baghdad, going to work each day, through the good times and bad times. But, in Majed's eyes, the Jarrars, scattered around the Mideast and in America, are more Iraqi than the Omar and Mohammed, who risk their lives every day as they help Iraqis both in their professional capacities but also in their first-hand blogging from inside Baghdad.

While I find Majed's animus toward the blogging brothers at Iraq the Model misplaced (he should be directing that anger toward the Anbar Baathists and Jihadi terrorists whose combined tally of Iraqi/Muslim murders is beginning to approach the high-water mark set by Saddam Hussein himself), I nonetheless believe that the Jarrar family -- all of them -- have much to contribute to a stable, democratic society once they return to Iraq.

In Saddam's day, the Jarrar brothers were not able to hold an Iraqi passport because, under normal Arab customs, the children take their nationality and ethnicity from their father and not their mother. This explains why Raed Jarrar was not expected to serve in the Iraq army, while his friend Ghaith Abdul-Ahad had to hide from authorities for several years as he avoided joining the Iraq military.

Majed revealed that under the new constitution anyone born of an Iraqi-born mother may now claim Iraqi citizenship. Majed smirks, "[O]h and, according to the new constitution brought to you by America with a full package of freedom and liberation, which I'm sure that you and ITM brothers adore it... the child of an Iraqi woman is Iraqi." Indeed, the ironies never cease.


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