Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Life Goes On in Iraq

Throughout Iraq, and even in the Iraqi blogosphere, life goes on. In a recent blog entry, Sami (Skies) writes about a summer evening spent talking with neighbors in a garden and the jokes they told each other:
Today I went outside at about 9:45 pm and found my neighbours all sitting in a small garden. I joined them and the fun started. At first we started complaining at the hot whether. Then a neighbour showed me a video in his mobile of a fat drunk lady dancing in a very funny way. Then another neighbour came to tell us 2 jokes that really made us laugh from our hearts. Then we started talking about Baghdad and that it is much better than before a year. Two men started telling us about the old Baghdad.
Shaggy takes a break from the plantation and visits Karbala:
Two things surprised me about the place. There seems to be quite some wealth there, there are plenty of shops there and some of them actually look quite nice and clean. After touring the outlying area of the mosque we went to a new fast food restaurant flashier than anything in Baghdad today. It was a tad weird to see someone roll out a prayer mat and to begin praying in the middle of the restaurant though.

The other thing that I noticed there, is the surprising amount of women there. About three quarters of the people on the street were women. All wearing that black gown from their head to the ground but without covering their faces. Some girls don't do their eyebrows at all and that always startles when I look at one. One of my cousins tells me there are hot chicks there, and somehow he actually checks them out even though they're wearing black from head to toe. He must have some well-trained eye to do that.
Caesar of Pentra, a favorite of the IBC crew, informs us that he is now using his break after exams to hit the gym and try to add a few more pounds of muscle. At the same time, he has started to grow a beard (but not a "fanatical bastard" beard). On the comments page, diet and exercise are the main topics (you know that Iraq is stabilizing when pumping iron and steroids are the major themes), and Caesar tells us exactly what he's been doing:
Concernig Legs, I'm doing the "leg press" work-outs and I'm pushing about 100 to 120 kgs on 4 sets, each set consists of 8 to 6 tries. They are very helpful for my thighs and legs.
I'm pretty sure that Caesar is exercising for fun and not to help him score with the ladies, right?

Iraqi Translator reports on the opening of a KFC in Fallujah (check out the photo in the blog entry). Okay, as Iraqi Translator points out, it's not a real KFC franchise, of course. Some enterprising Fallujan resteraunteur lifted the Colonel's likeness and put it on a big sign above his fast-food joint, where he probably sells chicken and whatever else people want to eat (without the Colonel's secret recipe, however).

As I type this, Marshmallow is probably already married.

Najma is currently traveling in Turkey with her family.

Morbid Smile is finishing her Master's dissertation here in the U.S. and will soon return to Iraq. With violence in Iraq at its lowest level since 2003, we hope that Iraq becomes a place where Sami and Shaggy and Najma and others can look forward to long, productive, and happy futures.


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