Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Salam Pax Twittering Back to Baghdad

Salam Pax, now with a Master's in International Journalism from City University in London (photo of Salam the Earnest Student), is currently in transit back to Baghdad. You can follow him through his Twitter account. I'm not sure how much he's going to use Twitter, but for right now it's the only way to read any of his reactions to his return to Iraq after a year's absence. Thankfully, Salam still has his sense of humor:
Guardian/G2 want 2k words on why I'm going back to Baghdad.. all I can think of is 'I miss the mad spiralling decent into Baghs airport' 5:37 AM Jan 11th from twitterrific
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UPDATE
: Salam Pax has just published a piece at the Guardian:

"I want Baghdad to feel like home again."

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Salam's friend Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (G. in Baghdad for the old-timers) has continued to write for the Guardian and recently published an article describing a visit to Iran as someone who grew up during the Iran-Iraq War (Brothers in Arms).
One day I stood with my father in downtown Baghdad, watching a parade of Iraqi military trucks packed with Iranian prisoners of war pass by. I didn't feel sorry for the defeated men in tattered, khaki uniforms and shaved heads. I was just scared of them. A few years later, the TV broadcast similar images of broken, khaki-clad soldiers, squatting in the desert with their hands tied behind them - this time, however, they were the defeated Iraqi armies.

Our state propaganda machine portrayed the Iranians as cowards, evil creatures, "the worms of the earth". The Iraqis, we were told, were fighting another glorious battle against the Persians, just as the early Muslims had done in the seventh century.

It was this religious imagery, and those pictures of defeated men, that filled my head when I went to Tehran this autumn, some 20 years after that war, and I soon came to realise that the same religious symbols, sometimes even the same verses of the Qur'an, were used in the same way on the other side of the border.
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Meanwhile, Anarki-13 reports on his new life in Sweden (Ahem!):
Leisure: hmm. well, me myself its enough to go walk around Stockholm :) I've been to a couple of parties as well, Arabs and Swedes.

the weather fits me to a tee. almost always freezing my ass off, which i like! even in the hottest day of Summer it didnt peak much above 30. in winter its 3 o'clock and its already dark! i LOVE IT! cant say enough good things about it! (most Iraqi, having a disposition towards warmer climate, would like no less than to strangle me with my own intestines for saying this about the weather. So many are as depressed as hammered shit)

oh and i started training again, it costs an arm and a leg, but it is worth it! next week is the end-course grading exam, so i should probably prepare for it, i guess.
Music, Movies, and Books: Dark, Dark, and Dark! One day something just clicked inside my head and i started listening to Slayer again, and i have no regrets!

Movies: many, not ALL are dark, i LOVED "Enchanted" (yeah, i did) and liked "Hellboy 2" much more than the overhyped "Dark Knight"
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i still refuse to take Batman seriously before he starts using guns.
martial arts my ASS, i am a martial artist. and i say guns win, EVERY TIME.
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