Monday, May 27, 2013

Cherish your life

More bombs are going off, more blood is shed and the death toll is rising. A new wave of bombings across Baghdad and in result more innocent people are killed. This bloody scene doesn't seem to be over any time soon. It's really frustrating and depressing. Last night, I was with a friend driving around Baghdad's streets desperately looking for beer to break out of the bad and sad mood. The scenery was dismal. The streets were empty, most shops were closed and some areas were completely dark due to power outtages. The liquor stores were all closed. But successfully, we managed to get some beer after we met a guy we know who then sent us to his relative's house. The guy was secretly selling alcohol from his own house after he was forced to close his liquor store.
We returned back to my friend's home and we enjoyed drinking beer and listening to some music just to forget the gloomy situation even for a bit.
Guys, if you are reading this and you are living in a sort of safer, more secure and freer place than Baghdad, don't take that security and freedom for granted. Always cherish your lives.
Good night, y'all.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Waking up from a coma

It must be my blog was in coma. It's been a long long time since I've published my last posting here. Loads of excuses I can say such as being busy, lacking motivation or not having something significant to write about. But that's not important now. I'm here and thanks to Cecile who suggested me to go re-blogging again.
My blog has been reshaped the way you see it now. I've added some new gadgets and updated some stuff.
I like it. I hope you like it as well.
I've visited the Iraq Blog Count blog to see which blogs are still active and which are not. I wasn't really surprised to find out many blogs have been "dead" for years. Even the blog count is inactive itself. Funny to know that their last post published in 2006 is titled "This blog is still alive..". I think loads of Iraqi bloggers shared my lack of enthusiasm. I know some of them are posting somewhere else (i.e facebook, twitter, google+). Anyway I hope the rest are all safe and ok.
So you wanna hear from me a bit? I'm alive. I still live in Iraq. In Baghdad. The situation here in Iraq these days is at the tipping point after the recent bomb attacks in Baghdad and other Iraqi governorates.
Every Thursday night, I go out with friends to some social club where we can enjoy having drinks, playing a game of bingo and having chit chats. However, last Thursday, we didn't have our usual booze night because all the social clubs that serve alcohol and the liquor stores were closed until further notice. The closure of liquor stores and pubs came as a precautious step after gunmen opened fire on a line of liquor stores in the Zayona area of Baghdad, killing 12 people who were all Yezidis. With alcohol being forbidden in Islam, liquor stores run by members of religious minorities in Iraq are a source of target for Islamic extremist groups. Now, I heard that few alcohol vendors started to re-open their stores again but still wary.
The spike of violence in Iraq is rising after more than 130 people have been killed in bombings targeted both Shiite and Sunni populated areas and my worst fears that this could lead to a new sectarian fight.
Last Friday, twin bombings near a public cafĂ© in Al Dora, the neighborhood I'm living in, killed 4 people and wounded 12. Both bombs exploded consecutively within short interval of time around 8 o'clock in the evening. I live about 2 kilometers away from the bombing scene but I heard the two blasts and I could hear the siren of ambulance and police cars afterwards.
Other bombing attacks killed 70 civilians and injured dozens in Sunni-majority areas like Al Amiriyah, Madain, Baquba and Fallujah. Those attacks were considered as "Revenge attacks" after a string of bombings that hit seven different areas of the capital, many of them Shiite-majority, killed nearly 35 people.
Now we have attacks on both Sunni and Shiite highly populated areas. Whoever is doing that has a purpose to ignite a new sectarian fight similar to the one of 2006-2007 that brought the country to the edge of civil war. This time things may get even worse. This time no American troops in Iraq to stop it.
I fear the worst is yet to come.
Peace out.

Blog Update : May 21 2013
This evening there was another bombing attack in our neighborhood. The bomb was placed inside a youth social center. Casualties are not known yet. That's the info I got so far. I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Long absence and loads of problems!

Hi everyone! It's been nearly a year since I've published my last posting here. However, I'm having problems with my blog and I'm trying to overcome them. I'm expecting to get back here soonish. Wait for me, guys! The annoying Iraqi is back! :P

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New 2011

New Year count down is about to begin. Here's sending my choicest blessing of cheers and joys galore and wishing you a wonderful year 2011.
New Year promises fresh start and fill every heart with hopes and aspirations. Here's sending my wishes of love and laughter this day and forever.
New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. As the new year takes the flying start, may it brings peace of heaven to your house and fills your heart with grace and glory. Wishing you 365 days of unstop laughter and good cheers.

p.s I'll try to edit this post later (or add a new post) with my highlights of 2010.

Happy new year again, fellas!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Stressed at work

It's 2:00 pm and I'm here at work behind my desk in the office. My head is feeling numb and dizzy. The job is stressful and it is not that rewarding. I'm working as a network engineer in some ISP (Internet Service Provider) company. However, the company I am working for sucks major ass. Two annoying bosses, low-budget expenditures, one day weekend, a lousy salary, and our net service is a joke. I'm waiting till it is 3:00 pm so that I can leave for home. Home! I am not talking with my father for more than a week. Meh... I'm really feeling stressed out.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Eid in Baghdad

Happy eid, everyone! Today is Eid al-Fitir! It marks the end of Ramadan, muslim's fasting month. Early in the morning on the day of Eid, muslims wake up to the sound of Allah Akbar – “God is the greatest” — from the minarets of nearby mosques. They go to the mosques for the Eid prayer which is followed by short speech "khutba" by the imam. After that, people meet, greet, and wish each other the best.
Since it is Eid and the end of Ramadan, breakfast is really important on that day. People go to buy kahi wa gaimer— a very delicious kind of pastry that Iraqis eat on special occasions. The pastry shop where you get kahi gets really crowded on Eid. You can wait for a while until you finally get your order — but is really worth it! Traditionally, parents give their children eideya — that’s a gift of money. Now comes the family gathering time. People throw on their new outfits. Relatives visit with one another — they talk, get nostalgic, laugh, discuss life, and listen eid songs. They drink tea and eat klecha — that’s a type of cookie baked especially for Eid.
Kids run around with their new Eid clothes — complete with shiny shoes — and they laugh and play. Usually thier parents take them to parks and restaurants. Al-Zawra'a Park & Zoo in Al-Mansour Area and almost in a central location of Baghdad is the destination of hundreds of baghdadi families during the days of eid. It’s located in Damascus Street. You can find lots of amusements here: children games, a zoo, exhibitions, a tourist’s map, am open-air theater, fountains, sculptures, lakes, coffee-shops, restaurants, sandwich kiosks, the Zawra Olympic Pool, the Zawra Tower ( a 54-meter tower with an Islamic dome with a round veranda under the dome that serves as an observation platform and yields a magnificent view of Baghdad).

On the top of the tower there is a level with a cafeteria and a level with a restaurant; the tower has an elevator. Zawra Park, a sprawling, 250-acre public park in central Baghdad, is one of the few open spaces left in the capital. It's seeing a resurgence of visitors, thanks to improved security in central Baghdad. In eid, where families still gather for picnics, teenage boys kick around soccer balls, young couples canoodle furtively under trees and children bury their faces in cotton candy.
Slowly, Zawra is coming back to life. Here are some pics of Eid Al fitir I wanna share them with you.

Happy eid, everyone!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

50 meters

Fifty meters was the distance between me and inevitable death.
I was trying to get a bus to go back home after a short day of work. I was walking in Mamoon street (Yarmouk neighborhood in western Baghdad) heading to Al Nissour Sq. in order to get a bus from there and go back home. It takes me 10 minutes by foot to get to that square. I pass by a state-run bank which is called The Trade Bank of Iraq, and also beside it, there is an office of Iraq's interior ministry where Iraqis apply for their national ID cards. It was about 11:00 am local time and usually this area at that hour as it was today is so crowded with people visiting both the bank and the office to get their stuff done. I kept walking and trying to lessen the terrible heat of our burning sun with a bottle of water and a wet handkerchief. Then, I felt like my ears were about explode and my lungs were jumping out of my chest. I then realized it was a heavy blast. I looked behind and I saw nothing but fire smoke and dust. Immediately, a rain of shattered stones and metal pieces were falling over. I stood amazed there for a minute but I was awakened by some bullets were fired by the Iraqi police and quickly I started to escape the bloody scene to a safer place. Another loud explosion occurred, leaving a huge giant of fire and a rain of flying pieces of iron falling from the sky. I raised my head above and I saw a large piece of a car's wheel flying in the air on the other side of the street. Then I sped up again and went to take shelter behind a few trees just to catch a breath. I couldn't believe what just happened. If I was 50 meters back or 2 minutes late, I could be dead. People were running in all directions. And ambulances and fire trucks invaded the scene. I looked back to check on the bloody scene but the smoke was killing my visibility. Anyway, I guessed that the explosions were targeting the Trade bank and the office of Iraq's interior ministry. Later, I heard on tv that each car was loaded with 80 kilogrammes (180 pounds ) of ammonium nitrate. A recent update mentioned that 33 people were killed and 52 others were injured. Five guards of the bank were among the dead and six others were wounded. While many of the victims from that blast targeting the interior ministry office were women, according to the Iraqi army. That truly is painful. Till this moment I do not forget how a man burst into tears as he was running towards the explosions. I'm sure many families have lost their beloved ones today and my family could have been one of those. I ask what is the guilt perpetrated by the poor families to face a horrible fate like that? What those innocent women and children did? Won't the violence and bloodshed stop in Iraq? Should ordinary Iraqis pay the political struggle in Baghdad? Can't those poor Iraqi families live in peace? Is there any light at the end of this long dark bloody tunnel?