Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Halal Food

‘Kosh.. What?’
‘Kosher food.’
‘What’s that?’
‘Jewish food’
At this point I’m thinking don’t Jewish people eat like the rest of us …what do they eat then? Bloody hell! What do they eat?  maybe ..... 
Sugar, how could I even consider that for a fraction of a second? I am just as racist as the rest of this world…its amazing how easily you can slip in this ugly profiling game ... my mind started to panic for no apparent reason .And if you know me , you won’t be surprised if I tell you that they kind of realized what I was thinking ..Of course, they would … It was written all over my face.
‘See it’s like Halal food for Muslims. It’s the sort of food that Jewish people are allowed to eat.’ said reassuringly 
‘Ah, alright  ...’ wait isn’t this guy Muslim?! Why is he eating Jewish Halal!? ….but I didn’t ask really. Its none of my business… maybe Jewish cuisine is interesting… I don’t know …I just decided to end this awkward conversation at this point ... I m too uncool to know what Kosher food is and my cooking skills are only slightly better than that of flying an airplane.

To be fair , when roaming  the streets of London , I have come across quite few caf├ęs and restaurants including major chains that advertised selling Halal food but never once this kosher thing .. Maybe that’s because you can only find what you are looking for …

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lucky me !?

‘It must be cool to be able to read Quran without needing any sort of translation’

‘Hmm yeah well I suppose .To be honest, I’ve never thought about that ‘

I actually read it quite infrequently and even when I do read the Quran, I don’t bother search the meaning of the words that I can’t get  ... When people say things like that I really, like really feel guilty… I will read it more often I said to myself starting today… hopefully I’ll stick to my promise this time ..Fingers crossed

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ahmad the Jew

'He can't be' she sounded so sure about it

'why not?'

'Because Jewish people don't call their sons Ahmad'

'I know a Christian named Omar'

'Are you sure he was wearing the Jewish head cap? '

'well I suppose I saw it ,  let me tell you the story from the start so he did mention that he saw Dr.Ahmad at the meeting  last week and ...'

'then you must  have mixed his name with your colleague's name'

'I AM  pretty sure he said his name was Ahmad and he has met Ahmad last week' I said that rather assertively though at this point I started to doubt myself..  then I added 'So he said he was originally from Iraq but has left like 16 years ago , did his medical school in the UK and it is his first month as a qualified doctor ..and you wont believe it.. he can actually speak Iraqi Arabic'

'he must be a Muslim then , Jews had left Iraq since the seventies '

'what about the head cap then ?!'

'He definitely wasn't wearing one' mum concluded

'hmm I don't know maybe he is a Muslim who just feeling cold then'  :giggle

'dear check your eye sight asap !'
we were both laughing at this point ...
'OK then I have to go now,speak soon mum'

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy B-day to the new mummy :)

My sister's B-day is this weekend .She, her husband and her few weeks old baby live in Sheffield at the moment . Most likely we will both change addresses by November. I am all hopes that the distance between us will always be doable !

I haven't seen her since the delivery , almost 9 weeks now . And to be honest , travelling to Sheffield would've been less likely if I didn't have a training course in Manchester on the same weekend .
But my legs are much better now (broken at the beginning of Ramadan :D) , still limping but yeah they are doing really fine considering all the travelling I 'm doing this month !

I am typing this whilst still at Baghdad international airport ! I might be off for a while as I am preparing for an exam sometime next month ..wish me luck :)
Hope she will find those vitamin E creams useful ! here's my little secret.... I am not sure I would've bought the set if it was not on offer ! ;)

Ali , the newest member of our family ; I am an auntie now :)
feeling old :P

Clumsiness must be running in the family , same week I broke my leg
my brother fell off the trampoline broke 3 ribs :P the poor thing can't laugh anymore ;)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back to London

Eid is over .My flight back to London is in few hours .I have spent some amazing time in the city I was born and raised in .I was surrounded by so much love and pride by people I had no idea they felt that way for me before now. Though,I wasn't particularly keen on the idea of visiting Baghdad before December, now it happened I have no regrets at all . In fact , I truly think (apart from what this visit did to my bank account) , I absolutely needed it .

After spending quite some time in the UK, I was kind of lost ..not literally ( though I m notoriously known of getting lost  but lets save this story for another time perhaps ).I don't enjoy dodging explosives in the streets of Baghdad but I discovered that I secretly like how it makes me appreciate life more. And suddenly all the frustrations of my current life in London seem irrelevant ,dull and empty . 

After being bullied at work , losing people I truly cared about and not particularly making the progress I aspired in regards of my higher education. 2013 in the UK hasn't been so nice to me so far . 

It is not that I haven't been discriminated against in the past and being an Iraqi I'd seen people I cared about getting killed or losing their senses after losing a family member or a loved one . And I certainly had my moments of uncertainly regarding my work and studies before I settled in the UK .

These few days in Baghdad have helped me understand the reason why the younger , less experienced me had faced challenges far more distressing yet managed to get the best out of it and did not feel as helpless as the older 'wiser!' me who is living in a safer, better place now . The answer is simple yet magical  its ' family and friends' 

And though I hadn't lost them but long distance relationships are not always as good and for me they are bound to failure. I have never been good at getting back to people and social networking isn't particularly my thing. I think I had survived before largely because of who I was surrounded by at the time . 

I am absolutely determined to turn things around now  I m reminded that I have been though far worse circumstances and I have done marvelously. I know I have people who love and support me no matter where I go .
Until next time ..keep smiling best friends x

my favorite mug 

I felt great when I saw my graduation photo still in place together with my sister's and my brother's
after my bedroom being turned into a utility room and absolutely everything I left in Baghdad given to charity (for Baraka!)

CCTV in the living room ..I believe its being normalized in Baghdad , no longer  big news to civilians !
you ought to take responsibility of your own safety 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The story of this Eid !

Happy Eid everyone !

So out of 4994 questions to cover for my test , I m  done with only 200. My exam is at the beginning of next month !
Why ?! It wasn't very relevant at this point so for the Eid, I m on leave, my legs are hurt so no travelling and  I was planning to do some serious catch up cramming ...perfect plan Right !
here is what happened

le me in London
A mere one hour into my plan and ...
an unexpected call 'Come to Baghdad now'

 I seriously didnt believe they want me to come only cos' they miss me !'

 booked the next available flight to Baghdad 'same evening'  

bought my grandpa his fav chocolate packed it with my laptop , some underwear and hit the airport !

I was still fasting , last day of Ramadan I thought , I can do it ..In retrospect , I should 've  broken it .Fasting while travelling, dont do it ! an unnecessary hardship

 Baghdad ,crystal clear sky ,43 Celius
The heat is good for the healing of my legs ( at least that's what I want to believe)!and  nothing ,I was busy worrying about my entire journey instead of revising for the test, was true ..It turned out , they truly just miss me ! Great 
wish me luck people I need it !
cheers :D

Friday, August 2, 2013

Arab Spring - Iraqi Version !

Tahrir Square -Baghdad -Iraq (I reckon it was taken in the 90s) 
 So the date was set , Friday 2nd August 2013 , the last Friday of Ramadan ,  Iraqi youth is no longer going to stay silent  # Iraq revolting  was the name chosen for the day in social media networks .The young activists organised the entire thing online and though many people were apprehended giving the fragile , tense security situation in Baghdad right now . It was decided that to put up with corruption , oppression and dictatorship is no longer an option  .
Time was set , right after Morning prayers
Place : Tahrir square , Baghdad
so its happening right now as I am typing this . I only know two people who are taking part of it , guess what ?! both of them got arrested earlier this morning .The government ,in my opinion, is freaking out .It can not even tolerate peaceful demonstrations ... Its a bit frustrating to be honest .

Earlier this morning , I was talking to a lady doctor who used to supervise my youth volunteer work back in Baghdad and she is so against all this . To be honest, I can not blame her and anyone whether they are pro and anti demonstrations , the situation in Baghdad is so tense at the moment .800 people were killed last month only ,3000 since April 2013 with civilian majority ! mainly because of the upcoming election . The people in Power want to stay in power and rivalry among different parties has reached its momentum . Add to this the Islamic insurgency groups .Baghdad is literally falling apart this Ramadan . May god's peace and mercy be with my family(or whats left of them) and all the families around the world who lack basic security rights .
Tahrir square -Baghdad February 2012 - in line with the Arab spring