Monday, November 27, 2006

Sniffle Sniffle

I've got the flu. It's glorious. Sedated the natural way.

Last Thursday my friend India took a cab to get home but unluckily for India, past half way the cab driver got scared and brought India back to mine. India ended up spending the next three nights at mine. We spent our time playing on our Nintendo DSs, watching Iraqi TV and playing Scrabble. I didn't win a single game of Scrabble with him and I know so many more words than him.

India loves watching the news, on the other hand I wasn't too enthusiastic about it. But India's commentary is always interesting. He'd point out the bias on all the channels. There's one channel that he tells me has been shut down twice or three times but it's back now repeating an old Al-Jazeera talk show dating back from a few years before the war with Muwafak Al-Rubaie and the politician that the channel sponsors. The politician goes on about how Muwafak is an Iranian pretending to be an Iraqi and that his party plans to divide Iraq and cause great bloodshed. India informed me that SCIRI and it's Badr Brigade used to interrogate and torture Iraqi POWs for the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq war.

One channel had a televised open forum debate in Sadr city. With members of parliament and tribal leaders and other people from the neighbourhood. I felt sorry for one frustrated guy that admitted voting for the government that let Thursday's deaths happen.

Sadr city was a mistake to start off with. It was artificially designed in the sixties or seventies, I think to bring the poor out of rural poverty and into the city. It led to a big square with a relatively very high population density still stricken with poverty. It's name before the last war was Al-Thawra (which translates to 'The Revolution'). Was it named so by Saddam? I'm not sure, was the name suppose to hold some kind of prophecy? I hope not. When I was in school kids would talk about how they'd have tanks parked in their garages their and that even Saddam feared to mess with them.

The people in Sadr city complained that they weren't given the right to form their own security force. That they had only two hospitals and 80 ambulances. They also complained of the lack of doctors but they give doctors such a hard time. Doctors in Iraq are the least respected humans in Iraq, they get bullied by the police and people accompanying their sick. That pavements were being made and broken down to be remade again over and over again, a sign that some seriously blatant corruption is going on. I've seen that happen all over Baghdad too. Roundabouts all over the city keep getting redone.

We also saw a show about the ambulance service. There were recommendations not to move injured people and to let the ambulance service do it in a precise scientific method for fear of permanent damage. That recommendation is bound to fall on deaf ears. It's so sad.

One ambulance driver told his story of how he got attacked while picking up a patient in Adhamiya and shot in the leg by armed men despite numerous pleas.

There was another story of how when a police car that was accompanying an ambulance was trying to clear the road by shooting rounds into the air an American helicopter took it as a sign of hostility and shot back at the police car and the ambulance. In my opinion two mistakes were made before the Americans made theirs, first of all people should pull over and stop when an ambulance is on the road with its sirens on but they never do and police men should never shoot rounds into the air.

I began to get feverish a couple days ago. Feverish dreams are amazingly thrilling. That said, the dreams weren't so cool. All I've got now is runny nose, I've gone through two boxes of tissues already.

I went to college today. Not a single soul from my class showed up. I'd of thought that after being stuck at home for three days, people would be looking for any excuse to get out. But they're all too scared. It's just like a few weeks ago when Saddam's was sentenced. A curfew was imposed and when it was removed, a lot of people were too scared to go out. But it's my observation that nothing usually happens the day the curfew is removed. But I do appreciate having to go through less traffic.

Even the teacher that was supposed to teach us the first two classes of the day didn't show up. She lives further away from me, and someone told me that some roads were blocked, so I'm assuming that's why she didn't make it. So after finding out that the teacher who was going to give us the third and last class of the day had left, I decided to ditch too.

I went over to a nearby hospital to take a blood group test. An hour later the question that's been boggling me for years arrived: I'm 'A' positive.

India's mum called me telling me to tell India to stay at mine because she's been hearing that there are fake checkpoints. I called Nahida to find out that he had left fifteen minutes ago to go back to his house to charge his mobile phone. An hour passed with no word with him. It got me worried eventually he gave me a call and explained that when he got home there was no electricity at his house to charge his phone. He also mentioned that when he was approaching a checkpoint a young man was being handcuffed and put into a vehicle and at that point India thought that that was it for him. But fortunately he went through the checkpoint to make it home safely.

I was waiting for my evening classes when Nahida who'd been telling me to come back home all day said that she heard from people in the street that the curfew was going to start at three in the afternoon. I asked the guards at the school if they had heard so and they said they hadn't. A little later a cop overheard that there was a curfew at three through his radio. The guards were doubtful it was true since nothing had happened. I then called Miz, who told me that it turned out to be untrue. Soon enough the guards also said that an Iraqi television channel also said that it was untrue.

Just called a couple classmates, the first one told me she wasn't coming but that others may do, the second said he was coming and that another guy that's been up north for the past couple of weeks is coming too.

1 comment:

Mhat21 said...

What an incredible dialouge for our World to have. Your documenting your days within this global space is such an important piece of history.

Keep up the GREAT work!