by Layla Anwar
An Arab Woman Blues – Reflections in a sealed bottle…
August 13, 2007
I understand that some of you may not like Jazz, but how on earth can anyone not like Billie Holiday?
Do you remember that song of hers, “Let’s call the whole thing off”?
“you say neether, I say neither
you say eeether, I say either
you like potayto, I like potaato,
you like tomayto, I like tomaato,
potayto, potaato, tomayto, tomaato
let’s call the whole thing off…”
I just read in the Observer, the Guardian’s sister, that the US army in Iraq is crippled by fatigue.
The famous Guardian that still uses the Iraqi Body Count figure of 70’000 Iraqis dead as opposed to 1 million+ Iraqis dead since 2003. For more on that shameful reporting from the Guardian read Gabriele Zamparini’s blog.
The article says that those poor soldiers are suffering from sleep disorders, the proverbial PTSD, conjugal problems, exhaustion, lassitude and bouts of acute superstition… They also live on “Red Bull” and “Rip it”.
Now Red Bull, I have heard of, but what the fuck is Rip it?
Is it a drink that enables you to rip Iraq and Iraqis apart? Like turns you into Jack the Ripper?
Whatever it is they are drinking, it seems to be working – well sort of…
So your boys are tired, exhausted? Oh la la, I really empathize. I know all about being tired. I and countless others suffer from the occupation chronic fatigue syndrome.
They are having marital problems? What a crime separating families that way. Am sure thousands of Iraqis can relate to that too. Widows, orphaned kids and families of arbitrary detainees who amount to over 100’000 in shadow prisons all over Iraq.
They suffer from PTSD ? Wow, tell me about it – I wonder why. Must be hard having one’s finger on the trigger 24/7. So does the sight and stories of tortured bodies, overflowing morgues, corpses littering the streets, and symphonies of bombs and explosions…
They suffer from sleeping disorders? Hey, join the club. Want a sleeping pill?
They miss back home ? I sure can relate. I miss family life too. So are millions of Iraqis who have seen their families being torn apart – sorry meant ripped apart. Remember the “Rip it”.
They have become acutely superstitious ? Us too. We keep hugging personal papers, ready to flee at any moment and some of us even changed our names and started hanging pictures of mullahs and other saints on our walls…
They doze with their clothes on, on dusty floors ? So are 4.4 million Iraqi refugees.
And some sleep on pavements and in tents as an “alternative life style”…
Any Californian in the house ? Maybe she/he would like to try this public communal form of living arrangement. So 60’s!
They are frequently deserting and absent ? Yes, so are the 1 million Iraqis dead.
They witness their buddies being shot and bombed away ? I know the feeling. Every single family in Iraq endures it daily. I even have a special section in my wardrobe just for black clothes… Black is in fashion these days.
They can’t communicate properly anymore ? Boy does that ring a bell.
We communicate very badly too. We send a one word text message with ” OK?” and if there is no “OK” reply, we know we’re in for another PTSD. Or we give coded missed calls implicitly saying “we are still alive” and if the phone does not ring back immediately with another missed call – we spell it as “trouble”.
They have no way of decompressing? Yep sure thing, we have not decompressed either since 2003. Decomposed maybe, but definitely not decompressed.
The only thing I can’t relate to, though, is the “Red Bull” and the “Rip it”.
We have neither. Just small bottled water if one is lucky to afford it, that we sip all so gently and slowly… But, am curious about tasting this “Rip it” thing…if you see what I mean.
you say Ayrab, I say Arab
you say EyeRaq, I say Iraq
you say tiiyred, I say tired…
So, let’s do it. Let’s call the whole thing off.
P.S: I just read that the U.S army in a desperate attempt, has opened its doors to more dropouts. OK, Iraqis, brace yourselves for another surge of morons!
:: Article nr. 35295 sent on 13-aug-2007 07:11 ECT
Layla Anwar, Who am I? The eternal Question. Have not figured it out fully yet. All you need to know about me is that I am a Middle Easterner, an Arab Woman – into my 40’s and old enough to know better. I have no homeland per se. I live in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Egypt simultaneously …. All the rest is icing on the cake. Visit her blog http://arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/
Layla Anwar / Copyrights reserved, 2006-2007
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