Friday, July 27, 2007


Whilst out doing my chores the other day I met a charming, young, man who was proud to be an Iraqi despite the fact that he had never set foot in Iraq.
Actually he was born in Kuwait. His father was an Iraqi citizen working in Kuwait as a pilot.

I assumed that the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait in ’90 caused some problems for his family and he confessed that they were summarily booted out of the country despite the fact that his father was not involved.

His father still has a home on the outskirts of Baghdad which may or may not still exist. The family hopes to return but his father estimates that it may take ten years before Iraq is stable enough and it may very well be trisected by then.

This young man told me how proud his father was of his Mesopotamian heritage and mourned the loss of the ancient artifacts and treasures that once stood on display in the National Museum before the American Liberation failed to anticipate or halt the subsequent looting and destruction of these treasures from antiquity. The birthplace of Civilization. Ironic.

When he had finished changing my oil he wiped off the hood of my van and with a huge smile shook my hand. As I turned over the ignition I asked him if he thought that he would stay in the Oil business.

He laughed.


  1. He sounds like a kind-hearted young man. Most would not have his sense of humor and then, who could blame them. Like his father, most are condemed or casted out because of their heritage, guilty or not. We should all be ashamed.

  2. Anonymous7:00 a.m.

    Well things could be worse... he might have said NO I have filled your car with treacle!! HoooHhhhHuHuhhhahhaa! Like an evil villain in a comic - now that woould have been worse.!!

  3. I like to see stories from all points of view. One we don't see here in the States is the Iraqi. Thanks for showing us one small piece of what actually is History.

  4. tidalgrrl said my said.

  5. Absolutely amazing young man...good on him

  6. this is waht life should be, sharing stories, advnetures and the intangiable love that JOhn Lennon was so fixated on....

    Heart warming


  7. u know HE stories of such simple and innocent ppl make me cry...


  8. I am amazed at his attitude. Would that most people are like that.

  9. he is living for the world and not anyone practical and open.

  10. It's sobering to think of precious artifacts looted and destroyed. But what a refreshing attitude on the part of this young man.

  11. Every cloud has a silver lining. If one doesn't laugh at one's misfortunes, then one might as well wither away and die.

  12. Very sobering. It is always good to learn another perspective, however small or unexpected it may be.

  13. Anonymous12:56 p.m.

    I think all the best comments have been commented. ditto to the above :)

  14. ditto all that with bells on!

    (have you read The Kite Runner? your lovely piece made me think of that novel)

  15. Nice look at some of the hidden costs of war...the human spirit endures somehow. I hope he sees his home in peace again.

  16. I took a telephone call at work the other day from a lady who was technically on holiday but still calling us to place orders... anyway, there she was on the Gold Coast, and she came out with "There are a lot of Muslims up here!" - I thought that was a very odd thing to say, as I see Muslims and just about every other religion, race, cult, and obscure minority every day! She continued to say "They're so nice! And their babies are beautiful!"

  17. What a lovely touch of humour you two shared.

  18. Beautifully written my friend!

    I don't know what to add really... as a part Middle Easterner, I know of the prejudice that comes with politics. And now with Bush's sights set on Iran, well...

    Although a lot of Iranians want the régime overthrown no matter what and would no be opposed to an invasion though the main concern is the senseless death of innocent civilians and the looting and destruction of the beautiful art found there.

    Was entails so much more that the B&W shit fed the populace by those in power and your sweet words brought it all home effortlessly. Bravo amigo mio!

  19. inside our hands,
    This kid's Father has done a fantastic job of teaching him to..well of everything really!

    Ooh Yeah! This is especially true since Irag has a treacle-down economy at present.

    His story may not end up being history but atleast we got to hear another side of it.

    first nations,
    You aren't implying that everything that is presented on the American newscasts isn't 100% true..are you?

    You know he had this huge smile, no guile, really nice person..I hope that he finds happiness.

    You know it was Lennonesque in that all of the politics seemed completely irrelevant...we were both just interested in discussing the artifacts and I was so releived to be talking about Iraq without all of the hyperbole.

    Don't cry if this kid ever gets into politics the 2012 Olympics will be held in Baghdad.

    His attitude was so refreshing..of course his family isn't trapped there now..that would be enough to ruin anyone's PMA.

    Yes he is in the moment and not lugging around some big sack of grievances and hatred.
    Perhaps his generation will break the cycle of violence.

    HI crabby,
    Totally refreshing and I remember having my jaw on the floor as I watched the looting of the oldest artifacts in History get carted out in front of stupified American Soldiers...What The?!
    They didn't have a plan.

    Exactly! It is totally disarming. Of course I am not sure if I could be as charming but then again I am not very Nationalistic.

    Well you know he completely caught me off guard..he just came out and blurted out I am Iraqi...anyway it was a nice surprise.

    There seems to be a consensus that we are all cheering for this kid and the generation that he represents.

    i like the view,
    I have not read the Kite Runner but I am about to google it...

    Oils is well that ends well!

    Thanks it did feel odd at first because the Western Media swallowed all of the Bullsh*t from the White House without even checking anything and we have been spoonfed all that crap for years now and POOF Hey those Iraqis are real ordinary people...why do we only see that side on PBS?

    You have such a disarming gentle aura that people feel comfortable divulging their inner thoughts...
    thank goodness she didn't talk about her husband's whatchamacallit.

  20. dinahmow,
    It really gave me hope and positively convinced me that everyday people should be running the world instead of those idiots.

    Dios Mio Amiga how are ya? We get such convuluted propaganda injected into our craniums that we lose sight of the normalcy that we should demand from this world.

    We need totake it all back and start over..hmmm..somehow, someday.

  21. Just checking on you... how goes the day in the mind of homo escapeon?

  22. Looks like Homo Escapeon met an oily character.


  23. inside our hands,
    L-A-Z-Y. Another day at the Beach just splashing around and wondering why there wasn't one minnow, leech, or waterbug in the shallows...not a good sign.

    ivan YO!,
    That kid was Oil-Right in my books. I wish that there were a couple million more just like him.

  24. how did you find out he was Iraqi in the first place??

  25. ziggi,
    Oddly enough we were talking about how hot it was and he laughed...try 50 something Celsius..and then he proceeded to tell me where he was from.

    I still think in Farenheit so I laughed having no f'n idea how hot that is..I imagined that it is just shy of the mean temp of the Earth's Core or the Sun's Surface.

    Apparently Kuwait has 200 days a year over 95 F! My swimmers would evaporate.

  26. I have no idea about Farenheit and I call the other scale centigrade!

    He sounded a nice kid - my second daughter was delivered by a Muslim Iraqi doc and he was fantastic.

  27. It amazes me, the level of astonishment or surprise that some people seem to have in the notion that an Iraqi, an Iranian or any other person could actually be, well, a nice person.

    The West has made out Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and all other cultures unlike ours to be the bad guys.

    Bush and the western media have painted Muslims, Middle Easterners and others to be our enemy.

    What they are is DIFFERENT in their idealogies, their histories and their religions.

    Some of the most beautiful people I've met were in Iran, Iraq, India, Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan.

    It's when we let their religion or beliefs get in the way -- when we try to judge them by our standards and way of life -- that they become the baddies.

    Individually, they are beautiful people, same as anyone else. We listen to the mainstream media and our self-serving, crooked governments and we get a distorted picture.

  28. ziggi,
    Farenheit rocks!
    90 degrees sounds HOT!

    winifred whipple,
    I don't think that this crowd was surprised by that..they were delighted because Iraqis and Afghani people don't get much positive exposure these days. Aside from the scripted villainous combatants or hapless victims that we see on the tube how many of us actually meet any real Iraqis in our day to day lives?

  29. haha good one!


  30. all those wonders lost, makes me heartsore...


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