Days of My Life

Talk about daily life of a teenage girl in Iraq, and days of suffering and success. My nick name will be Sunshine..

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Second turn for the first time..

I came back from Baghdad couple of weeks ago, after spending two weeks in my grandparents house, my grandma had sever disk prolapse , and she couldn't leave her bed for a month and half, and still she must stay in her bed for other two months..
So I spent the whole time doing housework , cleaning and cooking, I improved my cooking skills!!! , we also went shopping three times, and once we went to a nice park where my brother and sister played , it was a nice time ..
I've always loved Baghdad, I had the best memories ever there, and it's painful to see Baghdad in this dramatic change, weird faces, different language , weird costumes, and odd traditions!!.
the Shiites had a ceremony weeping on Al kadhem who died 1400 years ago or so while we were in Baghdad !! They walk to his cist for hours, and days !!
They are free to do what they believe in UNLESS this starts to affect our lives and make us feel so angry towards their own traditions.. they have a special ceremony like this (almost every month), each one last for a week or so, the situation becomes awful, closed streets, dirts everywhere (cans, food, water bottles everywhere in the streets, as the food is for free !!) , adding to that loud DJ, black flags which effect the view on Baghdad, life stops, the shop owners have to close their shops, and people (like ourselves who do not participate) become prisoners in our houses as it is impossible to go out .
While we were in Baghdad we went shopping, concrete walls are everywhere , and behind them, the lovely Baghdadi shops , anyway, at 10:30 pm, we got in a shop which had really cool clothes, my mom, my sis, and I bought several cloths from that shop and stayed in for about 40 minutes or so, anyway when we left the shop , the view was shocking behind the concrete walls, no customers, no cars, although everything was normal about an hour ago.
The soldiers began to close the streets with barb wires after we arrived, preparing for their "religious traditions" which was after few days ..
A Shiites soldier saw us walking, and calling my grandpa who couldn't find a way to take us back home, he said " we'll not allow your cars to enter this street anymore! It will be for mawakeb only (for the people who'll share in the ceremony)" I really wanted to punch him ..
We walked for awhile, and then we found one cap , we reached our home safe but shaking, with lots of clothes!!
I really hated walking over the cans and water bottles, I want to walk in the clean Baghdadi streets, and see the educated people back, it is sad to see this ignorance in the place I love.
So, my summer holiday started, but it is not like the one I planned for, I'll have to repeat 5 exams, as a second trial .. it was shocking for me!! Only 7 students passed from the first trial, people say it is normal in engineering collage!
My friend saw one of the students who passesd and told him " my marks are higher than yours, and I did much better than you in exams, you couldn't answer half of the questions, how did you pass ??"
He replied "it,s … wasta my friend, you need one! (means influence )
It is so unfair, we study at day and night, sometimes I walk for too far collages if I have a question as our professors are not well qualified!
My grandpa went to my collage, to object on the results, there, a professor introduced himself to grandpa who was a friend of his father in low, this professor doesn't teach us, but he's known of his kindness .. my grandpa told him it is a shame that 90% of the students will attend the second turn , and he took him to the hall where the students were gathering, and grandpa said "look at the angry students, and the crying girls, don't you think they are anxious to study enough, that they are in such sorrow?"
He replided, " you know uncle, the students on the first class weren't lucky enough, their teachers are revenging from them, they are Bathies (saddam supporters) and also they are not qualified to teach , they actually show up of their low ratio of success, ask your granddaughter not to feel sad, she doesn't even need to study more to succeed , I know her, she's one of the best students"
I've met many professors who teach in different engineering collages, and as soon as they heard about the names of professors who teach us they either say " they are sico (sociological patients " , or " God be with you" , or such things .. the professors give the students who have a big wasta (influence ) high marks, I refuse to get high marks even if I deserve them just because I am from a well known family, or I have someone important in my family, so I never write my family name, because I hate to be one of those
Anyway, I'll do my best and see what's going to happen .. my friends and I are taking additional lessons, but the streets are so crowded as a bridge in mosul was closed (huge cracks, because of the tanks and explosions), and another bridge also has huge cracks but they couldn't close it !
A week ago , we went to my relatives house, their twin daughters passed the third class secondary school with good marks, and one of them got the highest marks in her school, I saw a lot of relatives whom I didn't see for long time (last time I saw one of my relatives was in her engagement party, now she has two kids!!!), we had the best time ever and danced a lot, we really needed to spend such a good time , out of our daily routine..
Also few days ago, my relative and dear friend H, gave birth a very adorable baby girl, she talked to me about the hospital ,she said " I was yelling because of two things, pain and cockroaches " what a happiness ! she even refused to stay in hospital after her surgery, she felt afraid that her daughter may get sick because of the dirt and contamination ..
I may not write that much, as I am busy studying, but I'll write whenever I can ..
Finally, I'd love to congratulate my friend HNK and her fiancé for getting engaged, may their live be full of happiness and pleasure ..



At 11:21 PM, Blogger Ghadeer said...

Salam Sunshine

There was a time in Baghdad when Shias and Sunnis lived peacefully together. They respected each other's views and traditions even if they disagreed. This is how civilized and educated people live. This is truly being open-minded.

There are many who don't want peace in our country. They try to make us hate each other, because when we hate each other it's impossible for the country to overcome its destruction and develop.

You say in your profile that you come from a well educated family, and this is why I'm commenting here because I know that it might be a constructive reminder. Don't make the enemies of Iraq feel that they have succeeded in causing 'fitna'. I understand that seeing the streets getting littered is very annoying, but you don't have to turn this into a hatred for your Iraqi brothers. Let's address this issue with an open-minded heart: people don't have to give up their traditions because there are ignorant people who litter. Let's think of a way to teach them how to preserve the cleanliness of the country during these times. As the iraqi proverb goes "Badal maa til3an al dhalaam- ish3il sham3a" (Instead of cursing the dark, light a candle)

I also want to say that it's great that you work hard at getting good exam results without using any family name's influence. :) We need more people like that in Iraq.


At 12:54 AM, Blogger Ripama said...

Freedom of religion is a cornerstone of American life. However, along with freedom comes responsibility. That responsibility is to respect the rights of others. Most, not all, Americans subscribe to this notion.

Some States have a predominant religion such as Utah with their Mormons and Lousiana with their Catholics, but public officials and government play little to no role in the religious activities of American citizens. It, for example, the Lutherans were to do what the Shiites are doing, they would be infringing on the rights of non Lutherans and would be encouraged to stop and seek another way to perform their rites. But since we don't have anything here like you've described, i honestly don't know how we would handle a similar situation.

If Iraqis are ever going to enjoy the blessings of freedom, they will have to develop a respect for the rights of others.

From what you tell us
about "wasta", it appears Iraq has a long way to go before it is free. Those who advance by benefit of "wasta" are less likely to respect those without "wasta".

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Alesha said...

Sunshine, good luck to you. Your blog gives me such an interesting look into Iraqi life, it is really good to read an honest account of what you are doing and how the situation in Iraq is affecting you even when you are just trying to live a normal life. You are clearly very clever and even if college is treating you badly you will do well!

At 1:01 PM, Blogger BAGHDADENTIST said...

happy to see ur post.
wish you success.
my prayers to you and your family


At 3:46 PM, Blogger Don Cox said...

That was a really interesting post. Thanks.

I guess all those millions of Shia pilgrims do bring a lot of money into the country. (Presumably many of them are from Iran.)

As to the corrupt lecturers in your college, it is hard to know what to do. Even if they were not taking wasta, do they actually have the skills and knowledge to mark your work accurately? One approach might be for a number of students to ask that their exams be marked by an outside lecturer, from some other university. There should anyway be an external examiner doing spot checks.

Another check is that the marks for the class should fit a bell curve. Can you get a list of everybody's marks and plot them on a graph?

I don't know if you have done any statistics on your course. If you have, this is where it can be helpful.

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Danny said...

God bless you Sunshine - so glad to hear your update! As long as you learn the material you will be well off in your future. Passing an exam only because someone has influence will mean nothing in that student's future. I can assure you this. He will do nothing to better the future of Iraq like you will.

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Caddie said...

Thank you Sunshine for your updating post. It was very enjoyable reading. You paint us some very clear pictures of circumstances in Baghdad. Ridiculous about your college situation - very unfair.

At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Sunshine:
Please continue to write.
One quarter mile from the Baptist Church:
A small Masjid Al Aqba just opened nearby in a North Atlanta suburb three miles from a Hindu Temple.
The world needs every kind of kind people. Praise Jahllah peace be upon us all.



At 5:28 PM, Blogger Dr.Human said... are you ?
You know that I didn't visit Baghdad for 4 years . the last tme I went to do al Tasree3 exam.
I hope than I can visit it soon .
Please do your best in the studying and I am sure that you will pass , you know the engineering colleges here in Mosul is a collection of complex persons ,

At 3:27 AM, Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I hope your grandmother is more comfortable soon. What a wonderful granddaughter you are to care for her.

It is so sad that your country is not really recovering after the illegal invasion by the Americans and the civil war that killed so many and ethnically cleansed Baghdad changing from a Sunni city to a Shia city.

Now that the Americans are "leaving" I hope National pride will see progress for all Iraqi.
I hope the secular party has a place in the new government.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Im Hadi from Malaysia,
In my place we have malay, india, china race with owns faith and region, with traditions ways and methods but we take its as part of unique malaysian with mix races and regions.
To lived peacefully together we needs respected each other's.

God bless Iraqi people.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see your blog

At 2:44 AM, Anonymous dr.versatile said...

Hello Sunshine.
Nice diaries of you coveres the sad facts of our life. What a good thing that you published the word " wasta" hahah, a favor for our language. Hope to you the best of luck.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Sunshine said...

hi, thank you all for your nice comments..
I'm writing my next post , i feel upset because i am not having any spare time , but i am doing my best!
Dr.versatile , thanks for commenting, without Wasta students in engineering collages can't pass the first turn easily !!
I hope next year i can pass it (without wasta of course!)

At 1:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm glad you had a good time! that's great that your relatives daughters got good marks! they must take after you! :) i like reading your blog a lot. would love to taste some real iraq food someday!


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