Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lullaby for the Hungry

I was in Baghdad for a week, it was hot, humid, loud, dusty and beautiful in it's own strange way. I've had this feeling for a while, but it's never been this strong. I felt out of my comfort zone when I was there I even hugged my stuff when I got home! Any how, it was an exhausting week that ended beautifully.

One Day dad and I were on our way to work and were listening to a talk show on Radio Dijla, the discussion was about the extremely large amount of taxis in Baghdad and how taxi drivers are hardly making a living out of it, apparently many government employees have taxis too and it's affecting others' living! Taxi drivers were calling begging the government to do something about it, non-taxi drivers were calling begging the government to do something about the traffic! an Iraqi debate or discussion, for those who are not familiar with it, is all about name calling and disagreeing with others, yelling, more name calling and going away and continue to disagree and show it in every single way possible. I don't think I've ever seen two Iraqis (or Arabs) trying to try to listen to each other because God forbid maybe the other side actually has a valid point! With that being said you can only imagine the amount of complaints that were on the that show and the funny thing was that the show ended as it began, no result and everyone kept their cars and those who have jobs kept both their cars and their jobs.

A few days after this incident I was in Baghdad, you can only realize why people were complaining when you actually see it. The streets were like endless sees of yellow cabs, they were everywhere and if you make the mistake of raising your hand at least five cars will stop and a traffic jam starts behind them, drivers almost beg you to hire them! It was horrifying and painful, where is the government from all of this and why isn't anyone trying to do something about it? Imagine having this as your only resource and a family to feed at home, rent, kids and the whole deal, I'm not saying that the before 2003 Iraq was better but really what did we get out of this mess? More hungry people and more chaos and the further the time takes us the worse things get, the poor are still poor and the rich are still rich!

My late uncle once said while reading one of the after-the-american-invasion newspapers "Americans brought us two things diet Pepsi and Parties, now everyone can express their political thoughts freely and drink soda without gaining weight, good for us", I don't know why but this has always resonated in my head maybe because it's true.

Here's a poem of Muhammed Al-Jawahiri, a shout out to all those struggling for a living :

نامي جياعَ الشَّعْـبِ نامي حَرَسَتْكِ آلِهـة ُالطَّعـامِ
نامي فـإنْ لم تشبَعِـي مِنْ يَقْظـةٍ فمِنَ المنـامِ
نامي على زُبَدِ الوعـود يُدَافُ في عَسَل ِ الكلامِ
نامي تَزُرْكِ عرائسُ لأحلامِ فـي جُـنْحِ الظـلامِ
تَتَنَوَّري قُـرْصَ الرغيـفِ كَـدَوْرةِ البدرِ التمـامِ
وَتَرَيْ زرائِبَكِ الفِسـاحَ مُبَلَّطَـاتٍ بالرُّخَــامِ
نامي تَصِحّي! نِعْمَ نَـوْمُ المرءِ في الكُـرَبِ الجِسَامِ
نامي على حُمَةِ القَـنَـا نامي على حَـدِّ الحُسَـام
نامي إلى يَــوْمِ النشورِ ويـومَ يُـؤْذََنُ بالقِيَـامِ
نامـي على المستنقعـاتِ تَمُوجُ باللُّجَج ِ الطَّوامِي
زَخَّارة ً بـشذا الأقَـاحِ يَمدُّهُ نَفْـحُ الخُـزَامِ
نامي على نَغَمِ البَعُوضِ كـأنَّـهُ سَجْعُ الحَمَامِ
نامي على هذي الطبيعةِِ لم تُحَـلَّ بـه "ميامي "
نامي فقد أضفى "العَرَاءُ" عليكِ أثوابَ الغـرامِ
نامي على حُلُمِ الحواصدِ عـاريـاتٍ للحِـزَامِ
متراقِصَـاتٍ والسِّيَـاط ُ تَجِـدُّ عَزْفَـاً ﺑﭑرْتِزَامِ
وتغازلـي والنَّاعِمَـات الزاحفاتِ من الهـوامِ
نامي على مَهْدِ الأذى وتوسَّدِي خَـدَّ الرَّغَامِ
وﭐستفرِشِي صُمَّ الحَصَى وَتَلَحَّفي ظُلَـلَ الغَمَامِ
نامي فقـد أنـهى " مُجِيـعُ الشَّعْـبِ " أيَّـامَ الصِّيَـامِ
نامي فقـد غنَّـى " إلـهُ الحَـرْبِ" ألْـحَانَ السَّـلامِ

Click here for the English version of the poem

Stay Safe,

1 comment:

  1. My dear Toka ,
    I really really love your writings ,
    about the last portion (not the poem ), it's not about Americans it's not about Saddam it's always about us because of us because of the empty minds ,trivial thoughts and being educated but never been cultured (if I'm not mistaken) .
    By the way I agree with you in every single word , and I'm really sorry because our beautiful Baghdad is getting worse and worse , most of us live in it but don't like it , I think she's begging us too to do something for her :( .