The In T View: Marshmallow, Happy Nuptials to an Iraqi Christian
Worse than under Saddam, that would describe the plight of the majority of Iraq's Christians in the post-Saddam era, victims of Islamic fundamentalism, sectarian violence, and lack of security. Today, the Christians of Iraq which once numbered 1.3 million in Twentieth century are down to an estimated 500 - 600 thousand, with only 100,000 said to be left in Baghdad.
Inhabiting this milieu, this stage of Iraqi history, we have today's In T View guest, Marshmallow of the Iraqi Roses blog, a proud Twenty-something Chaldean Christian woman, one of the indigenous peoples of Iraq, who trace their lineage back to the 9th century BC. Marshmallow, who loves the music of Avril Lavigne is getting married this month to her fiancé, so we offer our congratulations to this quirky, outspoken, and intriguing Iraqi, whose writings stand out in the crowded Iraqi blogosphere.
We thank Marshmallow for taking time out from her busy schedule to participate in the In T View.
Mister Ghost: Which Celebrity or Famous Person has the Sexiest Lips, that you would like to be kissed by?
Marshmallow: My fiancé.
Mister Ghost: Marshmallow, don't hold anything back, we want to know, what do you really think of President George Bush?
Marshmallow: A Texan guy who follow his mind not heart!
Mister Ghost: Did the Americans lie to you and the Iraqi people? Did they fail to keep the promises they made after they invaded your country?
Marshmallow: Americans have nothing to do with us but the American policy towards other countries and some faked reports by the CIA put Americans in the frame of lie. Bush Administration failed to keep the promises.
Mister Ghost: Let's play Before and After. Before the War, I want you tell me if things were better or worse in the following subjects...
It was better before
It was better before
Between Normal and high
-Religious Freedom (ability to practice your faith safely)
There was freedom before.
- Freedom of Speech
-Entertainment and the Arts
-Traveling outside of Iraq
Mister Ghost: Marshmallow, what does Love mean to you?
Marshmallow: Hard question, LOL… Love is a unique language, it doesn't demand professional linguistics to understand, it is a gift from God to every one no matter who they are!
If you know how to use it, you will be up on the clouds but if not then it will dump you under the ground…
To me, it means to love the person who is the only one who will make me happy.
If I love someone for his hot looking that won't be a true love, but if I love him although his shortcomings then that is the real love!
Mister Ghost: And you are marrying your fiancé sometime this year in an upcoming wedding, tell us about it?
Marshmallow: Well, I am excited for this upcoming event…these are my best days because I am living every moment left of my bachelor life knowing that beyond these steps will be my new chapter of life but this time won't be me alone, my partner and my better half will share all good and bad with me, so am I…
Mister Ghost: Marshmallow, what is it about Avril Lavigne and her music that wets your whistle, gives flights of fancy to your soul, and makes you feel all good inside?
Marshmallow: Hmm Avril…first time I saw Avril on TV was in 2003 right after the war, well I was captivated by her motivated soul, by her voice and by her energy…Her songs were the extra magic agent to be added to her personality…to me she looked bread-and-butter singer which she reminded me of my self, although I was 22 at that time but I felt like I was 17… she is spoiled, so am I…she looks mean but she is good so do I, except for cursing hahah she curses a lot but am not!
The way of her eye make-up drive me nuts cuz she tries to outshoot the blue eyes which I adore, not her eyes but I love blue eyes…
Mister Ghost: What was the name of your favorite doll growing up and why did you like it so much?
Marshmallow: Barbie, she is so fancy and the reason why I liked her because I used to get her attachments besides the doll itself, and that what makes me seeks for more Barbie versions.
Mister Ghost: At one time in the Twentieth Century, Jews comprised one-third of Baghdad's population, now there are only 5 or 6 of them left in Baghdad. With the population of Christians in Baghdad down to around 100,000, are the Iraqi Christians following the same path
as Iraq's Jews?
Marshmallow: It will not happen, Iraq is for all and Iraqi Christians will stay in Iraq because its their homeland.
Mister Ghost: Is there a future in Iraq for anyone who is not a Muslim?
Mister Ghost: Is living in Iraq, like living in a big prison?
Marshmallow: Between 1980 - 2006 yes but not now.
Mister Ghost: How important is Jesus in your life?
Marshmallow: Oh Jesus is my life, he is my savior. Without him I am nothing at all…
Mister Ghost: Should women be allowed to become Priests? What about married men?
Marshmallow: Well in America and other countries there are such as Joyce Mayer and Noora Adwar from Egypt, they are preachers but not priests…
Yes, married men can study divinity and devote their services to God, and take care of their wives and children simultaneously. There is nothing wrong with it.
Mister Ghost: Is there a Satan or the Devil? And what of Evil Spirits, do they exist in the world?
Marshmallow: Yes, The name Lucifer has often been understood to be another name for the devil or the Satan. , it was an angel as it is mentioned in Isaiah 14:12-17:
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit. 16 Those who see you will stare at you, and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, 17 who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’
Yes, they do exist. When Jesus was to be taken away he said the prince of this world comes. This world is Satan's playground and many oblige him. Jesus said my Kingdom is not of this world.
Mister Ghost: Can a single, unmarried woman in Iraq live by herself or with roommates, away from her family? And why not?
Marshmallow: No, she can not because that is illogical and against the Eastern traditional. Briefly; it is shame.
Mister Ghost: Are Iraqi men lazy, forcing Iraqi women do most of the household chores, shopping, taking care of the children, and preparing meals, while they are out visiting male friends, eating, napping, and watching television?
Marshmallow: Ahem, ahem, hahah…not all of them.
Iraqi men are not lazy they work outside the house and can not find the time to do other chores…Well most of them don't even know how to boil an egg because these are women jobs, shopping? They do shopping unless the markets are too close to the house, the wife can take care of it. Who would take care of children better than moms?
Mister Ghost: Marshmallow, it seems that many women who marry in Iraq, don't have much of a clue about their future husbands. Marriages are arranged, or women are in a rush to get married at a young age, because of the lack of available men, or there's just an acceptance of qisma wa naseeb -- fate and destiny -- by Iraqi women.
Since, you are an engaged-to-be-married Iraqi woman, I must ask you: How well do you know your fiancee? Does he have a good personality? Do your Fiance and you have similar dreams and aspirations? Are you two, compatible in the art of amour (physical love)?
Marshmallow: OK here is the point, not only in Iraq but most of the Middle Eastern countries have almost the same traditions when it comes to marriage, some of them are getting way to opened regarding this subject like Lebanon and Turkey…
It is against the law and religion for man and woman to live together out of marriage frame, it is adultery. They can go out for shopping or parties but at least one of each families member should accompanied them while they are engaged.
Kisses and hugs are allowed…
For myself, my marriage is not arranged at all, my family and fiancé's family known each other before we are born, we used to visit each others, go out on picnics and so on, so you can tell that we have that long - aged intimacy my fiancé and I…he matches me very well so do I…we have lots of thing and thoughts in common and our dreams are almost the same. You can say the chemistry between us is on high level.
He is a man of is word and the most important thing his love is real and his feelings are obvious to every one.
For those who get married at young age or under, that is because of the environment that they live in, their families and societies…some girls afraid to become spinsters so they marry at early ages unconcern of how old he is? What does he do? What his thoughts and goals are in case if he has some!!
Mister Ghost: It appears that there is a double standard in Iraqi society for unmarried men and women. Unmarried women are suppose to be pure, chaste, and remain virgins until their marriage, whereas Iraqi men can sow a few of their wild oats and consort with shady ladies of the night like prostitutes. Is this double standard fair to you Iraqi women? And what exactly do Iraqi men really learn about physical intimacy from having sex with prostitutes?
Marshmallow: Yea, I hate this discrimination. Why women should always be pure , virgin and loyal to whom, they will marry while their males were allowed to play around calling it "youth impetuosity"?? they play with other girls feelings and have fun until it is the time to settle down, they look for the most high-class and educated woman to marry? It is unfair.
Mister Ghost: It seems from what I've read, including Sana Al Kayyat's groundbreaking book, Honour & Shame: Women In Modern Iraq, that Iraqi men are some of the worst lovers on the planet, with little to no knowledge of how to please a woman in bed. In your opinion, what do Iraqi men have to do to become better lovers?
Marshmallow: I HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED THAT YET IN BED…HAHA
Mister Ghost: Marshmallow, if you could be like the great Timelord Doctor Who, and go back in time, would you choose to return to an earlier period in your life and visit your late mother?
Marshmallow: Oh yes, I would love to visit my mom when she first was diagnosed with cancer at least I would be able to be close to her than before and more mature to share things that happened with me lately with her.
Mister Ghost: What is the sweetest memory you have of your mother?
Marshmallow: I am catching my tears now Mr. Ghost…
My sweetest memory when she surprised me with a bike after I scored the highest marks in my class, she hugged me and I hugged her, we kept jumping and dancing for a while.
Mister Ghost: Marshmallow, will the libertine nature of American society change you? When you move to the US with your fiance, will you start to sunbathe topless in your backyard, drink rum and cokes before dinner, and run off with your Hispanic gardener, Manuel?
Marshmallow: Hahah that was hilarious…
No, I would never ever change my ethics and morals that I was raised on by my parents, I will not skin - dipping in my backyard…I don't drink rum not even water before dinner…What makes you think that my gardener will be Hispanic, why not Iraqi for example? LOL…
Mister Ghost: Thanks very much for a nice In T View Marshmallow, and final question, have you ever seen a ghost eating an ice cream cone?
Marshmallow: Yea, I have seen that in cartoons.
Avril Lavigne Images courtesy of: