Friday, April 29, 2005

Ferid The Great, Iraqi Renaissance Man

Ferid of the Iraqi4ever Blog is a genuine Renaissance Man, studying Dentistry at a College in Baghdad,
playing Tennis, focusing in on Photography,
enjoying Computer Programming, and being
arrested on suspicion of Terrorism in an
unfortunate misunderstanding.

A Terrorist he's not; a Good Guy he is, and we celebrate that in:

The In T View: Ferid The Great, Iraqi
Renaissance Man

MG: Hello Ferid, how is life treating you these days?

Ferid: Well fair, I don't want to complain about it here too :P

MG: So, you were recently arrested on suspicion of "Terrorism". What was that all
about? What did your parents say? And how
strange of an experience was it?

Ferid: I just took some photos for an exploded vehicle near my college, ended with
a night in custody…what was all about? I really didn't have yet a logical reason for it…my
parents told me before the accident that I'll
be shot dead one day if I kept taking pictures,
so I guess I was lucky after all :P

MG: LOL, Are there a lot of Terrorist
Dental Students running around Iraq these days?

Ferid: I suppose am the first, the day
I went to college I stopped all the rumors,
rumors went on as am now at Guantanamo :P

MG: So what's the average day of an Iraqi Dental Student like?

Ferid: As a start wake up at 6:00am, trying to avoid the heavy traffic and be at college before 8:00am, return at 3:00-4:00PM then either nap or study for the next so both are a waste of time…

MG: Is the Dentistry Profession, a good
place to meet Iraqi Women?

Ferid: Maybe I didn't get your question right, but the seats are reserved 60% for females
to 40% males and that's so fair to us :P

MG: Besides Dentistry and School, what other interests do you have in life?

Ferid: I would say photographing but not anymore, computer programming and for sport I
play Tennis, I represented my college this year
at the colleges' tournament but I was out from
the first round!!

MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your blog: Iraqi4ever come about?

Ferid: I was surfing the internet, then I found my self at Nabil's blog he was writing about soccer, I checked the comments there were like 30 comments, checked the statistics and there were about 300 hits a day…before my blog I had personal web site, five hits a day would make me happy :P

So I thought of doing the same, then
Iraq the Model
and Healing Iraq both introduced at the same time, hits that
day reached 1000 I almost had a heart attack

MG: Besides your own Blog, do you have any other blogs that you like to read?

Ferid: I read many blogs, political blogs mostly take my attention.

MG: What would you say is the Greatest Problem facing Iraq these days?

Ferid: Same old problem the Ba'athies,
and those extreme Islamic are just toys in the
hand of Ba'athies…

MG: What's the best book that you ever

Ferid: The God father

MG: So, do you have a favorite Iraqi food?

Ferid: Pizza but that for sure not an Iraqi food :P

MG: Let's say you could go out on a date
with anyone on the planet, who would it be and

Ferid: Jennifer Aniston, I like her hair.

MG: What would you say has been the
happiest moment in your life?

Ferid: 9th of April and the day Saddam was captured.

MG: Is there a special place in Iraq, that you like to visit?

Ferid: Not a special place but when am
at a full crowded soccer stadium, and of course watching my team and winning :)

MG: Do you have a favorite TV show?

Ferid: Friends, here the series didn't
end yet :)

MG: Did you have a chance to participate
in the recent Iraqi Elections, and how excited
were you?

Ferid: Yes, and I consider it as a
blessing as some people couldn't and felt
either guilty or regretful.

MG: If people would like to donate
to you or your blog: Iraqi4ever, how do
they go about it?

Ferid: With the help of Mr.Tom Villars
people can donate at left column of my blog.

MG: Thanks Very Much, Ferid, and final question: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Ferid: Yes, at cartoons and movies only :P

Stephania, Sardinian Super-Blogger Par Extraordinaire

Stephania from Italy is the 23-year-old Freedom-Loving, Democracy-Spreading,
Sardinian SuperBlogger and Law Student who shares her multitude of thoughts,
posts, and links every day from her very Fine Blog: Free Thoughts.

In the In T View: Stephania, Sardinian Super-Blogger Par Extraordinaire, Stephania delves into everything from Love to Democracy, Freedom to France, the Beautiful Island of Sardinia to why the Iranian Mullahs must not be allowed to obtain Nuclear Capabilty.

It's The In T View: Stephania, Sardianian Supper-Blogger, Par Extraordinaire

MG: Hello Stephania, How is life treating you these days?

Stephania: Well, Thanks God it is treating me well. At least, so far.

MG: Stephania, you are from the beautiful Italian island of Sardinia, a place inhabited as early as 150,000 B.C. What is it like to grow up in such an environment? Can you feel and taste its ancientness? Is there a grand sense of History, Tradition, and Legend living in such a milieu?

Stephania: I have to say that I feel lucky to live here in Sardinia. It's an island rich of history, traditions and, above all, its sea and beaches are among the most beautiful, I'd say, of the world. I don't know if you have watched any picture of them. If not, I advise you to do it :)

Also, the landscape is not the same everywhere. I mean, if you go in the central parts of the island, you can see landscapes made up with mountains and green meadows.

Check the below wesbite, in English, to know more about Sardinia:

MG: How is the United States viewed in your native Sardinia?

Stephania: Well, honestly, I cannot say how it is seen, as I really don't know what the majority here thinks. My city is inhabited by many non-leftist people. The mayor is a right-wing politician and the city has never had a leftist mayor. So I think that many people here has a positive view of the US. The same can be said for the other 2 provinces of the island : The province on the centre-west. That of the north-west. But there is an entire province ,on the centre and centre-east part, which is very leftist. And they don't like the US. They demanded the closure of the Nato bases, even if they're located on the North Sardinia, in an island named "La Maddalena" (where there are a lot of Americans with their families - I visited that place last year and I loved it and talked to a lot of Americans.)

MG: Do you have any Pets?

Stephania: No, I don't have any. But I'd love to have some. The problem is that my house
has not a garden, otherwise, I would take a dog. I love the dogs a lot, much more than the cats,
said honestly.

MG: Is there a God?

Stephania: Well, usually I don't speak about this personal issue publicly, but I have
no problem with saying that I am an agnostic. I mean, I don't ask myself if there is a god
or not.. My mind has a lot to think about, that I don't wonder if there's any god.

MG: Do you have a favorite color?

Stephania: Yes. I've 2 favorite Colors: Blue and Pink. And usually I give meanings to
the colors. To me, Blue is the color of the sea and the sky. And, since I am romantic, I love this color :) Then, Pink is a feminine color par excellence.

MG: Why is a nice Italian Girl like you so interested in Freedom, Democracy, and Iran?

Stephania: Because I am convinced that the democratic states don't export terror nor do they terrorize their citizens. And I think that the current democratic wave accross the Middle East
and Central Asia is taking place as a result of the democratic successes in Iraq and Afghanistan, Now we are no longer hearing the catastrophists. This is because the domino effect is just starting. And the events are proving that they're wrong.

MG: The Iranian Freedom Movement SMCCDI, what can you tell us about them?

Stephania: They have contributed, in all these years, to raise awareness about the real situation inside Iran. They're doing a great work to liberate their country. SMCCDI, as
stated in many of its articles, has been opposition movement that has called for mass demonstrations inside Iran in several occasions and continues to be a major force behind the mobilization of millions of Iranian protesters.

MG: Can Iran be allowed to build a Nuclear Bomb?

Stephania: Of course not. At least the Iran under the Mullahs. We all know what will
the Mullahs do once they have the bomb . But, in my opinion, the solution to this is not
tens and tens of nuclear-focused talks and meetings between the Europeans and the Regime.
So far, it has not solved anything.

The solution lies in the concrete help of the Iranian people ( morally, politically and - above all - financially ) by the West so that they can bring down the regime by themselves.

Also, the problem is not the bomb per se. It is who has the bomb. If you put a nuclear bomb
in the hands of terrorists, they'll be using it for the purposes we know (destroy Israel
and the West). The Mullahs are terrorists So they must not be allowed to own a bomb.

MG: Do you think events in Iran will reach a critical mass, where the Pro Democracy Forces will overthrow the Mullahocracy?

Stephania: Well, I think they will if the West backs its words with concrete actions. As I said above, the West must offer the Iranians all the means to liberate their country.

The situation right now is very tense in Iran. There are uprising all over the countries
underway, and if you rea the reports in this moments, you'll see that the situation is becoming very hard for the Mullahs' regime. Now that the situation is exploding, the West must act in support of all those who in these hours are in the streets trying to overthrow the regime in several Iranian cities and regions. But where is the West ?

MG: What does Freedom mean to you?

Stephania: It means everything. Personally, it means that nobody can impose his/her will on me. I hate to stay with a man who says how I have to dress or that i don't have to wear that or this.

Individual liberty to me is very important.

As for freedom in general, it means everything to a person. That's why I support those fighting to have the same rights as I do have.

MG: How do you safeguard that Freedom?

Stephania: Eternal vigilance... and fight.

MG: Will there be freedom for the People of Cuba any time soon?

Stephania: Yes. I think so. There will be the first Pro-Democracy Conference in Havana on May 20th. It is being organized by some former political prisoners and has the support of tens upon tens of opposition groups, both inside and outside Cuba, plus the financial endorsement of some Cuban-American Senators and world politicians such as Vaclav Havel.

This conference aims to strenghten the opposition to Castro, promote the Civil Society and acts of civil disobedience and campaign to raise awareness among the Cuban population.

There's a growing discontent in Cuba. People start loosing the fear to speak out and criticize the regime. Many continue to escape via sea and many more join the tens of opposition groups in the island.

Marxism lives only in the minds of some regime's supporters. But a majority of Cubans now are sick of communism.

This conference marks the beginning of the liberation of Cuba. As a prominent dissident inside the island said recently, the Castro regime " is weaking day by day. It is up now to the international community to help us in the transition toward democracy".

You can visit the Official Website of the Conference and put your signature if you support these people's efforts.

MG: What do yo believe will be the next Country to experience a Democratic Revolution?

Stephania: Belarus. But there are so many others and the list would be too long.

MG: So, what's your favorite food?

Stephania: The Sardinian Cousin, Ravioli and ...Pizza !

MG: What do you think of France?

Stephania: First of all, let me clarify to my Blog's readers (some of them may be French,
I don't know anyone from France, but they might be some), that I don't have anything against
France as a nation and people. My criticism is with the French government and the way they
see the world.

So, when I say "France" I meant the gov't and the system. So, France (meaning what I said)
is a country whose leaders have always believed themselves to be a superior race and culture,
and as having the right to impose their vision on the others. They favor the commercial and economic issues over the human rights ones.

They oppose the spread of Democracy and the Bush's Doctrine, because : 1) they're jelous
2) they think that the other peoples are unfit to self-governing 3) Democracy in some countries would mean the end of their economic priviledges and benefits.

The difference between France and the U.S. is that the former has been a colonizer and has
brought no democratic principles and the latter has never colonized a foreign country, but has liberated half a world, whethermilitarily or not.

MG: What makes you Laugh?

Stephania: Seeing the images of when I was a child. And seeing my brothers' make
me even more laugh.

MG: If you could go on a Dream Vacation to anywhere on the Planet, where would it be and why?

Stephania: In a tropical island. Yes,I know that's a common dream. But I'd like to stay there with the person I love. I love the sun and the summer, that's why I would choose these places. But , since we're talking about dreams, and I am a romantic dreamer, I would say that I would like to relax in the moon with the person love.

MG: Stephania, How do you say, "Super Blogger" in Italian? Because that's what you
are, a Super Blogger. Where do you find the time to post all the information that you do?
Just reading it all, make me tired.

Stephania: We use the same term. Super Blogger. Nowadays, this term is very common.
You know, it's not the first time a person asks me how I do to write all these things. When I have the time and I sit in front of my pc, I blog as much as I can.

Don't worry, read it whenever you want and can. You know, there are the archives so that you can read a post if in the meantime I have posted other tens... However, I'am unable to post more than 10 posts a day. So take your time. My blog is always there

MG: How did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog: Free Thoughts come about?

Stephania: I have always dreamed of making my thoughts known and hear comments from the others. It's like a personal diary and a way to express myself freely , without any censorship on what I write. It's a powerful tool and makes me feel freer.

At the beginning, I was thinking to start a non-political blog. A blog that talked about my personal feelings, like love or my life experiences. I may still do it, but for now I like to keep blogging about politics.

MG: Besides your own Blog, what other Blogs do you like to read?

Stephania: All those listed on my links! But in particular, I read Little Green Footballs, Roger L. Simon and, of course, your blog.

MG: When you're not being a Superblogger, what do you like to do to "Kick Back" and have Fun?

Stephania: You should also add "when you're not studying..", because I am also studying. I study law. A 3-year long course, helped by my cousin who is about to finish. When I am not a "superblogger", I go out , meet with friends, go to the stadium when my city's team - Cagliari - plays against important teams like Juventus, Milan or Inter and I relax a bit by listening to
my favorite music.

MG: What's the Best Movie you've seen in the last six months?

Stephania: The Million Dollar Baby. A great movie. It has deserved the award
it has won.

MG: Do you have a favorite Columnist like Victor Davis Hanson or writer that you like to read?

Stephania: I have a lot. But some in particular: Victor Davis Hanson, Michael Ledeen, Cliff May,Claudia Rosett, Bill Kristol, Saul Singer of the Jerusalem Post, Fiamma Nirestein and Emanuele Ottolenghi. I am a Nocon, after all.. :)

MG: Which Book that you've read, has had the Biggest Influence on your Life?

Stephania: " Staying far from Medina". The author is an Algerian woman and feminist activist, Assia Djebar. I read a lot of her books, but this has explained very well how a woman lives in the Islamic societies.

And that has taught me how lucky I am to live in the Free World, but that I cannot ignore the plight of those living in the undemocratic and unfree world.

MG: Let's try a little Word Association, Stephania:

~ Jacques Chirac

Stephania: I cannot use here some of the words I'd use to describe Chirac. All I can say is that he's an opportunist, merchantilist, imperialist and hypocrite man, and he represents today's European leader.

~ Love

Stephania: Love is everything to me. I cannot live if I know I am not loved by at least a couple of people. I like to love and be loved. But I cannot pretend to be loved. It's not part of my behavior. I cannot ask love to a person if I don't give my love to that person.

Till some year ago, I did not believe in love, as my experiences with men made me think that there's no such a thing like love. But now it's totally different. I am single, and I am living happy. But I am ready to give and receive love if I meet the right person. Yes, now I believe in love. And i want to love.

~ Women's Rights and Islam

Stephania: I don't believe that Islam as a religion is compatible with the women's rights.
I have read the Koran, because I have to know something before talking about it. Not that it
means that all the Muslims are against the women rights. Many of the Middle Eastern feminists are Muslim. The problem is with the religion. The Secular Muslim intellectuals themselves say that Islam needs to be reformed if the Muslim world wants to enter the 21 century.

~ Shopping

Stephania: I love go shopping. When I have enough money, I like to go out with friends or alone to buy something I saw and I liked. Usually I buy clothes. But I also buy lipsticks and all the things who we women loveto improve our looks.

~ President George W. Bush

Stephania: The best U.S, President after Lincoln and Reagan. And today, the best World Leader. Cannot imagine how would the world look like without his lead.

~ The European Union

Stephania: A corrupt, undemocratic, merchantilistic and useless insitution. It has suppressed many of our individual liberties and the nations' sovereignty. I am anti-Europeanist and I believe I am not the only one.

~ Italian Television

Stephania: Two reasons for which I don't watch it : too many reality shows; too many politically "correct" programs. I watch it only when there's a good movie or an important soccer game, such as the Italian National Team or the games of the important Cups.

~ Iraq

Stephania: A better place and it has made the world more secure

MG: And speaking of Iraq, Stephania, was War necessary to overthrow Sadam and the Baathists? Do you think things are progressing well?

Stephania: Yes, it was, because the Iraqi people were unable to overthrow the Saddam's regime by themlselves. It is the same like with the Nazi Germany and the Fascist Italy. A war has been able to help the Italians and the Germans overthrow Mussolini and Hitler.

MG: Thanks Very Much, Stephania for a Nice Interview and final question: Have you ever seen a Ghost?

Stephania: Thanks a lot for this interview and your interest on my blog and my thoughts ! No, I have not. Never. To tell it honestly: I don't believe in the ghosts.

Anyway, thanks again and I apologize for my imperfect English.

Waheed, Afghan Warrior For Democracy

Waheed of the Afghan Warrior Blog is one of the first native Afghani Blogger in Afghanistan.
And in the: In T View: Waheed, Afghan Warrior For Democracy he tells of his Heritage, Afghanistan under the Taliban, his Love for his Mom, the Changes that have taken Place, his Interest in Blogging, his Work as an Interpreter for the U.S. Military, and who's Prettier: Afghani or Lebanese Women. . .

And a whole lot more in the In T View: Waheed, Afghan Warrior For Democracy

MG: Waheed, how did you become interested in Blogging, and how did your Blog: Afghan Warrior come about?

Waheed: From childhood I was interested to be lyric or writer. One day I went to check my email and after I checked it I had 15 more minutes so I went to IRC chat room and I met Paul Edwards who persuaded me to start my blog. My first post got many comments and I was so
impressed and happy so I decidedto keep on blogging.

When I was 9 years old the war started in the capital Kabul in 1992 and the situation was very horrible. Many rockets blasted near our house and we had to immigrate to many places.
It is a long story to tell you and Afghan warrior means i keep fighting against those responsible.

MG: What is your favorite food?

Waheed:I like all kinds of food that are cooked well. Afghan rice beef steak is my favorite food.

MG: Without divulging anything of a confidrential nature, what exactly do you do in your job as a translator with the U.S. Miltary?

Waheed: As an interpreter I go on patrols and also communicate between ANA and US Army. When we go on patrols we talk with people and ask questions about their problems and whether they have any problem with robbery or bad guys.

MG: Is Afghanistan a very tribal society?

Waheed: Yes, Afghanistan is a tribal society but the tribes are united.

MG: Waheed, if it's not too personal, could you tell me which tribal group you belong to?

Waheed: I belong to the Tajik tribe.

MG: And when you reached adulthood, did you have to undergo some sort of initiation, ritual or ceremony?

Waheed: When I reached adulthood I was in Pakistan with my family because the living conditions weren't good in Afghanistan. So I really didn't have any sort of ceremony. I was only thinking when will I be able to go back to my country and go back to school.

MG: What does the name Waheed mean? Does your name have a meaning?

Waheed: My name means "united" or "unity". In some old books it also means "single" or "only".

MG: What's the best book you ever read?

Waheed: My favorite book is Shahnama-E-Firdawsi. This book is full of nice stories about former kings of Afghanistan going back 1800 years and it's full of nice epic poems.

MG: So, do you have a favorite sport or activity that you like to do?

Waheed: I like all sports, especially soccer. Right now I don't have time because I work from 4pm till 7am, but sometimes I like to watch sports on TV.

MG: If you could go on vacation to any place in the World, where would it be?

Waheed: I love to travel and visit different countries. There are many places I would love to go e.g. US, Canada, Australia, India, Egypt.

MG: So, how bad was it living under the Taliban?

Waheed: When the Taliban came to power I moved to Pakistan with my family but I was reading the newspaper every day. Also I was talking with people who were coming from Afghanistan. Life was hard and very boring. No TV channels, no music. It was especially hard for women as they were not allowed to work outside of their houses. There was no education for women and no freedom of speech.

MG: Waheed, if someone said to you five years ago that the Taliban would be out of power, Afghanistan would have democratic elections, Kabul would be being rebuilt and blossoming, women would be actually allowed to protest for their rights, new schools would be being built, you would be working for the U.S. Military and telling the world about Afghanistan through your Blog on the Internet, would you have believed them?

Waheed: During the Taliban regime we wouldn't have believed that the US Army would come to Afghanistan, but we were hoping that one day Afghanistan will be free. But when the
US attacked, everything changed very quickly. I wouldn't have believed that one day I would be working as an interpreter and we would have 4 TV channels and women would have their ministry and protest for their rights.

MG: Now that Kabul has four TV Channels, do you have a television program you like to watch?

Waheed: I like all programs on our TV channels, but my favorite is Sahat-e-bashuma which gives very useful information about new technology and also is shows strange events. Also "hop"
program, which is a music program which play different songs such as Indian, Afghan, Iranian, English, Arabic

MG: Do you have any pets?

Waheed: I used to have a dog but not now.

MG: Who's Prettier: Afghani women or Lebanese women?

Waheed: Hahaha. I don't know which women are prettier. I guess they are very similar but we have some that are very pretty .........

MG: What's the strangest thing you've ever seen in Afghanistan?

Waheed: The strangest thing I ever saw was the 1992 war in Kabul. The rockets were coming from everywhere and the Kabul sky was covered by smoke.

MG: All Afghani boys love their mothers, so what is it about your mother that is special?

Waheed: Yes, all boys and girls love their parents, especially their mothers. There is a great respect for parents in Afghanistan and I love my mother more than anything in the world.
My mother is a special mother - she is very smart, she is a high school teacher. The special thing
about her is that she is really kind to me and she always cares for me.

MG: What is the biggest problem facing Afghanistan today?

Waheed: Afghanistan is facing a lot of problems today. The biggest problem we are facing is terrorism. Other problems that we are facing are power, weak economy, unpaved roads. We need hospitals and universities and we must have colleges in every province. Sports stadiums and much more.

MG: Do you have a favorite place you like to visit in Afghanistan and why?

Waheed: My favorite place in Afghanistan to visit is Panjshir and Paghman Valley.

MG: Waheed, I understand that Internet Costs are very expensive in Kabul and that you have a great need for a Digital Camera and Laptop. If people want to help you with these things, how do they go about it? Can they make donations to your Blog?

Waheed: Internet is expensive here in Kabul. It's impossible for people to get net connection for their homes because only few people have digital phones. The government hasn't issued new phone systems to the people.

They are working on it, but it might take a long time. There are some net companies in Kabul that issue satellite connection which costs US$3000 for the satellite and 3 months in advance, and every month they charge you US$300 for the lowest speed.

I am waiting to get a phone connection. It costs US$270 to get a phone but I don't know when they will issue them, so most people go to net cafes. There are almost cafes in all Kabul now.
If anyone wants to send me a second hand laptop or digital camera they can send it to me via the US Army mail. One guy offered me a laptop and one guy a digital camera, so I hope they send them.

Yes, they can donate money to my blog. (MG Says: Yes, you can donate to Waheed via the PayPal button at Afghan Warrior.)

MG: Thanks very much, Waheed, and final question: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Waheed: I have never seen a ghost in real life but sometimes in my dreams. My friend told me that he saw a ghost.

Dr. Humanity, Bright, Humane, And Caring

Bright, Humane, and Caring, with a love for Pringles and Evanescence, Medical Student
Dr. Humanity of the Iraqi Humanity blog
surrounds us with his thoughts on Life in Iraq, Med School, Patient Care, Mom,
and more.

It's the In T View: Dr. Humanity, Bright, Humane, and Caring

MG: Dr. Humanity, how is life treating you these days?

Dr. Humanity: Financially good, I have some problems in Pharmacology in the college, socially I returned now from a funeral of my friend's 3 aunt & their 2 daughter who were shot last Thursday in there car for no reason so I shall take care & take precautions cz it's dangerous situation nowadays in Baghdad.

MG: What's the average day of a Iraqi Medical Student like?

Dr. Humanity: Waking up at 7:00 AM then some sport, breakfast, get my clothes
on & then 7:30 am my friends came to take me to the college except for the days that
would be my turn so I will ride with them, in college we start the day by some greetings,jokes except when we have an exam that day, lectures begin at 8:30 am & end usually 10:30 am then followed by labs which sometimes continues till 3:30 PM or earlier, returning home, having lunch & watch TV, sleep till 12:00
night, watching TV & sometimes studying.

Note: this is my life in this semester only cz it's the hardest one in the medical college & if I finished it, In the next semesters I will finish nearly at 12:00 noon. & this was a normal day but on weekends I study more & visit my friend who is a student in the dental college & I knew him since I was 13 years old.

MG: How difficult is it to become a doctor in Iraq?

Dr. Humanity: It's very difficult since it needs a lot of studying & need a very high average in the higher schools so not everyone will be able to enter the medical college so we r the students that got the highest average
marks in the higher schools, for me I was no. 13th in Iraq. Also medical college need 6 years to be a doctor compared with 4 years to be an engineer so unless u r financially fine u will not be able to continue but this is a very rare case here.

MG: What's the biggest problem facing Iraqi hospitals? Lack of supplies? Danger from insurgents and terrorists? Theft? Lack of security? Too many patients and not enough qualified medical personnel?

Dr. Humanity: I will list it according the importance from my view which almost right:

a- Lack of a good leaders.
b- Theft, by all the Hospital staff, from the simple worker to the substaff but not doctors.
c- Lack of supplies.
d- Too many patients and not enough equipment & if there is, it is very very
old; ex: in our hospital we have one CT scan & I hadn't see it working once!!!!

But we have a qualified doctor who most of them are in the world's hospital & as about the Iraqi doctor.

MG: How frustrating of an experience is it, when you're unable to help a patient?

Dr. Humanity: At the beginning it will depress u very much but then u will get on it & like when someone saw a glass of water half empty & the other see it half filled, to me I see it half filled, cz in this situation being able to cure a patient is like a Miracle !!

MG: You've seen death close up, does something like that change your perspective on life? Do you lose some of your humanity?

Dr. Humanity: Death well u learn u to respect life & to see how is the human
beings r weak & I now evaluate every happy moments u live it with u family or whatever but about humanity, it is difficult to say but when u see many people dying or dead u will not have time to be sad for them but u will have time to save other patients or lessen their suffering, do u get it?

(MG says: Yes, quite understandable.)

MG: On a more pleasant subject,how nice was it to finally be able
to participate in a free election?

Dr Humanity: At the beginning it was normal but when I remembered Saddam's election I feel it & I was so happy when for the same time I see The election results with no 99.999 number in it as Saddam did.

MG: How did you become interested in Blogging and how did your blog: Iraqi Humanity come about?

Dr. Humanity: My friend Ferid of Iraqi4ever (Loser's Blog) began before me & I become interested & I started
with some of his directions.

MG: When you're not doing the medical thing, what do you do to relax?

Dr. Humanity: Music, TV, sport, readings & going outside.

MG: Music: Got a favorite band or singer you like to listen to?

Dr. Humanity: Evanescence is my favorite band & sometimes I use their songs as a Title for my post, also I like Linkin Park & about singer I like Madonna & MJ but not as Evanescence. & I hear some Arabic songs too.

MG: How's the fishing in the Tigris River and what type of fish do you catch?

Dr. Humanity: I don't know how to fish but I want do it sometimes but after all & don't like fish too much!

MG: Iraqis boys love their Mothers. So what is it about your mother that is special?

Dr. Humanity: Sure My mother is the one responsible for us ( me & my brothers) she is a great woman she raised us alone during my father being abroad & when he died in 2000 she become my father, mother & friend & I wish I make here happy & proud of me like my bro.

MG: Favorite Iraqi food?

Dr. Humanity: (Gozzi) which is meat & rice, chicken also I like European food Pizza & spaghetti & American Hamburger.

MG: I've always wondered about this, why do Iraqis love Pringles Potato Chips so

Dr. Humanity: This is due to the embargo bcz before the last war & since we havn't here in Iraq Pringles, chocolate like (Mars, Today, Toploron), even sometimes we hadn't Pepsi & 7up also I remember when I was 7 years old there was no desert or Ice Cream sold in shops cz Saddam said that there was Embargo & we shall keep our sugar for our important needs & this last till I reached 13 years old, so u can say that Iraqis didn't see Pringles before war & this is our first experience, ymym I need Pringles by now.

MG: What was the most interesting birthday present that you ever received?

Dr. Humanity: This computer & a small ironing machine.

MG: If people want to donate to your blog: Iraqi Humanity or to the Medical College you attend, can you provide some information on how they can do so?

Dr. Humanity: Yes donation through my blog: http//
in the donation link & to my college u can send it to this address: Iraq, Al-kadimia, Baghdad P.O. Box 14222.

MG: Thanks Very Much, Dr. Humanity, and final question: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Dr. Humanity: I saw many pictures of Ghost & if u r interested, I can send it.
Thanks & goodbye

Nabil, Scholarly And Soccer-Loving

Scholarly and Soccer-Loving, the Uber-Cool Nabil of Nabil's Blog represents the best of both
worlds of Iraq's Young Generation, with a love of Education, Soccer, dating Jennifer Aniston, WWE Pro Wrestling, War Games, and Democracy in Iraq.

Iraqi Bloggers Central is proud to present: The In T View: Nabil, Scholarly and Soccer-Loving

MG: How are you doing these days?

Nabil: Fine thank you.

MG: So, what's your favorite food?

Nabil: Fries

MG: If you had the opportunity to go out on a date with any woman in the world, who would it be? Any special reason why?

Nabil: Jennifer Aniston, I like her hair and the way she looks.

MG: How did you become interested in Blogging and how did your blog: Nabil's Blog come about?

Nabil: Well, first my brother made his blog, and after he made fans and been famous, he told me to make my own blog, and I agreed, and the name of Nabil's Blog came out like this because my blog is not about somthing itself, its about everything, my life, sports in Iraq, my comments about the situation in Iraq and so on...

MG: Your brother Zeyad of Healing Iraq fame caused a bit of the stir with his mysterious hiatus from Blogging. Can you comment on this? People are wondering if Zeyad is okay?

Nabil: Zeyad is okay, but I never had discussed this with him, and I don't know why he is not blogging, I mean did he stop?..... (MG Says: Zeyad has resumed blogging after a short hiatus.)

MG: What's the most special thing about your mother?

Nabil: She is very good educated......

MG: What's the Hottest Online Game being played at the Internet Cafes in Iraq right now?

Nabil: Medal of Honour and Counter Strike.

MG: Do you and your friends have a favorite game at the moment?

Nabil: Pc games : Medal of Honour PS2: Winning Eleven 8 (soccer) Real: Soccer

MG: Perhaps you could describe what's it like to be in the last year of high school?
How much pressure do you face? How hard are the exams? Will you miss your school
friends when you graduate?

Nabil: Well, its good to be in the last year of high school, and yes I am facing a lot of pressure right now, cause you know, my whole future depends on this year, some of the exams are hard and some are easy, and of course I will miss my buddies.

MG: So, what would you like to do after you graduate?

Nabil: well my parents want me to go to a medical college, and I am just puzzled cause I don't know which college to pick.

MG: How much do you love soccer?

Nabil: Soccer is in my DNA.

MG: Who's the best Soccer Player in the world right now?

Nabil: Christiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)

MG: Where would you rank the Iraqi National Football Team? Are they in the Top 5? Top 10? Top 20 of world teams?

Nabil: According to Fifa rank, the Iraqi team is # 40... and I think that's a good rank for us...

MG: From reading your blog, you seem to think that Islam and Democracy have difficulty coexisting. Why is that?

Nabil: Well, of course I think like that, cause if you know the Islamic religion you would think like me, cuase Islam prevents the people from doing a lot stuff that any person would like to do, like drinking alcohols, or having a girlfreind, but freedom let the people do that..

MG: Do you have any pets?

Nabil: I used to have a dog, but he passed away... I am thinking to buy a dog after finishing this studying year....

MG: You want to visit the U.S. after you graduate from school this summer. What is it about America that intrigues you or interests you?

Nabil: Well, I wanted to do that because most of my fans are from the U.S. and because I've never been there.

MG: You recently took a little heat for the comments you made about Sistani and the the Iraqi Election. What is it about Sistani or the way people are treating him that bothers you?

Nabil: Well, Sistani doesn't deserve it, because since we knew him (after the war) he had done nothing but making stupid decisions and comments.... I don't say this because I hate Shea, I don't hate them and that has nothing to do with what I think about Sistani, but I think that he had just ruined the Iraqis lives.

MG: How long have you been interested in Pro Wrestling and are there a lot of wrestling fans in Iraq?

Nabil: About 2 years ago, my dad subscribed in ART tv channels, and so I had the chance to see it, and no Iraq doesn't have a lot of fans of wrestling.

MG: Rob Van Dam. Is RVD your favorite wrestler, and why?


MG: Any other wrestlers that you like?

Nabil: Triple H, Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Yasser K, and many others..

MG: Which Pro Wrestler or WWE Personality do you hate the most? Who would you just like to body slam into the ring and then apply the figure-four suplex to them?

Nabil: KANE....

MG: Thanks very much, Nabil, and final question: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Nabil: No I never saw a ghost!!!!!, cause I don't believe that there are ghosts... thanks for asking.


Neurotic Iraqi Wife ~ Not So Neurotic After All

Blogging from a secret location somewhere in the Middle East, the Neurotic Iraqi Wife reveals her thoughts, views, and desires through her appropriately named blog: Neurotic Iraqi Wife, while awaiting the return of her beloved Hubby busy reconstructing Iraq. And she really doesn't seem that neurotic. . .

The In T View: Neurotic Iraqi Wife ~ Not So Neurotic After All

MG: Neurotic Iraqi Wife How is life these days for you and your Hubby?

NIW: Hey there MG, well, what can I say, right now this minute, my life is really "like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get". Having come back recently from our vacation, its back to the norm of whining and complaining while dear HUBBY is "rebuilding" Iraq...

MG: For a long while, writing in your blog, you seemed very pessimistic about Iraq's future. You seem more optimistic these days, what has happened to change your feelings?

NIW: Yeah that is true, I was pessimistic to a certain extent, but after that historical day the 31st of January, and after seeing the outcome of the 8million Iraqi heroes voting in Iraq, I came to realise that after all there is light under the tunnel even though its kinda dim at the moment, but its there and that’s what’s important.

MG: How happy were you to be able to finally participate in an Iraqi election?

NIW: Wow, I really couldn’t believe that the day will come. It was almost like a dream. For me it was actually the day I registered (outside Iraq the registration and voting process were 2 different occasions) that made my eyes water, I dunno why, but walking through the doors for the first time gave it some unique flavour. As for the voting process itself, that was surreal by itself. I still have the stain of ink on my finger (the mark of my freedom).

MG: Was it a bit worrisome that most Iraqi voters seemed to vote along religious or ethnic lines?

NIW: I have to admit that there wasn’t really much choice. The outcome was pretty predictable and the mere fact that Iraqis voted is by itself a sign of the new found democracy no matter whom they voted for. At the end of the day what matters is that they voted for who they wanted.

MG: You know, you don't seem so Neurotic at all, should readers of your Blog ask for a refund?

NIW: Lol, you haven’t seen anything yet. Believe me when I do lose my temper (and I wander why its always with poor HUBBY) I not only become neurotic but lets say I need to be restrained, I think enough said, hehe. . .

MG: And speaking of blogging, how did you get interested in it and how did Neurotic Iraqi Wife come about?

NIW: Well I have always been reading the Iraqi blogs for sometime, and infact Ill let you on a secret, Neurotic Iraqi Wife wasn’t my first blog. I had started one a few months after the war on Iraq and it was mainly about my childhood memories in Iraq. It was a feeble attempt of blogging and I lost interest pretty soon after that since I only had a few memories. Neurotic Iraqi Wife came about just after HUBBY’s first R&R. I became so depressed and thought I was losing it and the only way of releasing my emotions was to start blogging. I was desperate in finding a solution of getting him to change his mind and return to me, hence I needed outside help, I thought maybe, just maybe someone out there is cunning enough and will guide me through, but that didn’t happen. I guess the blog has worked wanders for me and made me realise that I’m not alone in this situation….

MG: And will we ever see your Hubby having his own Blog? Would he call it Neurotic Iraqi Husband? Reconstructing Iraqi Husband? My Cell Phone Is A Natural Extension of Myself Iraqi Husband? Please Honey, I Love You, But Stop Calling Me Iraqi Husband?

NIW: Its like asking will the rooster ever lay eggs…….HUBBY aint into blogging, its sad but true.

MG: Your husband and you are separated by countries and hundreds of miles, how difficult is it to maintain a long distance relationship?

NIW: Hmm, I never ever thought that I would be in this situation, but the key to keeping a healthy relationship be it distant or otherwise is COMMUNICATION. I’m the type of person that would like to know EVERYTHING that’s happening with HUBBY. What does he eat, who does he hang around with; how his work is etc…It’s like trying to “live” these moments with him, if you know what I mean. I also believe that you either have it in you to maintain a distance relationship or you don’t.

MG: Let's talk about your trips. Your Hubby and you seem to really love to travel to exotic and interesting places - What was the strangest place you visited or the strangest thing you've witnessed during one of these travels?

NIW: I have to admit that it was in Thailand that I was most startled. The first thing was in Bangkok when we strolled around Patpong road (kind of the red light district of Bangkok). We entered into one of those so called go-go bars and there they were young boys, maybe around the ages of 15 and above being fondled by older western men. It was a very disturbing sight for me. Hadn’t it been for HUBBY dragging me out of that place I probably would have gone up to some of these men and told them “shame on you, you are disgusting paedophiles” But I guess HUBBY saw what was coming and saved his face from being punched…The second thing was infact in Phuket where we were yet again strolling through its notorious streets and there it was an area filled with beautiful women who turned out to be in reality MEN!!! I never ever saw such beauties in my life before. . .

MG: In your latest travel adventure, you tried some of that "Evil Devil Weed" in Amsterdam for the first time in your life, What was that experience like for you?

NIW: Oh God, I don’t wanna ever do THAT again. It was awful. It was like seeing myself losing it and not being able to control myself, not that I’m capable of controlling myself most of the time, but I got the laughing fits while at the same time thinking “damn I cant stop” then I start to cry thinking”OMG what have I done to myself” Its that Not in control feeling that really got to me. Awful awful experience, I dunno how people just smoke that stuff as part of their daily lives. . .

MG: On a sad note, you visited Phuket before it was hit by the devastating tsunami - When you saw those images, what thoughts came to your mind? Were you like, for the grace of God, Hubby and I could have been there?

NIW: It was only 3 weeks after we came back from Thailand that the tragic tsunami happened, all I could think of was shit is the driver of the tuk tuk ok? You see, we got to meet a really nice fellow by the name of Abdulsalam; he was ever so friendly and helpful. I would look closer at the TV monitor and scan the crowds praying to God that Abdulsalam survived. It really was an awful tragedy, made me for quite some time question many things around me. May God be with all those that lost their loved ones. . .

MG: On to happier stuff, Do you really want to have a Baby, and any preference, boy or a girl?

NIW: At first I was stressing myself about having a baby, but now not as much. I really don’t want to go through pregnancy without having HUBBY around. Oh and definitely I want girls, girls and more girls, a football team of girls, yeah that’s what the world needs... I think girls can be the cheekiest and the cutest of the 2, and I’ll make sure they know exactly where to kick the balls, Lol.

MG: Let's talk a little bit about Iraqi food. Do you have a favorite Iraqi food or dish that gets your taste buds salivating?

NIW: Actually yeah, yummy, just thinking about it now makes me salivate. There are 2 dishes that I absolutely love one is called “Qeema” and it’s basically similar to the Bolognese sauce except it’s even yummier and eaten with rice. The other is a dish called “Fasanjoon” and it’s more common with the people from the South of Iraq. It’s a chicken dish made with crushed walnut and pomegranate sauce (yummmmy) Kind of like a sweet and sour dish and that too is accompanied with rice. Here’s a site I found that has some interesting Iraqi dishes recipes:

MG: I love sweets myself. Is there an Iraqi dessert that would knock my socks off?

NIW: Well I’m not sure about knocking your socks off, Lol, I myself am not really into sweets, I tend to go for chocolates more, but there’s one Iraqi sweet that I wont say no to and its called ”halawat haleeb” Its also a dish from the south, mainly Najaf. “Halawat Haleeb” literally translates into milk sweet but infact it’s like a thick brown paste made from sugar, saffron cinnamon, flour and milk.

MG: Okay, let's say Hubby and you are enjoying a romantic moment on an isolated beach in Tahiti, when suddenly three Klingon Warriors from the Star Trek universe teleport in beside you and threaten not to leave, unless you answer the following question: "What is the most unique thing about Iraq to you?" So, what is the most unique thing about Iraq to you?

NIW: Oh NOOOOOOOOOO, not Star trek again, Geez….LOL. Well instead of saying what’s unique about Iraq, cuz Iraq is unique by itself, with its history and its culture and its people. I’m gonna say what Iraq represents for me. Iraq for me represents many things. It represents that yearning that a small child has to find its lost mother. I don’t know how to describe it, it’s a passion with all Iraqis especially those that were forced to leave it 30 years ago. Iraq represents those innocent childhood memories, Iraq represents all those good people that came into my life and left a huge impact then had to leave the world. Iraq represents that final place on my itinerary of life. That’s where I wanna be, where I wanna live, and that’s where I wanna die….Iraq is my country, my beloved country. . .

MG: Thanks Very Much, NIW, and final question: Have you ever seen a ghost?

NIW: Thanx MG for giving me this opportunity and I also thank Iraqi Bloggers Central. And an Answer to your question, Yeah, have you???

Medya Reaching For the Stars - Part I

Reaching For The Stars. That's what Kurdish-Iranian Blogger Medya G. is doing in his life these days and through his two blogs, Medya Daily and Focus on the Unfocused, his Photoblog about Kurdistan.

In the In T View: Medya Reaching For The Stars, Medya provides an in-depth look at the life of a young Kurdish-Iranian man in Modern Iran, his hopes, his thoughts, his dreams, and his views for a better tomorrow.

MG: Medya, how is life treating you these days?

Medya: As always hard, I'm trying to get ready to apply for some university abroad. You know in third world countries there is too much bureaucracy for small works...

MG: Yes Medya. I remember reading in your blog about you going for your driver's license and having to cope with all the crazy bureaucracy. I think it took you something like 8 hours or more to get a license. I felt really bad after reading that, because the last time I went to have my license renewed, it took all of ten minutes. And I can imagine, trying to get a VISA to go overseas for your education, must be a nightmare experience. Could you describe or tell us about the things you have to do to obtain a VISA and how difficult the process is?

Medya: Well before a VISA you must have a passport and to have passport, if you are male, you need to finish the military duty that takes 2 years unless you should have a medical exemption.
Thank God I had enough diseases to get a medical exemption (lol). I have been in offices for 6 months just to get the exemption card and I never forget those that were like hell for me ...

The post office sent the Exemption card to me with 3 months delay, so I put 9 monthes full stress just to get an exemption card, tomrrow I will apply for the passport, and then after a univesity sent me the letter of acceptance, I must go to their embassy in Iran, to get a student visa and if the univesity is in American, then I would have to go to United Arab Emirates or Turkey to find an American embassy there. As Turkey government are sensitive about Kurds, then I won't go to Turkey.

You know they had arrested some passengers that had Kurdistan word in their passport, they believe there is no Kurdistan in this world, and they make problem for the people whose birthplace is written Kurdistan. And also getting a student visa from a western country for an Iranian Middle Eastern Iranian Young Kurd can never be easy ... heh , sorry for the wrong reply !

MG: That's okay, Medya. That's a pretty detailed description of the difficulties you have to endure. Is there any particular country or school you would like to go to? And what subject or subjects are you interested in studying?

Medya: Well I love to study in USA, in Georgia where I have some freinds and there are many Kurds too. And I want to study in Software Engineering or Information Technology or a similar field . I like Sweden or Canada as well but you know USA is another thing.

MG: In other words, you'd like to move away from Iran. How dangerous is it to be a Blogger in Iran these days?

Medya: Iran is one of the most dangerous countries for the bloggers, acording to the news they have arrested some bloggers, tortured them and put them to long jails. But the reason that I am gonna study abroad is not just moving away from Iran, the truth is in Iranian Universities I won't get what I want, I want to (be) the best in my field.

MG: The best in your field, I can understand that. You want to reach your full potential and that's not fully available at an Iranian University. Do you ever feel living in Iran that your soul is caged, that your spirit is restricted?

Medya: Yeah, that's the normal feeling that you should have in an ideological government, you were not born to do and to believe what they tell you, specially if you are in youngster age, you can not get along with them. And about Iranian Univesities, I should say, there are 2-3 good Iranian Univesities but you know Iran is the youngest country of the world, 2 million students attend in a one test in one day in 6 hours. The test is only multiple answer questions.

And because of the lack of spaces, only 8% of these 2 million sutdents will be accepted in the univesities and I can tell you less than 1% of them would be accepted to the field they want, most of them just choose a field to get accepted. But the sad part is the test, a test is about all of the Books in one day in 6 hours ... no matter what you want to study, you must answer Shite Relligion (you know Kurds are Sunni), Chemistry and... so If I somebody is good in Shia rellgion and chemistry, can go to computer field easier ...than one who is talented in math and in computer but not religion ... and also students who are Basij (students in Hezbollah ) and sons of Shahids and ...get Bonus Scores ! Arent we talking too much about university let change the subject? lol

MG: Very good Medya, let's move on from the University stuff and talk about your blog and blogging in general. How did you get started in blogging and how did your blog come about?

Medya: I used to read my American Online friend (Justin)'s blog, and one day he encouraged me to open one, I was the first Kurd or may the first Iranian who started a blog in English. I sent my first post on 2003/6/9 with a lot of hesitation. Because Middle East you are not supposed to say how you feel or what you think, you must believe and feel what the others do.

So my blogging faced several objections but I continued blogging in English because: I felt (I) have things to say that Medias don't mention I liked to be heard, to fight with loneliness feeling. To practice English writing. To share my feeling with the world as an Iranian Kurd.

I must say that before US-Saddam war my blog was more personal, but after the war, more people read Middle Eastern blogs, so I feel obligation to talk about my nation's problem too.

MG: What is your nation, Medya, Iran or Kurdistan? Do you identify more with being an Iranian or being a Kurd? And how are Kurds treated in Iran? Is there a lot of prejudice exhibited against them?

Medya: I used "My Nation word" because I didnt want to mention being Kurd or being Iranian. Ok now I have to explain, unlike Kurd& Arab and Kurd & Turk's relation, Kurds & Persians have some ethnic similiarities, Kurds and Persians are Both Aryian. Kurds and Persian are brother and sister they both have the same parent.

But they are not son (Kurd) and father (Persian), as some Persians claim. Kurds were the creator of Iran, Khatami the refomer president of Iran has a famous sentence "without any doubt no nation can say they are more Iranian than Kurds" about 4000 years ago, Medes (Kurds) called Persian and Parts to make a Federation of Nations called Iran and that empire had a great rule in civilization and human rights, but after Arabs attack (1400 years ago) the Iran federation was forgotten, and sad stories happened to the Kurds...

Kurds saved their language/cutlure and nationality from Arabs Domination, but Persians didnt do as well. Today 50% of the words that Persians use are Arabic. The first modern Iranian government was made 75 years ago by Reza Khan on the bases of Persian Nationalism not "Iranian" and he didn't respect any right of the Kurds to save their identity.

I wish I have well explained the difference of Iranian and Persian today although Kurdistan has a rich region but it is one of the poorest parts of Iran. After the Islamic Shia Revolution the Kurds problem in Iran was doubled, because after 1979, Kurds have two sins, 1- being Kurd , 2-not being Shia (Sunni) do I see myself more as Kurd or Iranian? I must say: people of Iran can never be compared to racist people of Turkey or Arabs. I like Iran but I love Kurdistan more, and I will love Iran if I see Kurds happy in it, Kurds can get their rights.

Medya Reaching For The Stars - Part II

MG: I think I've found from reading various Kurdish blogs, that there's a very strong love for Kurdistan, although Kurdistan doesn't exist officially on the map today, as the Kurds are scattered around the planet in a Kurdish diaspora. Will there ever be a nation of Kurdistan? Will the Syrians, Turks, Arabs, Iranians etc. let it happen?

Medya: It will happen for sure ... the word diaspora is not true. although many Kurds immigrated to USA and Europe and there has been several Arabization/Turkization process but still there is a united region called Kurdisatan there is only border between them, it is not like some 50% Kurds are in Eastern Asia and 40% in Africa, and 10% in America.

The thing that makes a nation is "common pain" or "common dream" ... and in this world of Internet, there is no distance between Iranian Kurdistan and Turkish occupied Kurdistan and we shout our pain and our dream in Internet. When a Turkish Police kills a Kurdish child we all cry for him, for example in blogs a Kurd blogger from Iraq, another from Iran showed their protest against that.

In Kurdistan Bloggers Union , we have Kurds from all over the world, even Jewish Kurd that her ancestors imigrated to Israel. Let them make foolish borders, we will break it, nothing can divide us some years ago you they could easily cut Kurd's tongue for speaking Kurdish, they wanted us to be Turk/Arab, but in this world of Internet they can't do without being watched by world. When we look back at history we see by fighting against "The Great Kurdistan"'s Dream, Turks, Arabs and Iranians earned nothing except nasty reputation in history for their own nation, black pages of genocide against Kurds.

MG: Well it's pretty evident Medya, that the spirit of a United Kurdistan burns deeply within you. Let's talk about another one of your interests, Photography. You have a Photoblog: Focus On The "Unfocused" (catchy title by the way) and it's obvious you love taking pictures. How did you get your start in Photography and is there any particular type of camera that you use?

Medya: Well, when I was child, I used to take funny pictures of myself... and everybody liked those funny photos, I wish I could publish them, may be after I moved away from Iran. After I bought a Digital Camera, I took more photos, because it was cheaper to take photo then I found taking photos from nature is safer to publish on internet, I really didn't think people would like my photos, when I got an e-mail from to ask my permission to show my photos in their TV, I couldn't believe it; about my camera, it is a Benq Digital Camera, it is not a professional camera at all, I have to force it to give me a good picture.

I named my photo blog "focused on the unfocused" , because I believe Kurdistan is the most unfocused region of the world in the medias, here is a little math : x =(the nunmber of the times that Palestine word was said in medias) / (number of the Palestinians been killed) y =(the nunmber of the times that Kurdistan word was said in medias) / (number of the Kurds been killed) if you compare X and Y , you will find X so much bigger than Y.

MG: Thanks for clarifying the name, Medya. And I can't disagree with you about the lack of Media attention towards Kurdistan. Kurdistan and the Kurds are sort of in the Media Boonies (that's American slang for out in the boondocks or far away from the main focus of things), but then again perhaps that's a good thing. Generally the Media reports from areas of strife and conflict - old saying: If it bleeds it leads. Kurdistan (at least the Iraqi part of it) isn't bleeding too badly right now and seems to be becoming one of the more Progressive Democracies in the Middle East.

Would you agree with that statement, Medya? And what about one of Kurdistan's neighbors, Turkey? You've written a lot about Turkey in your blog. Could you give me your thoughts on Turkey and Turks?

Medya: This being ignored by medias has been for decades ...I myself am a Kurd, I didnt know about Anfal until last year, but I knew about the palesininans problem when I was 4 years old . Just in Anfal genocide more 180 000 Civilian Kurds been killed by saddam, thats too much ! so much more than all of the Palestinians that been killed.

I myself as a Kurd didnt know there is any Kurd in Turkey until 2 years ago , and I think thats the Medias Sin , because I always listened to Medias . (like American Farsi Radios) well you mentioned Turkey , yeah you are right , I worry about Kurd humans in Turkey . before 2 years ago , I liked AtaTurk I though he was a hero for his nation, I loved to go to Turkey, I thought Turkey is the country of bikini babes, Music, Beach, Singers. But one day that I was listening to a Ibrahim Tatlist the Turk singer, I heared from one of friend that he is Kurd, I used to yell at Ibrahim Tatils for not singing in Kurdish until I heard from one of teachers that "speaking Kurdish in Turkey is forbidden" that sentence was the start of a 180 degree change in my brain...

I started to find more articles about Turkey, the more I read, the more I found Turkey Evil, even worse than evil. Comparing Iran and Turkey I must say Iran is so much better than Turkey. Acording to the Human Right Watch, Turkey has the most newspapermans in prison after Iran. I bet if Turkey had more Kurd writers, then Turkey would have the first place, I am sure if you read more about Turkey, you will believe that all of the men and women in Turkey government has no no no job except thinking about destroying Kurds. The sad part is America Supporting Turkey. I am always on the Weak's side against the Powerfull side (even if Kurds are the powerfull side) for example I always do my best to help Turkmens, Assyrian Chrisitan and Jew minorities, Recently I sent an e-mail to the KurdSat TV and I asked them to make some programs for Turkmen and... and fortunately they did.

Today where I went out to take my driver's licence , there was an alone Turk with many Iranians surrounding him and making fun out of him, and I automaticly become as angry as hell and fell into verbal fight with those Iranian. You know Iranians say jokes about Turks , as american say about Blondes.

MG: Medya, that's very noble of you, as Fayrouz would say, you lighted a candle to cast away the darkness. I wanted to ask you a question about Kurdish food, since I know absolutely nothing about it. What's your favorite Kurdish food and what are some popular dishes?

Medya: Aaah again food ... I am the one who is not interested in food, I wish we didn't have to eat food, if my mother didn't force me I wouldn't eat at all. Generaly I don't like the foods that have meat but I like foods with bean, like "xoresht sawzi" that is called "qorme sabzi" in Farsi. The same feeling about dishes, I believe dish is dish, but some women pay thousands of dollars to buy foolish dishes, but I am so intrested in ancinet dishes, the first glass and metal dishes were found in Kurdistan.

MG: Okay Medya, I want to thank you for a nice interview. I think your mother is worried about your health and wants to keep her son feeling well. All moms are like that for the most part. I'm a picky eater too. I don't eat red meat, but like chicken and seafood. I love archaeology, so that dish information is interesting. Now, just one final question, Have you ever seen a ghost?

Medya: I thank you too and sorry for the long boring answers. And my final answer: Yeah I see a very handsome intelligent ghost that likes to sutdy abroad in the mirror everyday. Ha ha.

Kurdo Unbound!

In the Elite Pantheon of Kurdish Bloggers, Kurdo of Kurdo's World stands high above the courtside of the Kurdistan and Iraqi geopolitical milieu, always ready to offer a needed Kurdish Perspective on events in Kurdistan and Iraq, as he does here in: The In T View: Kurdo Unbound!

MG: How is life for you in Post-Election Northern Iraq, Southern Kurdistan these days?

Kurdo: Life in Kurdistan is usually better than the rest of the areas in Iraq. But people are anxious as no one knows what is going to happen in the coming months.

The Kurdish parties are now in harsh negotiations with the Iraqi parties and so far the Iraqi parties are not accepting the Kurdish demands. You can
sense that people are not really looking forward for post-elections Iraq after this 6 weeks of tough negoatiations with the Iraqi groups in
which until now the Iraqis are not ready to give us any guarantees on our demands.

The Kurdish demands are the return of the Kurdish refugees to Kirkuk. Giving a federal statue for Iraq and giving a fair share of the Iraqi natural resouces to the Kurdistan federal government, and keeping the Kurdish security forces (Peshmarga) as they are the reason for our success in "keeping the peace". As you know the Iraqis and the Allies Forces have failed to maintain peace in other parts of Iraq.

MG: Were you happy with the Iraqi Election results?

Kurdo: With the Iraqi elections I was quite pleased. We managed to get a fair share of seats in the Iraqi parliaments. If the people in Kurdistan didn't go out in masses to vote, we would have been sidelined now in the Iraqi government.

MG: As you see it Kurdo, what are the Hot Issues confronting Northern Iraq, Southern
Kurdistan these days?

Kurdo: The main issue which worries people is Kirkuk. If you go back in history to the last 30 or 40 years, you see that the issue of Kirkuk is one of
the reasons why there has never been an agreement with the Iraqi governments and Kurds.

But so far the current negotiations with the Iraqi groups show that there are no committment from the Iraqis towards finding a peaceful solution to
the issue of Kirkuk. Just a few days ago, there
were statements from high ranking members of both Allawi and Sistani's parties calling Kirkuk
an "Arabic" city.

MG: How did you get interested in Blogging and how did your Blog come about?

Kurdo: The first blog I read was Salam Pax's "Dear Raed". This was before the war.
So after the war I noticed that Iraqi bloggers
are on the increase. So I sensed that there was
a great need for a Kurdish view to balance out
the Iraqi bloggers. First I started blogging in "Kurdish", then I noticed changing to English would be much better because it is nearly the
official "internet language" and would be easier
to communicate with other bloggers and readers.

MG: Besides your own Blog, are there other Blogs that you like or would recommend?

Kurdo: The KBU blog is a good blog. Simply because a number of different bloggers write there and they all have different interests and tastes and opinions on the Kurdistan/Iraq related issues.

MG: Kurdo, you appear to be the A Number One, Top Of The Heap, the Most Read Kurdish Blogger in the World. Does this put any extra pressure on you, when you're blogging?

Kurdo: hahah you making it sound very huge...I think it does have some pressure as
people expect that "Kurdo's World" is the
reflection of the Kurdish view..So for that
reason most of the time I try to be as
accurate as possible in reflecting how I
feel about a certain issue and I make sure
that I mix it with the general feelings of
the Kurdistan people.

MG: Besides Blogging, do you have
any hobbies or sports that you're interested in?

Kurdo: I like football (soccer) and running and swimming..I used to like reading books but now they are just too boring..I also like listening to music, Kurdish, English, Arabic, Turkish anything just let it be music...and I am also a good chess player...

MG: Okay, Word Association, Kurdo:


Kurdo: Sad-damned

al Sistani

Kurdo: Opportunistic


Kurdo: half-democratic


Kurdo: no choice


Kurdo: Nazi

Paul Bremer

Kurdo: cowboy

MG: And speaking of Paul Bremer, you
seemed to have a lot of problems with his administration of Iraqi affairs. What was
it about the guy or his practices that
really tanked you off?

Kurdo: I sometimes think that this guy was being told by someone "Iraqis only understand the use of force" and "dictatorship"..He started to
act all-alone and sometimes ignore the 25 members
of the Iraqi Governing Council. Also if you follow up the news now there are reports that he has given
massive contacts to a lot of people without checking up on them. He did some good things in the beginning then he became self-centered. I think this was as a
result of his frustration in being unable to stop the terrorist attacks. I think he was under pressure from the White House as well. But I personally think that people are thinking of these "instability" in Iraq as something new because they are looking at the smaller picture. If you look at the bigger picture, the current borders of Iraq throughout
the last 5000 years, there has never been peace
in this land. So there was no reason to become
self-centered because he had a good start but unfortunately a bad finish.

MG: Kurdo, let's say you were out taking a stroll some night in beautiful Southern Kurdistan and a UFO stopped by and abducted you. The aliens
in the UFO came to inspect you, and telepathically
asked you: "Kurdo, tell us something unique about Kurdistan or being a Kurd?" What thing or things, that are unique about Kurdistan or being a Kurd, would you tell the UFOnauts?

Kurdo: Well about Kurdistan I will try to give them a few mountains for free so that they release me..We have a lot of these mountains I am sure we can give one or two in return for freedom. Something unique about "Kurds" is that they love dance and music and food. So as long as Kurds have music, dance and food there are no worries. I am sure the aliens would love to dance the Kurdish style.

MG: Kurdo, it seems like a Kurdish Diaspora has taken place with Kurds scattered to the far
ends of the planet. Do you have family members
and relatives elsewhere?

Kurdo: That is true yeah I think now every Kurdish family has one or 2 members living in diaspora and especially Europe. There are rarely
a family who is not related to someone living in diaspora. And thankfully this has made a great impact on changing the way people think and act. These diaspora Kurds are helping in importing democracy, capitalism, and modern life style
to Kurdistan.

MG: Will the powers that be in Mideast and the World ever allow a Nation of Kurdistan to come into existence?

Kurdo: I think if these nations and superpowers want a peaceful Middle East they
should allow that. Because if you look at
Europe, first all the nations got independence
and now they are working for unity. But you can't jump to unity if you don't taste independence.
But I think in the long term, say in the next
30 to 40 years there will be a nation of Kurdistan because all the indications are saying that.

Turkey was opposing a federal state for Kurds
in Iraq and just a few days ago it said
that they accept that. So you never know.

MG: How could US and Kurdish Relations
be improved in your opinion?

Kurdo: We have a bitter experience with
the US..If they don't sell us out again like in
1974 and 1991 then the relations are good..
Remember that Kurds were and are the main
allies of the US in the whole Middle East
after Israel. So I hope the Kurdish-US
relations become a 2 sided relations and not
just orders and advices. Don't be put off by
the Kurdish critics. Only good friends criticize, bad friends strike.

MG: So, do Kurds really love to dance?

Kurdo: Absolutely and sometimes to death.

MG: How vibrant is the Kurdish Art Scene?
Has there been an emergence or blossoming of
Kurdish Artists, Musicians, Painters, and Movie Makers?

Kurdo: Yes especially after 1998... There
has been a massive increase in Kurdish artists activities.. We now have some very professional dancing team...Kurdish music has also gone wild since 2000...The number of the Kurdish singers
can't be counted now...Everyone has turned into
a singer...And the thing to be proud of is movie making...And that is all thanks to a Kurd from
(Iranian aka Eastern Kurdistan) Bahman Qobadi
who is now producing an international film every year...And there is a massive production of local movies which are not as good to be screened on an international level.

MG: Thanks Very Much, and Final Question: Have you ever seen a Ghost?

Kurdo: Unfortunately not I am still
waiting to see one but no luck. And thanks for
you and Iraqi Bloggers Central for the interview.

Fayrouz Hancock, An Iraqi In America

The In T View: Fayrouz Hancock

Fayrouz Hancock, the delightful doyenne of the Dallas - Fort Worth metropolitan
area is one of the premiere Iraqi Christian Bloggers in the world through her Blog: Live From Dallas . In the In T View, she details her thoughts on Iraq and a wide variety of subjects:

MG: How are you?

Fayrouz: I can't be better :-)

MG: Were you excited by the vast participation of Iraqis in the recent election?

Fayrouz: For sure I was. Iraqi voters made me proud. They defied all odds.

MG: What were your emotions like on Election Day?

Fayrouz: I couldn't believe what I saw on TV. It was a very emotional day for many of us.

MG: Did your relatives and friends still in Iraq have an opportunity to vote or were they effected by some of the ballot irregularities?

Fayrouz: I'm not sure if they participated or not. But, my parents did vote in Detroit.

MG: Did anything about the elections surprise you?

Fayrouz: What surprises me the most is the people who couldn't swallow the events of that day. They're still calling the elections a failure. That's offennce the Iraqi people.

MG: Fay, could we get a little bit into your background. I believe you're of Chaldean descent?

Fayrouz: I'm a Chaldean Catholic. It goes back to many generations in my family. My dad's uncle was a priest. My mom's first cousin was a bishop. So, you see we're into Catholicism :-)

MG: Are most Iraqi Christians Chaldean?

Fayrouz: Most of Iraqi Christians are either Chaldeans or Assyrians. The rest are Roman Orthodox, Syriac Catholics, Protestants and Latin Catholics. I hope I didn't forget any other sector.

MG: Fay, you're a strong advocate of Christian Rights in Iraq - The Christians seem to have taken a beating in Post War Iraq, being affected by both the insurgent terrorists and Islamic extremists - How bad has it been?

Fayrouz: It has been very bad in Basrah for the Christian women and business owners in particular. The only part of Iraq where Christians' lives haven't changed is in Kurdistan. The harassment they encountered by different groups during the last two years forced many of them to leave the country for safer countries.

MG: Do you think the new Iraqi government will take steps to protect Christians and other Iraqi minorities?

Fayrouz: I sure hope so. Only time can tell.

MG: You've done quite a bit of charity work for Iraq through your blog - Is there a favorite group or charity that you encourage people to donate to?

Fayrouz: Any charity that delivers goods to orphans or kids with disabilities would be on top of my list. I listed the charities and groups I like on my sidebar. They mostly work with children.

MG: Now Fay, are Iraqi and Kurdish Women, truly the most beautiful women in the Middle East?

Fayrouz: Yes, they are. OK, maybe I'm a bit biased here :-) Turkish, Persian (Iranian), Syrian, Kurdish and Iraqi women are on the top of the list.

MG: Fay, what was your happiest memory of your years in Iraq?

Fayrouz: You can pick up any moment before the start of Iran-Iraq war. That was the best time of my life in Iraq.

MG: Is there something different or unique about Iraq as a country that says this is Iraq? Like a smell in the air or the kindness/friendliness of the people, or even pests like mosquitoes or ferocious stray dogs?

Fayrouz: We do have stray dogs. They tried to control them once in my neighborhood by shooting them at night. Most people have a cat or two living in their garden. Basrah is unique with its summer weather. Sharji as we call it is when the humidity level goes up to 100%, your clothes stick to your body and you feel that you can't breath. That's when you know you're definitely in Basra. Basrawis were the most generous and friendly people I've ever met in my life. If I can go back in time, I wouldn't exchange my years in Basra with any other city in Iraq including Baghdad.

MG: Have you ever seen a scorpion?

Fayrouz: Nope. Only on TV.

MG: Are they more frightening in person than what the average Americans sees on National Geographic or the Animal Planet?

Fayrouz: I know Omar and Ays had a horrible experience with a scorpion last year while working in Basra. Lucky me, never had their experience.

MG: War Zone- Basra: Fay, I believe during the Iraqi-Iran war you were trapped in Basra - What was that like for a young girl to see War up close and personal?

Fayrouz: I tried to make the best of it. I studied hard. Finished my studies with honors. I dated to make sure time passes quickly. When you're trapped in a war zone and the only leisure you have is a phone line, you better have someone with a nice voice to talk to on the other side of the line :-)

MG: What was the thing that most shocked you, when you first arrived in the United States?

Fayrouz: I'm still shocked with the portions of food served in American restaurants. It's scary.

MG: Let's talk about your Blog: Live From Dallas and Blogging in general. How did you get interested in blogging?

Fayrouz: I guess Zeyad made me interested in blogging. He's my blogging inspiration. I wish he would blog more often.

MG: How did Live From Dallas come about?

Fayrouz: I don't know. It just happened and it's doing well. I'm actually amazed with myself. I think wherever there are politics, there's something to blog about.

MG: Is it a labor of love for you or more like an addiction, where you start to feel withdrawn if you don't post anything?

Fayrouz: It's becoming an addiction in a good way. It keeps my information up-to-date.

MG: Fay, final question, have you ever seen a ghost?

Fayrouz: No I never did. But, when we were in elementary school, my friends and I were interested in ghosts. We read many scary books. They kept us entertained and scared. My sister-in-law in a medium. It's not fun to talk to dead people. Take care, Fay

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