Sunday, July 17, 2005

Iraq The Model's Mohammed : He's Got The Big Mo Going!

Dino at Home By AFD/DC - Please Click On The Image To Enlarge It

He's got the "Big Mo Going!"
Iraq The Model's Mohammed is Burning up the Iraqi Blogosphere with his Lucid Insights into Iraq's Affairs, Terrorism, Politics, and the March to Democracy. Together with his Blogging Superstar Brother Omar, the two of them have established Iraq The Model as the Dominant Iraqi
Blog and a Must Read amongst the Millions of Blogs around the planet.

It's The In T View: Iraq The Model's Mohammed : He's
Got The Big Mo Going!

The In T View By MG - Artwork By DC.

MG: So Mohammed, have you gone to the Mountain or has the Mountain come to you?

Mohammed: I think I was always on a date with the mountain and we were never far away from each other.

MG: What's the Status of Gay Rights in Iraq? Will there be a Gay Pride Parade in Baghdad anytime soon?

Mohammed: Actually religion and traditions don't give gays any rights and homosexuality is considered a sin and a perversion that is against nature. However, some Islamic recent fatwas justified sex-change overriding what's considered a controversial issue in many other places. A gay pride parade will take probably
a light-year to happen; I know that light-years are used to measure distances but I couldn't find any other unit to measure the time needed here!

MG: And is the Moslem World ready for a Lesbian Film Festival?

Mohammed: Again, a light-year will pass before this happens!

MG: Mohammed, like many Iraqis these days, you've seen Death Up Close and Personal. Do the Images Haunt your Thoughts for a while? Do you say a silent Prayer, thankful that you're still alive?

Mohammed: I always expected an unnatural death, and I'm really afraid of a natural one; that's the last way I want my life to end in.

MG: Your first name is a pretty common one in the Middle East. Do you ever find yourself in a crowded room responding when someone calls out "Hey Mohammed!" and then thirty people named Mohammed say, "Hi Abdullah?"

Mohammed: This happened quite a lot of times and because one of my friends has the same last name too, our friends decided to call us the "short" and the "tall". I was the short guy of course as the other guy was a basket ball player. It wasn't fair
at all.

MG: Mohammed, What's your Favorite Snack Food, and don't say Pringles, or we end the In T View, right here?

Mohammed: I like nuts, especially almonds but I have to say that I like Pringles too! (MG Says: Noooo, Pringles, the Devil's Snack Food!)

MG: So Mohammed, what's a Real Good Meal to you?

Mohammed: The best meal would be one I make with friends on a picnic. Nothing can be as good as a meal you cook with bunch of close friends.

MG: Have you ever had Fried Clams?

Mohammed: I have no idea what that is but I like "Maskoof" and the most delicious maskoof (fish barbequed in a special way) is Shabbout which is a kind of fish that lives in the Tigris. (MG Says: Mohammed hasn't experienced true culinary delight until he's tried fried clams, and not just those skimpy neck portions, but the full belly and all!)

MG: Mohammed, you're a very good Diarist. I noticed that from reading the excerpts at Iraq the Model of your War Diaries. Have you kept a Diary throughout your life and how did you keep it hidden from other family members?

Mohammed: I have always kept a diary and they were in several notebooks but I had a tradition that after each 'love story' I would give the part of my diaries to the woman I was in love with because she's the owner of that part of time. Except for the war time and the year before that because that time was mine alone. I still keep my drawers locked when I'm out. I have stopped writing diaries after April 15, 2003 but the blog has been a good alternative as I can write anything I like on it.

MG: Mohammed, why are you still single?

Mohammed: Who told you that I'm single? Don't believe everything being said on ITM! There has been always a woman occupying my heart but we in Iraq are used to say "single" to describe anyone who's not married and we don't consider someone in a relationship as "engaged" or "occupied". I do plan to start a family, but right now I don't think there's a woman who can tolerate me with all my crazy busy days.

MG: Mohammed, if you had your choice of spending your last $10 dollars American on either Birth Control or Beer, what would you choose?

Mohammed: Is there any red wine on the menu?

MG: Let's talk about a difficult period in your life, about six or seven years back, when you "refused to serve in Saddam's army" and gave up your job. What were your thoughts at the time? Did your actions endanger the other members of the Fadhil Family? Were you scared? Did you go into hiding? Did you think of Leaving Iraq?

Mohammed: I told my family and friends that I decided to not serve in the military because God would not like to see me do that service. I wouldn't be part of an army that oppresses people and harms innocents. They thought I wasn't serious about it because being a runaway meant being paralyzed and being chased
by Ba'athists and military police everywhere, let alone losing one's job. At Saddam's time every Iraqi male was asked for military service documents in all kinds of work and in every government office even if that was something like marriage or buying a car or making any kind of business with any government department.

But I made the decision a long time before I had to face the situation on the day when I was called to do the service. Of course my family didn't want to have their home raided in the middle of the night and have to deal with a gang of bad guys
and this had actually happened once when someone from the neighborhood reported my brother Ali to the Ba'athists and they sent the military police to our home but fortunately he wasn't there and my father solved it temporarily by signing a commitment to turn him in when he returns home.

Living in a moment of fear was what we have chosen for our home but the family showed a lot of understanding and I'm thankful for that. I even tried once to flee from Iraq with a forged passport but the guy who was arranging the process got arrested and I lost a lot of money as I paid half of the cost in advance. Yes, I was scared during the 1st year and I was carrying a lot of worries while walking in the street and I limited my movement to a great \extent and I spent long times at home.

Later I gradually learnt how to walk in the street and look confident when I walk through checkpoints by changing the expressions on my face to look fearless (military police target guys who look weak and it really was an "eyes" challenge and bluffing skills were of great importance). didn't disappear and decided that I should resume my "normal" movement but I couldn't get out of Baghdad because it's almost impossible
to get through all the checkpoints without being discovered. Anyway, this era was a good chance for reading many books.

MG: A Giant Monorail all across Baghdad: Yes or No?

Mohammed: No.

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

Mohammed: "the ridicule of the human mind" from the brilliant Ali Al-Wardi. That book taught me how tolerate others' opinions and look at the other side of the image and respect pluralism.That book changed many things in me; I was 23, ambitious and reckless but the book helped build a rather moderate personality and give myself some time to think and…rethink.

MG: Mohammed, we don't know too much about Mom and Pop Fadhil. What are they really like? What's special about your parents? And are they proud of their three sons, two of them dentists and the other one a doctor?

Mohammed: I have great parents; my father is a retired officer since 1990 and my mother is a retired teacher since 1990 too. We were raised and still living middle class more or less but my parents were trying hard to provide us with everything we
needed and I remember when we were kids, we always had toys and stuff before our friends did.

They're both 63 now. I'm really grateful for that they encouraged us to read and love reading. My father is fond of his library which he updates continuously and he encouraged me to build my own library. He never told us what to read and gave us full freedom in choosing what we read and this is something pretty rare in a protective oriental society. I also remember that my mother used to bring us stories when
we were kids and she always brought us new stories every other while and here where the family love for reading started; every one of us has his own library. And yes, they're proud of us!

MG: And what about your Grandparents? Are any of them still living?

Mohammed: Unfortunately, none of them is still alive and the only grandparent I got to see was my father's father who I had a special relationship with and I respected him a lot. He was an illiterate farmer but he didn't let that reflect on his children and he insisted that they get their chance to get decent education and actually most of them were able to get college degrees. He died in 1996 and I was very sad then as his death also coincided with other failures I faced on the personal level.

MG: When you were growing up, did your Grandfather sit you down on his knee and say, "Mo, when I was your age, I was racing Camels Bareback with the Bedouins and fighting the Nazis with my Bare Hands?

Mohammed: He didn't fight the Nazis or anyone else; he lived far in his farm but he did hate the Ba'ath party. He had enormous love for palm trees and I inherited that love from him; we have 8 palm trees in our garden and I'm the one taking full
care of them. I hope that one day palm trees fill the Iraqi desert; it's a tough tree that has a special kind of pride; it has very long roots and can reach water no matter how deep it was and it doesn't wait for someone to bring the water. I
remember my grandfather once while he was planting a young palm tree; he felt that I was thinking like "it's going to take at least 10 years before this small tree grows dates and probably he won't be alive by then" and I remember him answering my
unvoiced thought by the old Iraqi saying "they planted, we ate and we shall plant so that they will eat". I learned the lesson well.

MG: And speaking of the Bedouins, when you were on Vaccination Duty, you got to meet them scattered about in the Iraqi Desert. How was that Experience for you?

Mohammed: It was an interesting experience actually, when a Bedouin sees you from far away (they have very sharp eyes by the way) he would pick up his rifle and stand on guard so we stop at a reasonable distance from his place and identify ourselves and once Bedouins realizethat we're doctors they rush to welcome us and offer us water as they know that we must be thirsty from the long ride through the desert. They're generous people and they'd insist to invite you for a meal with them.
They've begun to understand the importance of vaccinations but they're still suspicious about strangers as they are used to live away from towns and their contacts with town people are very rare.

In general they don't have IDs and they don't register themselves on population charts and in some cases one of them would come to the town hall to register his marriage and get IDs for himself, his wife and his six children! And they usually don't do that unless they need such documents urgently. They don't settle in one place for a long time and they move in the western and south western desert with
their cattle following grass and water so we find ourselves running after them from place to another. Anyway, their way of living and their appreciation for freedom are impressive and I think it'd be an adventure to try their way of life for a while.

MG: So, how did you decide to become a Dentist?

Mohammed: I first went to the College of Medicine but the study was too tough for me and I didn't succeed at it so I decided to move to the College of Dentistry as an easier alternative that keeps me in the field of treating people. I frankly didn't like it in the 1st two years but when I treated my 1st patient in 4th year I started to love the career and I still get a great feeling of happiness when I finish treating any patient successfully.

MG: What is it like being a Dentist in a Small Village like Samawa as opposed to a Big City like Baghdad?

Mohammed: Life in the village is fun and boring at the same time; the human nature out there and the uncomplicated way of life is charming and being a dentist in a small community makes you feel special and that satisfies one's ego! As to social activities, they cannot be compared with the situation in Baghdad. Another thing is that before Internet entered the village I felt much more comfy because being there gave me a chance to stay away from the noise of the city, news and Internet work so it's a time for me alone but after the Internet reached the village things changed and I felt like I lost the privacy I enjoyed in my small island.

MG: Mohammed, are you the Sexiest of the Fadhil Brothers? Do you have the Best Rap with the Iraqi Hotties or even the Non-Iraqi Hotties?

Mohammed: Some women say so but not all of them. I guess women are the same regardless of place and what they like in a man doesn't change from one country to another. And yes, I left a good impression among Iraqi and non-Iraqi women. LOL

MG: Mohammed, a Little Birdy told me that Some Insane Male Liberal Types Pretending to be Women have Targeted Various Iraqi Bloggers with Proposals of Marriage in order to entrap the Iraqi Bloggers and learn if they've been funded by the U.S Government or Organizations, and whether the Iraqi Bloggers are actually based in Iraq. Has this happened to you?

Mohammed: It's sick (if true) and No, it never happened to me.

MG: Mohammed, Omar mentioned that it was your idea to name the Blog: Iraq The Model". Why did you choose that Title as opposed to something like: "Iraq: Who's Your Daddy, Mideast" or "Iraq:
Well, Hey It's A Start" or "Iraq: Three Mercedes For Every Household?"

Mohammed: I believe that Iraq IS a model for other nations, the world is about to witness dramatic changes and despite the tactical/technical mistakes committed by some of the involved parties, we're still building a new model in the Middle East and I don't think it's going to take too long before others start regarding Iraq as a model that's worth following.

I also believe that the sacrifices associated with the Iraqi experiment on the way to the future will make similar future changes in the region require less sacrifices. We're drawing a path for our neighbors which may not look tempting at the moment but with time I'm sure they'll consider taking that path.

MG: Do you have any Blogs you like to read and can Recommend?

Mohammed: I usually read from the blogroll we have on the side bar and I especially enjoy reading the new Iraqi blogs that are written in Arabic; they have posts of very good quality and reading them keeps me in touch with the various parts of my country.

MG: Mohammed, We have to talk a bit about a Terse Subject: "Spirit Of America" (SOA). Whose idea was the Arabic Blogging Tool, and was it necessary?

Mohammed: I think this is a good question because many people are questioning the significance of such a tool. Actually the answer is quite simple; this tool is the only blogging service that has an exclusively Arabic interface and it's basically designed for Arabic users who know no English at all (and they're so many). Actually I've met many Iraqi thinkers and authors who don't know English but their writings in Arabic are excellent and such people are the target of this tool. Moreover, the tool allows users to upload images, audio and video files with extremely simple steps. Anyway, I guess what testifies for this tool is the magnitude of utilization; so far, more than 500 accounts were opened from Iraq and other countries and this number exceeds the total number of Arabic blogs using all other blog services like Blogspot or Typed!

MG: Let's talk about Your Political Candidacy in the recent Iraqi Election with the Iraqi Pro Democracy Party. What was your involvement in the formation of the Pro Democracy Party? What Factors Mitigated Against/Prevented your Party and its Candidates from gaining a seat in the Iraqi Legislature? What was it like campaigning? And is Politics in your Blood now, and will you be Running for Office again?

Mohammed: Our party was formed immediately after the fall of Saddam's regime and like many other new parties, our party was the result of long discussions and thinking that took place long before March 2003. During the 1st elections in Iraq, I was the secretary of the party and our party included a good number of intellectuals (mainly my generation) and they all believe in a free, democratic, secular and federal Iraq where all citizens are equal in rights and duties. We didn't expect much in these elections and our main goal wasparticipation to prove to the world that Iraq
is ready for a serious political process. We had more than a hundred parties and more than 7200 candidates taking part in the elections and that was great. Only 10% of those parties won seats in the assembly and those were parties with long history and good experience and actually some parties proposed an alliance with our party but
we refused these offers and I think that was a mistake.

Now we're considering the idea again and contacts are underway for the next round of elections and we're looking forward to forming an alliance that can really compete with other big parties. Actually I still see our results in the elections as positive
results because we were able to get 1600 votes (same result of the National emocratic party, led by Nasir Chadarchi, a former GC member and a famous political figure) in spite of the rare resources we had for campaigning and the short time we had to
prepare an electoral campaign.In my opinion, it wasn't a fair competition but we're looking forward for the future. We were traveling from one province to another and our volunteers were hanging posters and signs in the streets; it was a crazy time
with tons of e mails and phone calls to the supporters and friends.

It was a very tough mission amid many threats from the terrorists to everyone taking part in the elections but I'm very happy I had that experience.We weren't afraid and we challenged terror and I believe the elections were a victory for Iraq as a whole. I honestly wasn't concerned about our party's results as much as I was concerned about the process as a whole. I cried when I watched the crowds lining up for the ballots and voting for Iraq. It was a very special day in my entire life and no words can really describe what the feelings were.

MG: Mohammed, Do you still visit your Garden each day to have Tea? Is it a Very Relaxing Experience, or are the Damn Mosquitoes always water skiing in your cup?

Mohammed: Yes, I still sit in the garden every afternoon in the shade of my two favorite palms. It's there where most of the ideas are born in my mind and I usually use this time to think about the current day and about tomorrow.

MG: Mohammed, I sense the Iraqis are a Fun Bunch of People who like to Smoke, Drink, Chase Broads, and Drive Fast like the rest of us. Is this perception an accurate one?

Mohammed: It's not far from accurate but I personally hate speeding and my friends call me the "old man" because of the way I hold the steering wheel when I drive!

MG: Thanks Very Much, Mohammed, for a Nice Interview, and Final Question: Have You Ever Seen A Ghost?

Mohammed: Absolutely, and that's how I learned how to walk through walls.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Live From Mosul, It's Free Writer

Rocks - MG

From a Secret Location somewhere in War Torn
Mosul, Iraqi Blogger, Free Writer informs the world -- through his appropriately named Blog: A Free Writer -- of Life within the City under Siege,
as well as his Hopes, Fears, Dreams, and Thoughts about a New Iraq.

It's The In T View: Live From Mosul, It's Free Writer
Interview & Artwork By Mister Ghost

MG: Hello Free Writer, How is Life Treating you these Days?

Free Writer: Well life is going on but not good as we presumed, so don’t be astonished to see me frustrated most of the time.

MG: Free Writer, What is your Favorite Movie and Why?

Free Writer: Lord of the Rings. I like Lord of the Rings -Part One- because I wish to live in an
imagining magic world just like any little child in green fields and flowers, with too much fun.

MG: What is your Favorite Food?

Free Writer: Too much vegetables, seeds and fruits with a small quantity of meat.

MG: Free Writer, if you were involved in an Eating Contest with ITM's Omar Fadhil And Fellow Mosellian Blogger Najma, who would win? I think Najma Would Win, I hear the Little Lady can really Pack On the Pounds, Like a Sumo Wrestler who hasn't eaten for a week.

Free Writer: I don’t know both of them in fact; if you are serious, I can’t judge that.

MG: If the Automobile Genie popped by your residence and said to you, "Free Writer, I grant you the wish of any Car in the world of your Choosing - Make Your Choice!" What vehicle would you pick, Free Writer?

Free Writer: Problem, I don’t know how to drive a car, I prefer a bicycle.

MG: Free Writer, the Biggest Problem in Iraq at the moment is?

Free Writer: Feeling less secure every where, loss of education, unknown future.

MG: Are you Happy the U.S. invaded Iraq and removed Saddam and the Baathists, or was life better back then?

Free Writer: Every one in Iraq was happy to remove that man, and the new government must do the best for improving Iraqi lives' conditions to prevent others (like you of course ) from asking such a silly question.

MG: Do you have a Big Family or Come from a Large Family?

Free Writer: Medium for both.

MG: If you have Children, do you watch The Simpsons with them?

Free Writer: Who is Simpsons?

MG: What is your Hope for the Children of Iraq?

Free Writer: To get a better future than us, and to live just like other children in the modern world, well educated, eat and sleep well, to play and have fun, to know nothing about violence, and to stay free in life.

MG: Tell me something about your Mother: What was or is Special about Her?

Free Writer: A loyal and hard working lady for her family.

MG: Should they open up a Disneyland in Baghdad?

Free Writer: Not during my life!! First, we need electricity to make it run.

MG: Would you ever want to get a Pet Komodo Dragon, feed it Pringles, and Take it for Strolls around Mosul?

Free Writer: Is it a domestic animals or what?? I love only singing birds.

Mosul - War Zone:

MG: ~ Free Writer, you live in Mosul, a City Under Siege: What is that like?

Free Writer: Always frightened, from explosions, kidnapping, random fire, terrorist actions and all other bad things in your nightmares, and you have to go to sleep at 9 PM on the roof because we have no electricity to see TV. Or running computer or to sleep in cold environment.

MG: ~ Have you or any of your family members had any encounters with the Terrorists/Insurgents?

Free Writer: Thanks God.. Not yet, I want to stay in one piece.

MG: ~ What Precautions do You or your Family Members take to keep away From Danger?

Free Writer: Keeping doors locked, looking around and suspecting any strange movements or when seeing strangers

MG: ~ Do you ever get use to the Sound of Explosions?

Free Writer: All Iraqi’s get use to the ugly sound of explosion from 30 years ago and till now.

MG: ~ Have you Lost Trust in your Neighbors, worried that they might be Insurgent Supporters/Sympathizers?

Free Writer: No

MG: ~ What was Mosul like before the War?

Free Writer: It was safe, clean, and people were keeping in touch together.

MG: ~ What is Mosul like Now?

Free Writer: Not safe, Dirty, curfew prevented us from seeing friends and relatives.

MG: How did you become Interested in Blogging and how did your Blog: A Free Writer comes about?

Free Writer: It’s happened by chance and I want to show that we are a free people, that we love peace and we want to have a developed civil society, with a good economy that keeps dignity for every one in Iraq equally.

MG: Besides your own Blog, are there other Blogs you like to Read and can Recommend?

Free Writer: I like reading all Iraqi blogs inside and outside Iraq .

MG: If People want to make a Donation to either You, your Blog, or the Charitable Endeavors you work on, how do they go about it?

Free Writer: My intention is to help others before myself, and I wish I have enough money to help each one in need in Iraq, especially little kids. (MG Says: Free Writer is being very
modest. If you want to make a donation, you can do so by clicking on the PayPal
Button at his Blog.)

MG: And Speaking of those Charitable Endeavors, can you tell us a little Something about your Help for Iraqi Orphans, your Computer Aid for Needy Iraqi Students, and the Thalassemia Society of Ninavah?

Free Writer: One time I donate for orphan Christians, 12 kids through a friend, and I am working on a summer project for teaching 6 students in a group about computer & internet, and trying my best to let the world know about children in Mosul suffering blood diseases like Cancer and Thalassemia, but donations for these patients will not help more than providing a free treatment outside Iraq. Also I start gathering information about any social problems in society and try to blog about them for getting any possible assistance.

MG: What Book that you've read, has had the most influence on your Life?

Free Writer: Most of Colin Wilson books

MG: What Does God or Allah mean to You?

Free Writer: Allah is every thing good you see in life.

MG: Free Writer, What Does Love mean to You?

Free Writer: A Nobel emotional system, if we preserve it well, we can get a better human relations around the world.

MG: If you could hop on a Time Machine and go back in Time to any Historical or Prehistoric Era or Place, where would you go?

Free Writer: 200 hundred years back is enough for me, when life was pure and simple.

MG: If you could give a Speech about Iraq to the UN General Assembly, what would you talk about?

Free Writer: Many things in my mind, I don’t have time to mention it now.

MG: What is your Favorite Place in Iraq to Visit?

Free Writer: I can’t remember!!

MG: If you had the opportunity to come to the United States, is there any Specific Place, City, or State you'd like to visit?

Free Writer: Cities with a nice parks and gardens, and a great landscapes.

MG: Thanks Very Much, Free Writer, for a Nice Interview, and Final Question: Have You Ever Seen A Ghost?

Free Writer: I guess it happened when I was 8 years old. The ghost I had seen was an old man,
semi-transparent in pure white, going downstairs in silence.(sure not dreaming)...!!
My question to you : Is Casper your relative or just a friend?

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Ahmad From Iraqi Expat

Blue Faces - MG

The Straight-Shooting Ahmad of the Very Fine Iraqi Expat Blog was exiled like many others from Iraq by the Abhorent Policies of Saddam and the Baathists, and now makes his home in a Secret Location
somewhere in London, England, where he
forthrightly Comments on events of Iraq,
the Middle East, his new Homeland, and the
World, sharing his Expatriate Perspective,
as only an Expat truly can.

It's The In T View: Ahmad From Iraqi Expat

Interview by MG; Art by MG/DC

MG: Ahmad, Ahmad, Ahmad, How is the
Ground shaking beneath your feet or How
are You?

Ahmad: Not too bad, MG. My luck is changing at the moment, to the better, so I can't complain and I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)

MG: Ahmad, Is Islam a Death Cult? Do you think that Non Muslims could interpret it that
way, what with all the Terrorism, Subjugation,
Honor Killings, Dictatorships, Repression of
Rights, Female Genital Mutilations, Internecine
Battles Between Various Sects of Islam, and a Generous Population of Radical Islamicists who
want to destroy the West and those of Us who
live in it?

Ahmad: I think it is more like a sick cult rather than a death cult. At least that's how I would interpret it if I didn't know better, or if I didn't believe. However, since I believe, I can say that Muslims and Middle Easterners are the problem and not Islam; nonetheless, Islam must be reformed, it must evolve. There are too many reasons for this sickness like backward thinking, fear of progressiveness, oppression, tribal traditions, being self-absorbed, etc. Muslims claims that Islam is a religion of love, peace and humanity; yet the most pathetic and disgraceful donations for the tsunami victims, many of whom where Muslims, came from oil-rich Muslim country!

MG: What's your Favorite TV Show of all
time and why?

Ahmad: It's got to be 24. It's great, intense, gripping and highly addictive. Once I start watching it, I can't stop. And the best part is when the sick fanatics lose and Bauer saves the day :) Friends is a close second!

MG: Ahmed, have you ever watched Gilligan's Island? If so, do you think something was going on between the Skipper and Gilligan? Do you think the Skipper called Gilligan "Little Buddy" with much
too much fondness? And why weren't the Skipper and Gilligan shacking up with Ginger and Mary Ann, two single, beautiful, desirous, probably lonely women?

Ahmad: No, never watched it, never heard of it!

MG: Do you have a Favorite Brand of
Breakfast Cereal? I love Blueberry Morning

Ahmad: Honey Nut Shredded Wheat.

MG: What was the Best Birthday Present you ever received?

Ahmad: This is a tough one, MG! I am gonna have to pass.

MG: Ahmad, tell me about your Parents?
What's special about them, and what's your Fondest Memory of your Mother?

Ahmad: Well, they are very loving and caring parents, and I've been fortunate to have be brought up be well educated, well respected, adorable parents who supported me through tough times. My mother is a fantastic and brave woman who were able to work and raise five children at the same time.

MG: Is your Mom a Good Cook? What Iraqi
Meal or Dessert that she made or makes, causes
you to go absolutely Ga-Ga over it?

Ahmad: A good cook? No, she is a great cook. Her food is delicious and everyone who tried her food can confirm this :) Teman Bagala (fava beans' rice is rice cooked with fava beans and dill, and eaten with lamb meat or chicken) is my favorite dish.

MG: Ahmad, why are Iraqi Men considered
the Best Lovers in the Middle East? What makes
you Iraqi Men such Funky Sex Machines?

Ahmad: Probably because we ARE the best :) We are fun, romantic and passionate, yet dominant and want to please; what more do women want?

MG: Have you been Lucky or Unlucky in Love?

Ahmad: Both! Lucky, because I loved and been loved; unlucky, because it didn't work out!

MG: Ahmad: Brush With Greatness: Who's
the Most Famous Person you've ever encountered?

Ahmad: Sadly, Saddam is the most famous person I encountered! It happened more than once actually; but I will tell you about this specific one. I was about 8 or 9 years old with my older brother in the Hunting Club in Al Mansoor. My brother and his friends went to watch a movie in the outdoor cinema of the club and I went to join them; but I didn't find a chair! So, I searched the cinema to find an empty chair to take and I found a table at the back of the cinema with many empty chairs and only one person sitting at the table. It was dark, so I went to the person and asked if I can take one of the chairs; but the man asked me why don't I sit there with him on the table. I answered by saying I want to go and sit with my brother, and he said, bring your brother and sit here with me. This conversation kept going for couple of minutes, before I realised that this man's voice is familiar! I looked around and I saw dozen or more bodyguards standing behind him. I looked at the sitting man again, and I realised that it was Saddam. At that point he was saying take the chair, but I interrupted him and said no thanks and ran away. I sat on the floor next to my brother and I didn't speak a word until I got home later that night, when I told my brother what happened.

MG: You have a lot to say about the
Arab Press, most of it Bad. So, what is the
Problem with the Arab Media?

Ahmad: Oh man, the Arab media is as messed up as the Arabs themselves. Maybe the media is even more messed up because either it is controlled by some backward thinking dictator or some backward thinking agenda. The lack of logic in the Arab media and the people they bring to their shows is astonishing. It makes you think that these people are happy with the way things are or were. It never cease to amaze me how shameless some people are when they defend or praise the actions and words of dictators or backward thinking Muslims and Imams. It is a big problem, MG. For us to move forward, the media has to evolve; because it is an important tool in enlightening people and educating them.

MG: Jihad TV... Al Jazeera is coming to
the United States, Ahmad. Should it be Banned or does Freedom of the Press hold sway?

Ahmad: Banned and shut down. Freedom of press and freedom of speech must never be free enough to incite violence and promote terror. There is a fine difference between freedom and chaos, that difference is defined by responsibility, accountability and rule of law. I can't go and advocate killing because I am free to say what I like to say, can I?

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

Ahmad: I have read many Iraqi blogs since Salam Pax, and at some point I decide to start a blog to write my opinion because of the negative/backward views that I was reading and hearing everywhere.

MG: Besides your Fine Blog, what other
Blogs do you Read and can Recommend?

Ahmad: Thanks for calling my blog a fine blog :) I read many Iraqi, Arabic and international blogs; mostly I like ITM, Ali Fayrouz, NIW, Akbar, Sami, Sandmonkey, Big Pharaoh, Nadz, Amarji, Tony , Athena, Karfan, and many others.

MG: Who's your favorite Iraqi Blogger?

Ahmad: That's a tough one since many of them are my favorite; but I will say the ITM brothers.

MG: Ahmad, Are you a fan of the original
Star Trek, the one with Mister Spock the Vulcan?
He used to perform Mind Melds on other sentinent beings, allowing him access to their innermost thoughts. Would you yourself like to perform a
Mind Meld on Sexy Iraqi Blogger Riverbend?

Ahmad: Hahaha... LOL. I am not a fan of Star Trek; but if I can read someone's inner most thoughts it wouldn't be riverbend for two reasons: 1. Because she is a classic case of Baath intoxication and you don't need to read her thoughts to know how she thinks, if you know what I mean! 2. Why would I waste such a gift on someone like riverbend? I would want to read the thoughts of the women I making love to, to give her what she wants the second she thinks of it ;)

MG: Ahmad, if you got in to a Fight with
Sam from Hammorabi, who would Win? You know that
Sam is a Crafty Old Guy. He knows the Famous Baghdadi Death Grip, so you better watch out.

Ahmad: So, he knows the death grip that I spent 18 months formulating and perfecting? Interesting!

MG: Ahmad, What goes Up, must come Down.
True or False?

Ahmad: True.

MG: Ahmad, Do you ever take a look at the Moon and want to carve your name there in Giant Letters, so it can be seen from the Earth?

Ahmad: Did you get the impression that I have narcissistic personality disorder? Saddam did, not me! In the 80s, one of Saddam's bootlickers suggested to Saddam that they should create a giant golden statue of Saddam to orbit in space! Can you imagine how crazy some people are? Of course he was rewarded by Saddam for his creative thinking!

MG: Ahmad, What's the Greatest Feeling in
the World to you?

Ahmad: Love.

ride outside the box AFD - DC

MG: Ahmad, Tell Me something about the Iraqi Expatriate experience:

Ahmad: I have wrote about Iraqi expats in general.

MG: ~ How did you get from Point A in Iraq to Point B in England?

Ahmad: It wasn't easy; but I was luckier than many. I left Iraq with forged document because I was banned from leaving the country; I wasn't banned personally, but I was banned because of my profession. When I left Baghdad I was very sad and I almost cried; but I was also extremely afraid and nervous until I passed the Iraqi borders. Anyway, I stayed in Jordan for over a year until the British gave me a visa. So I must say that I didn't have it as bad as many others, including my friends.

MG: ~ Who or What forced your family and you to leave Iraq?

Ahmad: The situation forced us to run away from danger, from the brutality of the regime, from the place where we were suppose to be safe at, from home. We left because we can no longer tolerate being at risk and we lost hope. One of the thing that Iraqis who didn't leave don't know is that leaving Iraq is one of the hardest decisions in life because it is a decision of hope, uncertainty and hardship. Many Iraqis lost their life or got imprisoned while trying to reach a safe haven.

MG: ~ What was it Like to Live in a Culture of Fear?

Ahmad: Very hard. Hard because you are not only suppose to not criticise, but you are suppose to praise what you hate with passion. It is hard because you are living in a big lie and you can't talk about it; you can trust no one. On top of that, and even if you are compliant, you might get into trouble or get killed at any moment without any reasons. For example, Omar Sabawi, Saddam's nephew was driving in al Arasat when he started looking and flirting with some girls in a car. That car was being driven by the girls brother, and their mother was with them. When the brother noticed, he drove away and didn't give way to Omar. Omar and his bodyguards stopped the car and wanted to kill the brother. The mother pleaded for her son's life, she dropped on her knees in the street and kissed Omar's shoe to save her son's life; finally Omar agreed to save her son's life if the son is willing to close his eyes and open his mouth so that Omar can spit in his mouth. The mother begged her son to accept, and he did. When the son closed his eyes and opened his mouth, Omar put the gun in the son's mouth and killed him. Omar and the bodyguards drove away and people in the street where standing by watching but can do nothing to stop it.

MG: ~ Was it a Hard Adaption for you to
live in a Foreign Country?

Ahmad: For me it wasn't too hard, because I opened my mind and my eyes and realised that I have been living in a prison and should try to understand the world from a different perspective. So I worked on the basis that what I knew before wasn't necessary right, and should try to reason it according to what I know today; and that I didn't - and still - don't know everything.

MG: ~ And what were some of the difficulties you faced in your new Homeland?

Ahmad: The main difficulty is my residency. I have been badly advised, represented, and have made some mistakes in the process, which resulted in a long fight with the home office. It is almost settled now.

MG: Ahmad, there seems to be some Jealousy, perhaps Envy, and even Anger directed towards
Iraqi Expats, from those Iraqis who never left
Iraq. Why is that?

Ahmad: I don't know, shouldn't you ask them that? :) Maybe because we didn't have it as bad as they did, maybe because we ran away, maybe because we changed our fortune. I am not sure why if any, but I think a combination of all, plus the Arab/Iraqi nature of being envious!

MG: Is there a Locale in Iraq that holds
a Special Place in your Heart for you, or just
a spot in Iraq that's special to you?

Ahmad: Many. Too many. Ah, home, Baghdad Medical College, Baghdad College, many spot in al Mansoor district, do you want more?

MG: Ahmad, Do you have a Favorite Color
of Nail Polish you like to see on a Woman's
Toes? I like Red myself, but everyone's different.

Ahmad: Sexy Red!

MG: Ahmad, Are you at Liberty to discuss
the Famous Iraqi Curse of the Hairy Toes?

Ahmad: Hairy toes? Man, that is a curse;
I am glad I don't have to worry about this.

MG: Thanks for a Very Nice Interview,
Ahmad, and Final Question:Have you ever Seen a Ghost?

Ahmad: Thanks MG. No I haven't, but I've
been interviewed by one ;)

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