Monday, September 11, 2006

Who cooked an H5N1+ goose?

Let's suppose that the post is a goose and the blogger is a cook. So writing is like cooking a goose, and my part comes when the goose is served. That's when I extract my fork and knife and politely try to taste it, though I do make some exceptions and instead of the fork and knife, when I roll up my sleeves and work my way through with nails and teeth. Now some of them are just the right taste, the right amount of spice and well cooked, but some of them are under or over-cooked, too much salt and spice or none at all, and occasionally rotten geese. It just causes my stomach to actually turn, my face to turn green, and my mouse to instantly go to that tiny little red button in the upper right corner, which all of a sudden looks so tempting. There's one goose that I've been sniffing around for such long time now, and I've been considering it for quite a while, had the smell not been overwhelming. Now, what I thought was a badly-cooked goose turned out to be an H5N1+ goose, it had bird flu and it's still served. If you'd excuse me, that's a nails-and-teeth issue.

The infamous blogger is Zeyad of Healing Iraq. Now I'm pretty sure I will have nails and teeth digging after me, I'll make sure I will confess about that when I start caring. Anyway, so the blog's titled Healing Iraq which could have been the case when he first started posting, and which definitely is no longer relevant to his current writings. As it comes, it does take a decent amount of 7Up to go through his blog, if you know what I mean. There are better ways of saying it, but it can't come out any differently so excuse me here, he does make some shoes go shiny!

I don't want to talk about the biography that is there. It's yet another goose that's stuffed with ego. "Thou should never overlook the knowledge I bestow upon thee":

"I was the first Iraqi blogger to open a comments section on the blog thus facilitating and encouraging communication and exchange of ideas. I also took it upon myself to get other Iraqis to blog, in which I succeeded to some degree. It has been quite a pleasure to watch those other bloggers become well known names in the blogosphere."

Yes, yes..and yes. But giving you credit is what people are there for, not what you're there for. I really hope that your next step won't be crediting yourself for the expansion of the Iraqi blogosphere. You have inspired some people; just have enough modesty not to mouth off about it. I just hope you won't save the world from the apocalypse or anything, because then we will be tormented by an oversized ego, that the apocalypse would seem like the lesser of two evils.

The most recent post of September 4th, titled "Gunman Shoots Tourists in Amman", and which you can find in the September archive, is nothing interesting really. Al-Jazeera made some very partial reports about the Amman gunman incident; he pointed that out and left a link to the reflections of the Jordanian blogosphere, and it just ends there. Nothing to quote, there was nothing to look at in the first place.

There was this August 23rd post titled Aqaba left me quite baffled. First, and as he's already aware of himself, he's acting like a tourist guide. Second, "Healing Iraq…?" and third would be "If we're interested in going, we will. If we're interested in knowing, we can google". There was a thorough recount of Aqaba's history, which I doubt anybody is interested in, and upon giving it a thought the only thought that is creeping in your mind would be "is that dedicated to letting us know how much of a genius he really is, and how much does he know?". There was this part I found hilarious about the Urchins where he goes like:

"We had a short swim at the resort, until an unsuspecting Iraqi friend of ours was pricked in the foot by the spines of a black sea urchin (Diadema antillarum)."

Yes, now we know you know that much or that you've dug into wikipedia that much, but I do think that the majority of people will recognize the creature by its common name, and if they don't, they're even less likely to recognize its Latin name. Doesn't take that much thinking…or does it? Sometimes all it takes is a tiny addition to make people look ridiculous. A historian, a scientist and a tourist guide, I'm trying to be impressed, but my advice is "Give wikipedia some credit"

If you would please scroll down on the same page of the archive as Aqaba, since I'm too tired to go look around for direct links to each post, I'll just talk about it. There's this post titled Visa Update, which I read with complete disdain regarding Zeyad. I do understand the urge with which every individual is struggling to leave Iraq to find and create a home elsewhere, to start fresh and live normally where their potential and skills are appreciated and put to proper use. However, there's a certain lack of appreciation towards those whose efforts to do that are intertwined and every so often synonymous to kissing up for that purpose. Sometimes, while you read a post, you hear the "we Iraqis" and the "I, as an Iraqi" and so on, but you get no sense, whatsoever, of him belonging there or being one, in what seems to be an effort to shake off that identity and be more convincing at being somebody else, in his eagerness to be somebody else that is. It is as though the blog is there to mark the transformation of his character from an Iraqi to an American wannabe. Excuse me if I'm being harsh or vicious here, but that's my frank opinion.

The posts in which he's talking about Iraq, he comes across as a person who's detached from reality, the way any non-Iraqi friend of mine would look onto things and reflect upon them. He has this tendency of overflowing with information that aren't that necessary to know, that are useless and that aren't even interesting to read through, like the chunks of information in the August 17th post titled "Unrest in Karbala" where he's giving a not-so-brief introduction of Mahmoud Al-Hassani:

" Mahmoud Al-Hassani is a former disciple of Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq Al-Sadr (Muqtada’s father) based in Karbala, briefly imprisoned by Saddam’s regime in 1999 following Sadr’s assassination. He initially pledged allegiance to the remnants of the Sadrist movement that emerged directly after the 2003 war - as did other former representatives and followers of the second Sadr (such as Abdul Sattar Al-Bahadili, Ahmed Al-Fartousi, and Hazim Al-A’raji.) By the time Muqtada Al-Sadr assumed a central role in the leadership of the Sadrist current, Al-Hassani broke off and headed his own Sadrist fringe movement with a limited hardcore following, mainly in Karbala, Basrah and Nasiriya."

I read through his blog, and I get the image of a young man whose life-time dream is to live in the Big Apple, to fit in there and to be accepted and successful in that society. But amidst all of that, he's dumped his identity, and with honesty I say I behold nothing but despise towards that kind of people. Lighten up on the shoe-shining process Zeyad, and please…there are too many egos that expand and expand and get stuck somewhere down our throats. Brilliant blogger? Perhaps. Just stop crowning yourself, that’s what everybody else does. Oh, and another thing…America's about the blend of culture, try maintaining yours. You don't sound that good at it and you weren't even there yet!

There isn't much to quote. I can see that there's a wide base of support, most of which is non-Iraqi. Makes me wonder who is he writing for, but then I see the writing, and I realize what's going on. The goose got sick, the goose stinks, and he isn't getting a better one...he's just serving us a goose with bird flu.


Iraqi Kahtoona said...

Poor lad

Anonymous said...

He will soon finds out that 90% of the people who comment on his blog are a bunch of American loosers who have nothing else to do.

His ego killed his consistancy and the main aim in the last year or so was to impress rather than being truthful.
Well said El Delilah,
You should have taken a look at the post regarding gays rights in Iraq.. it proves your point. In reality I am sure this topic would be the least of his worries, but he knows very well how these subjects attract the west.
Not saying thank you to the people who contributed to his studies in a post is enough proof and it says a lot about the person doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

Harsh... but true "Khateeya" maybe he's a Leo?

Anonymous said...

Poor Guy, he got minced...

daniel hirsch said...

I sense some jealousy in here. you didn't address any of his groundbreaking posts during the last two years when he scooped the mainstream media in several instances, or his support and encouragement of fellow Iraqi bloggers, not to mention the wealth of information he has provided to us here in the west who have little knowledge of your country.. You're probably already aware that he has written articles and op-eds for several western media outlets such as the Times, the Guardian and the Wa-Po. Let's see you, or any ohter Iraqi bloggers achieve something like that.

neurotic_wife said...


Although your blog is very interesting with a unique idea, it doesnt really do any good by critisizing or "disecting" your fellow Iraqi Bloggers...

Its a shame that even in blogging people back stab one another...I dont mean any insult, but in this critical time that Iraq is going through, we have to stand united and help one another...I may not agree with many Iraqi bloggers' opinions but there's no way I will put them down...ANyways thats just my humble opinion...

Besides theres nothing wrong with being ambitious, is there now???

Ēl Delilâh said...

There's great difference between being ambitious and between kissing up for an ambition. INMSHO, what he does is kissing up. Inegrity still qualifies as a virtue, NW.

If nobody else is spilling the beans about what's being done badly, that's fine by me. Doesn't make me change my mind about doing it.

Little Penguin said...

I didn't realise that bloggers had a community of their own! It's just like your typical Iraqi community where Mr X has a go at Mr Y for being a friend of Mrs Z who was seen dining with a very rich person!

Delilah, I think you could emulate the greatest of bloggers/writers by being constructively criticising other blogs and posts. However, though you may not have intended to demean or belittle others.

Good Luck from Lenden.

Many Thanks

Zappy! said...

It's Lendow... not Lenden ;)

Gilgamish said...

no landan

Anonymous said...

I applaud the open discussion. Thinking and debating are the first steps to understanding, and understanding is one of the steps to ACTION that becomes progress.

However, I must say that most Iraq's don't seem to "get it" at all. Most Iraqis are clueless about what democracy really means.

No one can give you democracy. It is a gift you can only GIVE TO YOURSELVES.

No one can hand you a country that works. You must rise up and build that for yourselves.

No one can give you peace. You must stop killing each other... AND COOPERATE WITH POLICE WHEN YOU SEE OTHERS COMMITING VIOLENCE OR PREPARING TO DO SO.


The United States has handed you an opportunity. You have been given a chance. If the Iraqi people rise up and build a democracy, and reject violence (including working to stop violence they witness), no one else can do it for them.

But, you say, stop the violent might be dangerous. I might risk retaliation. True.

But that is exactly what American soldeiers are doing. AMERICANS ARE RISKING THEIR LIVES FOR YOU.


Can you have a successful democracy if outsiders are willing to risk their lives to stop the criminals, BUT YOU ARE NOT WILLING to protect your own people?

No one can give you democracy. You have to EARN it. And the price is very high. But just as a parent cannot live his child's life, but the child must grow up to be an adult, Iraq cannot succeed until Iraqi's care more about Iraq than American soldiers do.

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