Friday, May 28, 2004


Iraqis and Traumatic Situations!

Iraqis spend much of their time complaining about the “Iraqi people” and expressing dismay, disappointment and disapproval of people’s behavior under the present conditions of lawlessness. Well, I couldn’t disagree more!

The way these people have dealt with, and survived, the impossible situations they have found themselves in during the past decades is simply magnificent! It never ceases to amaze me that, through noise and apparent chaos, these people find a way to live, and even thrive, through catastrophic situations!

This realization came to me after years of observation. Initially, after coming in contact with this society after years abroad, my attitude was one of repulsion and disgust, to be replaced a few years later by a feeling of admiration towards their truly incredible natural intelligence, resilience, ability to survive (and even benefit from) adverse conditions. I then found myself realizing with some humility that I could not judge these people from a “survival ivory tower” and criticize their recipe for surviving which they perform without even being conscious of and which has been fine-tuned for thousands of years!

In any case, for these things to begin to change, society must be put on a track where there is proper system of ethics and something that can put things right when wrong-doings are made. We cannot ask people to let go of an existing system of values that has preserved them for thousands of years without giving them a decent and tangible alternative that works on the ground…and definitely not empty promises and lies.

On the question of handling hardship…This is such a difficult subject to tackle! I can tell you that the whole of Iraq’s history is one long trauma lasting for at least six thousand years! I cannot begin to try and unravel this issue; what I’ll do instead is to tell you a number of true stories that have impressed me. This might help understand these people… and understand why I have come to love them, chaos, violence, ignorance… and all!

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