Monday, September 13, 2004


Shaku Maku

Shaku Maku is a colloquial term frequently used by Iraqis and distinguishes them - it is not used anywhere else. It is roughly equivalent to the American "what's up?" The term is not Arabic. Many people therefore think that it must be Persian or Turkish; it is not. In fact, it is Babylonian in origin and about 3000 years old!

I have just received this joke from an Iraqi friend who lives in the States. I don't know whether its source is Iraqi or Iraqi-American.


Bush calls the head of the CIA and asks him "How do Iraqis know everything before us, even with all our advanced spying technology and training?"

CIA head: "Well sir, they have this __expression in Iraq called "shaku maku", which translates to "what's the latest news" - and they use that a lot, which is how info travels fast."

Bush is impressed, so he tells the CIA head that he wants to go to Iraq in disguise and see for himself how this method works.

So he gets "prepped up" by the best makeup artists and wears the traditional Iraqi clothes with ghotra and all. An unmarked plane secretly drops him by parachute just outside Baghdad. Even his closest advisors and military people both in Iraq and the USA are not told about this.

Half an hour later he walks into Baghdad and eventually reaches a busy street. He approaches the first Iraqi he meets and asks him in a whispering voice "shaku maku?"

The guy looks around and whispers: "Didn't you hear? They say Bush is in Baghdad!"

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