Friday, June 26, 2009


Dear Mama,

There is little space left on the walls. I used the last empty patch, situated squarely under the circular window, to create a stained impression of capitalism by spitting coffee over my hand. The result was a beautifully stenciled masterpiece, inspired by pre-historic art and destined for the wastelands of modernity.

Yesterday, I celebrated the end of four months, out of a seven year sentence I was handed for a crime that I did, in fact, commit. As part of the festivities, I consumed the majority of the walls of my cell in a creative feast that unleashed my most brilliant manifestation to date, a self portrait of sorts, where my eyes were neatly shaped out from the four words that have guided my life: resist, roots, ambition, and other. I was able to carefully tie in the quartet with a carefully drawn out star, placed beautifully in the middle.

I learned how to draw perfectly pointed pentagrams, only days before my arrest, on a train ride from Cairo to Baghdad, long before there was a continuous railroad connecting the two cultural giants. My sister, out of boredom and disgust at the scenes of destruction decorating our window, spent the vast majority of the voyage guiding my hand against the ceiling, carving out star after star.

An eye on each wall. I wish you could see them. Your creations recreated for much more than recreation. I am grateful for the red chalk that you managed to smuggle in during your last visit, without them, I would need to use my blood. What a monstrosity that would have been, beautifully bold blue against the pale weak aspirations of the off white walls.

I dream of seeing you in Iraq, dignified, strong, and at peace. Until then, kisses on your feet bring greetings of solidarity and respect.

Love, your son.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Read all about it.

Here are three articles that I wrote prior to the Confederations Cup. More to come after the competition. Go Iraq! Go Egypt! Go South Africa!

Football Elite clash at the Confederations Cup

Iraqi football team brings hope in troubled times

Iraqis dream of football miracles

Thursday, June 4, 2009

From Al Iraq to Masr, with love.

To the people of Egypt,

Congratulations to President Mubarak on the recent visit of American leader Barack Obama, it is the highest aspiration of any Arab dictator to be visited by the American emperor of the hour. We look forward to the day where you can relive your great revolutionary legacy and overthrow the despotic regime ravaging the might of Egypt, and Egyptians.

In Iraq, we were particularly impressed with the fact that Obama had announced his visit, and, as a result, enjoyed great fanfare accentuated by the well known hospitality of Egyptians, an ideal we all hold up with pride. When Obama came to visit us in Iraq a few months ago, he did so secretly, choosing to court the American military presence in our country that has been killing, raping, crippling, and maiming our men and women for over six years. He shook hands enthusiastically with Marines and Rangers, and whatever Spartan label that military maggots carry with them these days, and completely disregarded the millions of lives destroyed by their actions.

We were mostly disappointed that we couldn't show the new president around. In the Kadhimiya Hospital, in the northern end of Baghdad, cancer patients withering away from depleted uranium crowning the tip of American munitions, couldn't wait to kiss Obama's feet before they left this god forsaken world.

Students at decrepit schools throughout Iraq, part of an education system sold out to the World Bank, were planning to anxiously await the arrival of the new emperor and beg and plea for chalk, pencils, desks, and dignity.

Widows and internally displaced refugees had a really cute event planned for Obama, and Ms. Clinton. They had organized a mass burn-in for the new eloquent Commander in Chief. Overpriced and scarce gasoline was going to be used to set millions of bodies alight in homage to the new emperor. The theme of the soiree was, "With nothing left, why bother to live?"

Thousands of different sectors from our destroyed society were waiting in anticipation for the Barack Show. From persons disabled by war to millions of youth scouring the streets for crumbs, we had some pretty nifty ideas that we couldn't wait to put into action. One of my personal favorites was the planned "Thank you for Democracy" festival. Millions of Iraqis were planning to line the streets of Baghdad, with empty bags in hand, and ask Barack to bless them with the vomit of himself, and his entourage.

Unfortunately, he wasn't able to walk in the streets of Baghdad. Maybe he was concerned about the security situation, although he always seems to suggest that things in Iraq are heading in the right direction. Maybe he was afraid of seeing the horrific effects of American war and embargo, bursting his bubble of foreign policy and the War on Terror. Or maybe, he just doesn't like Arabs, Kurds, Iraqis, Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike.

So, he went to Egypt instead. We are sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused Cairo Commuters, and the frenzy this might have unleashed in your muffled media. But we are assured that brave souls, progressive fighters, and the poor, whom we share the most with, were not taken for the ride that Obama had wished he could drag them on.

His speech, we are certain, fell on millions and millions of deaf ears. His overtures to Islam, and his gestures to Peace, were met with rolling eyes and shaking fists. While the American President spoke, Israeli fighter jets taunted Palestinians living under Apartheid, and American artillery killed even more Afghans and Iraqis.

We are two peoples bound by our struggle and dignity. From Baghdad to Cairo, from Mosul to Alexandria, and from Basra to Aswan, we send our greetings of solidarity and respect. And, more importantly, we look forward to a day when we can regain, through resistance, our dignity and freedom.

Yours truly,
An Iraqi Refugee

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sound Check

Another appearance on Flashpoints, KPFA Radio, in Berkeley, California. Nora Barrows Friedman and I talk about the Death of Iraq, Obama & Oil, and the Beautiful Game. Check it out and send feedback please.

In other news...

Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia then Egypt will only entice oppressive neo-liberal elements within our society to take more and burn more.

What the fuck is the "Paris of the Middle East?" You ignorant self orientalizing elitist colonized superficial idiot. And then I kicked him.

I'd rather weep on the outside than cry on the inside. That way I can taste my tears, take a hold of my fears and kiss them to death.

Let's twitter. Now.