Saturday, September 19, 2009


This is written to the sounds of beating hearts

I found this note, lying on the ground, somewhere between my tired shoes, and dreamy diagrams of your kissable feet.

"This is my last post from Doha. For four months, I have sat on the shores of uncertainty, letting waves of despair beat against my bare soul. With sand in my hair, I have led on a passionate affair with the sun and its eternal source of hope. Sweetness resting on my eyes have accentuated the desperation of humid meaningless nights."

After the etching of those words into permanency, I packed up my pitiful belongings and hopped on the diaspora express, shuttling between Doha and Toronto, carefully evading the beauty of Baghdad. What was touted as a glorious return to the arms of loved ones, my ninety day escape, fizzled under mountains of stress, and took me to where I had always been, straw blowing in the wind.

The never ending saga of sorrow and despair inseparable from separation has taken a permanent spot in my emotional landscape. Once a source of defiant inspiration, longing for Saron has now morphed into a cesspool of uncertainty and fear. These are difficult days.

June 30

One Thousand and One Hundred Twenty Eight kilometers away, Baghdad still burns. A series of explosions in the last two weeks has sent a hundred or so more people to their early graves, and destroyed the lives of hundreds more. The intensity of the fire eating away at Iraq has been steady since the peak of sectarian-ized violence in 2007. At times, "improvements in security," are projected on blood stained walls by gluttonous policy makers and stubborn supporters of Iraq's occupation as a signal of success. However, the reality of destruction still looms large like the shadow cast by the Israeli Apartheid Wall on Palestinians.

Almost three months ago, a newer more dangerous trick was unleashed by the uncontested winners in the race to loot and destroy Iraq. On June 30, the Iraqi government celebrated "Dignity Day" to commemorate the supposed withdrawal of American troops from the country. For the first time in six years, the sky was lit by fireworks, as opposed to the hell unleashed by American or British warplanes. However, the forced fanfare failed to fill the void of freedom and dignity synonymous with democracy in Iraq. Homes remained covered in blood, and lovers wept longer at their state of despair.

In the security agreement signed between America and itself, Iraq will remain under the boots of malicious marines and corrupt contractors for eternity. American control of airspace, permanent military bases, and more importantly, each and every aspect of economic sovereignty, means that the occupation just rebranded itself into a state of normalcy and bitter permanency, two outcomes fiercely opposed by those with dignity in Iraq, and they are the majority.

The relationship between disparate classes remains to be the main driving force behind the political process in Iraq. A sacrilegious elite jousts with a business bourgeoisie to lay claim to the biggest slice of a rotting pie. Sectarian-ized, ethnically cleansed neighborhoods hold on to religious fervor as a means of survival, while millions of undernourished youth savor the taste of sweet dollar stuffed candy. However, history has taught us that neither the Lord nor the Landlord lead to liberty.


Birthdays have always been mis-celebrated as achievements of individuality and personal perseverance. Mothers, the givers of life, too often become an after thought on a day that would is irrelevant if it weren't for the magic and might of maternity.

Resilient and radically gorgeous, our mothers light the streets so we can parade through them. On July 23 of this year, I celebrated three decades of being privileged enough to have a mother like mine, Janna.

Web please

In Doha, motionless minds melt in and out of my day. Smoky conversations, liquified laughs, and broken dreams hang themselves from the cracks in my wall. We are in different times, me and the rest. I am haunted by the filthy past, while others choose to rest.

My moments are mostly defined by what flies through my virtual window. Flapping through the night, see through curtains only respond to the fading fight of the fan, allowing anything into my mind.

My words are commodified, carefully combined with complacency, and put into one hundred and forty character wide coffins, before they are shipped off into the sea.

The Internet, with wit in its ways, keeps me leashed to the brightness of my screen. So mean, yet reassuring of the fact that there might be an escape, into a world of greater nothings nestled in between similar scenes of sorrow and ease.


The Toronto International Film Festival recently awarded itself the prize for, "most recent addition to the Israeli propaganda machine."

A spotlight on Tel Aviv, funded by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign affairs, found its way through my act as a journalist, and emerged as an article on Al Jazeera's Website. Dismantling the oppressive monolithic discourse of Zionism is one of the few ways of redemption for what otherwise could be a silly self serving profession.

In other cinematic news, the Doha Tribeca Film Festival sets to unveil itself in a few weeks. A press pass, and a microphone, should be sufficient to broadcast boatfuls of contradictions into your years. My gratitude to Pacifica Radio and Nora is limitless.

However, the next story I am tempted to chase is an examination of the marriage between petrodollars and football, from Manaseer to Manchester.


These pages are incomplete impressions, unable to fully capture the beauty of my daily collisions with inspiration. Everyday, I am uplifted and humbled by the resilience of migrant workers, muted mouths, creative queens, and heavenly hearts.

The only way to thank these titans is to write more.


  1. Reading you is reading that fecund and painful state of mind: exile. Its chaos and floating roots is what makes it so attractive. Thank you.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Ahmed please edit this accordingly (taking down the parts that are offensive and disingenuos). That's all i've asked of you, please do it, knowing that i'm not at all capable of forcing you to or hurting you as u have hurt me.