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The Father: Truth Teller, The Mother: Aya granny, Daughter 1: Najma, Daughter 2: HNK.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Saddameyat.... صداميات (Updated)

I ended my last post (Welcome back neighbor) with a quote, and I asked you to guess who said it. Only Libby answered, and it was surprising that she was right..He was Saddam Hussein, and this is the post I was referring to.

I'll just try to include whatever I remember, including 3 of his 59 recommendations!

Saddam Hussein was the president of Iraq, made several wars and killed a lot of people.. Made some good stuff as well.
First thing we used to hear in the news, was who he met, who he talked to and who he received a letter from, then some stuff he wanted us to hear. You can guess that the Iraqi media wasn't to be depended on, we fortunately used to receive Syria TV in Mosul which had very good stuff in it.

He made children watch what was called "So that we won't forget", some scenes of wars and the damage that was done.. That was just before the cartoons, everyday.

At school, we had a subject called Wataneya (Nationality), I was horrible at it, it made no sense to me, and it made me cry everytime I had to study it for the finals or for the mid-year exams.. Same stuff over and over every year, same meaningless stuff. Now, I call what doesn't make sense to me, a Wataneya book.

Every single book we had, had the picture of Saddam at the first page (I actually kept two for records in a box in my room, but I'm thinking of getting rid of them.. What if someone came to search our house? This year, and since we received old books at my school, we had to tear off the first page of each book!) And recently, his sayings were put at the end of the book's chapters. He made 59 sayings that were called (The president's recommendations), I'm not sure if he was the one who said them all, but most of them -as always- didn't make sense to me. We had to memorize a bunch of them.. I found three in my English book and I thought I would make you have a look..

* "Do not wound a friend's feeling with a piece of advice, but do not deprive him of it so that he may know his mistake"

And since I've memorized it in Arabic few years ago, it was easy to translate it into Arabic:
"لا تجرح روح صديق بنصيحة و لا تحرمه منها لكي يعرف خطأه"

** "Real chance is the chance you take, not the one you merely imagine possible"

*** "Seek not to wrong anyone. It is better that you let him who deserves punishment escape it and lay the blame on yourself than to wrong the human being and rebuke yourself for doing it"

Well, those ones make sense! But, what doesn't make sense is the one who said them -- Saddam Hussein, who obviously didn't have a clue about what he was talking about.

Saddam Hussein, made most of Iraq Baathist, not all out of their will, some were forced. None of my family joined the Baath party though, well, maybe two, two who you won't believe that they were Baathist.. A Shiite, and a coalition-supporter!

My friend's father was one of those Baathist in high places. He now has no job, but he surprisingly still gets his full salary from the new government without having to work, and this makes me angry. Other Baathist, some who are also from high places, are now trying to get involved with the new government..

I remember seeing those who work for Saddam, his administrators and such, kissing him on his shoulder.. I asked dad why, he said that he doesn't want to get flu :)

I think this man had a strong effect on most Iraqis, some were weak enough to force themselves to believe him, and some just did.
Saddam liked to release the prisoners (Those who are in prison for non-political reasons) from time to time.. Those prisoners (mostly killers and robbers)and some others (either too poor or too rich) used to go to the streets and cheer for their great leader. Cheer and call for his life ", "Bil-rooh, bil-dam, nifdeek ya Saddam" With our soul, with our blood, we'll protect you, Saddam.. And occasionally, the teachers would take us out of school to march in the streets and say those stuff as well.

It comes as a surprise to see that the same students who used to hang signs saying "Yes, yes to president Saddam Hussein" on the walls of the school, are now happy with his leaving. It makes me sad as well to see this dishonesty in everything they say now trying to hide what they felt. I personally hated all this, including Saddam, but very much liked our national song of Iraq, and the raising of the flag.. A thing that we don't do anymore! I'll try to translate some of our national song:

A nation that put its wing on the space
And wore the glory of the civilizations as a shawl
May God bless the land of the to rivers, as a country
And some other stuff I have no idea how to translate :)

(Update: from this site,you can find the rest of the song):

A homeland that extended its wings over the horizon,
And wore the glory of civilization as a garment--
Blessed be the land of the two rivers,
A homeland of glorious determination and tolerance.

This homeland is made of flame and splendour
And pride unequaled by the high heavens.
It is a mountain that rises above the tops of the world
And a plain that embodies our pride.
Babylon is inherent in us and Assyria is ours,
And because of the glory of our background
History itself radiates with light,
And it is we alone who possess the anger of the sword
And the patience of the prophets.

Oh company of al-Ba'th, you pride of lions,
Oh pinnacle of pride and of inherited glory,
Advance, bringing terror, to a certain victory
And resurrect the time of al-Rashid in our land!
We are a generation who give all and toil to the utmost.

Oh expanse of glory, we have returned anew
To a nation that we build with unyielding determination.
And each martyr follows in the footsteps of a former martyr.
Our mighty nation is filled with pride and vigour
And the comrades build the fortresses of glory.
Oh Iraq, may you remain forever a refuge for all the Arabs
And be as suns that turn night into day!


You can hear its music here..
وطن مد على الافق جناحا
و ارتدى مجد الحضارات وشاحا
بوركت ارض اللفراتين، وطن
عبقري المجد عزما و سماحا

At last, Saddam's ego gave him the idea of working for his win-or-win campaign, so, T-shirts (with his photo on) were given to the male students, and they had a sentence that said all what happened at that time (In his point of view): "If Saddam said, then Iraq said". But the ancient Arabs rarely say something that is wrong, and they said that as the birds fly and get higher, they fall the same way (Very poor translation.. Help will be appreciated).

So, what happened to Saddam at first, and at last, is what you've heard in the news.. I only said some of my thoughts.

11 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Thank you Aunt Najma for this lesson...the last qoute about birds rang a bell, but I will have to do some homework of my own to pin it down...and it reminds me so much of the story of the man who wanted so much to fly(Icarus ?) that he made wings of feathers and wax, but died when he flew too close to the sun and the wax melted. Thanks for sharing some of your thoughts, can't wait to here more...

3/18/2005 05:15:00 AM

 
Blogger Libby said...

Hi Najma

I think a good translation might be "the higher they climb, the harder they fall.

I enjoyed this interesting, informative post. Thank you.

Libby_in_Canada

3/18/2005 07:40:00 AM

 
Blogger Bill said...

http://www.laurasmidiheaven.com/International/Lyrics/Iraq.shtml

Iraq National Anthem Lyrics

Iraq

Land of Two Rivers

A homeland that extended its wings over the horizon,
And wore the glory of civilization as a garment--
Blessed be the land of the two rivers,
A homeland of glorious determination and tolerance.

This homeland is made of flame and splendour
And pride unequaled by the high heavens.
It is a mountain that rises above the tops of the world
And a plain that embodies our pride.
Babylon is inherent in us and Assyria is ours,
And because of the glory of our background
History itself radiates with light,
And it is we alone who possess the anger of the sword
And the patience of the prophets.

Oh company of al-Ba'th, you pride of lions,
Oh pinnacle of pride and of inherited glory,
Advance, bringing terror, to a certain victory
And resurrect the time of al-Rashid in our land!
We are a generation who give all and toil to the utmost.

Oh expanse of glory, we have returned anew
To a nation that we build with unyielding determination.
And each martyr follows in the footsteps of a former martyr.
Our mighty nation is filled with pride and vigour
And the comrades build the fortresses of glory.
Oh Iraq, may you remain forever a refuge for all the Arabs
And be as suns that turn night into day!

Thank you aunt najma, your writing is very good and I enjoy all your posts.

Bill

3/18/2005 03:04:00 PM

 
Blogger Gryfen said...

Hello again,
I like the lyrics of the Iraqi national anthem. Does anyone have access to music that is played with it?

*** "Seek not to wrong anyone. It is better that you let him who deserves punishment escape it and lay the blame on yourself than to wrong the human being and rebuke yourself for doing it
--As noble as the basis of this sentiment is, I must disagree. I firmly believe that an educated, worldly, individual's sound judgment is his best defence from tyranny.

There is a dark side to that one of Sadam’s recommendations. If you have access to the book, I believe the explanation is well executed in Terry Goodkind’s novels “Faith of the Fallen” and “Naked Empire”. Although fictional, I believe his books offer an insightful commentary for consideration. Naked Empire describes an isolated people who evolved a society of pacifism and non-judgment so extreme that their only method of social control was banishment to certain death. This left them completely at the mercy of invasion. If you, Najma, or anyone else; cares to hear the rest of it, go ahead and email me……I don’t want to clutter your comments section so much as to describe it in detail.

Lisa

3/18/2005 05:53:00 PM

 
Blogger Bill said...

gryfen
I believe the URL at the top of my comment has MIDI files you can download for the music.

3/18/2005 06:19:00 PM

 
Blogger Mad Canuck said...

Hi Najma,

This was a very lucid and well thought-out post. I hope some of the people who were calling you "foolish", "naïve", or "brainwashed" a couple of weeks ago are reading this today, because you've just proven them wrong.

Some of those "president's recommendations" you're quoting sound like the incoherent babblings of some drunk guy in a bar. I'm sure glad I didn't have to study those in school!

Shawn.

3/18/2005 06:25:00 PM

 
Blogger waldschrat said...

The visual imagery you conveyed with words in your translation of the Iraq anthem is beautiful and very poetic! I can understand why you like the song.

3/18/2005 07:49:00 PM

 
Blogger laxmatt said...

Keep the books, years from now when things are hopefully much better in Iraq, those books will be a reminder of what life used like. Your writing is very good, better than most Americans! I wish and your nation all the best.

3/20/2005 08:36:00 PM

 
Blogger Ann said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/21/2005 07:42:00 PM

 
Blogger Gryfen said...

Consider this:
--the condition you've described of the "new" text books should motivate a person to preserve usefull knowledge no matter who happens to be on the 1st page.

If you're that scared of what someone may think: draw a silly goatee on his face, or some horns on the head of the picture ...but....

FOR HEAVENS SAKE! DON'T GET RID OF A PERFECTLY GOOD BOOK!

3/22/2005 05:44:00 PM

 
Blogger Gryfen said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/22/2005 05:44:00 PM

 

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