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Thread: Matters Iraqi (historical)

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default Matters Iraqi (historical)

    Video log series by young Westernized Baghdadis. Interesting.

    http://hometownbaghdad.com/

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default Iraqi Konfused Kid

    One of the best Iraqi (now Jordanian, as he has fled Baghdad) blogs out there posts a very interesting English-translated excerpt of of Dr. Ali al-Wardi's 1951 Social Glimpses of the History of Modern Iraq, which apparently is only in Arabic.

    Iraqis in the Ottoman period were closer to Bedouin values than Islamic values, due to the control of the ‘Bedouin tide’ on them, there is a stark difference between the values of Bedouins and Islam, in a nutshell, Bedouin values glorify racism, vengeance, looting, killing women to wash away shame and so forth, while Islam condemns all that and considers it banned. Nevertheless, those values were common in the Ottoman period as many people glorified the man who shakes the ground when he walks and who robs houses at night out of manhood, describing him as a ‘lion’, ‘nightman’ or ‘tribe’s pride’ ...

    Cities and Tribes

    There are two social patterns that lay evidence to the extremity of the Bedouin tide in the Ottoman era ; the sparse population and the high ratio of tribes per cities. Mid-19th century Iraq’s population was somewhere close to 1-1.25 million, a very small number as compared to Abbasid Iraq, where the population of Baghdad alone is more than all of Ottoman Iraq. (KK – currently, Baghdad is 6 million, the population of all of Jordan, and Iraq is 28) Tribes in the Ottoman era where three quarters of all of Iraq, some were Bedouin and others were farmers, but all held tribal identification and customs fiercely in their hearts, they looked at all governments as hostile, regardless of being Turkish or Iranian, tribes would aid the victorious and loot the vanquished, regardless of their ideology differences.

    On the other hand, city dwellers had three levels of social identification as opposed to the sole tribal one. First of all comes the neighborhood or district against all other neighborhoods in his city, as it comes to be a synonym for the tribe for Bedouins, this local identification would expand to what we could the ‘city’ identification, when the city is threatened under a common ailment. The third level is sectarian, such as when a sectarian case is raised or a state of one of the two sects comes to invade, the citizens then forget all their district and city identifications and pour their attention on that, to quote the Bedouin saying: “Me and my brother on our cousin, and me and our cousin on the stranger.” Hereby, it is clear that sectarianism is another level of social awareness, and is not based on religion or care for it.

    The Phenomenon of ‘Shaqawa’

    One of the most important social aspects that hint at the Bedouin tide is the ‘shaqawa’, which gives us a clear insight on the values and composition of the Iraqi society.

    A “shaqi”, legally speaking, is a criminal who loots houses and imposes ‘taxes’ on the rich. Socially however, he is a hero by which the neighborhood takes pride, he does not disobey the dominant local customs – often a rich, noble guardian of his neighbors, and is keen to observe the rights of ‘the common bread and salt’, his criminal behavior is directed both at the government and at those who do not encompass his identification. Many a bloody battle has been fought at night between the Shaqi and the governmental soldiers, as his status in the eyes of the people increases with the increasing number of victims and battles, if he enters prison, it is a medal on his chest, if he is killed ; a funeral comes out to mourn the ‘great’ man ...
    Last edited by tequila; 06-07-2007 at 09:50 PM.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default Single Life in Baghdad

    Interesting slice-of-life story about an Iraqi journalist attempting to date in Baghdad. Basic message - not many mixed marriages in Iraq's future.

    It has never been easy for a divorced man to find a new wife in Iraq, where many people view people who have divorced with suspicion and disdain. It has become harder since the war, something I discovered when I stepped up my quest for love and bumped up against the religious hatred that has taken over many Iraqis' lives.

    It all began after a distressing conversation last month with a good friend, who warned me that no father would approve of his daughter marrying someone like me, a divorced man with a 5-year-old son.

    "You are not trustworthy enough to marry a girl, because you are divorced and have a child," my friend told me in a scornful tone. "If someone agreed to let you marry his daughter, it would be as a favor."

    His words were crushing because I know they are true. I am 33, well educated and employed, but I have been rejected by many traditional Iraqi women's families because of my marital status. Now, because of the sectarian tensions caused by the war, I also have to worry about being rejected by Sunni women because I am a Shiite ...

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Jungle Rules

    While I appreciate where he's coming from, this doesn't sound like a desperate dude in search of love.

    Timing determines the cost of broadcasting text messages. It is cheaper to deliver them after midnight, when the price drops from 12 cents for a minute of scrolling to 50 cents for the first five minutes, followed by 25 free minutes. Most messages begin scrolling late at night.
    "The minute you walked in the joint,
    I could see you were a man of distinction,
    A real big spender..."
    Last edited by Stan; 11-28-2007 at 07:22 PM.

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    Default

    I am 33, well educated and employed, but I have been rejected by many traditional Iraqi women's families because of my marital status.
    There's the rest of the story. He's an educated, westernized Iraqi who's been burned in a divorce and now he wants a traditional obedient Arab wife to take care of the kid and who will not put him through the wringer again.

    Even without the "sectarian tensions created by the war" there were not a lot of mixed Sunni-Shi'a marriages in Saddam's day and before. Among the educated classes, yes, on occasion, but you sure didn't see your average small town or village Iraqi crossing the sectarian divide for a marriage. When it did happen it was a true Romeo and Juliet moment (or more appropriately Qays and Leyla).

    Keep texting away, Achmed.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    There's the rest of the story. He's an educated, westernized Iraqi who's been burned in a divorce and now he wants a traditional obedient Arab wife to take care of the kid and who will not put him through the wringer again.

    Even without the "sectarian tensions created by the war" there were not a lot of mixed Sunni-Shi'a marriages in Saddam's day and before. Among the educated classes, yes, on occasion, but you sure didn't see your average small town or village Iraqi crossing the sectarian divide for a marriage. When it did happen it was a true Romeo and Juliet moment (or more appropriately Qays and Leyla).

    Keep texting away, Achmed.
    That's why my Arabic instructors never went home--he is Sunni and she is Chaldean Christian. Neither are fully accepted in DLI circles to this day, 27 years after I met them.

    Best

    Tom

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    Council Member Danny's Avatar
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    Default Hard Core Group

    Wow! This is a hard core group of guys. Exposed emotions ... QUICK, STEP ON THEM!!



    Remind me never to bear my soul to this group.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    Wow! This is a hard core group of guys. Exposed emotions ... QUICK, STEP ON THEM!!



    Remind me never to bear my soul to this group.
    aw Danny,

    Do tell all...

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    Council Member historyguy99's Avatar
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    Default Maybe this will help explain dating situation!


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    Quote Originally Posted by historyguy99 View Post
    In many tribal cultures in the Middle East the girl's father's brother's son has the right of first refusal. In many urban families where the tribal roots are still held closely, despite the apparent modern lifestyle exhibited publicly, you'll often find college educated men and women who feel bound by tradition marrying their cousins.

    Regarding the Kurds, in many of the relatively isolated mountain villages - especially in the more extreme terrain of the tri-border area - there just ain't any other options. Everybody's kin. Like in the not-so-long-ago days in the Ozarks or Appalachia....

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    Council Member historyguy99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    In many tribal cultures in the Middle East the girl's father's brother's son has the right of first refusal. In many urban families where the tribal roots are still held closely, despite the apparent modern lifestyle exhibited publicly, you'll often find college educated men and women who feel bound by tradition marrying their cousins.

    Regarding the Kurds, in many of the relatively isolated mountain villages - especially in the more extreme terrain of the tri-border area - there just ain't any other options. Everybody's kin. Like in the not-so-long-ago days in the Ozarks or Appalachia....
    I would agree with your comments. I was married to a westernized Persian woman who had numerous cousins married to cousins. Her explaination was, "that way they knew the family was good", meaning not prone to health, social, or culture issues. Your comments regarding Kurds also hold true when one examines the tables.

    As for Appalachia, if you check the tables under minorities, Kentucky shows a 18.7% rate in 1942, when the national rate was .02%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    he wants a traditional obedient wife who will not put him through the wringer.
    I have a great joke in response, but my wife won't let me tell it.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
    Sometimes it takes someone without deep experience to think creatively.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Hey, us Appalachia types are sensitive...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    In many tribal cultures in the Middle East the girl's father's brother's son has the right of first refusal. In many urban families where the tribal roots are still held closely, despite the apparent modern lifestyle exhibited publicly, you'll often find college educated men and women who feel bound by tradition marrying their cousins.

    Regarding the Kurds, in many of the relatively isolated mountain villages - especially in the more extreme terrain of the tri-border area - there just ain't any other options. Everybody's kin. Like in the not-so-long-ago days in the Ozarks or Appalachia....
    Well, about some things, anyway...

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    - there can still be hell to pay in some families if a gal runs off with a yankee some things never change though it seems reasonable that Shia/Sunni tensions have made the crossing of cultural barriers more difficult at present but there will always be a Shia in the Sunni wood pile and visa versa

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    Council Member Rockbridge's Avatar
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    Talking Got to know your yankees

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    - if a gal runs off with a yankee
    Which variety of yankee would that be? A carpetbagger (just passing through) or a damn yankee (who has bought the house next door)?

    Also resembling the rural invective,
    Rockbridge
    You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone

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    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    Remind me never to bear my soul to this group.
    Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
    Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
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    somebody might see you up there

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Default

    Anyone else getting the "Meet Single Arabs Online" add in this thread and the really cute girl?

    WAY more enjoyable than the creepy cannon cockers from Norwich.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Anyone else getting the "Meet Single Arabs Online" add in this thread and the really cute girl?

    WAY more enjoyable than the creepy cannon cockers from Norwich.
    I am.

    She looks Lebanese. Waahooooooo!

    Tom

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Anyone else getting the "Meet Single Arabs Online" add in this thread and the really cute girl?

    WAY more enjoyable than the creepy cannon cockers from Norwich.
    My ad is in Estonian... The Love Thermometer
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  20. #20
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Default Kind of makes you wonder

    I think I'll go start a "Single Life in Thailand Thread..."
    Last edited by selil; 12-27-2008 at 04:16 PM.
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