Thought Overflow…Golda’s BlogIf memes are like genes, then having a conversation in which you share ideas and come up with new ones is like…?

0 “I just want to emphasize the point that we are disconnected from reality”

Golda to Booknotes  

Quotes from Shoot an Iraqi by Wafaa Bilal and Kari Lydersen.

Thought-provoking book…raw, kind of a flat humor without hatred even though a US military drone killed his brother, and Saddam killed numerous other family members. Some quotes :

“Solitude was such sweetness to me that it was worth risking my life for some time alone” – when staying at an aunt’s empty house in Kufa during bombing, because he wanted to paint

I love this geography professor – “A joke started to circulate about [Ba’ath] Party officials telling a geography professor he must integrate party philosophy into his lessons. “How? I teach geography.” They insisted. So he told his students “Iraq used to have a cold, wet climate in the winter and a hot, dry climate in the summer, without a drop of rain.” (which is the reality). “But,” he’d continue, “thanks to the Ba’ath Party, it’s nice all year round now.” ”

“He (a cousin in Kufa) was arrested (for being a member of the Dawa Party, a militant Shia religious party), and later his body was returned to the family along with a bill for 72 dinars for the bullets used to execute him. He had been an only son…Later, the government sent my cousin’s family a letter saying the accusation had been a mistake, and apologizing for the wrongful execution.”

“In times of extreme desperation, in the face of adversity, sometimes the only thing that saves us is our own irrational capacity for pride and egotism, a faith in ourselves that has perhaps no logical basis but pulls us through nontheless” (relating to the character in Cast Away

He says that Terence Young, director of James Bond 007, helped Saddam create a fake ‘war crime’ video of a soldier being torn apart by trucks that Saddam used to stir up support for the start of the Iran-Iraq war. He said Young also worked on the pro-Saddam biopic The Long Days. This is supported by this site: At the time Young made ‘The Long Days’ Saddam was considered a pro-Western ruler. The site does not mention the fake war crime footage.

About living in a refugee camp: “When the Americans were there, they would clean the communal bathrooms every day. But after they left, no one wanted to clean the bathrooms, and they quickly became filthy.”

“I just want to emphasize the point that we are disconnected from reality”

This seems really key to me. Most people are decent if they have their eyes open to what is going on and how it affects others. But we hide stuff and let it be hidden from us because its annoying, inconvenient and disturbing, so we just let it happen ‘somewhere else’.
Also this seemed very significant to me, about the male role in Arab culture:

” I realized that buried under that layer of cruelty he [Wafaa’s father] was a very sentimental person….People see Arab culture as a patriarchal system that oppresses women, which it is, but men are also oppressed – they oppress themselves with the rigid expectations and roles they must fill or else be shunned. In this vise-like social grip, my father repressed all his frustrations and shattered dreams and humiliations, ending up with nothing but the cruel and crazy outbursts.”

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