Saturday, 30 June 2012

Back after years of silence!
gone to:

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Girls and me

I love girls. I admire and adore them.
It is what keeps me alife. What would I be without the hope in a better future with a girl? You want to know what the girl of my dreams looks like?

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The difference between being forced into marriage and being convinced to enter marriage

To start talking about this issue we have to look at the types of marriage first and where violence is being applied to the bride. Lets start with forced marriage.
You can call marriage a forced marriage when the bride or the groom is forced to enter a marriage without her or his agreement. The reasons are cultural, religious or sometimes a matter of money and finances. Many people think that forced marriage just happens to a female. It is correct that females are the majority in forced marriages but males are sometimes forced to marry too. This violent and humiliating tradition is still widely spread in the world. There are no exceptions because in the past there were no or few marriages that were not forced. This is because the culture sees marriage as a bong between two people not to complete their love but to connect two families for cultural, religious or financial reason.
The forced marriage I want to talk about is the marriage many Arabic women have to enter today. It is not seen as violent or an act of an individual life’s destruction. It is seen as a tradition and not as a crime. The brides sometimes even agree because they never learnt something else. They see their mothers, their aunts, their grandmothers, their friends being married even without seeing their husbands let alone talk to them. Forced marriage has a very short period of engagement. Sometimes the pair enters marriage without even ever been in engagement. When two families want to marry their children and both profit there is nothing that can stop the marriage. No one except the male heads of the family would be able to stop the process. The bride is sometimes not even informed about the marriage.
After all the preparation work is done the reception finds place with all the family parts of both parties in usually very lavish parties that costs the couple months of hard work. The first night differs between America, Africa and Asia and is mostly a traumatic experience for both.
The roles in a forced marriage are set and the marital life starts just after the couple know each other well.

Marriages that are entered because the bride or groom were convinced to do this step into marriage are far more complicated and sometimes develop into a forced marriage.
Marriages where the couple is talked into it are normally held in modern and religious families. The bride or groom is not directly “forced”. They are given a selection of potential husbands or wives and are told to choose. There is no other option and if the youths refuse they are normally forced to marry the best one. But before that they are talked into it. Over and over again the youths hear the advantages of the potential partners and the family tries to convince the youths. If all fails the marriage changes to a forced marriage.

The differences are that in the marriage where the youths have a selection and the forced marriage are very small. Sometimes people mix them up and give unhappy marriages where one partner wasn’t really convinced to enter the marriage, forced marriage. Forced marriage is by far the more dangerous and aggressive form of violent marriages. The youths have no time to object or even no time to leave and find shelter in care homes or in friends care. There is sometimes a very big difference in the ages of the groom and the bride. The marriage where the youths are convinced to enter marriage are less violent because the youths have time to think and object or even leave.

What happens to a youth that refused to enter marriage?

The youth can never contact the family again without being attacked physically or verbally. The relationships in the family break and the reputation and the honour of the family are very bad and friendships with other people in the community break. The youth has to choose between the families wellbeing and satisfaction or their own wellbeing and a better life.
Many youths make the mistake to choose their family and enter a forced or convinced marriage. The youths highest priority should, in the case of unwilled marriage, be their own future.


Iraq... what is Iraq to me? Home? Childhood? Family? Don’t be surprised if I say nightmare. Yes it is a nightmare to me. I left it as a 5 year old and it is still haunting me in my dreams. I know that Iraq is probably one of the richest countries on planet earth but what does it change to me? Every time my parent’s friends or family call, I suddenly have Goosebumps on all my body and I flee to a safe place. It may sound pathetic to you, but you would have the same panic attacks if you were me. I am the oldest child of an engineer and a doctor who both graduated in Baghdad. They are the top of the society… well that is what every doctor in Iraq thinks… it’s very sad the way some Iraqis think of themselves. I am deeply disappointed. My family wants me to marry and have nice little kids. Be a pleasing housewife who cleans the house from floor to wall, cooks 3 times a day, kisses her husbands ass, fucks a man she never learned to speak with, go and work, look good, have many connections and be very stupid and act like a sheep. But guess what I really am? I am not the foolish housewife every Iraqi man wants. I am me, and that will stay that way until the day of judgement or for the atheists until the day the sun stops providing us with energy or turns into a red giant.
But why am I thinking that way? Why do I seem to be so pessimistic?
My family are shi3a Muslims who come from Kufa next to Najaf in Iraq. They are mostly very religious with the exception of 3 cousins of mine who are more sexists than religious. Their book is instead of the Koran, a pornography magazine bought in a little kiosk next to some sacred place in Kufa. My family expects me to be highly religious. I tried for so many times to change my atheist way of thinking with Islamic theology but the result was always that I rise in the atheists mind. This was the first point. The second point is the religion. Iraq and most of the Arabic countries put their citizens under pressure by expecting them to be a follower of a sect or a religious group. There is no acceptance for someone calling him or herself atheist. It is not accepted as a way of living. It is seen as foolishness and as a danger to the youth. Well… I never met any Iraqi atheist! Every Iraqi that is befriended with our family is either Muslim or Christian. I am atheist because I found so many weaknesses in most of the religions I consider to be the most logical around me. It is incredible to see that most of the people follow their religion blindly. Why do they believe everything they hear from their parents? Are your parents that all-knowing that you believe everything they say? I admire the converts. This part of the population is the clever part of all. The question the facts they have been thought. Who said that your mum know everything? Who told you the stories of the prophets your granddad told you were correct? Who says that the religion your family has is automatically yours? The third point is culture. Iraq’s culture is extremely unfriendly towards everything female. I know who is ready to argue with me about this pint. A macho male or a stupid naïve female. The male would bring arguments like women can vote; they can walk on their own on the street, go to universities and more or less choose their husbands. Don’t all of those points show me that Iraq is really suppressing females? What does the naïve female add to the argument? She adds everything he father or brother told her… so sad.
The last point is not only special to girls. All Iraqi youth are made to study the subjects their culture chose for them. For example my family wants me to study medicine. But I prefer to study psychology sociology and English language to be a counsellor.
The last and most important point is fear. I never had a fearless moment with my parents. Every time one of my parents enters my room all my muscles contacts and I stand still. You never know what they are going to do or why they come in. to punish me? To tell me what a bad girl I am? To send me back to Iraq or to take away my room? You might think… well… take away your room… this won’t be that bad! It is actually the worst thing that could happen to me. I would be homeless. I would be homeless in my home. My room is the only place in the whole big house where I relax and let all the fears that are building inside me disappear. It is the only place where I can be me. Not even outside the house I can be me. Every where are my parent’s friends. They are quite popular and very controlling. Sometimes when I get ready for college and wear my scarf I don’t recognise myself in the mirror. It is like another girl staring back at me. With scarf I am a completely different person. I avoid looking into the mirror when I have the scarf on and ask my sister to help me fix it. It is scary when you suddenly see someone else in your reflection. *shudder*
Back to fear. When ever I say something I wait for a brutal and aggressive respond. As a kid I was mercilessly beaten up by them and still have some scars left. But now that I am approaching marriage age they stopped abusing me physically but started abusing me verbally and haunting me in my dreams. I fear my parents.

This blog is about how I will change my life. First I will tell you a lot about what I get to see everyday and what I think and then I will change my life. The one I am living now is damaging me and my boy is shutting down. I will escape.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Little Fashion Idiot and Unidentified Gays.

This is a story I am going to write about which tells quite a lot about Iraqi youth.
When we arrived in Karbala we couldn’t believe that this sacred city is so dirty. Dust and sand plastic bags, cans, car wracks and ugly hairstyles are dominating the streets of the city where Imam Husain was martyred. My mother, my two aunties, my 3 cousins, my sister and my 2 brothers and me got of the rusty old minibus we rented from Bagdad. We went to the pavement and waited for the hungry taxi drivers to stop and take us to the house of my aunt. 30 minutes later we found a less greedy taxi driver with his friend in another car that uploaded the bags and helped squeezing the kids in the back seats. After a very bumpy ride and many angry words thrown out of the driver’s window, we stopped in front of an extremely dirty house. The men uploaded and I tried to help but was pushed aside. While my aunty and my mother fought about who is going to pay I tumbled inside the house and realised how dirty I got. My Abaya was very wet and I smelled of a very sticky and orange drink called Miranda. After taking off my Abaya I realised how wet I was! The light brown skirt was dark brown and sticking everywhere. My white shirt was transparent and my scarf was like a second skin. I couldn’t change in the bedroom because my brother and my cousins were in there playing around and fighting. I went to the bathroom and threw all my clothes in the corner and ran to the shower head. I turned the water on and waited. And waited. Where was the water? After about 20 minutes the first drops came and I felt the cold water on my skin. I was the happiest girl after showering. After wearing my clean Abaya I left the shower with a scarf on my head because my cousins were there and they were about 2 years older than me and non-mahrams (men who are not my brothers, father, uncles or granddads). My mother told me to get dressed to go to the holy shrines. When I stepped into the living room I had a little shock. My eldest cousin who was 20 years old was ready dressed. He comes from the emirates and is a big show off. Just in front of us Europeans he doesn’t dear o show off. Even if I find no personality advantages in Europeans they are considered to be the high society of Iraq.
He was dressed in a fitting red checked shirt unbuttoned with a black very tight t-shirt underneath with funky prints and a very fashionable tight yeans with hundreds of little holes. He had black shiny shoed and chains on his wrist and a pendant hanging from his neck. He was looking like a very hot god of a fashion magazine with the perfect lightly skin and long light brown hair waving down his neck and back. He looked perfect. If I wouldn’t prefer girls I would have had a big crush on him, but god thanks I am lesbian! He looked like a god next to my brother who was wearing a simple light blue buttoned shirt and black canvas cotton trousers. He didn’t look like a European guy. He looked very Iraqi.
After we were all dressed and ready for the heart of Karbala we left the house and walked down a little street that leads into the main road.
Just before we reached the main road a group of male youths came towards us and I and my sister hid behind the backs of my mother and aunties because the guys were whistling and giving us disgusting glances. I didn’t really feel offended and hiding is really stupid but my mother wouldn’t want me to be seen by a horde of sex hungry youths. But I and my sister didn’t know that my cousin was their target. They circled him and my brother and started shouting nasty flirty words. My brother defended him and made clear that he doesn’t mind using his fists. The funny thing was the guys didn’t mind being beaten. They kept touching my cousin and he was confused. Why do they love being beaten? Why do they call him names normal guys would use for a girl? I knew what game they were playing. The guys were aroused by my cousin’s looks. This is a wide spread phenomena in some parts in Iraq. Some minutes later the guys were beaten up and my cousin and brother angry.
Well… what does this mean?
Some guys in Iraq are gay even though confronted they would do anything to prove the opposite. Why does this great community not accept gays as normal parts of the community? I think it’s the fact that Iraq was denied any contact to the outer world for a very long time. Since Saddam fell and Iraqis found the internet interesting, the Iraqis found about homosexuality and were confronted with it. Other countries had time to develop a gay friendly behaviour. But Iraq was confronted with homosexuality all of a sudden after years of darkness. So the guys were gay or just teasing but didn’t know that this behaviour would be called gay in here… give Iraq some time and you would see gays housing there… you never know.