Olive Branch Optimism
what a wonderful world...
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
An Olivebranch University Adventure
Well, I woke this morning to the sound of my lovely girlfriends phone alarm at 5am. She started work at 6am, about 25km away from where I am now (just drove home and watched the sun rise).

In a few hours I am about to make one of the largest steps in my life, overcome a goal I've had for years. I AM GOING TO APPLY FOR UNIVERSITY.

now here's the answers before you ask:

with a minor in creative writing and photography :)

I want to be a photo journalist, or atleast take photos of/write about the truth, even if I cant report them independantly of this blog. (Bloggggggggggggggggggggging rocks!)

Anyways, my plan is, when I go down to the uni, I'm going to meet up with some of my old Youth and Students Against War buddies, and organise/collect some donations to send to raed' (see link to raidinthemiddle on right hand side).

I feel lucky, and I feel inspired by the fact that I have now found a way to actually directly help, and try to make-up-for the fact that our troops are over in Iraq. I know I alone can't do that, because I can't remove them, or reimburse a country of its pride and sovereignty.

Hopefully the medicines can save some lives, remove some pain and bring some hope to people who would otherwise feel despair. And even a faint glimmer of hope at this point after 2 years of crushing, demoralizing oppression, could be enough to make someone fight through their pain (or atleast maybe the steralizers could stop infections from killing them, whichever way you look at it).........

On a more light note, It's the beggining of a new season, and you know what that means???

CHEAP FRUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and LOTS OF IT!!! (atleast for us lucky people in Perth).
The best food-investment I ever made was a $8 box of fruit. For 80c a kilogram, I got fresh and tasty banana's, plums, pears, apples (red,green and golden delicous), and those little weird pears that arent like normal ones + a few mandarines thrown in!!!!

$8 for 10 kg of fresh fruit! $8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The fruits on me!! I've been giving it away and eating it. I've been thinking about posting the way our society is here in Perth, and changing my life a bit, to try and make it more congruent with how I believe a community should be.

After reading riverbends' blog, (riverbendblog.blogspot.com), From finish to beggining (don't ask why I read backwards, it' just makes more sense that way!) I learn't alot about Iraqi' society, and was particularly impressed by the closeness, and by the generosity or alteast by the sharing (incase some may do it just out of custom, and actually resent doing it?), particularly of food.

And it made me think. WHY DON'T WE DO THAT?

So I've decided, that from now on when I cook, I'm going to make enough to give a free plate of food to one of my neighbours, and when I buy my next 10kg of fruit, I'm going to give away bags of it like I did to a friend yesterday. What could be better than spreading goodwill and goodhealth to good people that live nearby?

well, I guess the answer to that is giving it to good people living far away, who need it more.....
Now I feel like and idiot :P

Oro!!!!!!! (saying that Japanese manga characters use when they are confused or do something stupid?)

I guess giving it away and spreading the wealth/health/goodwill is better than not doing it at all though. Ahhh shit, who am I trying to justify it to?

The thing is that here in Perth, you'd be lucky to get a wave from the next door neighbour, or a nod of the head, or eyecontact, unless you knew them or your kid goes to school with theirs, or you are accidentally forced to... Like when you both put your bins out at the same day on bin day.

I want this to change. I envy community in Baghdad, but not the bombs. I think maybe if we were closer with our own communities, we might build more appreciation for the lives of other humans, and be much easier able to relate to other communities, eventuating in a global utopia where we can all live happily ever after with our own palace and unlimited xbox games.

Enough of my rambling and time for some real news to 'brighten your day'. This exerpt directly from "Healing Iraq" [healingiraq.blogspot.com]


Monday, March 21, 2005

Mahdi Army Beats 2 Students to Death in Basrah

No one seems to have reported the latest events in Basrah. Not any of the news services or the blogs.

Students of the Basrah and Shatt Al-Arab universities in Basrah city have been on strike for the last three days as a reaction to the attack last week by Sadrists and Mahdi Army militiamen on tens of students organising a field trip or a picnic at Al-Andalus park, downtown Basrah.

Hooded men assaulted the students with rubber cables and truncheons which resulted in the death of a Christian girl, Zahra Ashour, and another student who came to her rescue after militiamen had tore off her clothes and were beating her to death. He was shot in the head.

Students say that their belongings, such as mobile phones, cameras, stereo players and loudspeakers, were stolen or smashed to pieces by the militiamen. Girl students not wearing headscarves, most of them Christian, were severely beaten and at least 20 students were kidnapped and taken to Sadr's office in Al-Tuwaisa for 'interrogation' and were only released late at night.

Students also say the police and British soldiers were nearby but did not intervene.

A Sheikh As'ad Al-Basri, one of Sadr's aides in Basrah, stated that the 'believers' of the Mahdi Army did what they did in an act of 'divine intervention' in order to punish the students for their 'immoral and outrageous behaviour' during the 'holy month of Muharram, while the blood of Imam Hussein is yet to dry.' He added that he had sent the 'group of believers' to observe and photograph the students, and on witnessing them playing loud music, 'the kind they play in bars and discos', and openly talking to female students, the 'believers had to straighten things out'.

No reaction yet from the Governorate council, the police, or the British forces in Basrah. Thousands of students have been demonstrating in front of the Basrah Governorate building in Asharr for the last three days, shouting 'No to political Islam', 'No to the new tyranny' and 'No to Sadr'. The police (which is loyal to Da'wa in Basrah) reportedly attacked the students in order to disperse the demonstrations.

All this while some people are campaigning for Sistani to receive the Nobel peace prize. One can't help but wonder if these kinds of events are what the Islamists have in store for us when they insist on 'respecting the Islamic identity of Iraq'.

They can blame Jordan, Syria, the Ba'ath, Salifis, Wahhabis as much as they want, but they cannot utter a single word about the old new medieval Inquisition we have to deal with every day, under the sanctity of Sistani and his ilk. The new Taliban.

It's sad isn't it. People in Perth won't hear about this unless someone like me pushes it into the media's face. People won't relate and don't understand the inherent connection between the beliefs of Sistani and Al-Sadr, even if they are do not support the same 'faction/s' of Islam, they both represent the spiritual leading role of two so called armies - Badr's Brigade - and the Mehdi Army.

Which is worse? I couldn't tell you. I'm just an Auzzie who never leaves home (well, I went to Bali, if that helps)

Find out more about these evils on these Iraqi blogs


for more Iraq news, follow the links leading off the above pages,
since I'm not an Iraqi, it's best to let them decide what is right and wrong,
who is reporting the most truth and what the truth is.

So they will be your' better guide on this one.

Right now I'm trying to focus globally, while working on re-developing the local peace movement into it's once-strong self, this means I haven't time to repeat all the news and give all my views on Iraq. But I will try my hardest.

Thats the end of my morning blog, may update again today
depends what goes down in town :)

- Olivebranch