Olive Branch Optimism
what a wonderful world...
Where's the respect?

Respect your peers and parents,
and all those younger than you.

Respect your elders and respect the wise,
respect religion and respect your pride.

Respect is given not taken,
so you better give if you want to respect.








What does it mean to me?

Reality over fantasy and friends over fiction
Eternal trust and inspirations
Sometimes love and sometimes hate
Poverty not necessary
Ethnic boundries left behind,
Cultures now combined,
Tommorow we won't be blind.

Respect, that's what it means to me.

[by olivebranch 29/11/05]
Monday, November 28, 2005
Was surfing the blogosphere when I found this new blog "Iraqi Rebel" posted on Iraq Blog Count.

The author (rebel) says he doesn't deal with politics, but will be telling things from his view, the rumours he hears's, the things that happen, his stories etc. So far he has only posted twice, but the second post was quite enjoyable to read- containing a lot of Iraqi jokes.... they were all pretty funny, so go check it out and leave a msg of support :)

We need to encourage all the new bloggers, for many reasons.

Firstly and foremost the more opinions coming out through the Iraqi Blogosphere, the more credible it becomes and the more truth the rest of the world must expose to each other.

Secondly, because any one of these bloggers could be another dedicated individual who is important to have as a major part of Iraq's future, and may not be able to find any other safe way to do so right now.

Thirdly - we can help them, they can help us, and they can help other Iraqi bloggers avoid trouble or when they are in trouble or need something they can not get...

here's the link!

Sunday, November 27, 2005
WA has an Iraqi Election Station!! - And I might be helping out there!
Oooh yeah. It feels good to know your hard work and efforts to help other people have not gone unnoticed.

A friend of mine, Ibrahim Al-Absawi was one of those campaigning to have a voting centre in Perth in the January elections- but they were unsuccessfull and he had to fly to the eastern states to vote.

This time for the December elections, they were successfull in campaigning for a voting station, but Ibrahim has a long-planned overseas trip that can't be cancelled and so has asked me to help out on his behalf.

He gave me the names of two people to contact: Mr . Mohammed Al-wiely, and Riyad Al-hakim,

along with their email addresses.

I sent off the email today asking how I should contribute, and am awaiting a reply. Hopefully I will know soon what I can do, and again I will have a found a physical way to participate in helping Iraqi's rebuild their future.

See. I told you before and I will say it again: an individual can make a difference, regardless of the boundaries and hurdles that line the path to doing so.

[olivebranch out]
So I have been reading my way around the Iraqi blogosphere lately, which is why you may have found a lot of comments from me around but very little activity on the blog itself. Anyway, alot is going on with regard to the use of White Phosphorus and other such should-be-banned chemical weapons.

The White House claims these weapons are used for "Conventional Uses" much like flashbangs- to blind enemies. But when Italian's release live coverage of White Phosphorus burning the flesh off civilians while leaving their clothes in-tact, it makes you wonder what the word "Conventional" really means.

So, I looked it up.

According to Dictionary.com, Conventional is a pretty loose term.

con·ven·tion·al Audio pronunciation of "conventional"

1. Based on or in accordance with general agreement, use, or practice; customary: conventional symbols; a conventional form of address. [olivebranch] - (so this is a widely agreed on use of White Phosphorus?)
2. Conforming to established practice or accepted standards; traditional: a conventional church wedding. [olivebranch] (or is it just a widely practed use of White Phosphorus, because I certainly don't agree on it!)
1. Devoted to or bound by conventions to the point of artificiality; ceremonious.
2. Unimaginative; conformist: longed to escape from their conventional, bourgeois lives. [olivebranch] - (or are they just using the good old "everyone else has done it, why can't we?" theory of conformists?)

4. Represented, as in a work of art, in simplified or abstract form. [olivebranch] - (the abstract bombing of Civilian targets in Falloojeh?)
5. Law. Based on consent or agreement; contractual. [olivebranch] - (Isn't there a law AGAINST this manner of use for White Phorsphorus and other chemical agents?)
6. Of, relating to, or resembling an assembly.
7. Using means other than nuclear weapons or energy: conventional warfare; conventional power plants. [olivebranch] - (Oh, I get it, ITS NOT A NUCLEAR BOMB, SO IT IS OK!!! Anthrax is a form of conventional war-fare too then? No war crimes for Anthrax man? and what about Mustard Gas, isn't that what Saddam used ?? thats not a NUKE! Was he follwing the "Conventional leaders guide 101" aswell!?)

I think the word conventional should be dropped from the english language. Riverbend puts it well in saying the word 'conventional' no longer has its original meaning, read this:

"This war has redefined ‘conventional’. It has taken atrocity to another level. Everything we learned before has become obsolete. ‘Conventional’ has become synonymous with horrifying. Conventional weapons are those that eat away the skin in a white blaze; conventional interrogation methods are like those practiced in Abu Ghraib and other occupation prisons…Quite simply… conventional terror"

then the post Conventional Terror in her archive for this month :) (incase you are reading this in 6 months time of course!)


And then there is the Amman bombings.

Gee, didn't that piss the worlds leaders off! Didn't the Jordanian Gov't, and the US and UN get rather worked up?

Is it just because Amman was the only safe haven left in that part of the Mid East? Or was there something more behind it? Why were those particular 3 upper-class, elitist hotel rooms targeted? Why such big explosions?

Aren't most of Al-Qaeda's attacks just in the main lobbies, or in restuarants or out the front of buildings? Or driven straight through the front window?

This wasn't the work of 3 seperate suicide bombers was it? Or were they rooms wired with explosives? Was it a deeply planned attack on some bigger meeting set to happen in one of those three rooms?

According to Khalid Jarrar, on his blog Secrets In Baghdad there has been alot of fishy circumstances surrounding these explosions. Khalid even got as far as going inside one of the rooms that had exploded, and believes there is no way a suicide bomber or explosive belt could cause this much damage..

I think he is right. Something fishy is going on.

Head of the Palestinian authority Abbas announced head of the Palestinian intelligence agency was killed in one of the explosions, and announced an official three days of morning. I believe more is behind this.

The Jordanian government and embassies will also not announce the names of all the civilians and victims of the bombings, and has only released 30 names so far. When will the rest of the names come out, and who will they be?

Some of you will call me a conspiracy nut. Sure- go ahead, and if I am wrong- well that could be a bad thing globally, but I am sure it will make your ego feel better.

Leave some comments if you know anything about this or have anything constructive to add :) If you just want to chat or say hi, drop me an email or type in the little box on the right hand side of my blog.

also check out

Sunshine's blog for her replies to my Research questions, and for some information about her life and the bombing of a hospital.

Mama's blog to find out about the electricity situation on Mosul, and how it is hurting them. (Could you survive on 2hrs of electricity a day?)

Gee-oh's blog for a tasty recipe and some recent updates :)

Hassan's blog to see his opinion on the question of When US soldiers should(will?) pull out of Iraq, and to see debate over the confusion/dillusion between the terms "freedom fighter", "Jihadi", "Mujahideen" and "Terrorist".

Also I finally updated my other blog - Shambles & Rambles

- updates on the Bloggers Blog of Blogs are due today or in the coming days.

Stay tuned! It's all happening on Olive Branch Blogovision :P~

Abu Khaleel from A Glimpse Of Iraq (see sidebar) has a great post that represents what I believe the best hope for Iraq's future lays in- the power of the Iraqi people themselves to stand up to the insurgency.

Why? Because they are the insurgency. It is there family. There family does not want to fight them, and even if they do- there will be other family members they do not want to fight that also do not want to fight you!

You must understand that big families are across all of Iraq, and long friendships aswell, it is a multi-cultural and wide-spread population. The relationships run deep and they do not wish to fight each other, so when the people have had enough- the resistance must listen.

read this and take it as a metaphor

thanks Abu Khaleel :)

(see the post)

Putting the Prince in his Place

Iraqi ‘insurgents’ are usually called Mujahideen (holy warriors) in the countryside and in small towns whether they are religious or not. The Islamic insurgents are organized in cells or clusters. Each is led by what they call an “Ameer” – Prince. In some areas of Iraq they are a force to be reckoned with, feared and/or respected.

This particular “Prince” had a quarrel with a hard-nosed old farmer. The quarrel was purely social. They were distant kin. The old man took a few of his boys and they gave the Prince a severe beating.

The cell the Prince was responsible for issued an ultimatum for the old man and two of his close kin to move out of the area within three days. The old man took four car loads of his lot, set up a road-block in the area and kidnapped three of the Mujahideen. He did not release them until that particular cell issued a written apology to the old man… and promised not to bother him again.

I find the image of those fierce fighters who have been causing so much headache to the most powerful army in the world being beaten up and kidnapped by a simple farmer… quite amusing, almost hilarious!

# posted by Abu Khaleel @ 11:14 PM
According to a Yahoo article:

Zarqawi's Jordanian family have denounced him and re-asserted their allegiance to the Jordanian Monarchy. Zarqawi's real name appears for the first time: Ahmed Fadheel Nazzal al-Khalayleh (how do we get Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi out of that?).

"A Jordanian doesn't stab himself with his own spear," said the statement by 57 members of the al-Khalayleh family, including al-Zarqawi's brother and cousin. "We sever links with him until doomsday."

Go check the article for yourself.

This proves to all those silly skeptic's who say "Those muzzy's just want to kill us all and each other! They are barbaric"- that you are all idiots!

Gee's how could someone like Haneen or Mama or Raghda or Hassan be considered evil or barbaric? and Khalid! what about Khalid! How can he be a terrorist? How is it that everyone in my country see's you in yours as a threat for no reason?????
Hi everyone, cruising around the blogosphere today I stumbled accross a link to a new blog "My Letters To America" - by still alive.

In her first Letter to America , still alive brought a tear to my eye, as she did on a this post on her other blog How to Deserve It.

The letter tells of the point of confusion in her life, where school and tv- other such propaganda methods had blinded her understanding of life and war, despite being in the middle of one.

The story is not of her hate, but of her coming to realise that there are other human beings killed in wars- not just enemies. She comes to realise that each enemy has a father, a mother and maybe a daughter like she was- her father being sent away to war many time.

She lost her pride in her nation, and the enemies began to fade. It seems she has turned to compassion and self expression to keep her sane.

Friends are the key and she is correct- she needs more.

Go across to still alive 's blogs and leave her some friendly messages, after you read the above mentioned post that made me cry.

How To Deserve It
My Letters To America

[olivebranch out]

When I was a child it didn’t matter much to me, the nationality. Your country means the place you live in. the world was one to me and should be one. Later from TV, radio and school I have learned how to feel my nationality. They told me, we are fighting Iran to protect our Arabic homeland. They told me Iraqis are fighting for their brothers. It must be so important that Arab homeland that we do all that to protect, my uncles were taken to war my father been kidnapped and sent to war many times. They said it is honor when you fight for your country or die. I knew war was bad because I saw many women crying and weeping when they heard about the death of one of their families. Death that time was so mysterious for the child I was, it means someone won’t come back. But all that people do when someone won’t come back was weird. What if he won’t? Why they were crying? Anyway he wasn’t there he was in the war area so what difference it makes? As long as it cause all that pain it must be bad.
Something else was bad in war. All the good things alders were talking about these were available before the war. The wonderful things we will do when war ends! So many little things from here and there made me, I was under 6, so busy in thinking how can I end this war!
When I was older than 8 the way I looked to it was different. That age I was thinking of the victory and revenge. I was so patriot. I was Arab first and Iraqi second. Arab homeland comes first anything else means nothing. Proud of the glory of this great nation I hold. If we die for this nation it is good. Arabs were talking too much about the heroes of Iraq, sometimes I wondered why they don’t come and fight with us if it is for the good of all of us? I read all newspapers I found everyday; I listen to TV and every word at school.
I heard the stories of how we lost our unity when British cheated Sharief Hussein Bin Ali and steal the land they promised to help him get if he fought Ottomans. He fought for them and they gave him their evil plan to cut this nation apart and treat Arabs like slaves. They were bad just like Iran who wanted to take our land and take our freedom with their fearful regime. At that age I knew what does enemy mean. For me Iranians were only enemies, enemies means another kind of creatures not like us. Till one day when the TV showed some fighting tapes. It wasn’t new for us they do that after every battle (families didn’t allow children to watch it, but it is really hard to control all the time). The tapes included the scene of the field after the end of the battle. The scene was nothing but things like burned cars and weapons, captured soldiers and sometimes dead bodies. A dead Iranian soldier with bloody face where the flies were … my mother cried. I didn’t understand, he was enemy! ‘Mom he is not Iraqi soldier, don’t cry he is Iranian’ what a shame my childhood carries. What a shame you are war. He was Iranian! He was enemy! It is okay if he was without face, he is evil. It is okay if they showed his dead body on TV he was enemy pig. My poor mother was shocked, she said, ‘he is a human being what does his mother feel now? What if she saw her son? Does she know what happened to him?’ it was the first time I think they are humans and they have mothers and maybe daughters like me. I will never forget this accident. It is when I knew that death was more than I thought, and you can feel sad for enemy. I believe I have lost my enemy gradually since then.
Right now as I wrote those lines I am crying for him. Can I tell him now after 20 years that I am sorry? I am sorry, I didn’t know that you were not my enemy I didn’t know that there are no enemies. I wish you can forgive me. I still see your face with blood and flies. I see you laugh at me. You don’t care now. You want to help me! Can you help me? Just tell me it didn’t hurt. You can’t! Yes it did hurt but you forgive me. How can I forgive my self? How can I forgive them?
Thursday, November 17, 2005
John Edwards - FOR US PRESIDENT!!!!
I whole heartedly support John Edwards as the next President of the USA.

If John Edwards is elected, I will personally travel to the White House to congratulate him!

This is a letter that has been floating around written by John Edwards, and it is what we the world wants from a US leader. This man is what the international community would accept. Indeed I would even support him, and I am not a fan of US and its capitalist/imperialist leaders of late.

I hereby propose that bloggers should push for John Edwards to run for President in the next US election after Bush is impeached.

Here is the letter, I hope it does for you what it did for me.

(please leave comments!!!)

Dear Friend,

I was wrong.

I wrote these words about my vote to authorize the Iraq war in a Washington Post op-ed piece and I want to share my views with you as well.

Almost three years ago, we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.

It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a very dear price. It is not right, just or fair that we made a mistake, but they pay for that mistake.

The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth.

While we can't change the past, we need to accept responsibility because a key part of restoring America's moral leadership is acknowledging when we've made mistakes or been proven wrong -- and to show that we have the creativity and guts to make it right.

The argument for going to war with Iraq was based on intelligence that we now know was inaccurate. The information the American people were hearing from the President -- and that I was being told by our intelligence community -- wasn't the whole story. Had I known this at the time, I never would have voted for this war.

George Bush won't accept responsibility for his mistakes. Along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, he has made horrible mistakes at almost every step: twisting intelligence to fit their pre-conceived views about Iraq's threat; failed diplomacy; not going in with enough troops; not giving our forces the equipment they need; not having a plan for peace.

Because of these failures, Iraq is a mess and has become a far greater threat than it actually ever was. It is now a haven for terrorists, and our presence there is draining the goodwill that our country once enjoyed, diminishing our global standing. It has made fighting the global war against terrorist organizations more difficult, not less.

The urgent question isn't how we got here, but what we do now. We have to give our troops a way to end their mission honorably. That means leaving behind a success, not a failure.

What is success? I don't think it is Iraq as a Jeffersonian democracy. I think it is an Iraq that is relatively stable, largely self-sufficient, comparatively open and free, and in control of its own destiny.

A plan for success needs to focus on three interlocking objectives: reducing American presence; building Iraq's capacity; and getting other countries to meet their responsibilities to help.

First, we need to remove the image of the imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq. American contractors who have taken unfair advantage of the turmoil in Iraq need to leave Iraq. If that means Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, then KBR should go. Such departures, and the return of the work to Iraqi businesses, would be a real statement about our hopes for the new nation.

We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals. Therefore, early next year, after the Iraqi elections and a new government has been created, we should begin the redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq. This should be the beginning of a gradual process to reduce our presence and change the shape of our military's deployment in Iraq.

Most of these troops should come from National Guard or Reserve forces. That will still leave us with enough military capability, combined with better trained Iraqis, to fight terrorists and continue to help the Iraqis develop a stable country.

Second, this redeployment should work in concert with a more effective training program for Iraqi forces. We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule outlining that as we certify that Iraqi troops are trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will withdraw.

Third, we must launch a serious diplomatic process that brings the world into this effort. We should bring Iraq's neighbors and our key European allies into a diplomatic process to get Iraq on its feet. It's not just in America's security interest for Iraq to succeed, but the world's -- and the President needs to create a unified international front.

Too many mistakes have already been made to make this easy. Yet we must take these steps to succeed. The American people, the Iraqi people and -- most importantly -- our troops who have died or been injured there and those who are fighting there today deserve nothing less.

America's leaders -- all of us -- need to accept the responsibility we each carry for how we got to this place. Over 2,000 Americans have lost their lives in this war; and over 150,000 are fighting there today. They and their families deserve honesty from our country's leaders. And they also deserve a clear plan for a way out.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Iraqi Elections: Who, What, When, Why and How from the perspecitve of the Iraqi Blogosphere
Omar and Mohammed over at Iraq The Model have consistantly covered information related to political progression in Iraq for two years , including the January 05 elections, the consequential October Referendum and are now covering events in the lead-up to the December election of a new Iraqi Administration.

They think it was a good move for Sistani to stay out of the election process and not to endorse any particular movement/group/bloc.

I would agree with them on this. It is a good move. The clergy should not relate itself to groups such as Badr/SCIRI/Da'wa and Al-Sadr's movement- for when these groups let their militia's loose on civilian populations, the clergy and religion would lose the trust of the people, and in a time like this Iraqi's can not afford to lose their faith.

There has been other quality coverage, mostly outlining who is participating in the elections, and outlining the jumps al-Sadr has been making from one alliance to another.

Al-Sadr eventually settled to join SCIRI and Badr's Brigade in an alliance known as the Shiite Bloc. The will be hard to beat in the coming election, because even many shiite's who did not vote for the United Iraqi Alliance(SCIRI/Badr) last time (they didn't have Sadr's support in January) will be voting for the bloc this time.

On the same note though, many people will have learnt their lesson from supporting the current corrupt government, and may shy away from this deeply religious party all-together.

This could be good news for the Kurdish Alliance, were it to form a coalition with Sunni muslim's to create a Multi-Ethnic, Multi-Religion, secular party- even many Shiite would prefer to vote for them.

Deep discussion and debate has yet to fully erupt in the blogosphere, but in the coming weeks I am sure there will be many driving forces, and I am sure that Iraq The Model will be one of them.
just so you all know,
Sunshine is fine- but is very busy with her exams, that is why she has not been posting on her blog. Those who read her blog will understand because they know how important her studies are to her.

another post will come soon about who is covering the coming Iraqi Election and what they are saying.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Haneen - thanks for the idea of the little Chat thing on the side bar!

This 21yr old Iraqi girl writes great posts on her blog, but seems not to be heavily linked to because her blog is not worth much on the Technorati thing- (see my sidebar).

so here is a link that I hope will get her a dollar or two?

Friday, November 11, 2005
I do not see a shiny future for you Mama, though I am optimistic still.

No country truely has a shiny future, and never will.

What I see is the chance for you & Sunshine and other Iraqi bloggers to use your words, and your knowledge and popularity to help Iraq in the securing its future.

Allow me to expand a little on this:

The media wants and believes word-for-word the writings you and Sunshine write.

If you write a straight-out plea with a very particular purpose, we can make it happen.

Small possibilities represent undiscovered much larger possibilities.

Inhalers may be one way to help you and your family, sure- and that shows that blogs have potential,

but bloggers need to take up the challenge now- and realise their abilities to reach people, and in doing so connect and network.

Push the truth out and imagine the whole world is reading this, because that is the only way to make the world read it.


People around the world rally behind individual oppressed towns among whole populations, just because the media picks up the story.

If every Iraqi blogger pushed out the truth as if the whole world must know- then we would push their individual stories into the media. I could do it alone if I had to, and there were enough stories.

Use your potential powers here- people will be awakened so much more by individual stories, than by irrelevant statistics. People will want to know about Iraq again- they just don't want to read the same old stories the papers print- because the papers can't get any other stories.

Fill in the void with something worthwhile and interesting, everyone loves a war story when they havent experienced it themselves- no one likes a repetitive news story.

Ahh- Even the future of Australia is shakey- with the current tensions between us & Indonesia :
your shiny future may not come, but it does not have to be a dull, broken one either.

You have your daughter, and she has you- and you both have us.

Please. Don't forget that.

[olivebranch out]
A few weeks ago I was in a road rage incident , which I apparently mistankenly instigated.

I had just picked Gee up from Cannington Trainstation (a very major trainstation on the Armadale line [near where i live] here in Perth) and pulled out southbound from the deli and drove approx 3-400m (maybe more, I will check next exactly when I drive through on the way to work tommorow, - I wont forget, because it scares me everytime I drive through), I was going the speed limit 60km/hr, or maybe 2-3 km's an hour over and approaching a round-a-bout.

I saw a white Commodoor approaching from behind very quickly I was maybe 250-300m away from the round-a-bout when I spotted the the car. He was going much faster than me, atleast 85-90km/hr to be catching ground that quickly, by the time I was 100m from the round-a-bout he was getting very close behind me, then he went to overtake. Immediately I slowed down to let him infront- otherwise he probably wouldn't make it through the round about, and I didn't want to cause an accident -especially in my shiny new car (that is now dirty). Besides, at that close range, if he had an accident any evasive manouver would have required me to hit a curb, or the round about, or the island- or worse, his car.

The move was dangerous and I felt he had put both me & my girlfriend at risk by trying to overtake so fast, from so close behind and so close to the round-a-bout, and not to mention the risk he put himself in!

So I gave him the finger and slowed down some more.

--- and thats when it happened.

I saw the break lights.


GEE: what?





--- the other car stopped abruptly, it may even have skidded- I will check for tyre marks tommorow.

I stopped as far behind it as I could, as fast as I could.

I saw the break lights go off and the door begin to open.


ME: FUUUCK me!! oh no shit. (thinking all the while: This is actually hapenning!!!)

He was getting out of his fucking car, but I knew this would happen, and had already put the car in neutral.

Oh fuck, I'm in trouble- is all I could think.

QUICK! reverse!

so I did, I reversed slowly for a few meters, then put the car in neutral as I saw him turn to go back to his car.

I was scared, I tried to reverse backwards to the nearest driveway and so I could turn around and take-off, but it was tooo late.

He was in reverse and accellerating at full-capacity towards my little Daewoo Lanos (tin can with balloons inside) in his big bulky Commodoor Station Wagon (big family car, in a station wagon with a 6cylinder)

SHIT!!!!!!!! was about all I could think, and I just suddenly went blank.

No more thoughts, no more words, not until he was a car length or less from the front of my car, and I was going at maximum-reverse-speed.

GEE & I both suddenly become conscious of the need for his number plate, and she begins reading it out loud repetitively to remember it.

I remember the last 3 digits just incase, because she already had entered the first few into her phone and was reciting the next one. We got the number, but I was facing a whole new dillemma, this all happened in a matter of seconds may I add.

The guy was so close I was sure my car was about to be totalled, his brake lights hadn't come on yet, and a few more seconds and he would hit me.

More pressing than this though, is the fact that I had already travelled 100m in reverse down the road, and there were cars coming up behind me because I was still in the left hand south-bound lane. The car behind me I am sure was blue, and a small old car it was, it came to a halt when I was 50m away and approaching quickly, and the cars behind it stopped too.

I think it reversed a little, but I don't know- I was too busy trying to get across to the other lane without loosing control or loosing any speed because otherwise this guy would hit me.

It worked.... Somehow...

Don't ask me, I just did it. It was a fluke and I just thank god & my father for teaching me to drive & reverse well. I also thank my car, and my girlfriends will and the will of the people who witnessed it that we survived- totally unscathed was just a bonus.

I was on the other side of the road quickly, and he was going to fast to notice the cars behind me were so close- and didn't have time to switch lanes to follow me; he would have hit the other cars.

After all, that was not his objective- he was trying to kill me, not them.

Anyway, he hit the anchors; then noticed that I wasn't stopping, and took off.

I reversed all the way back to the trainstation, in the correct north-bound lane, just backwards.

There was a little dialouge in there between me and gee about his license plate and cops and trainstation and fear and swearing- but I don't remember it.

Gee jumped out and ran to the transit guards, too see if they could help.

The car had taken off, and there was nothing they could do. They wanted to help, but they said our best bet was to go to the Cannington Police Station immediately.

So we did.

I was shit scared, and hadn't got out of the car.

I was not relieved yet. I still felt scared.

So we went to the police, filled out our reports and went home to tell the story, and until today, thats all it was- a scary fucking story. Well today, that changed.

The police called my mum yesterday (trying to contact me) and informed her they had seen the man, he had admitted some aggression but says I instigated it with the finger, and the stories were a bit different and they were not going to press charges.

OK, let me get this straight.

Me and my girlfriend rock up to the station scared out of our wits immediately after, right out my statement- and have Gee declared as a passenger, and they don't tell us we would need either his 100% confession- or another witness before they can press charges.

Then they call and speak to my mum at 6:30AM in the morning while she is in bed asleep, don't leave an Officers name or contact details for me to call and tell me they won't press charges because there is no witness.

Well, DUH- isn't that the police officers job? to FIND THE WITNESSES?

I know for a fact there were plenty of witnesses, at least 3 cars were behind me- and I was out side houses and a trainstation with many people around. Infact I saw someone crossing the road infront of me a few seconds before he began to overtake.

The man claimed his mother had died that day, and my finger had been the "last straw". This is possible, but not probable.

To me, he looked like a hoon who got pissed off at the little smart ass in the piece of shit green womans car, and thought he would teach him a fucking lesson.

If his mum had died, the last thing I would think he would be worried about is my insignificant finger.

I want to know something, did the police confirm his mothers death?

Did they check the camera's at the trainstation, some of which must point out toward the road and catch cars that go past or park in the drop-off-zone.

I mean, if a group of people rock up and kill someone and have stopped on the road directly outside the trainstation, they would need to have video coverage to catch the car with. It just makes sense.

So that means, that as the cars behind me went past, their number plates may have been caught by the camera's- which means we have our witnesses.

The next step is to find the train-guard who we spoke to, and find out if anyone there had seen the event or if he knows the camera's and any archived history...

After that, or in case that fails- I will go knock on the doors of the houses the event occured in front of, surely someone must have seen something. HE NEARLY KILLED US.

If his mother truely did die that day, I will accept an apology.

Otherwise, Im pressing charges against this sucker.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Covering the Election Coverage.
Iraq is about to have its chance to elect a new government,
Unfortunately, even if there is 100% clarity of counting and no fruad, only one group is strong enough to win the election.

While al-Sadr had formed a coalition with Sunni parties, there was hope for Iraq's future. No matter who they are, it is not good to have a single uncontested government.

While Sadr was helping Sunni's present an opposition, there was hope for the removal of current Iran-backed US-appointed government. There was hope that the parties would argue and cause rifts and eventually turn people away from fundementalism and away from these fundamentalist parties. There was hope that any victory would be contested and concessions would have to be made by ALL SIDES.

It is still possible that the Shiite bloc parties- SCIRI, Badr's and Sadrists, will split even before the election is held- but this is a feint hope, and could spell out another SCIRI/DAAWA/KURD government.

The best hope we have now is that Allawi's Secular group links-up with the Kurdish Allaince and pulls in some other groups including Sunni's to pose some kind of worthy opposition...

I think the best thing to try and achieve would be causing infighting between Sadrists and SCIRI/Badr, and hope they end up splitting.

if Sadr was out on a limb on his own, SCIRI/Badr's would not fare very well at all- because the support they did have has come into deep question after this government.

The Kurdish Alliance has strength, and will win in its areas. If the Sunni groups could join with the Kurdish Allaince and bring in the Secular group of Allawi, this would pose an opposition to any coalition- atleast enough to create changes later, and contest election results and maybe avoid civil war.

Anyway, that is my current opinion on the coming election in Iraq, but this post's main point was to tell everyone that Hassan and I will be following and posting about the Iraqi Blogosphere's coverage of the election- and probably frequently I will change my opinion as I learn more from said coverage!

well, I have pretty much finished Uni for the year, only one exam to go- and am about to make Roast for dinner tonight, so life is great.

Had a fun evening last night and have spoken to a lot of kind and considerate people through this blog in the last few months, I just wanted to thank you all for reading and emailing- even if there is not many comments left.

I didn't expect to have 2000 hits in my first 7 months, (even if 800 of them are me!), and I didn't expect to make the friends I have made.

I also never thought I would have written over 100 posts in this time.

It is thanks to the writings of other Bloggers, and the support of my readers.

So again- thanks, and don't stop reading/writing/commenting

Friday, November 04, 2005
Prayer Filled Package - Finally reaches Sunshine!
Anyone who doesn't read Sunshine's blog, but does read this one,
will be happy to know that Sunshine is in Baghdad safely.

She got the Inhalers and the other things I sent, the little prayer that protected the package across borders of many nations.

The story ends happily- and that is how it should for everyone eventually.

If you are not happy- it is not the end.

Good Night!

[olivebranch out]
The Lazy Blogger returns :))) sorry!
You will understand after the end of this post, why I have been silent- by choice over recent times.


It is wise to listen before you speak.
You will write something that you no longer agree with but can not take back.
You should have read first.
You should not have said what you said, but it was worth it anyway.
You say something you regret for years, then learn you were correct anyway.
You will write too soon, and not be heard later.
You just don't know the truth.
You think you have the right words, but really you don't.
You can understand what others are saying, better than your own thoughts.
You can feel others emotions- before you feel your own.
You understand the reason life is so great, bad and random.
You feel close to god or close to hope.
You feel better but don't know why.


You just need a break.
You can't speak - because if you do, you will not be understood.

---- We should always choose our times to speak. Blogging, writing and reporting should not be a daily chore. It should be what we do at the times it is needed.

Sometimes there is a lot to be said, but you are just not the right person to be saying it- and no one would care much anyway.

Sometimes you should just sit back and watch, and choose the right moment.

If you get it right, you can change the world- Get it wrong, and you can try again.

Happy Eid to my muslim friends.

P.S Gee-Oh said she wants to go to a muslim country with me oneday, so she can wear a very pritty hijab !!!

(No doubt this will be Iraq, to meet you my friends- who this blog tends to be directed at !)

[olivebranch out]

Well, I don't need to say anything except this and my research I hope will be the beginning of a partnership between Hassan & I in keeping the history of Iraq's Bloggers alive for eternity. First we will learn the history ourselves, then we will write it out, then we will teach it- then we will learn from it and teach others accordingly.

This is brilliant. Well done Hassan. Amazing, Excellent- and every other compliament under the sun :)

check the post on his blog to leave comments-

Monday, October 31, 2005
Iraqi Bloggers: From Pax to Sanyora

It took me some time to put this up. This is the journey the Iraqi bloggers made ever since Salam Pax first signed in blogger on June 2002 until the day I write this post.


I can't find a blog that was started anytime close to this date by Pax. But it seems that Raed Jarrar is an old timer too. Joined blogger on December 2002 and probably started the Original Iraqi Blog: Dear Raed (Where is Raed). Year 2002 ended with only two Iraqi bloggers in the Sphere.

One year after Pax entered the Sphere G joins it. But stops blogging mysteriously on September the same year. May 2003, a blogger named Jalloul creates a series of blogs in English, Arabic, French and Swedish .On July 2003 Nawar starts blogging, he too stopped mysteriously after one month of blogging. The Sphere gets a lot more interesting when on August 2003 the famous Riverbend joins the journey. She still blogs to this day. Ironic thing is that on her first post she says :"So this is the beginning for me, I guess. I never thought I'd start my own weblog... All I could think, every time I wanted to start one was "but who will read it?" I guess I've got nothing to lose". If only she knew how famous she was going to turn out to be.

On October that same year Zeyad starts blogging. He blogs to this day, barley. He too on his first post didn't expect what this was going to turn out to be. He said "Unfortunately, there haven't been enough Iraqis running weblogs lately. There are only five of them as far as I know. I took it upon myself to start a weblog and introduce other Iraqis to this new (to us at least) and exciting world". There are 170 Iraqi blogs now according the Blog Count. Guess your mission has been accomplished Zeyad.

Fayrouz and Ihath join on October too, Fayrouz creates another blog called Fay's Catholic Thoughts on August 2004, which she still blogs on, a third blog she created is called Fayrouz Break Room which was started one month before the previous one, on July 2004, and she is still blogging on it. Then Ihath creates another blog, of which she blogs on it in Arabic. Another Iraqi blogger joins on October, Fadhil is the first Iraqi blogger to start blogging all time in Arabic. A few weeks later, he creates another blog, but he hasn't posted on it since May 2004. Still blogs to this moment on his original blog. Then he creates another blog on July 2005, makes his last post on it on September 2005. Then the first Iraqi Kurdish blogger Kurdo starts blogging on October too, marking the entrance of Kurdish bloggers to the sphere.Alaa, Ays, Hammorabi and Nabil all start blogging on November 2003. Still posting to this day. Andy and Firas both start on November too but Andy stops on April 2004 and Firas stops on March 2005. Although Andy creates another blog of which he still blogs on it to this day.

November just keeps getting more exciting as the first one of the ITM brothers, Omar joins the blogsphere and start Iraq The Model. Ali makes his first post from Omar's account on December 2003. He ends the post by saying "By Ali". Mohammad uses the same method a few days later to begin posting from Omar's account himself, and posts his first post a welcome to the new year. Right now, Omar and Mohammad still blog at Iraq The Model, separate accounts for each one. While Ali has started his own blog on December 2004, he had made his last post on August 2005, but he mentioned he was going to be away for a couple of months, so we don't know if he had stopped or not. Maybe not.

December 2003 Wild Fire or Jo starts blogging, hes blog is a weird blog, and it took some time to figure out her first post. On December too, the Jarrars family is all blogging. Raed starts the family blog. Majid is the first one to write on it, however he waits another two months untill it is February 2004 to start his own blog. Khalid on the other hand, starts blogging on his own blog on December 9 before he starts blogging on the family blog on December 20. But Khalid creates another blog on April 2005, doesn't blog on it any more than the end of the month. Faiza starts blogging on the family blog one day after Khalid on December 21. She doesn't have a personal blog but posts usually to the family blog. Raed, Khalid and Faiza are still blogging to this day. Majid stopped on March 2005.

Alaasmary started blogging on December 2003 but he stopped on January 2005.

Year 2003 ends, with 22 Iraqi bloggers on the web. This day only 15 of them still blogging, while most of the others quit a long time ago.

On 2004 Iraqi bloggers went rising in numbers so fast it was hard to track them all. But it seems that the first new Iraqi blogger of the year 2004 is U who starts blogging on the first day of the new year. Hadn't posted since June 2005.Liminal starts blogging on January 6 2004. He is still writing to this day but less frequently. January 26 is the date O first began blogging. But he stops at May 2005. ZZ starts blogging on January 2004, with a very moving post that was written in memory of his beloved father. He still blogs. On the same month January 2004, he creates another blog but he hasn't blogged on it since September 2005,

The largest Iraqi blogging family is introduced to blogger when on January 2004 my uncle Ahmad Kharrufa started blogging. Although he had stopped on May 2005, but the flag has been carried. Najma joined on June 2004, and is still blogging to this day. Raghda started on July the same year, she is still blogging to this day. Dalia starts blogging on July too, but she hadn't posted since August 2005.HNK starts on July too, and is still blogging to this day. Rose Ahmad's wife, starts on August 2004, her last post was made on September 2005.

Kais started blogging January 2005, but he blogged rarely, and has not posted since June. Dr.Truth Teller joins on January too, and is still blogging to this day. February 2005 is the date Hassan Kharrufa (myself) joins the blogger.com community. You are reading a post I have written, so I'm still blogging to this day. Sunshine starts on April 2005, and is still blogging to this day. The latest family member to joins the blogsphere isEmotions who starts blogging on July 2005, and is still blogging.

Abbas starts on February 2004, he is still blogging. Abu Hadi starts blogging on March but stops on April the same year. March 2004 Faiza starts a new Jarrars blog, she makes most of the posts, but she stops writing on it on October 2004. Ahmad is the fastest multi-post Iraqi blogger to quit blogging, he blogged for only ten days from April 16 to April 26.

Baghdadi starts blogging on April 2004, and stops on June the same year. Tareek starts on April 2004 too, he still posts. March 2004 Suha starts blogging. Though her name was a mystery at first, as there was no profile or anything whatsoever as to who created the blog. But A little digging up revealed her name. She stopped blogging on May 2005. . Ayad started blogging on March too. But he hadn't posted since April. Then Happy Bushra starts his first blog on this month, he still blogs on it this day. He creates his Second Blog on September 2004, it seems that it is mainly a pictures blog, the last post on it is dated April 2005.

May 2004, Abu Khaleel joins the group and is blogging to this day. Abu Khaleel himself started five other blogs which he writes in them sometimes. Rapid Democracy in Iraq, Meethaq for Iraq, A Glimpse of Iraq, Us Mistaked in Iraq and Disgrunted Americans

Shaggy chooses this month to start blogging too, and he has kept on blogging ever since.Hala Fattah posts for the first time on May 2004, but her last post was on September the same year. Reading her Profile, she seems like a very educated person. IRAQ makes his first post on May 2004, a very funny one indeed. But he hadn't posted since August 2005.

As June 2004 comes, Ibn_Alrafidain writes his first post. He seems to be still blogging. On the last day of June 2004, Sara starts blogging. While Ferid starts a couple of weeks later. Sara is still on the blogs, while Ferid has made his last post on August 2005. Maas starts on July too, but it seems that she was shy at the beginning, as her first posts were pictures only, it is August 2004 when she makes her first text-only post, still posting to this day. On the same month, IraqPundit begins blogging, and continues to blog to this day.

Ali Mohamed starts on August 2004, his first post is an Email Me post. Second post is a 32 pictures post. He continues to blog by photos. He stops at the end of the month. But he comes back on May 2005 to post a welcoming post!!. Neurotic Iraqi Wife starts on August. This day she is working in the Green Zone, so her posts are very infrequent, but she doesn't seem like quitting. The Pin Cushion is a one post blogger, his post was made on August 2004. While 13 or more known as Anarki, starts on August too, but unlike The Pin Cushion, he still blogs. Ibrahim Khalil makes his Intoduction on August 2004. Last post on February 2005. Maitham joins on August too, but his last post was made on October 2004. August 2004 is the starting date of Nancy as she wrote her first post on this month, she kept on blogging since that time.

Downfall first blogs on the first day of September 2004. But stops on June 2005. Othman is a one post blogger too, he makes his post on September 2004. PuRGaToR starts blogging on this month too. Then on December 2004 he creates another blog which he mostly posted photos at, he stops blogging on both sites on January 2005.

October 2004, Sami first posts, he doesn't look to be posting anymore, his last post was on October 5. Iraq Humanity starts blogging on the same month. His last post was made on August 2005. On November 2004 Black Eagle starts blogging, and has not stopped since then.

December 2004, the year is about to end as Husayn joins the blogsphere. Last post made on July 2005. Imad Khadduri, A Free Writer and The Iraqi all start blogging on December 2004, and continuous to blog now. Another blogger who is not interested in politics join the sphere on this month, Nameer nooon chooses this month to blog, he blogs mostly in pictures away from politics. Then a group of ChaldoAssyrian Christians created another blog, which they are still posting on to the moment. Najeeb Hanoudi starts blogging on this month too, he kept on blogging ever since. Sahil begins to blog on this month too, he is still blogging at the moment.

Year 2004 ends. 46 Iraqi bloggers has joined the blogsphere, only 22 of them are still bloging today. So that makes a sum of 66 Iraqi bloggers to join the sphere since June 2002. Right now 37 of them are blogging.

Here comes year 2005. The first blogger of this year, is a rather funny blogger. Dog of a Son makes his first entry on the first day of the new year. He blogs to this day. Duraid makes his first post on this month too, but he hadn't posted since April 2005. Although he had created another blog on February 2005, but he had stopped blogging on it on June the same year. January 12, Ishtarria starts blogging, and she is still posting. The Grandson too chooses January 2005 to begin blogging, and he keeps blogging at the moment. Then another Iraqi non-politics blogger begins blogging on this month too, Alfil is a cinema interested blogger, and he hadn't bloged anything else since that date. He keeps on blogging now.

Then comes Zan, who seems to be creating blogs more than he is posting. His first and main blog is started on January 2005, but the last post on it was on April 2005. Second blog was made on January 2005 too, but doesn't get beyond the month. Third blog is created on February 2005, but the last post was also on April 2005. Fourth and Fifth were both March 2005 exclusive. On February 2005 Mark Tuma started blogging and kept on blogging ever since.

On March 2005, Najma creates a Family Blog in an attempt to persuade her mother to blog, her mother started blogging on it, but made her last post on April 2005. Another all time Arabic blogger joined the sphere on this month too, Tara who is fully capable of understanding English chooses not to blog in anything but Arabic. A nice blogger starts blogging on March 2005, Vahal Abdulrahman blogs in the form of letters sent to Baghdad. He sends his last letter in a very moving post.

A weird and later hated-from-Arabs blogger started blogging on April 2005, The Iraqi Mistress does not get beyond May 2005. Narsay is another one month Iraqi blogger, he posts only on April 2005. Which is the starting month of S.R.Z, while her stopping date is on May 2005. Akba writes his first post on this month too, he doesn't seem to be blogging anymore, as his last post was made on October 19 2005. Wafaa' begins blogging on April 2005, she still blogs this day. soon joins on April 2005 too, and he is still posting to this day. On April 2005, Haneen starts and kept on ever since. Then on October 2005 Haneen creates a blog titled Photos From Iraq which she blogs on it in photos, and offers any other Iraqi to put pictures on it.

May 2005 comes with another blogger, as (broken) joins the sphere on it. His last post was on August 2005. It seems that a site named Niqash starts hosting blogs on this month. As many bloggers start blogging on it. Iraqi Diaries in English, Abbas, Abdul Muhsin, Sheymaa, Iraqi Diaries in Arabic, Naseer, Tayseer, Yaseen, Al-Shmius Media Network, Avin, Ihsan and Niqash Press Blog all start their blogs on it. Iraqi Diaries in English start on June 2005, and the last post is made on August 2005. Abbas and Abdul Muhsin only blog on June 2005. Shymaa blogs only from June 2005 to July 2005. Iraqi Diaries in Arabic blogs from June 2005 and is still on the blogs. Nasser and Tayseer blog only on July 2005. Yaseen blogs from July 2005 to October 2005. Al-Shmius Media Network blogs only on July 2005. Avin and Ihsan who are Kurdish bloggers blog from June 2005 to October 2005. While Niqash Press Blogs starts from July 2005, and still blogs to this day.

Al-Shekhili posts only twice on July 2005, and quits after that. (broken) starts blogging on this month, and she is still blogging at the moment. Then The Iraqi Roulette starts on July 2005 and is still blogging. The Little Snippet starts on the last day of this month. He is still blogging at the moment. The Kid Himself starts blogging on the end of July 2005. He has kept on blogging ever since

Hassan Blasim makes a single post on August 2005. Truth About Iraqis joins on the same month, and is still blogging till now. Another one post blogger joins the sphere on August 2005, Sami blogs his single post on this month. Treasure of Baghdad joins on this month too and he is still blogging. 24 Steps to Liberty is too a blogger who joins on August 2005 and continuous to blog.

Another weird blogger chooses to start blogging on September 2005. Caesar of Pentra is still blogging since that date. Another one post blogger is Security who posts his single post on September 2005. Alaa chooses this month as a date, and the children of Iraq as a subject to blog about. He kept on blogging to this day. Attawie joins the blogsphere on this month too, and he is still blogging to this date. Micho La Jolie Fille is a blogger who demonstrate her skills in Arabic, English and French in her posts, she is still posting at the moment. The last Iraqi blogger to join the blogsphere is apparently Sanyora who joins the blogsphere on October 17 2005.

On the date of the last update of this post, which is November 3 2005. Year 2005 has witnessed 46 new Iraqi bloggers so far. Right now 22 of them are still blogging. The total sum of the Iraqi bloggers to join the blogsphere since Pax first signed in on June 2002 is 112, of those there are only 59 active right now.

Looking for a certain blogger??. Don't try to read the whole post looking for a certain blogger, if you find him then you are very lucky, this post is very long and you could easily slip past a blogger or two, I recommend using the search tool in you browser to find the blogger you want. Search for bloggers not blogs and the name of blogs are sometimes not mentioned. If you still can't find a certain blogger drop me a comment, I will find him for you. Finally I would like to say that this post should be considered a biography for all Iraqi bloggers, and I'm presenting it as a gift to the Iraqi Bloggers for the Eid Al-Feter of the year 2005.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Eed Sa'id ....
Now - I am not a Muslim, but were it Christmas I would say merry christmas- and I am not a Christian.

So Eid Sa'id everyone, and may you all enjoy your festivities and feista's :)
My your families be safe on their journeys, and may no harm fall upon you in these days.

*prayers for my Iraqi friends- this will be a good Eid for you*