Sunday, November 04, 2007

Stories from my grand dad 3

In the iran war, my relationship was with the ministry of defense, because the dams were strategicly important, if an Iranian fighter jet shoots the dam, the whole town would go under water,.

I went to Mosul, we had two damns, one in the north of mosul, and one in suliemania, these didn't have enough military defense, so I went to kirkuk to the staff general Marshal to tell him about the lack of defense.

When I arrived they were having lunch, a whole heap of about 30 generals sitting at a huge table. The general marshal sitting at the head of the table. A muslawi.

I saluted, he called for me, ifathaal hooni (in maslawi dialect "have a seat"), I said I'm not military sir, he said you're better than military, come sit next to me,

I shook his hand, May Allah help you and bless you,

I told him the story. He told His assistant general to meet with him after lunch for amore official meeting because this was important.

Later on because I was speaking maslawi, he asked me where are you from ? I said I'm originally from Baghdad city, but Ive lived in mosul for 12 years and I'm taba3ia mosul.

He stood up and yelled "ishnoo ishqilit ? taba3yia irania ?" (what did you say ? you're iranian by ethnicity?) I said "Ya saidi I said taba3ia mosul, like you !" He sat down and was laughing. I didn't understand.

The other generals were asking me, what did you tell him ? I said taba3ia mosul, they said that;s what we heard.

I told him the whole story of my taba3ia again.

Who did you marry in Mosul ? He said who did you marry in Mosul maybe I know the family.

I told him "abdulhakeem amin" He was like "oh that guy was my commander when I was lieutenant.

the funny bit here is that this leutenant thought my grand dad was taba3ia iran, which would have been dangerous since the war at the time was with iran.

Stories from my grand dad 2

I had a government vehicle, if the kurds at the time see a government vehicle they tend to steal it, So I used to muddy the liscnece plates of the car and used to wear a kurdish turban to look Kurdish, I also speak Kurdish coz I stayed there for along time for the dam building .

One time I was returning from suliemania to kirkuk to go back to Baghdad. Usually in the head of the city there would be a police station to monitor the entry and exit in and out of the city.

That day is was raining heavily, when I reached the police station, I tooted my car, no body answered, I dind't want to go out in the rain, so I drove on.

10 minutes later, a police car came chasing me, the guy in the car was yelling "RAUSTA RAUSTA" stop in Kurdish.

He asked why didn't you stop ? no one was there ! no you have to go back

So I went back, a seargant came out, took me inside, I gave him my Identification, he took it and put it away, SIT DOWN ! you're arrested.

I said thank you for arresting, but I need the phone, because I'll be late to an appointment with the general commander of the military. Can I call ?

Ok sure

So I called , the assistant of the commander answered, "come in where are you ? we're waiting for you " I said I wasn't close yet, because the searagnt took my identification and arrested me

He said "YAAKUL KHARA" give him the phone. (means HE CAN EAT SHIT!)

The seargant took the phone, suddenly he stood up to attention to the phone "YES SIR, OK SIR, YES SIR"

The assistant spoke to me again, come down now, bring the seargant with you.

The sargant gave me the card, and was so scared now he waslike a mouse, there were soldiers in the entrance of kirkuk barracks, they stopped us and cuffed the seargant and took him inside, by that time he was almost ready to pee his pants.

I came inside I saw the commander, "who is this idiot who did this to you?"

I said "Sir I beg of you, I don’t' want this guy to die from a heart attack, let him off"

So he called up his people "feed him and let him go"

The seargant got the fright of his life just now, so from then on he never got in my way again, other times I'd come down to them I'd give them the card, they'd so get outta here we know who you are, what would you like ? tea ? lunch ?

This happened to me a lot, but I never worried about it because I had in my pocket a letter from the minister of defense, and I wasn't doin anything wrong.

Stories from my grand dad

My grandfather is 80something years old now, and he's got all these old stories from when he was a dam engineer back in Iraq, they're very entertaining to listen to him say it, but also they're history, so at some point I started documenting them when he told them (he's got like a hundred stories he recycles). This is one those stories.

I hope you can understand it, I basically wrote down exactly what he said (with instant translation)

The mosul damn, I was the manager for the project. Usually large projects like this need a base marble on which is written the name of the project and the date . the price we got for the stone was 120 dinar. For one stone !

We went to the guy who sold us the stone,
salams, did you quote us the price ?

120 dinar is a lot, why so much ? ok let's count

Hillania (I don't know what this means)

It worked out to be 35 dinar, + 25 dinar profits, why 120 ? (this story is from the 1970s, when the iraqi dinar was equal to 3 US dollars)

He turned to the purchasing committee who had come with me, asking "why did you bring this guy with you ? I was hoping the guy from Baghdad would come down so I can charge him lots!" The purchasing committee went nuts and trying to shut this guy up "This IS the Baghdad guy !"

He; like "No, this guy speaks likes us !"

So I said "I' came from Baghdad but I'm taba3ia mosul" (taba3ia means have origins from that place or ethnicity)

He said what ?

I said "I came to mosul when I was 6, all my education was in mosul, my university was a mosul scholarship. I married from mosul"

He said "Well then you're one of us !"

So I said "Ok then give it to me for 40 dinar, you have a 20 dinar profit"

He's like , ok 50 dinar, fine.

They had sent the director of purchasing and administration to suprvise me, from the baath party official. He asked me what I'd done.

So I called up one of the purchasing committee members, his name was francis, I asked him "what do you think should I tell him the price or give him the whole story ? Francis said, tell him the whole story it was a good thingh you did.

When I returned to Baghdad, the official dude told the minitester, the minister was my friend, I knew him from before. He sent for me.,

At his office, he took me to the board meeting room, I told him the whole story and he was laughing , He then sent me a letter of thanking and appreciation, with a 100 dinar bestowment.