Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stories from iraq

Sometimes we'd be sitting with the family chatting over tea and baqlawa and my dad or grand dad or uncle would tell a story about a place I used to call home which is becoming more and more alien to me while I still yearned for it all the same. This is one of those stories.

My dad wanted to buy a photocopy machine back in the 1980s iraq so he had to apply for special permission from the government security department.
[ at this point I asked him why he didn't just go to the electronic store to just buy one, I realized this was a silly question when he laughed at it. I guess in a dictatorship with a strong all enveloping security apparatus you can't just buy a photocopy machine]

So he went up and down and all around trying to get the right paperwork and speak to the right people, it was a pain going though the lines of corruption and failed bureaucracy. He decided to try and get in touch with a friend of his who was the assistant manager of the state security office [ I don't know why he didn't go to him in the first place ]
Now this was in itself a mission, going through assistants and secretaries but finally he arrived at the man's office and was greeted by the old friend. They sat down making small talk and remembering the old times when a man in fatigues came in and spoke to the assistant director, sir the prisoner is not confessing. Mr assistant director excused himself from my dad and called the"prisoner" to come in so he couldspeak to him personally.
When the prisoner came in he was sat down on a chair (this is all happening in front of my dad by the way). Why was this msn in prison ? What was it he was refusing to confess to ? Who knows

Assistant director: why won't you confess, we know you did it
Prisoner: sure I swear it wasn't me !

Suddenly SLAP, SLAP SLAP !!! The assistant director was engaging in... Torture? Beatings ? I don't know what it was but my dad got a massive jump because he wasnt expecting this. In a bit of panic he figured his friend must have overlooked him and sort of walked out and never returned to his ' friend' again.

My dad never did get to buy that photocopy machine after all
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

No comments: