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Pictures from Iraq!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Rashid got some pictures from his family in Iraq a week or so ago. They were very poor quality though and I just got around to enhancing them. They don't have very good film processing in southern Iraq.

This one is Rashid's son, Haider. Last time he saw Haider, he was a toddler.


This is Rashid's sister, mother, his son Hasan (who he's never seen thanks to Saddam) and the other children belong to his sister and a younger brother.
post #2 of 21
Those pictures are so cool! Were they able to get pictures to your hubby before the war?
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by valanhb
Those pictures are so cool! Were they able to get pictures to your hubby before the war?
They were able to send mail much easier before the war. But Rashid's family had to be careful(because the mail was censored). The first time Rashid wrote them after coming to the U.S., his family was interrogated and hassled. Rashid was in the Shi'ite uprising in the south years ago and was one of many on Saddam's watch list. He spent 3 years in one of those prisons where they torchured folks. Anywhoo.... His family wrote to him addressing it to me from then on and were careful not to send pictures. We got this letter and pictures in a round about way. The citizens of Iraq still don't have running postal services (but the occupiers sure do!). His cousin went to Iraq to visit a few months ago (he lives in Canada). Rashid's family gave the cousin a letter with the long awaited pictures. He brought them back to Canada and then forwarded them on to Rashid by mail. Whew! Long answer to what I bet you expected to be a simple answer! LOL
post #4 of 21
Perhaps a long answer, but an interesting one. How long has he been here? How did you two happen to meet?
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
After the uprising and the three years Rashid spent in the Iraqi prison, he escaped to Saudi Arabia. He spent about 10 years there before he was chosen to come to the U.S. He's been here about 4 years and we were married about 3 years ago. We met through a mutual friend who owned a middle eastern grocery store. (Rashid is my 2nd husband).

He was very happy that Bush had decided to go in and remove Saddam but now he is very perpelexed at how things have gone so badly in the aftermath. He's leaving for Iraq soon and will be gone for months and now I'm sacred he'll be killed or hurt. What a mess. I'll stop there so this thread doesn't become a IMO candatate!
post #6 of 21
I guess it is easy to guess it is a home made development in the pictures (remember the small dark room with lots of chemicals and the photos hanging?). Great pictures!

Southern Iraq. Was that Basrah, by any chance? I've got understood that that specific region is under the British troops.
post #7 of 21
I hope he'll be okay. I'm sure he must be very anxious to see his family after so long. It's kind of hard to believe there's no postal service running yet!
post #8 of 21
How wonderful for the photos to have gotten through..a handsome family.

My fervent hope, is that once he is there, he will find it's not as bad as he believes. I generally no longer listen to the stuff that is passed off as "reporting" here.

I hope he will have a safe trip, and a wonderful reunion with his children and mother.
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by yoviher
I guess it is easy to guess it is a home made development in the pictures (remember the small dark room with lots of chemicals and the photos hanging?). Great pictures!
Southern Iraq. Was that Basrah, by any chance? I've got understood that that specific region is under the British troops.
I'm not sure what you were trying to say about it being easy to guess it is a home made development in the pictures. Or the reference to chemicals. I'm sure I must have misunderstood you. My husbands family are very humble and deeply religious folks who wouldn't hurt a flea yet alone store chemicals etc. The picture of his mother, sister and the children is taken next to their home which Rashid's family built many years ago. The picture of Haider is taken near their home and in front of a billboard. It is a very poor city, not Barah but Nassarya. There are many, many cities in southern Iraq other then Basrah! Nassarya is the thrid largest city in Iraq. Basrah is being maintained or secured (I use that term loosely!) by U.S. coalition members and the troops there are British. Not sure what your point was there either but I hope I answered that!
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Pat & Alix
How wonderful for the photos to have gotten through..a handsome family.

My fervent hope, is that once he is there, he will find it's not as bad as he believes. I generally no longer listen to the stuff that is passed off as "reporting" here.

I hope he will have a safe trip, and a wonderful reunion with his children and mother.
Thank you! Your hope is mine as well. And my husbands. He has talked to his family on the phone several times since the war. They do say that in Nassarya things are much better then they have been in 20 years. However, in light of a new bombing in southern Iraq (at Basrah) last week, we are holding our breath that things stay better/well in the south. There is definately more negative reported here with many good things being left unreported that are happening there, particularly in the south and north.

jcat, Thanks! Yes it is wonderful he was finally able to get these pictres. There are more. These are just the ones I scanned! It IS pretty amazing there still is no postal service for the Iraqi's. Back a few months ago I saw a report where American service members families were complaining because their loved ones were not recieving some mail in a timely manner. At least they are getting some! The folks that live there don't! My, what things we take for granted! I'm thankful I live here!
post #11 of 21
No, I didn't mean anything bad at all ! I was just remembering that those photos looked a lot like some photos I've seen that are 110 mm film and home developed. A friend of mine does that as a hobby at times. I didn't imply that they have dangerous chemicals or such stuff. In a city the size of Nasiriya there must be quite a few professional photo developers. Again, when you said that they weren't of good quality because the photo developing isn't that good there I thought that it may have been done like I described (the little dark room with a red lightbulb). And here we call that "home made" or "old fashioned" because it's so rare to see it anymore here. Sorry I freaked you out. My apologies. Sorry.

Your hubby is in my prayers that he returns safely. I was asking because Al Najaf is in southern Iraq and it's the region where the Plus Ultra Brigade is in control. (The Brigade commanded by Spain). Since the Spaniards now want to leave the place, I thought "That region will become much more unstable when they leave" and I got worried if they were in the Najaf area.
post #12 of 21
Please accept my blessings that he returns safe and sound. It is perplexing what is going on over there. And I dont feel the press is accurate half the time either. So we really don't know.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by yoviher
No, I didn't mean anything bad at all ! I was just remembering that those photos looked a lot like some photos I've seen that are 110 mm film and home developed. A friend of mine does that as a hobby at times. I didn't imply that they have dangerous chemicals or such stuff. In a city the size of Nasiriya there must be quite a few professional photo developers. Again, when you said that they weren't of good quality because the photo developing isn't that good there I thought that it may have been done like I described (the little dark room with a red lightbulb). And here we call that "home made" or "old fashioned" because it's so rare to see it anymore here. Sorry I freaked you out. My apologies. Sorry.

Your hubby is in my prayers that he returns safely. I was asking because Al Najaf is in southern Iraq and it's the region where the Plus Ultra Brigade is in control. (The Brigade commanded by Spain). Since the Spaniards now want to leave the place, I thought "That region will become much more unstable when they leave" and I got worried if they were in the Najaf area.
The HOly city of Najaf is quite a bit north of Nassarya and a lot further north of Basrah. And although in Arabic writing it is spelled like Al Najaf it is pronounced An Najaf. But even in Iraq, the Iraqi's just refer to their cities as Najaf or Nassarya or Basrah and drop the "al" part (which the best translation for that is "the"). Just a little Arabic trivia there! Najaf is actually closer to Baghdad then Basrah and a little closer to Baghdad then Nassarya. I'm sure the few spanish troops in Najaf will be replaced when the time comes. There are only about 1000 Spanish troops there now anyway.

Thank you for clarifying what you were talking about. it wasn't clear that you were refering to the quality of the pictures so I was very confused. It seemed more that you were talking about what was IN the pictures! Yes, the pictures there take on a very old fashioned quality. The actual photos look like they were taken back in the 60's because of that quality.
post #14 of 21
I'm really interested in your husband's "take" on the situation there. A lot of the reports in the U.S. media seem too upbeat, and those in the German media appear to be too negative. I have two students who tell me what they learn from the Arabic-language media (isn't modern technology great?), but they are hardly typical: one is an Iranian Kurd who has lived in asylum here for about ten years, and seems allergic to anything that has to do with Shi'ites, and the other is an Iraqi/Syrian Christian who has spent most of her life here in Germany (16 out of 18 years), and can best be described as a multi-lingual German. I have a lot of relatives from the Middle East, but they're Turks, and Turkey simply isn't Arab, and has at least one foot in Europe/the West. Your husband is probably taking a chance traveling to Iraq right now, but how can he resist? I really hope that the Iraqis can avoid a civil war, and that they can establish a government/society that all of them can live with.
post #15 of 21
I think this thread is very interesting, as well. Glad Victor cleared up the picture thing for you. He meant that the photos looked like they were developed at home using developing chemicals in a darkroom. Is it your husband's wish to bring his children stateside with him eventually? Is their mother still around?

Many years ago I had a friend whose husband was from Iran. He was going to school here when the Shah was ousted from power by the Ayatollah Khomeni. His situation and that of his family remind me of what you describe.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by jcat
I'm really interested in your husband's "take" on the situation there. A lot of the reports in the U.S. media seem too upbeat, and those in the German media appear to be too negative. I have two students who tell me what they learn from the Arabic-language media (isn't modern technology great?), but they are hardly typical: one is an Iranian Kurd who has lived in asylum here for about ten years, and seems allergic to anything that has to do with Shi'ites, and the other is an Iraqi/Syrian Christian who has spent most of her life here in Germany (16 out of 18 years), and can best be described as a multi-lingual German. I have a lot of relatives from the Middle East, but they're Turks, and Turkey simply isn't Arab, and has at least one foot in Europe/the West. Your husband is probably taking a chance traveling to Iraq right now, but how can he resist? I really hope that the Iraqis can avoid a civil war, and that they can establish a government/society that all of them can live with.
I'm surprised you feel the American media is to upbeat! My husband and I both feel it's too negative here! Go figure!

Anyway, I never heard of an Irani Kurd so I asked my hubby. He's never heard of such a thing either! He says, Kurd is short for Kurdistan which is part of northern Iraq and so the people are called Kurdi (or Kurd here). An Irani is from Iran. So I'm not sure what you're student means unless he is an Iranian who at some point his family relocated to Kurdistan.

It seems the Iraqi Sunni and Shi'ite are working together much better then many thought they would. Just a note for some of the other folks who aren't aware of the makeup of Iraq.... The Sunni are most of the Kurdi and many around the Baghdad area. The shi'a are predominant in the south and also scattered about the country. Anyway, I even heard a statement from both a Shi'a cleric and a Sunni cleric that they would not allow foreign terrorists to come into their country and divide them. However that said, right now many in Iraq are protesting and very angry about all the recent terrorism in Iraq and the U.S. and coalition troops failure to secure the country.

Now regarding the Kurdi being allergic to anything shi'ite! That is very funny. I love it! This is very complicated. The difference between the sunni and shi'a is that the shi'a believe Muhammed's successor was Ali, who was related to Muhammed. The sunni believe that Muhammed's successor was elected by a group of folks who met while Muhammed was on his death bed and his family were tending to him. That said, there are many misconceptions around the Arab world about the shi'ite spin on things. There are fanatical sects that hate just about everyone that doesn't believe exactly what they do (like us Westerners and the Israeli's) and they have over many years, been instrumental in these misconceptions spreading. So many Arabs who don't necessarily have a diverse education or have not been exposed to any shi'a or their beliefs, believe these distortions. Like some Wahabbi (from Saudi) will say the shi'a worship Ali and not God. Wrongo!! That's probably the biggest distortion. I hope that explains it a little bit.

Now here in Salt Lake we have a huge Arab/Iraqi community and a huge Kurdi community and they all get along very well. One of my dear friends, Helwa, is Kurdi and sunni and she and her husband are very close to Rashid and many other Iraqi Shi'ites here. A Kurdi got my husband his first job here and we go for dinner at their home once in awhile. The Kurdi community has a big gathering at a park near my home every Sunday and they invite the Iraqi's to come join them. So they all play volleyball and soccer together, eat and just B.S.! So once they are seperated from the oppression and lack of exposure, they seem to learn that they are not so different from the shi'a Iraqi's. And they actual find some kind of bond with each other because they are all Mahjr (displaced or exiled).

Things are much more complicated then most can imagine! I really have to seperate myself from it sometimes because I can tend to get very depressed and caught up in things. I've lived this all together for 5 years (I was involved with the shi'ite/Islamic population here before I met my hubby.) I immersed myself in the religion and the culture and went on overload a while back!

I hope no one starts debating in this thread. It wasn't meant to be a IMO thread and I don't want it to be. I just wanted to share some cool pics! I get too wound up in the IMO forum and I try to stay out of there as much as possible!
post #17 of 21
I am familiar with going on overload and situations so complex not even the people involved can understand it... The whole Puerto Rican situation of statehood or independence is the kind of thing that when one starts to think it throughtly you have this reaction:


AAAAAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Deb25
I think this thread is very interesting, as well. Glad Victor cleared up the picture thing for you. He meant that the photos looked like they were developed at home using developing chemicals in a darkroom. Is it your husband's wish to bring his children stateside with him eventually? Is their mother still around?

Many years ago I had a friend whose husband was from Iran. He was going to school here when the Shah was ousted from power by the Ayatollah Khomeni. His situation and that of his family remind me of what you describe.
Ok I had to take a break and get something to eat! My head was splitting!

My husband has no plans to bring his children here. Of course he would absolutely do what he could if they wanted to come. But he feels strongly that they belong in their homeland with the extended family.

The children's mother, or Rashid's ex-wife is still alive and living in Nassarya. Rashid's boys live with his brothers though. He has one daughter still living with their mother and one daughter that died while he was in the Saudi refugee camp. He never knew what happened until just after this latest war. Of course before then all mail and phone calls were monitored. And his family has never had a phone anyway. Or at least not in 20 years. But a few months ago he found out what happened. His brother was cleaning his military issue gun and it went off, hitting and killing Rashid's oldest daughter.

I know what you mean about your Iranian friend and their story reminding you of my husbands. We also have a very large Irani community here and they also find themselves bonded with the Iraqi's and the Kurdi's.

This is a bit off subject, but I love Ramadhan here! During the month of Ramadhan, every night there is a dinner at the Mosque to break the fast and I love to go with my hubby. So we get Irani, Iraqi, Afghani, Kuwaiti, Pakistani and Syrian food! Oh yum yum!!
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally posted by mzjazz2u

This is a bit off subject, but I love Ramadhan here! During the month of Ramadhan, every night there is a dinner at the Mosque to break the fast and I love to go with my hubby. So we get Irani, Iraqi, Afghani, Kuwaiti, Pakistani and Syrian food! Oh yum yum!!
How about when/if I go to Salt Lake you folks invite me over and when/if you folks come here I take you to the passover and Hannuka festivities? My invitation is always open!
post #20 of 21
What a beautiful family! Thank you for sharing those photos. It is my hope that your husband will have a safe trip and a wonderful time visiting family. And that life will be better for the people of Iraq soon.
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
yoviher, Here are the pictures before I eidited them. You can see the poor quality. I won't leave them up because they take up room on my web storage but you mentioned you were a photography buff in the PM you sent me so I thought I'd show you how bad they were.



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