Now you may have been wondering why there has been a sudden break in posts after such recent frenetic activity, but it is only now, when the dust has settled, that I feel it right to recount the sorry tale.
It all started over a meal that the contributors have from time to time. Usually good-natured, this particular get-together quickly took a turn for the worse. It started with a heated discussion on whether or not someone can lead Iraq without a moustache. The usual banter got rather too personal as Ali Rashid crossed the invisible red line he invariably overshoots, equating a lack of facial hair with ambiguous masculinity. This set the usually serene Ahmed off completely as he delineated the complex histo-cultural baggage associated with facial hair in eastern societies before pointing out the hypocrisy of Ali himself sporting no moustache.
Hadi, always looking to mediate, got stuck in by suggesting we should take after bees and respect our differences, but instead got embroiled in the escalating shouting match around the table. Safwan cooly suggested that we were displaying a sad but familiar Iraqiness and rise above our patriarchal, ethno-centric, and follicularly-limited view of humanity. This unsurprisingly did not go down well but ended with a torrent of abuse being aimed at him.
The term follicularly-challenged got Raeid belatedly worked up and he countered with the fact that his former boss Peter Mandelson’s political career took off immediately after his moustache disappeared. Mousa, never one to be left out, suggested that his facial hair acted as a useful bridge to entwine local communities together. This comment being both absurd and irrelevant, left all puzzled, and signalled the end of the farcical evening.
You’ll be glad to hear that things have subsequently been patched up and my role had been to carefully record and generously embelish upon the above altercation. The question about whether or not the above account is entirely accurate will presumably lost amongst the torrent of posts that will be subsequently unleashed…