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Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the brain softer.

I have had a writer’s block that stretches back months, and have not blogged despite the largest upheaval in decades in the Middle East, riots in the UK, and the momentous return of King Kenny to his helm. But I am back now. Unfortunately, since I last wrote, London has lost what I like to think […]

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Revenge of the ruminants

“It was definitely not a moo.” I asserted “Oh it certainly was a moo.” My wife replied “So now I’ve transformed into farmyard animal or something?” I asked, growing slightly irritated. I got up, feeling not exactly a hundred percent with a certain heaviness in my chest.  On my way down, I surmised that it […]

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Do as I say, not as I do

The UK’s government’s insistence in continuing its deportation of failed Iraqi asylum seekers leaves me uncomfortable on many levels. Acknowledging the significantly improved security situation but also the fact that bombings, assassinations and kidnappings  still occur does not make it an easy issue. However the hurried manner in which the UK government is handling these […]

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Time travel in Willesden

His claim was certainly ludicrous, yet at the same time intriguing. The chance to travel across space and time for a modest fee was tempting indeed. The problem was that I was on a residential side-street in Willesden and the balding Arab-looking fat bloke in a tatty leather jacket making the offer did not exactly fit the […]

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Prisons & Compensations

Amnesty International recently released a report  claiming wide-spread abuse in Iraqi prisons, 30,000 detainees and many of them without trials or even charges. Amongst them a dual UK/Iraqi citizen whose wife claims has been tortured in prison. The Iraqi government was quick to deny all the findings of this report and Deputy Justice Minister Busho […]

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Allawi visit to Iran, Hakim visit to Israel, Sadr visit to US

Now that I have your attention…. ***WARNING: This is not about Iraqi politics.  Please do not read any further if you are looking for a rant about whether Maliki or Allawi should form the Iraqi government – your mind may not be able to handle something apolitical.*** For those whose brains haven’t exploded at the […]

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So what does it really mean to be Iraqi? Rest assured this isn’t going to be a philosophical take on identity and assimilation but the reason I ask is because only recently I officially became an Iraqi citizen and yet I feel no different from before. Sure I am happy because travelling to the country […]

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I have never killed. Nor have I saved

“Shlonek dektoor?” my local Iraqi barber lazily enquires as I hurry past him on the high street. “how many people have you saved today?” Was that a mocking tone? I wondered to myself through the heat and exhaustion of a sweltering working day.  I try not to rise to the bait but ask in turn […]

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Vampires ‘Я’ Us

When a family member took me to watch New Moon for my birthday several months ago (for the second time I’m not ashamed to add), I found myself clashing with my nearest and dearest. For those of you who don’t know, New Moon is based on the Twilight Saga; a group of vampires who although […]

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Exorcising our paranoia

So there we were, sat in a house whose owner I vaguely knew, a group strung together through no obvious logic but united by the same lack of awareness about the clandestine meeting’s ultimate purpose. The host sat across us, furtively looking at the clock as well as the door behind us, half-expecting the mukhabarat […]

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