Are You a Brown Name in a Black List?

Dr. Ali Al-Zaak

On the 15th anniversary of the brutal invasion, I published the first of my three ready books on the 15th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. The book came full of war horrors and sadness. Three expatriates friends told me that they were tearful with many pages of the book  but a fourth reader  alerted me to the fact that there are hopes too through the persistence little stories in the book.

“Are you brown name in a blacklist?”

The Brown name is semi-autobiography reviewing the horror of the invasion and occupation of Iraq from an insider perspective. The insider is an Iraqi academic and known scientist. For him and all Mesopotamians, the morning of the 9th of April, 2003 was horrific, as their capital was invaded, occupied and consequently looted. For he is also a poet, his poems were his way to describe what was happening:

Broken souls in deep hurry

Iron horses tapping in worry

From sin cities Hulagu Khan

Bleed the pride of April man

He was destined in this lifetime to experience the tumultuous  situations that he and his homeland would face. In the first of many previous wars, he lost the love of his life. In his beloved land, he  lived under severe International sanctions for thirteen years. Like the rest of his people, he lived under  ruthless and savage aerial bombing  during the “Desert Storm” then “Desert Fox” wars and yet, he climbed high in his profession.

Following  the  invasion called “Operation Freedom”, seeing an invader’s military tank at his parking gate signalling the first day of occupation, deeply crushed his morale. He imaged the huge double-decker tanks as Crows landed, looking for seeds and nuts in the capital. In a shocked imagination, between the desire to survive the feelings of lost dignity and the desire to stop and gape, he recited verses of the narrative poem by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven,” imagining the tank as a double-decker Raven:

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

While I nodded, nearly napping,

suddenly there came a tapping at my chamber door..”

The curse was followed by curses. Among these, he was abducted from his science world and illegally detained  in  an occupation military camp  until his captors realized their mistake. But, what did he find?

Human misery mirrors greed

Seeding but disturbed breed

Ravenous feeders in one pan

With recluse flock led by Khan

He sensed a geographical Looting of the History by the invaders and their turbaned tails:

In the history book of the bushy lord

A stinging turban and graceful Freud

His past is darkling red in shiny faith

His sins are happy for his joyful death

The book extensively covers the lies and the fantasies of the  Weapons of Mass Destruction, describing their futile search as if looking for the “Scarlet Pimpernel” in the fantasy movie:

Censured heads seeking pimpernel

Their heresy was cursed with a spell

Is it a scarlet chimera or is it insane

They were a league of shallow men

In the end, the book is self-portrait of  a man stands in the empty train station of his life, unites  memoir fiction  with truth and fascination with the past. The book was written to be shared in the hope for less mistakes by brutal powers.

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